4 day / 3 night tour
Sit back, relax and let us take you on a journey through the beautiful Scottish Highlands! From your convenient base in Inverness explore the Isle of Skye to visit Portree and take the chance to visit iconic Eilean Donan Castle. Next day travel through the majestic scenery of the Cairngorm National Park to visit ancient castles and experience the Whisky Trail. We’re sure you’ll find this short tour to be the perfect introduction to the delights of the Highlands.
Price range: £415 - £795
Isle of Skye - see the towering peaks of the Cuillin Hills and visit colourful Portree.
Brodie Castle - explore this fairytale castle and enjoy a stroll through the amazing gardens
Cairngorm National Park - experience the spectacular mountain panoramas
Speyside Cooperage - marvel at the traditional skills of a cooper as they make and repair whisky casks
The Whisky Trail - learn how Scotch whisky is produced and have a tutored tasting of the end product!
Movie locations – Main Solah Baras Ki, Being Human and The World is not Enough
Guest house accommodation included - hotel upgrade option available
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Edinburgh - Glen Coe - Inverness
From Edinburgh we will make our way to Rannoch Moor a wilderness that extends over 50 sq miles. Next we'll enter brooding Glen Coe and stop in the heart of the Glen so that you can enjoy our spectacular surroundings. Next we cross the Ballachulish Bridge and drive to Fort William which sits in the shadow of Ben Nevis.
The majestic beauty of the Great Glen is next – Loch Lochy, Loch Oich and finally Loch Ness will provide wonderful views at every turn. We'll drive the entire length of Loch Ness stopping so you can visit Urquhart Castle and take a monster spotting cruise *. Our tour is based in Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, for the next three nights.
Overnight: Inverness (3 nights), Overnight: Inverness (3 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!
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 - Cairngorm National Park and Whisky Trail Excursion
From Inverness we make the short journey to the seaside resort of Nairn, a popular holiday spot of Charlie Chaplin. Our first stop of the day will be at fairy-tale Brodie Castle, the seat of the Brodie Clan for over 400 years. There will be time to discover the impressive apartments which are home to an extensive art collection and library containing over 6,000 books! The extensive grounds are ideal for taking a relaxing woodland walk. If you prefer you can enjoy free time in the neighbouring town of Forres which is known for its delightful floral displays.
Later we make for the Spey Valley and our lunch stop at Glenfiddich Distillery. The chef at this popular restaurant is famed for their creative dishes using locally sourced ingredients.
In the nearby village of Craigellachie we’ll stop to make a fascinating visit to Speyside Cooperage. Here you’ll see the coopers at work creating and repairing the barrels that are used to store scotch whisky. Using traditional tools and methods the casks produced here are exported all over the World.
This area of Scotland is famous for the production of Whisky so no visit would be complete without a visit to a whisky distillery. We’ll stop at famous Glenlivet Distillery where after hearing how "the water of life” is produced during our guided tour of the whisky stills we can sample a "wee dram” in the tasting room.
Alternatively, if whisky isn’t your thing, you can visit romantic Ballindalloch Castle, a family home since 1546. During your tour you can see the grand ding room, vaunted hall and enchanting nursery complete with antique toys.
Our return to Inverness will take us through the natural beauty of the Cairngorm National Park.
Day 4 - Inverness - Dolphin Spotting - Edinburgh
After breakfast we make our way through Glen Convinth to reach Beauly. The monks who built Beauly Priory here 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. On the outskirts of Inverness join your motorcoach for our tour south.
Our route southwards will take us into the spectacular Cairngorm National Park then through the dramatic scenery of the Drumochter Pass and onwards to Glen Garry. Look out for imposing Blair Castle, home to the Dukes of Atholl before we continue our journey through the rolling Perthshire countryside, known as "Big Tree Country". From Perth it’s homeward bound to journey's end in Edinburgh.
The order in which excursions are operated may vary.
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.
Can you tell me more about the optional extras on this tour?
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:
Visit to 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.
What type of room should I choose?
There are different bedrooms types to choose from, here is what you can expect: Single room - one person sleeping in a single bed. Twin room - two people sleeping in two separate beds. Double room - two people sharing one large bed. Family room - three people sharing a room sleeping in one large bed (2 people) and one single bed (1 person). Please note that a family room can be a standard double room with either a sofa bed or a rollaway bed.
Can I reserve specific seats on the coach?
Seating on this tour is on a first come, first served basis and cannot be pre-booked. If you are travelling as part of a group please make sure that all members of the party arrive at the departure point together.
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.
- 3 nights guest house or hotel accommodation
- Location: Inverness (3)
- Scottish/Continental breakfast (3)
Visits, Admissions and Experiences
- Full day excursion to Eilean Donan Castle and the Isle of Skye with local driver/guide
- Full day excursion to Royal Deeside and the Cairngorm National Park 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 87 High Street
Edinburgh EH1 1SG
Check-in: 07:45 hrs
Tour Departs: 08:00 hrs
Tour Returns: 20:30 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.
Rating:08 Jul 2016
Accomodation: Cavell house was more than excellent. Clean and comfortable rooms and a super nice owner of the house! All Scottish tour guides were excellent and very friendly. Allison was particularly good.Tiina from Helsinki, Finland