From touring ancient castles to sampling local whisky to walking along serene beaches, there's plenty to do on a five-day trip to Scotland. You can keep things basic with a three-stop tour that takes you from the beautiful city of Edinburgh to the mountainous region of Glencoe. Or, make the most of your stay by visiting five destinations, including the Highland capital of Inverness and the coastal village of John O'Groats.

Itinerary #1: Scenic Scotland Road Trip: Edinburgh, Inverness & Fort William 

This scenic tour of Scotland gives you a chance to do a little of everything—from climbing an extinct volcano to an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind train excursion.

Road snakes through Glen Coe
Wind your way through Glen Coe on a self-drive tour
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Edinburgh, Self-Guided Tour Edinburgh
Day 2 Drive to Stirling & the Highlands Inverness
Day 3 Tour Inverness, Loch Ness & Fort William Fort William
Day 4 Day Trip: Jacobite Train  Fort William
Day 5 Tour Glen Coe, Loch Lomond & Depart Edinburgh  

Arrive in Edinburgh, pick up your rental car, and hit the capital's key spots, including medieval Old Town and Georgian-era New Town. If you're feeling extra adventurous, try making your way uphill to Castle Rock. Then, head north to Stirling, an area that features historical landmarks like the National Wallace Monument and the ruins of Cambuskenneth Abbey. Day three begins with a visit to Inverness Cathedral, followed by an up-close look at the medieval Urquhart Castle. Next, take time to explore the small town of Fort William, an excellent destination for travelers who want to partake in activities like cycling and skiing.

On day four, board the Jacobite Train (the "Hogwarts Express") and enjoy a unique railway journey through picturesque mountains. Finally, finish your vacation with waterfall views as you go for a hike in Glen Coe before lunching in busy Oban and returning to Edinburgh. Learn more

Itinerary #2: The North Coast 500: Road Trip Through the Scottish Highlands

You're in the driver's seat the whole way during this action-packed road trip through the country's famous Highlands.

Stop at Dunebeath Castle to stroll the world-class gardens
Stop at Dunebeath Castle to stroll the world-class gardens
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Inverness, Drive to Poolewe Poolewe
Day 2 Drive to Lochinver via Rock Route & North West Highland Geopark  Lochinver
Day 3 Drive to Durness via Kylesku  Durness
Day 4 Drive to John O'Groats via Dunnet Head  John O'Groats
Day 5 Drive to Inverness & Depart  

Once you've arrived in Inverness, get your wheels for the week and start driving along the North Coast 500, where you can see rugged mountains and quaint villages. On day two, use lesser-traveled roads and trails to take in the awe-inspiring scenery of North West Highland Geopark. After snapping some photos with your fellow travelers, dine on freshly caught seafood in the fishing village of Lochinver

Your road trip can go in two different directions on day three, with route B869 providing a much bigger challenge for drivers than the more laidback A894 route. Either way, end up in Durness, the most northwestern village in Scotland. Then, spend some time in Dunnet Head searching for native birds like puffins, razorbills, and kittiwakes. End your trip by touring the beautiful grounds of Dunbeath Castle Gardens and picking up some authentic malt whisky from Glen Ord Distillery to enjoy as a potable keepsake. Learn more

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Itinerary #3 Whisky & History in the Scottish Highlands

Learn more about Scottish culture with an interactive adventure highlighting several of Scotland's renowned whisky distilleries.

Beautiful scenery along the Skye & Raasay Whiskey Trail
Beautiful scenery along the Skye & Raasay Whisky Trail
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Edinburgh, Private Walking Tour & Edinburgh Castle  Edinburgh
Day 2 Dalwhinnie Distillery Whisky Tasting & Culloden Battlefield Private Tour Inverness
Day 3 Private Tour of Inverness & Dufftown Balvenie Distillery Tastings Isle of Skye
Day 4 Skye & Raasay Whisky Trail Isle of Skye
Day 5 Glasgow & C.R. Mackintosh Tour, Visit Bannockburn & Depart  

Your week begins in Edinburgh, where you can step back in time and visit old mansions and famous landmarks like the Palace of Holyroodhouse and The Flodden Wall. Then, it's time for your first of several whisky-inspired stops. Discover what goes into the brewing process at Dalwhinnie Distillery before indulging in six single malts specifically paired with select chocolates from Highland Chocolatier

Day three features another interactive adventure, with an outing to Balvenie Distillery providing an intimate and informative tasting experience. The trip gets even better the following day, as whisky lovers get to visit three distilleries on the Isle of Skye. Finally, wrap up your journey to Scotland in Glasgow by learning about the city's architecture, history, and vibrant art scene on a C.R. Mackintosh tour, followed by a three-hour tour of Bannockburn, just south of Stirling. You'll then return to Edinburgh for your onward journey. Learn more

More Great Scotland Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Scotland? Check out these other Scotland itineraries, with outdoor adventures, castle visits, and best-of tours to hit the highlights.


Map of 5 Days in Scotland - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 5 Days in Scotland - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas