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Edinburgh Island tours

Our most recommended Edinburgh Island tours

From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands & Loch Ness

1. From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands & Loch Ness

Embark on a 3-day guided trip to the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh. See the Glencoe Valley and the Eilean Donan Castle. Admire the rolling pastures of the Isle of Skye and visit lake Loch Ness. Day 1 From Edinburgh, you will head west where your first stop will be at the picturesque conservation village of Luss, on the ‘Bonny, Bonny’ banks of Loch Lomond. Traveling north via Tyndrum you will pass over the atmospheric Rannoch Moor before enjoying time to walk and admire the dramatic Glencoe valley, site of the 1692 massacre of the MacDonald Clan. After lunch in the Fort William area, your tour will pause for photos at Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, then stop to admire Glen Garry and the stunning Five Sisters of Kintail mountain range. Your first day ends in the charming village of Portree, on the Isle of Skye. Day 2 After breakfast, your will depart Portree for a full day’s touring - options include Dunvegan Castle, a trip to Uig, and a visit to Flora MacDonald’s grave and the unique Black Houses, ancient dwellings of the Scottish Highlanders. Other options include viewing Duntulum Castle, enjoying breathtaking views of Kilt Rock, or perhaps a bracing walk at the Lealt Falls. The day will end with the opportunity to admire the Old Man of Storr, before returning to Portree. Day 3 You will commence your final day of the tour via the much-admired Eilean Donan Castle, the backdrop for the movie, ‘Highlander’; (interior closed in winter) then move on to the pretty lochside village of Fort Augustus for lunch and views of Loch Ness. The tour continues south over Laggan and the Grampian mountains with the last stop, for refreshments, in the Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, before returning to Edinburgh, where the tour will end.

From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour

2. From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour

Embark on a 3-day guided tour of the Scottish Highlands and visit highlights, including Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye. Learn the history of this lush region from your guide and spend two nights in Inverness. Day 1: Departing Edinburgh, we will take our first short drive heading north and stop at the mysterious Kelpies. Scotland’s largest piece of outdoor art depicting mythical creatures of Scotland’s folklore that your driver will tell you all about. We’ll then continue on our journey and pass Stirling Castle. Be inspired by tales from your guide of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Continuing north, into the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, admire the scenery as your tour guide explains the remarkable tribal clan history of the Highlands. Discover beautiful Glencoe, the most famous valley in Scotland, and hear of its tragic history. Admire the spectacular Glenfinnan Viaduct then head north and arrive on the southern banks of Loch Ness to get photos of the infamous monster Nessie! Stop for photos of Urquhart Castle before arriving in Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, where you'll stay for 2 nights, choosing from a local guesthouse, hostel, or hotel. Day 2: After breakfast, depart Inverness and drive across the Kessock Bridge to the Black Isle and marvel at the spectacular scenery of Achnasheen and Loch Carron. Arriving on the Isle of Skye, venture north to explore the highlights of the island, including; the Cuillin Mountains, Trotternish Peninsula, Portree, the Old Man Storr, Kilt Rock and the famous Quiraing. In late afternoon, stop for photographs of the most beautiful castle in Scotland, "Eilean Donan Castle." Backdrop to many famous films, such as 'Highlander' and 'Made of Honor', this castle is another must-see iconic landmark! A scenic drive through stunning Glen Shiel follows, returning to Inverness to stay your final night. In the evening, visit a local Highland Pub to drink some Scotch whisky or beer and eat some traditional Scottish food, whilst listening to some local musicians perform. Day 3: Visit Culloden Battlefield, site of the last Jacobite Rising, then 'Clava Cairns', incredible 4,000-year-old, Bronze-Age standing stones. Travelling south, stop at the Highland Folk Museum. Here you'll experience highland life in the 17th century. See the buildings, the clothes and weapons, and how people lived 300 years ago. Then, drive through the dramatic Cairngorm National Park. You will have the chance to experience a Scotch Whiskey tasting before you visit the historic village of Dunkeld on the banks of the mighty River Tay. Your journey back to Edinburgh takes you across the famous Forth Bridges. The expected arrival time back in Edinburgh is around 6:30 PM.

From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye 3-Day Tour with Accommodation

3. From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye 3-Day Tour with Accommodation

Enjoy a full 3 days exploring the dramatic scenery of the Scottish Highlands and the romance of the island of Skye in a small group tour. Dhoose your accommodation to suit your own budget and you will get an exclusive discount card to receive discounts at local restaurants and shops. Day 1: Depart Edinburgh by luxury Mercedes minibus at and travel west, passing Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots. Continue towards Stirling with its imposing castle and views of the Wallace Monument. You will pass Doune Castle, movie location for scenes from Monty Python's infamous "Holy Grail," before stopping at the edge of the Highlands for refreshments. As you drive into the Highlands you will pass Loch Luibnaig, Loch Earn, Crianlarich and Tyndrum, stopping for lunch along the way. Drive north through Glencoe, scene of the great massacre of the Clan Macdonald in 1692. Continue to Fort William and up to the Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge, offering magnificent views over Ben Nevis. Next you will take the "Road to the Isles," through the splendor of the 5 Sisters of Kintail, the mountains that guard the pass to the Isle of Skye. Stop to visit the famous Eilean Donan Castle, used in the film "Highlander" and located at the junction of 3 lochs as protection against Viking raiders. Crossing over the bridge to Skye, you head north to Portree where you will be dropped off at your accommodation. Enjoy an evening and dinner at leisure, exploring the town’s Gaelic attractions and harborside. Day 2: You will spend the day on the Isle of Skye with flexible arrangements. There are many possibilities, depending on the weather, and the dynamics of your group. Your driver/ guide's local knowledge will come to the fore to arrange the best day for everyone. You could travel north to explore the Trotternish Peninsula with its stunning Quiraing mountain pass and some of Skye's extraordinary geological scenery. Or head to Kilt Rock, composed of basalt columns that are reminiscent of the pleats in a kilt. Enjoy the magic of the waterfall, cascading over cliffs and down into the sea below. Take a short break for lunch, before continuing to explore this most dramatic of islands. Head in a westerly direction to Dunvegan castle, the ancestral home of Clan Macleod, or enjoy spectacular views at Neist Point, the most westerly point of Skye. Return you to your accommodation in Portree in the early evening to enjoy dinner and the rest of the evening at leisure. Day 3: Your driver will collect you from your accommodation and head south through the Cuillin Hills, back over to the mainland for stunning views over Loch Duich and the 5 Sisters of Kintail. Move on to Loch Ness for lunch. Look out for "Nessie," the mysterious monster that has haunted and confounded visitors since the 1950s. Head south through the Grampian Mountains along Loch Laggan, famous as the location for the TV miniseries "Monarch of the Glen," before passing Dalwhinnie, home to Scotland's highest whisky distillery. You will pause for refreshments at Blair Castle, before heading back to Edinburgh via Perth and over the extraordinary Forth Road Bridge.

Isle of Skye & The Highlands: 3-Day Guided Tour from Glasgow

4. Isle of Skye & The Highlands: 3-Day Guided Tour from Glasgow

Escape the bustle of daily life and get back to nature on a 3-day tour of the Scottish Highlands and Isle of Skye, with bed and breakfast accommodations in Inverness. Hear of clan massacres, visit monuments associated with Scotland’s struggle against the English, and see location sites of the blockbuster movie “Highlander.” Day 1: Departing from Glasgow, take a spectacular route north through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. First, stop at a pretty village perched on the banks of Loch Lomond. Then, further north, cross the brooding expanse of Rannoch Moor and travel on through Glen Coe. Here, you'll learn of clan massacres as you stand amongst the eerie but beautiful glen. Spend overnight in Inverness. Day 2: Depart Inverness to set off on our day excursion to the Isle of Skye. Stop for photographs at Loch Ness and Eilean Donan Castle before crossing the bridge to Skye. On the island, explore the craggy Cuillin Mountains, the dramatic hills of the Quiraing, and the beautiful Trotternish Peninsula. Look for seals peeking out of the waves as you walk along the coast, or spot stags silhouetted on hillsides. Then stop for lunch in the capital of the island, Portree. Day 3: Follow the banks of Loch Ness where you can take a boat tour to Urquhart Castle or do a bit of monster hunting from the shore. Please note that during the winter months it may not be possible to take a cruise and visit the castle. En route back to Glasgow, go past the battlefield of Culloden, the site of the defeat of the Jacobite forces. Drive through the Cairngorm Mountains, home of Britain’s highest mountain, and see the picturesque Victorian town of Pitlochry.

