You can hit at least four regions on an eight-day road trip around Scotland. Active travelers and outdoor enthusiasts can try canyoning at Bruar Falls, mountain biking in the Highlands, sea kayaking around the Isle of Skye, and hiking at Ben Vrackie. Whisky connoisseurs will enjoy a tasting at Clydeside Distillery and a whisky masterclass at Blair Atholl Distillery, while road-tripping photographers can drive through the Highlands to Scotland's northernmost tip on the scenic North Coast 500.

Itinerary #1: Ultimate Scotland Road Trip: Cities, Castles & Countryside

An excellent choice for first-time visitors, this highlights itinerary offers a blend of culture, history, and outdoor activities, as well as free time to tailor the schedule to your interests. You'll take a walking tour and do a whisky tasting in Glasgow, choose how to spend your day in the Isle of Skye on a customizable private tour, climb to the summit of Ben Vrackie, take a whisky masterclass at Blair Atholl Distillery, hear the history and ghost stories of Edinburgh on another walking tour, and enjoy free time for souvenir shopping, restaurant hopping, and exploring on your own. 

Spend a day driving around the Isle of Skye with a private guide
Spend a day driving around the Isle of Skye with a private guide
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Glasgow, Bespoke Walking Tour, Clydeside Distillery Experience Glasgow
Day 2 Drive to Fort William via the Trossachs National Park & Loch Lomond Fort William
Day 3 Private Tour of Skye, Visit Eilean Donan Castle Fort William
Day 4 Private Cruise on Loch Ness, Visit Urquhart Castle, Drive to Pitlochry Pitlochry
Day 5 Free Day in Pitlochry Pitlochry
Day 6 Drive to Edinburgh via Stirling Castle Edinburgh
Day 7 Private Walking Tour of Edinburgh Edinburgh
Day 8 Depart Edinburgh  

Get to know Glasgow with a walking tour of the key sights, including the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Glasgow University, then learn about (and taste!) handcrafted whisky at Clydeside Distillery. Pick up your rental car on Day 2 and drive north to Fort William, making scenic stops at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. On arrival in Fort William, tour the Ben Nevis Distillery, play a round of golf at the Fort William Golf Club, or, if you're eager to learn local history, check out the West Highland Museum. The following day, visit Eilean Donan Castle and other iconic sites on a private tour of the Isle of Skye.

Keep an eye out for the legendary monster on a Loch Ness cruise, then take a wildlife walk in Cairngorms National Park. A free day in Pitlochry gives you the chance to do as you please; perhaps you'll climb to the summit of Ben Vrackie, take a whisky masterclass at Blair Atholl Distillery, or walk at Killiecrankie Gorge. Continue to Edinburgh, with a stop to enjoy the views at Stirling Castle. Hear all about Edinburgh's heritage and hauntings on a walking tour that includes Old Town and Edinburgh Castle. Use your free time before departure to indulge in local cuisine and shop for souvenirs. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Scotland Highlands & Islands Road Trip

Picking up the pace, this alternative highlights itinerary spends a little time on the Inner and Outer Hebrides of Scotland's northwest, suitable for travelers seeking a mix of history, culture, wildlife, and whisky. Highlights include a street art walking tour and a ceilidh gathering in Glasgow, a wildlife cruise in Oban, a whisky tasting and a hike at the Quiraing on the Isle of Skye, a visit to the Neolithic Callanish Standing Stones, and a trek at Ben Vrackie.

Blackhouse village on Lewis
Blackhouse village on Lewis
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Glasgow, Street Art & Culture Walking Tour  Glasgow
Day 2 Drive to Oban, Wildlife Exploration Boat, Traditional Ceilidh Experience Oban
Day 3 Whisky Tasting at Torabhaig Distillery Isle of Skye
Day 4 Explore Isle of Skye & Portree, Ferry to Isle of Harris Isle of Harris
Day 5 Visit Callanish Standing Stones & Gearrannan Blackhouse Village Isle of Harris
Day 6 Ferry from Stornoway to Ullapool, Drive to Inverness Inverness
Day 7 Drive to Pitlochry, Hike Ben Vrackie Pitlochry
Day 8 Visit the Highland Folk Museum, Drive to Edinburgh, Depart  

On arrival, gain an appreciation for street art on a walking tour of Glasgow. The following morning, you'll collect your rental car and drive north to Oban for a wildlife cruise and the chance to spot minke whales, white-tailed sea eagles, and more. End the evening with a ceilidh, a traditional Scottish gathering with music and dancing. Continue your drive to the Isle of Skye, where you'll visit the Torabhaig Distillery and learn about the traditional process of crafting Scotch whisky. Use your free morning to hike to the Fairy Pools in Glen Brittle, trek the landslip of the Quiraing, or tour Dunvegan Castle.

