Scenic Scotland - 4 day tour
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 explore the famous Fairy Pools. Next day travel through the majestic scenery of the Cairngorms 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: £455 - £850
Isle of Skye - see the towering peaks of the Cuillin Hills, beautiful Fairy Pools and visit colourful Portree.
Brodie Castle - explore this fairytale castle and enjoy a stroll through the amazing gardens
Cairngorms 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
Edinburgh is hardly behind us before we join the highway to the Highlands! There are great views on the way of Stirling Castle, once a great Royal residence of the Stuart kings and queens, as we take the historic cattle drovers' route towards Doune and pretty Callander.
The Pass of Leny is a narrow gorge with a fast-flowing river and, as we reach the northern end, we're in the Highlands. Enjoy views over Loch Tulla as the coach climbs the Black Mount to reach the plateau of Rannoch Moor, a land of heather, peat and lochs extending over 50 square miles.
We learn the tragic story of Glen Coe when we stop to view the hauntingly majestic beauty of Scotland's most famous glen. Our tour continues through Fort William, which has an idyllic location on the banks of Loch Linnhe at the foot of Ben Nevis, Britain's tallest mountain.
Next explore the Great Glen, a scenic landscape that extends all the way from Fort William to Inverness. Enjoy the ever-changing panorama of towering mountain scenery and three picturesque lochs - Lochy, Oich and, of course, Ness!
We drive the complete length of Loch Ness, stopping at Urquhart Castle for the option of a visit and then enjoy a cruise on the loch. The castle sits at the deepest part of the loch, so keep the camera ready just in case you-know-who makes an appearance!
A short drive takes us to our home for tonight in Inverness, the 'Capital of the Highlands'.
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 scenic coastal route, enjoying the incredible 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 an excellent backdrop for an "I was there” selfie!
Later head to Talisker Distillery for the opportunity to discover how malt whisky is produced using traditional methods. The tour ends with a tutored tasting of a wee dram and, if you fancy, a chance to visit the distillery shop.
Our last stop on Skye will be to see the famous Fairy Pools. Against the backdrop of the Cuillin Mountains, the pure turquoise water cascades over waterfalls to create the natural pools which have become a social-media phenomenon.
Returning to the mainland, we stop at fairytale Eilean Donan Castle set on its little island on Loch Duich. There is plenty of time to photograph 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 - Cairngorms 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.
Located in this attractive region are around half of Scotland's Whisky distilleries. During our journey, 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.
Our return to Inverness will take us through the natural beauty of the Cairngorms National Park.
Day 4 - Inverness - Dolphin Spotting - Edinburgh
After breakfast, we make our way through the outskirts of Inverness to reach Clava Cairns, an amazingly well-preserved bronze-age cemetery. Thought to be over 4,000 years old it’s said that the standing stones found at this wooded site were an inspiration to Outlander author, Diana Gabaldon.
Next, we’ll make a short stop at Culloden Moor, the site of one of the most famous battles in Scottish history where the ambitions of Bonnie Prince Charlie to capture the British Crown came to a bloody end. From here we make our way through Glen Convinth to reach the popular town of Beauly. The monks who built the Priory in the 13th Century called it Beau Lieu or beautiful place. You will soon discover why!
Our tour continues through the Black Isle to reach delightful Cromarty, a traditional fishing town that is remarkably well preserved. After time to have a look around we make for Chanonry Point, a popular vantage point to spot the community of bottlenose dolphins that live in the Moray Firth.
There is a photo-stop in the picturesque fishing village of Avoch before returning to Inverness.
The return journey to Edinburgh will include a drive through the natural beauty of the Cairngorms National Park then through the Grampian Mountains to reach Highland Perthshire. There is a break in the charming Victorian resort of Pitlochry before travelling to Perth and making our way through the Kingdom of Fife.
The last part of the tour will take us over the Firth of Forth, where there are up-close views of the mighty Forth Rail Bridge, before arriving 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 the Cairngorms National Park and Whisky Trail 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: 20:30 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.
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.