Region Overviews: Scotland Travel Guide: Overview
Scotland is a notoriously magical place, where rumors of faeries and the Loch Ness Monster abound, and once you arrive, it’s easy to see why.
The Scottish Highlands. A place where wild, raw and dramatic terrain gives way to quaint hamlets and cozy pubs. Where places delight with names like River Snizort and Fairy Lochs. From Loch Ness to the Isles of Skye and Raasay to Beinn Eighe Nature Reserve, be mesmerized as you trek along forested trails, near dramatic cliffs and past idyllic coves with dolphins in the distance. And when you're ready to put up your feet, an afternoon tea or a Scottish ale will be calling your name.
THIS ITINERARY: 6 days, 5 nights
ACCOMMODATIONS: Casual Hotels*
Start/End locations may vary. Do not book flights until your trip details are confirmed.
Get your first glimpse of the Scottish Highlands in Inverfarigaig as you walk along a mossy trail to a viewpoint of Loch Ness | Pop into a cozy pub for a Scottish ale or whisky | Enjoy an afternoon cruise on Loch Ness.
Set near the shore of Loch Ness and on the site of Kilwhimen Barracks (a wall of the 1718 fort still stands on the grounds), this family-run hotel exudes warmth and is housed in a lovely Victorian building.
Explore one of Scotland’s most picturesque castles, Eilean Donan | On the Isle of Skye, hike to forgotten beaches and ruins along the coast | Explore the deserted and haunting villages of Suisnish and Boreraig, while a local expert regales us with highland tales | Hop on a ferry to the magical Isle of Raasay where local musicians play for us | Walk along stunning coastline and up to a high point with soaring vistas of the Cuillin Hills and the Scottish mainland | Summit Raasay’s largest peak, Dun Caan with its flat-topped ridge, and take in views of the Cuillin Hills of Skye to the south, the Trotternish peninsula with its craggy mountains to the northeast, the mainland town of Applecross to the east and the austere beauty of Raasay from its highest point | Enjoy a private tour and tasting at a whisky distillery.
Located about a five-minute walk from each other on the Isle of Raasay, these two cozy and beautiful hotels are set by the sea with fantastic views of the Cuillin Hills of Skye. (We've reserved accommodations at both hotels.)
Joined by our local guide, explore the nooks and crannies of Raasay’s main town, its secret beaches and gorgeous woodlands | At the pier, hop on a boat back to the mainland searching for whales and porpoises | Discover the Gairloch and Conon Estate, including its Flowerdale Glen, cascades and botanical garden | Keep an eye out for golden eagles and red deer | Coastline vistas unfold as we trek up to the Fairy Lochs—a series of small lochs in heather-covered moorland | Dig in to a real local pub experience with fish and chips, or perhaps you’re ready to try haggis! | Taste the spirits at a local gin distillery | For a new perspective, head out in kayaks in search of seals, minke whales and sea otters | Cozy up by the fire with a whisky in hand before a seafood dinner | Stroll the beaches of Gairloch before we return to Inverness.
The warm oak paneling and comfortable leather seating in this refurbished hunting lodge invite you to relax and enjoy magnificent garden and loch views.
The earlier you book, the more choice you'll have and the lower your price. And you can always change your mind — you won't be charged to transfer to a different trip before your final payment is due. View cancellation policy
Click on dates for pricing, itinerary variations and to book your trip. Price is per person, double occupancy.
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next—and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do. LEARN MORE.
Note: The terrain on this trip is mostly rolling, with some moderate and occasionally steep ascents and descents. Many of our hikes are on boggy and uneven trails, pavement and dirt roads that can be wet, muddy and rocky. We also traverse some steep mountain paths. Please note that on several sections of our hikes the van will be unable to intersect the route. Also note that the terrain can make the routes feel more challenging than the mileage may suggest.