Stroll through the colorful fishing village of Portree; then, you'll catch the ferry to the Isle of Harris to see its moorlands and castles. Visit the Neolithic Callanish Standing Stones next and the restored croft houses of Gearrannan Blackhouse Village on the Isle of Lewis before boarding a ferry back to the mainland at Ullapool. Your next stop is Inverness, where you can visit the Inverness Castle, perched on a hill overlooking River Ness. A drive south to Pitlochry allows you to end on a high note with a hike at Ben Vrackie before driving to Edinburgh to catch your flight home. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Active Scotland Road Trip

Active travelers will be thrilled with the outdoor adventures on this road trip. Starting in Edinburgh and ending in Glasgow, you'll hike to Arthur's Seat, try canyoning at Bruar Falls, spot wildlife in Cairngorms National Park, sea kayak around the Isle of Skye, and paddleboard to an uninhabited island on Loch Leven. With additional activities like mountain biking in the Highlands, this itinerary promises a journey that's as invigorating as it is memorable.

Explore Scottish highlights on an active tour
Explore Scottish highlights on an active tour
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Edinburgh, Arthur's Seat Hike Edinburgh
Day 2 Drive to Aviemore, Bruar Falls Canyoning Aviemore
Day 3 Cairngorms National Park Wildlife Tour, Drive to Inverness Inverness
Day 4 Guided Mountain Biking in the Highlands, Drive to Torridon Torridon
Day 5 Drive to the Isle of Skye, Guided Sea Kayak Experience Isle of Skye
Day 6 Drive to Glencoe, Paddleboarding on Loch Leven Glencoe
Day 7 Drive to Glasgow via Loch Lomond & the Trossachs National Park Glasgow
Day 8 Depart Glasgow  

Start your journey off on the right foot with a hike to the top of Arthur's Seat for sweeping views over Edinburgh. The next day, you'll drive to Aviemore, stopping at Atholl Estate en route for some canyoning in the Bruar Falls. Watch for golden eagles and other wildlife on a 4WD tour of Cairngorms National Park before heading farther north into the Scottish Highlands to Inverness. Here, you'll navigate the rugged countryside on mountain bikes and then stroll around the village of Torridon in the shadows of the surrounding mountains.

The next leg of your journey takes you to the Isle of Skye, where you'll kayak along the coast and picnic on a remote beach. Then, it's time to hit the road back south, driving to the village of Glencoe for a paddleboarding excursion on Loch Leven that includes a visit to the uninhabited island of Eilean Munde, where Highland clans were known to bury their dead. Continue along the west shore of Loch Lomond and make a stop at the pier in Luss for a view of Ben Lomond mountain. Celebrate your road trip with a whisky tasting at Clydeside Distillery and dinner at a local pub on your final night. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Scotland's Major Historical Landmarks Self-Drive Tour

History buffs and travelers eager to immerse in the stories and legends of Scotland will enjoy this self-drive tour. From the Great Siege at Stirling Castle to the interactive Culloden Battlefield and the iconic Scone Palace, you'll encounter tales of clan feuds, battles, and royals. The trip also takes you to scenic spots such as the Eilean Donan Castle, Old Boat of Caol, Hermitage Forest, and Queen's View, so it's well-suited to photographers, too. 