Edinburgh: Isle of Skye and Loch Ness 5-Day Highlands Tour

5. Edinburgh: Isle of Skye and Loch Ness 5-Day Highlands Tour

Make the most of your time in Scotland with a 5-day tour of the best of Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye. Ride on the Fort William viaduct featured in the Harry Potter movies, sample Scotch whiskey, and sail along the waters of Loch Ness. Accommodation and breakfast are included. Day 1:Leave Edinburgh and head to the iconic Kelpies. Travel north to Stirling and the towering Wallace Monument, taking in stunning views of the Castle along the way. Enter the Highlands heading through wild Rannoch Moor and Glencoe and on to the fishing port of Oban, where you'll stay overnight. Day 2: Take the steam train from Fort William, crossing the viaduct featured in the Harry Potter movies, where a monument to Bonnie Prince Charlie’s campaign now stands. Take the ferry to Skye where you can explore striking cliffs and mountains, before driving north to your overnight destination. Stay overnight in the Isle of Skye. Day 3:Explore more of the mysterious island that's full of awe-inspiring mountains, myths, and legends before returning to the mainland to view Eilean Donan Castle and wind your way along the Great Glen to the infamous Loch Ness. Stay overnight in Inverness. Day 4:Hunt for the elusive monster with a cruise on Loch Ness before turning northward and the stunning beauty of the northwest Highlands. Take in the beautiful town of Beauly with its Priory dating back to 1230. The day ends with a visit to Culloden Battlefield, where Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites were defeated in 1746. Stay overnight in Inverness. Day 5:Leaving Inverness, visit the Highland Folk Museum to get a real taste of Highland life from the past centuries. Next, head to a local Whisky Tasting of the so-called 'Water of Life'. For the final stop of the tour, visit Dunkeld and take a walk through the quaint village. Stroll along the River Tay and see the cathedral. Return back to Edinburgh in the evening.

Scotland: Orkney and Northern Coast 5-Day Tour

6. Scotland: Orkney and Northern Coast 5-Day Tour

Drive to the top of Scotland on a scenic 5-day tour, and learn the history of the Highlands at sites such as the battlefield of the Macdonald clan massacre, and Stirling Castle. Spend the day on the Orkney Isles, and travel the northenmost coast of mainland Scotland. The tour is by luxury 16-seat Mercedes minibus for a more intimate experience, while bed and breakfast accommodation is provided in Inverness, the lovely town of Kirkwall, and the whitewashed fishing village of Ullapool at the mouth of Loch Broom. Day 1: Depart Edinburgh, heading west towards Stirling. Pass Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument, and continue to Doune Castle, used for location shoots in Monty Python’s “Holy Grail.” Stop in the small town of Callander for refreshments. Then, marvel at the splendor of Loch Luibnaig, Loch Earn, Glen Ogle, and Glen Dochart on a scenic drive over the wild and remote Rannoch Moor. The views of the extinct volcano will take your breath away, and were also the scene of the infamous Clan Macdonald massacre of 1692. Continue north up the Great Glen to mysterious Loch Ness, with plenty of time to try and spot “Nessie” the Loch Ness Monster. The evening will be spent in Inverness, with free time to explore the “Capital of the Highlands.” Day 2: Depart Inverness early to cross over the Black Isle and past Andrew Carnegie’s Skibo Castle. From here, drive the northeast coastline, traveling into some of Scotland’s most dramatic scenery. Enjoy the views of some of Europe’s oldest landscapes, and the chance to spot wildlife such as golden eagle and red deer. Close to Scotland’s most northerly mainland village, John O’ Groats, board the ferry to cross the Pentland Firth to the Orkney archipelago. It is a short drive on arrival to the famous Italian Chapel, where you will stop for a quick visit before continuing to the Viking stronghold of Kirkwall, your home for the next 2 nights. Look inside Kirkwall’s magnificent Viking cathedral, and wander the winding streets of the historic town center. Day 3: Explore the ancient island of Orkney, and discover a land of contrasts, where fertile green pastures are fringed by shores of golden sands, and washed by the waters of the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Highlights include a visit to Skara Brae, the mystical prehistoric stone circle at Brodgar, the standing stones of Stenness, and Maeshowe, where Vikings left one of the largest collections of Norse runic inscriptions in the 12th century. Day 4: It’s time to leave Orkney and sail the Viking waters back to the mainland. From here, travel across the very top of Scotland, driving past the stunning Ben Loyal and Ben Hope mountains, following the rocky cliffs and stunning golden sand beaches of the northern coastline. Go to the far northwest of the Highlands, and admire the grandeur of the wild Assynt mountains. Stop to view the 15th-century ruins of Ardvreck Castle. Continue to Ullapool at the mouth of Loch Broom, a beautiful whitewashed fishing village where you will spend your last night. Day 5: Your morning includes visits to Corrieshalloch Gorge, and the ancient Clava Cairns, as well as exploring the more recent bloody history of the Culloden battlefield. Return south through the magnificent Cairngorm National Park, driving past the ancient Caledonian pine forests of Highland Perthshire, before your drop off in Edinburgh.

