Well-maintained roads and Scotland's small size make it possible to visit at least three regions in nine days. Active travelers will enjoy a multiday trek on the West Highland Way and e-biking on the Isle of Skye. Whisky enthusiasts will appreciate a single malt masterclass at Dalwhinnie Distillery and the chance to visit the country's only cooperage. Those keen on culture can opt for a music or street art tour in Glasgow and consider timing their trip to partake in the Pitlochry Highland Games festivities.

Itinerary #1: Simply Scotland: Edinburgh, Cairngorms National Park & Loch Lomond

Get to know Scotland at a nice pace on this classic highlights itinerary. A match for first-time visitors, history buffs, and nature lovers alike, you'll tour historic battlefields and castles, sample local eats on a culinary outing in Edinburgh, search for wildlife in Cairngorms National Park, and canoe on Loch Lubnaig. Timing your trip during the Pitlochry Highland Games offers an opportunity to join in the celebration that includes dance, music, and sporting events.

Time your trip right to catch the Highland Games
Time your trip right to catch the Highland Games
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Edinburgh, Explore Edinburgh Castle & Afternoon Tea Edinburgh
Day 2 Tour of Mary King's Close, Free Time In Edinburgh Edinburgh
Day 3 Edinburgh Food & Drink Tour Edinburgh
Day 4 Drive to Pitlochry via Stirling, Bannockburn Battlefield Tour  Pitlochry
Day 5 Cairngorms National Park Wildlife Tour, Blair Athol Distillery Pitlochry
Day 6 Pitlochry's Highland Games Pitlochry
Day 7 Drive to Loch Lomond & Alexandria, Canoe Tour in Trossachs National Park Alexandria
Day 8 Horse Trekking Near Loch Lomond Alexandria
Day 9 Drive to Edinburgh, Depart  

On your first day, get acquainted with Edinburgh by walking along the Royal Mile to Edinburgh Castle, where you can see the lavish rooms and sit down for an afternoon tea. You'll also have time to peruse the shops at the Grassmarket or delve into the literary history of the Writers' Museum before joining a food and drink tour. Next, you'll pick up your rental car and drive to Stirling for a guided walk at Bannockburn Battlefield. Continue to Pitlochry for a hearty Scottish meal and an overnight before heading to Cairngorms National Park, where you can search for golden eagles and other wildlife on a guided safari.

Your next stop is Blair Athol Distillery for a whisky tour and tasting. If you're visiting during the Pitlochry Highland Games (typically in September), join the celebration that includes Highland dance, music, and athletic events. Otherwise, spend the day hiking up Ben Vrackie or walking among the towering Douglas firs to the Black Linn Waterfall at the Hermitage at Dunkeld. Then, enjoy the natural beauty of Loch Lomond with a horseback ride around the lake, a canoe excursion on Loch Lubnaig, and a hike at Conic Hill before returning to Edinburgh for departure. Learn more

Itinerary #2: Scotland Highlights & West Highland Way

Avid hikers eager to pair a multiday trek with island hopping, history, and culture will enjoy this alternate highlights trip that skips Edinburgh and focuses instead on the west of Scotland. After a pony trek around Loch Lomond, you'll have the chance to learn about Scottish culture and heritage with visits to the Dunollie Museum, the 1745 House Museum, and Iona Abbey before tackling a three-day hike along the West Highland Way. Birders will also appreciate opportunities to observe puffins at Staffa Island and search for the Rannoch-rush and other birds while hiking through Rannoch Moor.

Hike through the remarkable vistas of Glen Coe
Hike through the remarkable vistas of Glen Coe
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Glasgow, Pollok Country Park Glasgow
Day 2 Train to Loch Lomond, Pony Trekking, Free Time Loch Lomond
Day 3 Train to Oban, Visit Dunollie Museum, Castle & Grounds Oban
Day 4 Full-Day Mull, Iona & Staffa Islands Adventure Oban
Day 5 Bus to Fort William, Visit Corpach Wreck & Loch Eil Fort William
Day 6 Hike the West Highland Way: Fort William to Kinlochleven Kinlochleven
Day 7 Hike the West Highland Way: Kinlochleven to Glencoe Glencoe
Day 8 Hike the West Highland Way: Glencoe to Bridge of Orchy Bridge of Orchy
Day 9 Train to Glasgow, Depart  

After your flight to Glasgow, stretch your legs on a walk through the woodlands of Pollok Country Park, the city's largest green space. In the morning, take the train to Balloch for a pony trek through the Loch Lomond countryside and kayaking on the lake. Then, board a train to Oban, where you'll learn about Scottish culture, and visit the Dunollie Museum and 1745 House Museum before tucking into a seafood dinner by the water. Next, you'll spend a day island hopping, stopping to explore the volcanic island of Mull, learn about Iona's Christian heritage at the Iona Abbey, and observe puffins at Fingal's Cave.

