Inverness, Skye and the Highlands - 4 day tour
Inverness, Skye and the Highlands
4 day / 3 night tour
Price range: £455 - £850
Get a real taste of the Highlands on this delightful four-day tour. Visit tranquil Applecross and along the way experience one of the most picturesque routes in Scotland. Explore the jaw-dropping scenery of the Isle of Skye and get the chance to see picture-perfect Eilean Donan Castle. All of this and much, much more is waiting to enthral you on this magical tour!
Loch Ness - visit impressive Urquhart Castle and enjoy a monster-spotting cruise on the loch
Applecross - spend time relaxing and nature-spotting in this peaceful village
Bealach na Ba - experience the grandeur of the towering Applecross Hills as we transverse this impressive mountain pass
Isle of Skye - marvel at the soaring peaks of the Cuillin Hills, the beautiful Fairy Pools and explore the colourful town of Portree
Inverness - enjoy a relaxed three-night stay in the “Capital of the Highlands”
Movie locations - King Arthur, Legend of the Sword, The Dark Knight Rises and Loch Ness
Guest house accommodation included – hotel upgrade available at extra cost
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. There is a stop in the heart of the Glen so you can enjoy the spectacular surroundings for ourselves.
Our crossing of the Ballachulish Bridge will bring us 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)
Day 2 - Isle of Skye and Eilean Donan Castle Excursion
After breakfast, we travel a short distance to the Black Isle then onwards through picturesque Glen Carron.
After a stop to admire the view over Loch Carron we travel over the sea to Skye! There are grand views of the mighty Cuillin Hills as we make our way to Portree, the islands main town which surrounds a picturesque harbour.
After a break for lunch, we head to Talisker Whisky Distillery to discover how Scotland's national drink is produced.
Our tour continues with a visit to the Fairy Pools. It takes a walk of around 20 minutes to reach the series of pools and waterfalls created by the bright blue water of the River Brittle. With the Cuillin Hills in the background, the view has become an Instagram sensation and you’ll soon discover why.
Back on the mainland, we find fairytale Eilean Donan Castle set on its little island in Loch Duich. There is time to photograph this iconic castle before we make our way through Glen Shiel. Here the Five Sisters of Kintail will come into view – can you tell which of these mountains are over 3,000 feet?
The last part of our journey takes us to Invermoriston where there is a short stop to view the romantic Telford bridge. After a drive along the banks of Loch Ness, we return to Inverness.
Day 3 - Applecross and Torridon Excursion
Our journey commences with a drive across the Black Isle and through scenic Glen Carron to the attractive village of Lochcarron that sits overlooking a stunningly beautiful of the same name. This is surely one of the gems of the Highlands.
A highlight of today is the dramatic climb over the Bealach nam Ba, which means the Pass of the Cattle, in Gaelic. The Pass is the third highest road in the United Kingdom and climbs to over 2,000 feet! We’ll make a stop at the summit so you can enjoy the breathtaking views over to the Isle of Skye.
On our arrival in Applecross why not join the locals at the famous Applecross Inn for a freshly-caught seafood lunch? Later we can spend some quality time enjoying the spectacular seascapes or discovering the sad tale of the highland clearances at the Applecross Heritage Centre. In this area wildlife abounds—nature lovers look out for red deer, pine marten (one of the rarest of British mammals) and otters.
We return to Inverness along the banks of Loch Torridon then through the Ben Eighe National Nature Reserve.
Day 4 - Inverness - Dolphin Spotting - Edinburgh
After breakfast, we make a visit to Clava Cairns, a group of three prehistoric burial cairns surrounded by standing stones. This picturesque setting is thought to have inspired the Outlander author, Diana Gabaldon, to create the cleft stone of Craigh Na Dun where Claire time travels all the way back to 1743.
After a short drive, there's a brief stop at Culloden Battlefield where you can learn about the famous battle, in 1746, between the Jacobite army of Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Government troops.
Our next stop is the attractive town of Beauly. It is thought that the town was named "Beau Lieu" - Beautiful Place, by the French monks. They built a Priory here in the 13th Century which was visited by Mary, Queen of Scots in 1564 and still stands in the centre of the town, surrounded by trees.
A scenic drive through the Black Isle will bring us to Cromarty, a historic fishing port which retains much of its Old World charm. At Chanonry Point, which overlooks the Moray Firth, we hope to see some of the Bottlenose Dolphins that call this stretch of water home.
Later we return to Inverness to join our coach for the journey south. Enjoy stunning views as you travel through the Cairngorms National Park then descend through the Grampian Mountains to reach Highland Perthshire. Enjoy a break in Pitlochry, an attractive Victorian resort, before heading for Perth.
The last part of the journey is through the Kingdom of Fife, then across the Firth of Forth to reach 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.
What options are available on this tour and what is the 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.
Please note that not all attractions take payment by credit/debit card so it is recommended that you carry sufficient cash should you plan to make a visit. In some cases discounts are available to tour passengers. Your driver/guide will provide you with more information if this applies.
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.
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.
Is there much walking involved on your tours?
On most tours you’ll have the chance to stretch your legs. If you have someone in your party who has mobility issues then there is normally an alternative at most stops .
- 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 Applecross and Torridon 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.
Book by paying a 20% deposit. Make date changes or get a full refund with 8 days notice before travel. Click here for more information.
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.
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Customer Reviews Overall Rating:
Rating:13 Sep 2019
The tour locations were perfect, I highly recommend Applecross, it is a gem!!Ryan from Leesburg, US
Rating:08 Feb 2017
Excellent and comprehensive tour of the Highlands. All drivers were amazing, helpful, funny and very knowledgeable. Accommodation was very good in a lovely house with an excellent hostess and incredible breakfast! It felt very welcoming and the Highlands are one of the most beautiful places on Earth. I am already thinking of going back again!Maite from London, United Kingdom
Rating:15 Jul 2016
Hello, Thank you for arranging such a nice tour. We loved Scotland and Scottish people. The vehicles and drivers were really good generally. We would like to note a few things. We were not able to open the windows in the car on one of the days, and the AC cannot compensate for this as it is not clean air and the smell inside the care does not go away. We did not understand why we were able to open the sunroof on the same type of car on another day, but not for that day even though we asked the driver. It would be good if this could be done, as there is usually a lot of people in the car during those long drives. With regards to tour content, perhaps it would be better if there was less driving and more sightseeing in the same area. We would like to thank Duncan for his unique and amazing hospitality, and Gary for genuine care and friendliness. They were both brilliant. We definitely would like to come back and visit rest of the country. Thanks for everything and all the best!Zeren from London, United Kingdom