From Glasgow: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands & Loch Ness Tour

7. From Glasgow: 3-Day Isle of Skye, Highlands & Loch Ness Tour

Day One: Visit the village of Luss on the banks of Loch Lomond, within a national park. Admire Rannoch Moor before walking through Glen Coe valley. Pause for photos after lunch by Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis. End your first day by relaxing in the charming village of Portree, on the Isle of Skye.  Day Two: Enjoy breakfast in Portree, before deciding how you will spend your day. Choose between a tour of Dunvegan Castle, Duntulm Castle or a visit to Uig and the traditional blackhouses. End your day by viewing The Storr, before returning to Portree. Day Three: Experience a tour of Eilean Donan Castle. Visit the pretty loch-side village of Fort Augustus for lunch and views of Loch Ness. Continue your journey to the Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, before driving back to Edinburgh where you will be dropped off outside Edinburgh Waverley Train Station. Passengers that began the tour in Glasgow will be provided with a free train ticket to return to Glasgow.

From Edinburgh: Scottish Highlands & Isle of Skye 5-Day Tour

8. From Edinburgh: Scottish Highlands & Isle of Skye 5-Day Tour

Travel across the highlands of Scotland and discover some of the country’s major attractions. On this 5-day excursion you’ll stay in B&B accommodation and travel with an English-speaking guide. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: Through the Trossachs to Oban This wide-ranging tour starts by heading west through the beautiful scenery of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park to Kilmartin Glen. Here you’ll explore Scotland’s ancient past. With over 5,000 years of history laid out before you, you’ll be able to walk in the footsteps of the first Scots at Dunadd Hill Fort and the Temple Wood Stone Circle. Then it’s on to the picturesque seaside town of Oban. Overnight in Oban. Day 2: A Day of high hills and history The second day takes you to the haunting landscape of Glen Coe, which was the scene of the terrible massacre of the MacDonald Clan. You’ll continue on past Ben Nevis, Britain’s tallest peak and stop at Fort William. We will drive part of the route of one of the most fantastic train journeys in the entire world. On departures between May & September you will board the Jacobite Train, or "Hogwarts Express" in Fort William for the next section of your journey. You will travel across the Glenfinnan Viaduct and enjoy stunning views as you make your way the the west coast town of Mallaig. In April and October you will continue west from Fort William on board your bus, making a stop to view the Glenfinnan Viaduct, made famous by the Harry Potter films and hopefully get a chance to see the steam train cross it. We will also be able to see Glenfinnan Monument - and the gorgeous scenery that surrounds it! Overnight in Skye. Day 3: A whole day to explore Skye You'll have the whole of the third day to explore Skye's mysteries and landscape. Here the mountains and beaches beckon, so lose yourself in the spectacular scenery of the Cuillin Mountains, the slanting hills of Quiraing, and the incredible Trotternish Peninsula. Overnight in Skye. Day 4: Castles, mountains, and on to Loch Ness Once you leave Skye your first stop will be to visit the stunningly beautiful Eilean Donan Castle (this is an optional extra ). You’ll then continue your journey onwards to the fabled shores of Loch Ness. Here you have the option to visit Urquhart Castle and take a cruise on the loch (extra charge), before ending the day in the capital of the Highlands: Inverness. Stay overnight in Inverness. Day 5: Historic battlefields and back to Edinburgh You’ll start your journey south and have the chance to visit the battlefield of Culloden (an optional extra), the site of the defeat of the Jacobite forces. Then you’ll pass the stunning Cairngorm Mountains and have time to explore the picturesque town of Pitlochry, before arriving back in Edinburgh.

From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & Highlands 3-Day Guided Tour

9. From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & Highlands 3-Day Guided Tour

Tour the Scottish Highlands and explore the Isle of Skye on a 3-day guided tour from Edinburgh. You’ll see castles, craggy mountains, picturesque towns, and maybe even a monster on this excursion. Stay overnight in a bed and breakfast accommodation. Day 1: A Spectacular Route North Depart Edinburgh and travel north through the Trossachs National Park. Visit a lovely village and take in views of the UK’s largest expanse of freshwater, Loch Lomond. Continue across the brooding expanse of Rannoch Moor, and through Glen Coe. Learn the brutal story of the MacDonald Clan massacre and take in the weeping waterfalls that inhabit this incredible glen. The highland town of Fort William marks the end of Scotland’s oldest and most popular long-distance walks, The West Highland Way. Stay overnight in Inverness. Day 2: A Full Day on Skye You'll have the full day to explore the Isle of Skye. Highlights include the craggy Cuillin Mountains, the dramatic hills of the Quiraing, and the stunning Trotternish Peninsula.  You might see seals out in the waves as you walk along the coast, or a stag standing on a hillside. Visit the capital of Skye, Portree for lunch. Return to Inverness for your overnight stay. Day 3: Monster Spotting on Loch Ness Drive along the banks of Loch Ness where you can take a boat tour to Urquhart Castle or do a bit of monster hunting from the shore. Please note that during the winter months it may not be possible to take a cruise and visit the castle, but you will still get the opportunity to take in views of the loch, and see if you can spot the Loch Ness Monster. At the Culloden battlefield, the site of the defeat of the Jacobites, there is the option of taking a tour. Continue on through the stunning Cairngorm Mountains and stop to explore the picturesque town of Pitlochry as you make your way back to Edinburgh.

From Edinburg: Viking Coast & Alnwick Castle Day Tour

10. From Edinburg: Viking Coast & Alnwick Castle Day Tour

Follow the sweeping coastline of the North Sea on a scenic drive towards the historic border town of Berwick-on-Tweed. Cross the ancient Scotland/England border into Northumberland and visit Lindisfarne, or Holy Island, a tidal island settled by Irish monks from Scotland circa AD 635. From here the Christian message spread throughout the north of England. In 793 a fierce Viking invasion heralded the beginning of the Viking Age. Take a short walk through an area of outstanding natural beauty to 16th century Lindisfarne Castle, and visit the Priory where the Lindisfarne Gospels were created and enjoy the spectacular views of Bamburgh Castle and the Farne Islands. You may also wish to buy some delicious souvenir Lindisfarne Mead from St Aidan’s Winery. Arrive back at Alnwick Castle at lunchtime after a short drive. This magical place (the 'Windsor of the North') is one of Europe’s finest castles and has been at the center of key historical events – from bloodthirsty battles between the Scots and the English to the intrigues of the Guy Fawkes plot. Alnwick Castle's sumptuous setting and exquisite architecture has famously been used as a film location for ‘Downton Abbey’, 'Harry Potter' (Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry), 'Robin Hood Prince of Thieves', 'Elizabeth' and 'Blackadder'. Enjoy ‘Harry Spotter Tours’ and revisit some of your favorite scenes. Go with costumed guides on a historical and magical tour. Be sure to check the events board on entry to make the most of your time. With fun and interactive activities for children, you'll have 2.5 hours to fully appreciate and enjoy the castle. The tour returns north via the beautiful Border country and, subject to timing, may also visit the East Lothian coast to the south of Edinburgh.

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What people are saying about Edinburgh

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 463 reviews

Wonderful, well planned tour. There aren't any stops to visit the inside of castles along the way, but it makes up for it by taking you to breathtaking sights of the isle of Skye, loch Ness, 5 sisters of Kintail, and so much more. This trip is a great way to familiarize yourself with what the beautiful country of Scotland has to offer, especially if you have no private transportation. You will be put up in a cozy little B&B for the 2 nights where you get to explore the local town. Our guide, Robert, was accommodating, enthusiastic, kind, and eager to show off his home. He had so much information and so many stories to tell. We had a marvelous time and half of it was attributable to the proficiency of our guide and the other half to the wonders of nature that is Scotland. We will definitely be back!

Considering we chose to see Scotland in the peak of winter, we were worried that we'd miss out on a lot. But Brian Smith (our amazing Tour Guide/DJ) made it memorable! His sheer passion for storytelling and friendly easygoing nature is a credit to the Hairy Coo and I hope they appreciate how lucky they are to have him. The trip was very well planned and even with the weather being unpredictable and causing disruptions, it was well worth it and we now have a new found love for the Scottish Highlands and it's beauty!

John (aka the king of the north) was amazing. He made us all laugh, kept us entertained, engaged, and happy throughout the whole trip. Even though some places were shut due to weather he managed to take us to other points of interest to make up for it

The tour was incredibly well organised with clear timings and good communication from the company with booking accomodation on a multiple day tour. Our bus driver (Jim) was an amazing driver and felt incredibly safe when driving along one lane roads.

A great experience with Stephen as we ventured around the Highlands. Amazing recommendations and insights personalised to our questions. Would highly recommend to people interested in an intimate and lively tour.