Highlands and The Isle of Skye - 3 day tour
Highlands and the Isle of Skye
3 day / 2 night tour
Price range: £330 - £640
There are so many famous sights to be seen on this popular three-day tour including Rannoch Moor, Glen Coe, the Great Glen and Loch Ness. From your base in Inverness explore the beauty of the Isle of Skye in comfort including the soaring peaks of the Cuillin Hills and the wonderful coastal vistas. Spend time in Portree, the island’s main town. There is so much to enjoy on this popular tour.
Glen Coe - Scotland’s most famous valley is awesome! We’ll stop so you can capture the scene
Loch Ness - enjoy a visit to ancient Urquhart Castle and a short cruise on the loch
Isle of Skye - see the amazing Cuillin Hills, stunning Trotternish Peninsula and visit the colourful town of Portree
Eilean Donan Castle - explore this picturesque castle and savour the views from the battlements
Cromarty - step back in time to discover the fascinating story behind this well-preserved highland town
Movie locations - The Quest for Fire, Being Human and Outlaw King
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Edinburgh - Glen Coe - Inverness
Our journey starts with wonderful views of Stirling, with its Majestic Castle, then, after a short drive, we enter the Highlands. A climb up the "Black Mount” will bring us to the remote beauty of Rannoch Moor. This unspoilt landscape extends over 50 square miles!
We will make a photo stop in haunting Glen Coe before making our way through Fort William and into the Great Glen. The highlight of our day together is undoubtedly a drive along the entire length of Loch Ness. There is a stop at Urquhart Castle where you can take a tour and then enjoy a short cruise on the loch . We’ll soon arrive in Inverness, where we will spend the night.
Overnight: Inverness (2 nights)
Day 2 - Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Excursion
Leaving Inverness behind we make our way to Garve then on through Strath Bran to the remote village of Achnasheen. From there we strike out through picturesque Glen Carron, stopping to enjoy the panoramic views over Loch Carron.
We cross "over the sea to Skye” and follow the picturesque coastal route, enjoying the wonderful vista over the sea lochs to the Isle of Scalpay. There are grand views of the mighty Cuillin Hills too as we make our way to Portree, the island’s main town. We’ll make a stop here so you can discover the town on your own and enjoy time for lunch. The colourful houses that surround the harbour make a wonderful backdrop for an "I was there” selfie! Later enjoy a scenic drive through the dramatic landscapes of the Trotternish Peninsula to see the Old Man of Storr and Kilt Rock.
Returning to the mainland we stop to visit fairytale Eilean Donan Castle set on its little island on Loch Duich. There is time to explore this iconic castle before our return journey continues through Glen Shiel, where the Five Sisters of Kintail will come into view. These soaring peaks are each over 3,000 feet (914 m) high!
The final part of our journey takes us through Glen Moriston to the timeless beauty of Loch Ness and onwards to Inverness.
Day 3 - Inverness - Cromarty - Edinburgh
After breakfast, we make our way through Glen Convinth to reach Beauly. The monks who built Beauly Priory in the 13th Century called it Beau Lieu or beautiful place. You'll soon discover why! On certain departures, you’ll also have the opportunity of visiting the nearby Glen Ord Malt Whisky Distillery to see how Scotland’s national drink is lovingly produced.
Our tour continues through the Black Isle where we will enjoy scenic views over the Cromarty Firth as we travel to the little fishing village of Cromarty. Our next stop is at Chanonry Point, a popular vantage point to spot the community of bottlenose dolphins that live in the Moray Firth.
Later this afternoon we join our motorcoach for a spectacular drive south through the Highlands. From the Spey Valley and the Cairngorm Mountains, we travel through the Pass of Drumochter and Glen Garry to reach Highland Perthshire. Enjoy views of picturesque Blair Castle as we make our way through the gently rolling countryside towards Perth then onwards to Edinburgh.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect on this Freestyle Mini Tour?
These tours are ideal if you are an independent spirit as they offer the ideal blend of structured sightseeing and relaxing free time. Instead of spending your entire tour with the same group you’ll join a different party of fellow passengers each day to explore different aspects of the Highlands. All Freestyle Mini Tours are based in Inverness, which is an excellent base offering good quality accommodation, great shopping plus a wide choice of dining opportunities and evening diversions. A bonus is having to unpack, just once, plus there is no luggage restrictions. On the journeys between Edinburgh/Glasgow and Inverness you’ll travel in a large motorcoach allowing you to relax and enjoy the journey in comfort. Once you are based in Inverness you will travel on a different excursion each day by air-conditioned mini or midicoach. Each tour is led by a local driver/guide who will provide an entertaining and informative commentary. Comfortable guest house accommodation with en-suite bathrooms, tv and other amenities is included in the price of all tours. You can choose to upgrade to hotel accommodation, at extra cost, if you wish. Breakfast is included during your stay in Inverness. Each morning you’ll be picked up from your lodgings by the tour coach. After a day of discovery you’ll be dropped in Inverness City Centre where you can get something to eat before returning, independently, to your accommodation. If you are a free spirit that likes to get behind the tourist veneer then a Freestyle mini-tour is just for you.
What are the optional extras on this tour and how much do they cost?
Admission fees are not included in the cost of the tour so to complement your itinerary you can choose to participate in these exciting options:
Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness Cruise
Visit hauntingly beautiful Urquhart Castle, once one of Scotland’s largest castles. The castle boasts a commanding presence overlooking the loch. After time to explore the castle and admire the views take to the water for a cruise on Loch Ness. Please note that for operational reasons it’s not possible to visit Urquhart Castle only.
The cost of the ticket is £19 per adult and £15 per child.
The links above will give you more information on these attractions as well as current prices. On some tours discounted prices are available to tour passengers - your driver/guide will provide more information if this applies. Not all attractions accept payment by credit or debit card so you should carry sufficient cash should you be planning a visit.
Tell me about my accommodation and which type of room should I choose?
The cost of accommodation is included in the cost of your tour. On this tour you can choose between Guesthouse/B&B or Hotel accommodation: Guesthouse and B&B. The guesthouses and B&Bs are family run and offer comfortable accommodation in bedrooms that have en-suite bathrooms, tv, tea/coffee making facilities and other amenities. Bedding, towels and basic toiletries are provided. Some guesthouses and B&Bs offer enhanced facilities such as a resident’s lounge where you can relax with other guests. Hotel. We select comfortable hotels that are a minimum of 3 stars with bedrooms featuring en-suite bathrooms, television, tea and coffee making facilities and other amenities. All have restaurants offering a selection of Scottish and international dishes as well as comfortable bars where you can relax and un-wind. All hotels are city-centre located. The guesthouses and B&Bs are a 10/15 minute walk from Inverness City Centre.
Will I see dolphins?
It’s thought that there are approximately 195 dolphins living in the Moray Firth and we will visit Chanonry Point which is possibly the most famous place in Britain for land-based dolphin watching. Please bear in mind that the dolphins are wild animals so we can’t guarantee a sighting on any given day.
Will there be stops for meals and are they included in the price of the tour?
Meals are not included in the tour price, but we will make stops where you can get refreshments and something to eat. If you wish, you can bring a packed lunch or pick up lunch items at a previous stop. Vegetarian food is widely available.
- 2 nights guest house or hotel accommodation
- Location: Inverness (2)
- Scottish/Continental breakfast (2)
Visits, Admissions and Experiences
- Full day excursion to Eilean Donan Castle and the Isle of Skye with local driver/guide
- Transportation by luxury air-conditioned touring coach or mini/midi coach
- Live commentary in English
- Services of an experienced guide and/or driver/guide
- Service charges and taxes
- Admission charges
- Meals, snacks or items of a personal nature
- Gratuity to your driver/guide
From 1 Parliament Square
Royal Mile/High Street
Edinburgh EH1 1RE
Check-in: 07:45 hrs
Tour Departs: 08:00 hrs
Tour Returns: 20:00 hrs
Child discount applies to children aged 3 to 15 years.
We’re really sorry but children aged under 3 years cannot travel on this tour.
Photo-ID may be requested to confirm discount entitlement.
The price of this tour includes guest house accommodation with en-suite bathroom. You can up-grade to hotel accommodation at extra cost during the booking process.
In order to give you maximum flexibility admission fees are not included in the cost of this tour.
Please see the FAQ section for more information on this tour.
Blogs and Guides - discover insider tips and ideas
Customer Reviews Overall Rating:
Rating:15 May 2018
Hello and thank you for the tour. To start with, we loved the guest house (The Ach Aluinn) in Inverness.We took the freestyle tour. There was lack of information about what time and where we would be picked up. (and also what the freestyle tour is, when we first booked) This might make some guests uncomfortable. Maybe a whatsapp number that people can easily reach, can be better than mailing. The driver/guides were also nice. Especially the driver on 10th May was very informative. I think the last day of the tour can be improved. Until we meet the motorcoach, the driver was less informative, we didn't know the place of where we stopped or if there was any stories about that area, unlike others. and after we met the motorcoach, it was more like letting people rest and it felt like the tour was finished half-day. On itinerary there was the views of Blair Castle but we didn't get to go know when we passed it by neither went nearby the castle. I would prefer to see inside the Blair castle. Kindest Regards Thank you Sezen UmitliSEZEN from ANKARA, Turkey
Rating:09 Apr 2018
Could have spent more time in places like isle of skye and skip places like cow feeding and other less interesting places. Felt the time spent in isle of skye is too rushed. Also a little too much driving around. Maybe reduce number of bus stop spots and allow more time each spot.Kanit from Bath, United Kingdom
Rating:21 Sep 2017
The tour was amazing with a homely accommodation(Scorrybreac - the landlady Sandra is Wonderful and Lovely women she made the Best English Breakfast I have ever had). I would come back again to tour with you guys if I ever get a chance. Driver-Guides were Brilliant and knowledgeable. Day1 - Mike & Louis; Day2 - Victoria(Vicky); Day3 - Alison; I really had a fantastic time the whole 3 days and have loads of Beautiful memories made and met new people, was amazing... Thanks guys.DEEPIKA from CHESTERFIELD, , United Kingdom