Drive to key monuments including the Eileen Donan Castle
Drive to key monuments, including the Eileen Donan Castle
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Edinburgh, Drive to Stirling & Explore Stirling
Day 2 Visit Blair Atholl Castle & Gardens, Drive to Bridge of Orchy Bridge of Orchy
Day 3 Discover Eilean Donan Castle, Drive to Glencoe Glencoe
Day 4 Explore the West Highland Museum & Corpach Wreck, Drive to Fort William Fort William
Day 5 See the Culloden Battlefield, Drive to Pitlochry Pitlochry
Day 6 Tour Scone Palace, Hermitage Forest & Queen's View, Drive to Edinburgh Edinburgh
Day 7 Guided Tour of Bannockburn, Whisky Tasting at Edradour Distillery Edinburgh
Day 8 Depart Edinburgh  

Grab your rental car on arrival in Edinburgh and set out for Stirling, where you'll visit the fortress and then learn about the Battle of the Stirling Bridge at the National Wallace Monument. Next, drive to the Scottish Highlands to see the gardens and 18th-century interiors of Blair Atholl Castle before settling in at Bridge of Orchy for the night. Your trip continues to Eilean Donan Castle, arguably Scotland's most photographed castle and the subject of many battles. After an overnight in Glencoe, you'll learn the history of the region at the West Highland Museum, then capture a shot of the famous Old Boat of Caol.

Step back in time at the infamous Culloden Battlefield before driving to Pitlochry, with a stop for a walk in Cairngorms National Park. The following day, you'll immerse in the 2,000-year-old stories of Scone Palace, then take a walk amid Douglas firs to the Black Linn Waterfall in Hermitage Forest. Continue the drive back to Edinburgh, stopping to capture pictures of an iconic Scotland vista and fresh air at Queen's View. Follow Robert the Bruce's footsteps on a guided tour of Bannockburn, then toast your journey with a whisky tasting at Edradour Distillery. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Scotland North Coast 500 Road Trip

Starting and ending in Edinburgh, this North Coast 500 (NC500) road trip leads you along the NC500 loop, a 516-mile (830 km) scenic route around the north coast of Scotland, also an excellent option for nature lovers and anthropology enthusiasts. You'll learn about prehistoric life at the Scottish Crannog Centre, spot wildlife on a 4WD safari in Cairngorms National Park, visit historic castles such as Stirling and Blair Atholl, watch the seals at Cromarty Firth, learn about Viking heritage in Thurso, snorkel at Clachtoll Beach, take a wildlife cruise near Lochinver, learn about the Bronze Age at Clava Cairns sacred site, and more. 

Scenery along the Scotland NC500 near Durness
The scenery along the Scotland NC500 near Durness
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Edinburgh, Drive to Stirling, Visit Bannockburn & The Kelpies Stirling
Day 2 Explore Sterling Castle, Drive to Inverness via Crannog Centre Inverness
Day 3 Drive to John o' Groats via Dunrobin Castle, Thurso Walking Tour John o' Groats
Day 4 Drive to Lochinver via Durness, Smoo Cave Tours Lochinver
Day 5 Explore Beaches, Wildlife Spotting Boat Tour, Drive to Gairloch Gairloch
Day 6 Drive to Inverness via Applecross & Culloden, Visit the Clava Cairns Inverness
Day 7 Drive to Pitlochry via Cairngorms National Park, Wildlife Safari Tour Pitlochry
Day 8 Drive to Edinburgh via Blair Atholl Castle, Depart   

After landing in Edinburgh, you'll pick up your rental car and drive to Stirling to visit the Bannockburn Battlefield, followed by a stop in Falkirk to check out The Kelpies art installation. The next morning, you'll hear the history of the Great Seige at Stirling Castle and then journey to the Scottish Crannog Centre to learn about prehistoric life here. Continue to Inverness for a hearty Scottish meal and a dram of whisky at a local pub. Next on the itinerary is the scenic drive along part of the NC500 from Inverness to John o' Groats, in Scotland's far north, with stops to watch the seals at Cromarty Firth and learn about Viking heritage in Thurso.

Tour Smoo Cave on the way to Lochinver on Day 4, where you can walk in the Culag Woods or observe artisans at the Highland Stoneware Pottery. Grab a snorkel and brave the cold water at Clachtoll Beach, picnic at Achmelvich Beach, or hike between the two before boarding a wildlife cruise. Wind along the Applecross Pass, a single-track road with switchbacks that climbs 2,000 feet (600 m), then drive to Clava Cairns, an ancient cemetery believed to hold clues to the Bronze Age society. On your final full day, you'll join a wildlife safari in Cairngorms National Park before returning to Edinburgh for departure. Learn more

More Great 8-Day Scotland Itineraries

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


Map of 8 Days in Scotland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 8 Days in Scotland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas