The Highland & Island Self-Drive Tour

This awe-inspiring package showcases Scotland’s charming towns and villages, stunning scenery, fairytale castles, historical ruins and mesmerising beaches. “A captivating self drive package like no other”.

We offer a range of vehicles for you to choose for your self drive vacation in Scotland:
4×4 options: Range Rover Sport, Land Rover Discovery.
Large Vehicle options: Mercedes V-Class
Other vehicles are available, just ask our team for more details.

Day One – Arrival into The Highlands

Accommodation: Ness Walk, Inverness (1 Night)
Transport: Meet & Greet

After arriving at Inverness Airport, you will be greeted by the friendly face of a Luxury Scotland Tours representative who will hand you the keys to your private hire car. You’ll have the chance to ask any questions and get some advice on the best way to spend your first day in the wonderful country of Scotland. Once you’re ready, it’s time to get your Highland and Island Self Drive Tour underway!

From Inverness airport you will be heading east for about 20 minutes to explore Cawdor Castle. This Castle was built in the 14th century so is absolutely steeped in Scottish history. There are also lots of activities to do in and around Cawdor Castle.

Upon arriving you will immediately get a sense of the original purpose of the building – keeping people out! Originally built as a defensive fortress due to its strategic position, the imposing and impregnable look begins to make sense.

However, Cawdor Castle functions in quite a different way today, with guests very much welcomed in many ways. You’re free to explore the Castle grounds, as well as the three different gardens – the Walled Garden, the Wild Garden and the Flower Garden. There are also many nature trails to explore in the Big Wood. With so much walking to do, you’ll soon build up an appetite for a spot of lunch in the Courtyard Café. After lunch, take the time to wander through the inside of the Castle, which is still a home for the Cawdor family.

Stay: 5 Star, Ness Walk Hotel - Inverness

Dine: The Torrish Restaurant, Ness Walk

After your visit to Cawdor Castle, you will head South West to Ness Walk Hotel for a delicious evening meal and a chance to rest your weary legs before another day of adventure begins!

Day Two – West to the Isle of Skye

Accommodation: Duisdale House, Isle of Skye (2 Nights)

Visit: Private Boat Tour of Loch Ness

After a comfortable night’s sleep and a hearty Scottish breakfast, you’ll be all set for a trip to the famous Loch Ness for a chance of spotting our national mythological creature – the Loch Ness Monster!

Ok, maybe not. But you will get to enjoy a fantastic private boat tour of Loch Ness, the UK’s largest body of water by volume, holding no less than seven and a half cubic kilometres of water. Your knowledgeable captain will be able to answer any questions you have as you get a chance to explore the natural beauty of Loch Ness up close and personal.

Visit: Eilean Donan Castle

After that it’s off to visit Eilean Donan Castle, which wouldn’t look out of place in a Game of Thrones scene! This ancient castle was built in the 13th century and survives remarkably well to this day. The tiny bridge across the water to its own little island really gets your imagination running wild as to what it must have been like living there all those hundreds of years ago. You will also be able to enjoy some stunning views out over Loch Duich. A coffee and gift shop are also available.

Visit: Highland Cows

Next up, you’re going from Highland Castles to Highland Cows, with a chance to see some of our beloved bovine friends. With some luck you’ll get to see some Highland calves as they are the most adorable, hairy little cuties around!

Stay & Dine: Duisdale House

Then it’s off across the Isle of Skye Bridge, a delightful example of Scottish engineering, to your accommodation for the night – Duisdale Hotel. This luxury hotel combines absolute comfort with class and style for a relaxed and homely stay.
The hotel boasts a double AA Rosette, award winning restaurant offering only the finest in fresh local Scottish produce.

Day Three – Island Exploration

Day three of your Highlands and Island tour is a truly magical one. You will explore the rugged and charming island of Skye. Sitting off the north-west coast of Scotland, Skye is an island of vivid contrasts where you can find everything from the dramatic and dangerous Cuillin hills, to the peaceful tranquillity of seaside villages.

Visit: The Fairy Pools

Your trip round Skye begins with a visit to the Fairy Pools, an extensive string of waterfalls, rock formations and crystal-clear pools that form the river Brittle. If you’re adventurous, you may want to pack some swimwear and a towel for a dip, but beware, the water is very cold!

Visit: Talisker Distillery

Once you’ve dried off your next stop is Talisker distillery for a chance to learn about this iconic whisky.  The non-drivers will sample some of the finest peaty whisky in the world at the distillery.

Visit: The Fairy Glen

After that you’ll head to the Fairy Glen, so named due to the highly unusual landscape that is found here.

Visit: Trotternish Peninsula

You’ll also have the chance to explore the equally impressive Trotternish Peninsula, taking in one of Skye’s most distinctive monoliths of rock – The Old Man of Storr.

Visit: Portree

From there you’ll head south into the town of Portree for a chance to explore its many unique shops, pubs and cafes, before continuing your journey south to the Duisdale Hotel.

Day Four – West & East Highlands

Accommodation: Links House, Dornoch (1 Night)

After a hearty full Scottish breakfast, you’ll make the drive to Applecross, a scenic and isolated peninsula in Strathcarron. You’ll have to do all you can to keep your eyes on the road as the drive to this remote corner of Scotland is truly magnificent. We advise packing a camera for capturing some amazing shots from the photography viewing spot.

Visit: Torridon

The next stop is Torridon for some lunch. Torridon is known for its wild, Jurassic looking landscape and it boasts some of the finest mountains in the whole of the UK, so maybe keep that camera handy as you’ll be sure to get some more excellent pictures.

Drive Through: Kinlochewe, Achnasheen and Garve

Following lunch, you have a real treat on your hands as you make the scenic drive through Kinlochewe, Achnasheen and Garve. These idyllic little villages are packed full of charm and character, so be sure to stop off for a coffee along the way.

Visit: The Glen Ord Distillery

The Glen Ord Distillery is next on the agenda. With roots stretching back hundreds of years, and the modern-day distillery founded in 1838, Glen Ord Distillery has a rich history. You can learn all about this history on a whisky tour, led by a knowledgeable tour guide. Non drivers can also sample some of the whisky and if you like what you taste there’s a gift shop to buy for yourself, or as a gift perhaps.

Visit: Falls of Shin

You can’t make whisky without water, so having appreciated the whisky, it’s time to appreciate the water with a trip to the Falls of Shin, a delightful spot where, at the right time of year, you can watch salmon leaping up the river. There is also plenty of other things to do, including nature walks and a restaurant.

Stay & Dine: 5 Star Links House, Dornoch

Finally, it’s off to Links House in Dornoch. Voted the 6th best hotel in the UK recently, this luxury 5-star hotel provides the ultimate in sophisticated comfort.

Day Five – Historic East Highlands

Accommodation: Ness Walk, Inverness (1 Night).

Visit: The Fyrish Monument

Your morning drive on day five is to the Fyrish Monument. The Fyrish Monument has a rather heart-warming history, back in the early 1780’s, the local people were being ordered to leave the land they had worked on for hundreds of years. As a solution, Sir Hector Munro ordered the construction of the monument to provide labour for the people. It is even rumoured that Sir Munro deliberately had stones tossed down to the bottom of the hill, just so they had to be retrieved, thus allowing the workers more labour time and more pay. Take the short walk along the ‘Jubilee Path’ to reach the summit, then enjoy the sensational views over the Cromarty Firth from this historic monument.

Visit: Rogie Falls

History lesson over, it’s off to Rogie falls, an impressive area of white-water rapids. A handy little bridge provides an excellent platform to take in the views.

Visit: Culloden Battlefield

However, if you thought the history lesson was over for the day, think again! The next stop is Culloden Battlefield, the site of the bloody, final battle of the Jacobite uprising where around 2,000 Jacobite troops lost their lives in comparison to just a few hundred Government troops. Such a decisive victory meant the end of the Jacobite uprising and so the battle of Culloden was a pivotal moment in Scottish political history.

Visit: Clava Cairns

Last but not least on this history tour is the ancient Clava Cairns, one of the most evocative sites you will find in Scotland.
A cemetery site dating all the way back to the Bronze Age! The burial cairns and the standing stones are remarkably well-preserved.
Many feel a strong sense of wonderment at this site as they reflect on ceremonies held here over 4,000 years ago.

Stay & Dine: Boath House, Nairn.

Finally, you’ll head to the quiet seaside town of Nairn, where you will arrive at the luxurious Boath House for a well-deserved dinner and night’s sleep.

Set in 20 beautiful acres, this Grade-A listed country mansion offers a unique & stylish experience.

Day Six – The Scenic East Coast 

Accommodation: The Marcliffe Hotel, Aberdeen (1 Night).

Visit: Brodie Castle

Day 6 begins with a drive out to Brodie Castle. Perhaps most notable for its unusual peachy colour, Brodie Castle also has a colourful garden which has over 100 different types of daffodil.

Visit: Covesea Lighthouse

Leaving Brodie Castle behind, you’ll travel to Covesea Lighthouse and Royal Navy Heritage Centre. You can book a tour of the lighthouse, which was repurposed in 2012 to provide a viewing area for the activities of the local Royal Air Force base.

Visit: Duff House

From there it’s on to Duff House for a chance to view some of the fine artwork on show.

Visit: Dunnottar Castle

Next up is Dunnottar Castle, a ruined fortress dating back to the middle ages and most likely built to ward off invading Vikings. The castle sits on a rocky outcrop of land and it’s easy to imagine this also being an inspiration for some of the cliff edge castles in Game of Thrones.

Stay & Dine: The Marcliffe Hotel & Spa

And to round off the day it’s time to relax and unwind at the Marcliffe Hotel in Aberdeen which offers luxurious comfort, fine dining and a world-class spa.

Day Seven – Departure

On Day 7 we must bid you a fond farewell.  But as you make your way to Aberdeen Airport, we hope your mind might just be wandering to planning your next trip…

You will return your vehicle to a Luxury Scotland Tours representative at the airport who will be there to meet you upon arrival.

Our Tailor-Made Luxury Scotland Tour Experience

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Our experience lies in creating bespoke itineraries which meet the your exact specifications. Our process for creating your perfect tour itinerary is simply; great communication and expert knowledge. From your initial enquiry we will acquire the key details needed to craft a beautiful tailor-made itinerary.

For example:
Number of guests, Travel Dates, Preferred Room Types, Private chauffeur driver or self-drive,
Specific Interests, Particular regions you would you like to visit.