Are you ready to escape the capital and embark on a tour of the rugged, wild and free corners of the Scottish Highlands?… Or perhaps you are simply in the planning stages of your Scottish trip? Either way, this list of the best Scottish Highland Tours from Edinburgh will have you with more tabs open in excitement than you can narrow down. It’s going to be a tough choice!
Edinburgh is one of the most popular destinations to visit in the United Kingdom, and it’s a great place to start in Scotland. The bustling city is packed with people, history, culture, events and bagpipes, but it doesn’t quite showcase the true beauty of Scotland’s landscapes and authentic way of life. If you are interested in exploring outside of the city, then there are great options for day trips and multi-day tours to the Scottish Highlands & Islands.
Table of Contents
- Quick Picks: Highland Tours from Edinburgh
- In Full: Scottish Highland Tours
- In Full: Scottish Island Tours
- Scottish Highlands Google Map Legend
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Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means that KatieGoes receives a small amount but you still pay the same. The contribution helps to support the continued creation of these blogs – win, win! Nevertheless, I only recommend personal favourites that I’ve tried, tested or have first-hand knowledge of.
Quick Picks: Highland Tours from Edinburgh
Don’t have time to read the whole post? No problem! These are the top two of the best Scottish Highland tours from Edinburgh.
In Full: Scottish Highland Tours
Best Day Tours from Edinburgh
Do you only have one day to fit in as much of Scotland as possible? Look no further!…
Explore – Glencoe, Mallaig, Pitlochry, Glenfinnan
This 13-hour-long road trip will showcase an abundance of Scotland’s iconic and stunning landscapes. It’s one of the best day trips and Scottish Highland Tours from Edinburgh, especially if you are a Harry Potter fan.
Explore – Pitlochry, Glencoe, Fort William
Highlights – Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness, Highland Cows
Witness the best of the Scottish Highlands on a guided tour from Edinburgh. If you only have a day, this journey will be a great taster of the north. All in all, the trip will be approximately twelve and a half hours with the optional extras of a Loch Ness boat ride and a visit inside the popular Urquhart Castle.
Explore – Luss, Inveraray
Highlights – Inveraray Castle, Kilchurn Castle, Doune Castle, Stirling Castle, Loch Lubnaig, Loch Awe, Loch Lomond
Venture only a little further north from Edinburgh to see some of the incredible castles and lochs that the southwest of the Scottish Highlands has to offer. As you pass through some really scenic drives, there will be some live commentary (and possibly even some Scottish tunes) to enhance the experience.
2 Day Tours from Edinburgh
Explore – Pitlochry, Inverness, Cairngorms National Park, Glencoe
Highlights – Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness, Great Glen
Enjoy Scottish tales from a friendly guide aboard the Rabbies mini-coach tour. This particular excursion will show you the beauty of Loch Ness after passing through the stunning scenery of the Cairngorms National Park. You’ll return to Edinburgh from Inverness through the majestic mountains and valleys of Glencoe; all with plenty of time to hop out and explore a little too!
Explore – Inverness, Pitlochry, Cairngorms National Park
Highlights – Doune Castle, Glenfinnan Viaduct, Culloden Moor, Ben Nevis, Clava Cairns, Blair Athol Distillery, Forth Rail Bridge
It may only be two days, but this exciting tour showcases the very best of the Scottish Highlands. From the mesmerizing mountain scenery to the iconic sights and lively towns; this is a great introduction to Scotland.
3 Day Tours from Edinburgh
Explore – Glencoe, Isle of Skye, Cairngorm National Park
Highlights – Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Ness, Ben Nevis, Fairy Glen, Quiraing, Neist Point Lighthouse, Dunvegan Castle, Five Sisters of Kintail
Discover some of the very best of Scotland within this 3 day tour from Edinburgh. This particular trip does not include accommodation, so you can have the freedom to choose your own.
Explore – Isle of Skye, Mallaig, Glencoe
Highlights – Jacobite Steam Train, Loch Ness, Quiraing, Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock, Dunvegan Castle
Take three days of your Scotland trip to explore the beauty of the west, and ride one of the greatest train journeys in the world. As well to the live tour guide, this tour also provides a pre-recorded audio guide for alternative languages; including Spanish, Chinese, French, German, Italian and Portuguese too. This tour includes 2-nights of accommodation in a 3-star B&B with a full Scottish Breakfast and a ferry ride between the Isle of Skye and Mallaig.
5 Day Tours from Edinburgh
Explore – Isle of Skye, Ullapool, Glencoe, Cairngorms National Park, Applecross & Torridon, Dunkeld, Plockton
Highlights – Loch Ness, Eilean Donan Castle, Five Sisters of Kintail, Ardvreck Castle, Achmelvich Bay, Bealach an Ba, Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock, Quiraing, Dunvegan Castle
Experience the romantic beauty between the North West Coast and the Isle of Skye before seeing the beautiful mountain ranges of the Cairngorm National Park.
Private Scottish Highland Tour
Explore – Isle of Skye, Oban, Inverness, Stirling, Glencoe
Highlights – Talisker Distillery, Loch Ness, Quiraing, Fairy Pools, Stirling, Eilean Donan Castle, Urquhart Castle
Enjoy a 4-day trip without the crowd of a typical tourist tour; this private excursion will reveal the wilderness of the Highlands and the Isle of Skye. The tour operators, Mad Goat, tailor their tours to the curious and independent travellers who would prefer to engage with the environment around them as opposed to a coach load of other tourists. Of course, this luxury does not come without the extra cost, but wouldn’t it be worth it as you arrive at any viewpoint where you’ll have the landscape to yourself?
In addition, this is one of the best Scottish Highland Tours from Edinburgh if you don’t speak English. Portuguese, Polish, Spanish and Italian are some of the alternatives available. Request the appropriate language before booking.
ALTERNATIVELY: The Best Highland Tours from Glasgow City Centre
In Full: Scottish Island Tours
If you can catch at least one day of clear weather you should see the Scottish Islands – they are beautiful! Tucked away on the edge of the Scottish Highlands are the Inner Hebrides, the Outer Hebrides, the Orkney Isles and Shetland (with the latter being much harder to reach with a tour).
Though the journey to any of the islands is more time-consuming, some Scottish Highland Tours from Edinburgh include them in their itinerary. The question is… How many days do you have to see the real and rugged Scotland?
3 Day Tour from Edinburgh
Explore – Isle of Skye, Glencoe
Highlights – Eilean Donan Castle, Quiraing, The Old Man of Storr, Loch Ness
The Isle of Skye is one of the most accessible islands of Scotland as it’s connected by a large road bridge. Therefore, Skye is the most convenient and popular island for visitors who don’t have a lot of time. There is so much beauty out there that I doubt you’ll be sneaking in any road trip naps along the way!
4 Day Tour from Edinburgh
Explore – Glencoe, Isle of Skye, Mallaig
Highlights – Glenfinnan Viaduct, Eilean Donan Castle, Ben Nevis, Old Man of Storr, Neist Point
Explore Scotland’s west coast on your way to the most popular island, the Isle of Skye. One night will be spent at accommodation in the shadow of Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Whilst the other will be in Kyle of Lochalsh or Kyleakin.
5 Day Tours from Edinburgh
Squeeze in two of Scotland’s larger islands, as well as a decent part of the mainland with this multi-day itinerary. This tour of Iona, Mull and the Isle of Skye is the perfect mix of wildlife, landscapes, history and towns.
Explore – Cairngorm National Park, Inverness, Lewis & Harris, Ullapool
Highlights – Callanish Standing Stones, Luskentyre, Scone Palace, Royal Lochnagar Whisky Distillery, Loch Ness, Arnol Blackhouse
Dive into true Scottish heritage between the Outer Hebrides and the Scottish Highlands. This multi-day tour is a good variety from islands to mountains, and history to whisky.
6 Day Tour from Edinburgh
Explore – Isle of Skye, Inverness, Lewis & Harris
Highlights – Callanish Standing Stones, Jacobite Steam Train, Eilean Donan Castle, Gearrannan Blackhouse Village
Join an unforgettable group trip across the Highlands to discover some of the Scottish Islands. This journey will include some of Scotland’s most iconic locations as well as the hidden gems; from the world-famous Loch Ness to the remote corners of the Hebrides.
9 Day Tour from Edinburgh
Highlights – Fingal’s Cave, Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Ness, Callanish Standing Stones, Luskentyre, Skara Brae, Summer Isles, Arnol Blackhouse
Experience a selection of the more accessible islands, as well as a drive along the world-famous North Coast 500.
10 Day Tour from Edinburgh
Explore – North Coast 500, Lewis & Harris, Orkney Isles, Inverness, Fort William, Glencoe
Highlights – Loch Ness, Callanish Standing Stones, Luskentyre, Skara Brae, Eilean Donan Castle
Marvel at prehistoric wonders in Orkney and witness the slow island life of the Outer Hebrides, both of which are fairly remote. You’ll see turquoise blue shores, white sandy beaches, geological wonders and well-preserved historical sites. This will be an unforgettable experience in the wilderness of Scotland.
12 Day Tour from Edinburgh
Perhaps you’d prefer to learn about whisky on Islay, as opposed to experiencing the remote wilderness of the Outer Hebrides recommended in the following 14 day tour? This is still a mega tour of Scotland, but with a slightly different itinerary.
14 Day Tour from Edinburgh
In my opinion, this would be the ultimate guided tour of Scotland! With Rabbies, you’d visit more places than the average Scot would… That I know for sure!
Would you prefer to depart from Glasgow? There are plenty of guided tours from there too – check this guide to the best tours of the Scottish Highlands.
Have you not found any suitable Scottish Highland Tours from Edinburgh? You could always visit the best places in Scotland independently. Gain access to the KatieGoes Scottish Highlands Google Map Legend for the key coordinates already pinpointed for your convenience.
Scottish Highlands Google Map Legend
This Google Map Legend showcases 140+ need-to-know coordinates within our bonnie Scottish Highlands & Islands:
- Awesome Wild Camping Park-Ups
- Best Walks, Viewpoints, Beaches
- Bucket List Locations
- Accessible Showers & Fresh Water Taps
- Relevant Links to Online Travel Guides
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