The following day, take a bus to Fort William to taste local mussels, photograph the Old Boat of Caol, and sample a dram or two of whisky at Ben Nevis Distillery. Then, on Day 6, set off on a three-day trek along the West Highland Way, hiking through woodlands, up to the highest point on the trail, the Devil's Staircase, and through the remote Rannoch Moor (you may want to take a slower pace here for the opportunity to spot deer, the Rannoch-rush, and other wildlife in this pristine wilderness), to the Bridge of Orchy. Finally, you'll return to Glasgow by train to catch your flight home. Learn more

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Itinerary #3: Scotland Fast-Paced Outdoor Adventures

This action-packed adventure is ideal for energetic outdoor enthusiasts who prefer a quick pace to make the most of their time in Scotland. Highlights include cycling around Edinburgh, canyoning near Pitlochry, wildlife spotting on safari in Cairngorms National Park, fishing on the River Spey, e-biking on the Isle of Skye, hiking to the peak of the Pap, and walking the Glasgow Mural Trail.

You'll explore some of Skye's most dramatic scenery by e-bike
You'll explore some of Skye's most dramatic scenery by e-bike
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Edinburgh, Ultimate Cycle Tour Edinburgh
Day 2 Drive to Pitlochry, Bruar Falls Canyoning Pitlochry
Day 3 Cairngorms National Park Wildlife Tour, Drive to Aviemore Aviemore
Day 4 Wild River Fishing Experience From Killiehuntly, Drive to Fort William Fort William
Day 5 Drive to Isle of Skye, Guided E-Bike Trotternish Peninsula Tour Portree
Day 6 Ferry to Mallaig, Wildlife Boat Trip, Drive to Glencoe Glencoe
Day 7 Self-Guided Pap Hike, Drive to Glasgow Glasgow
Day 8 Walk the Glasgow Mural Trail Glasgow
Day 9 Drive to Edinburgh, Depart  

Hit the ground running—or rather, cycling—with an 18-mile (29 km) bike tour around Edinburgh that includes passing the city's canals, railways, beaches, tunnels, and more. The following morning, pick up your rental car and drive to Pitlochry, where you'll experience the thrill of flumes, rock slides, and waterfall abseils on a canyoning excursion at the Bruar Falls. Next, you'll watch for wildlife while exploring the moorlands, pine forests, and lochs on a full-day safari in Cairngorms National Park. Then, try your hand at river fishing in Killiehuntly, and choose to release your catch or have it cooked for dinner. 

Continue to Fort William and rest for the night before crossing to the Isle of Skye for a coastal e-bike tour and picnic in the wilderness on the Trotternish Peninsula. The next day, take a ferry to Mallaig for a wildlife cruise around the small isles and Loch Nevis, keeping an eye out for dolphins and whales. Your next stop is Glen Coe, where you'll pack a picnic and hike through woodlands to the peak of the Pap for views of Ben Nevis and Loch Linnhe. Finally, drive south to Glasgow and admire the city's street art on a Mural Trail walking tour before making your way to Edinburgh for departure. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Edinburgh & Scottish Highlands Whisky Adventure

This tasting tour is perfect for whisky enthusiasts also interested in history. In addition to touring historic sites, such as Blair Castle and Culloden Battlefield, you'll sample whisky at several distilleries along the route, learn about traditional barrel making at Scotland's only cooperage, get a lesson in the unique solera process at Glenfiddich Distillery, join a single malt masterclass at Dalwhinnie Distillery, and mountain bike World Cup trails in the Nevis Range.

Kick off your nine-day tasting adventure in Edinburgh
Kick off your nine-day tasting adventure in Edinburgh
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Edinburgh, Scotch Whisky Adventure Tour & Tasting Edinburgh
Day 2 Arthur's Seat & Holyrood Park Walk, Holyrood Distillery Tour & Tasting Edinburgh
Day 3 Visit Edradour Distillery, Drive to Pitlochry Pitlochry
Day 4 Dalwhinnie Distillery Tour, Blair Castle & Blair Athol Distillery Tour & Tasting Pitlochry
Day 5 Drive to Inverness via Speyside Cooperage & Aberlour Distillery  Inverness
Day 6 Visit Cawdor Castle, Glenfiddich Distillery Extended Tour Inverness
Day 7 Drive to Fort William via Ben Nevis Distillery, Corpach Wreck & Loch Eil Fort William
Day 8 Mountain Biking in Fort William & Ben Nevis Fort William
Day 9 Drive to Edinburgh, Depart  

Get your first sips of Scotland with a tour and tasting at the Diageo Claive Vidiz Scotch Whisky Collection, followed by some barhopping along the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. Set off early on your second day to tackle the short but steep Arthur's Seat hike (bring snacks for a picnic at the top), then head back down to Holyrood Distillery to sample more locally-made spirits. Next, pick up your rental car and drive to Pitlochry, stopping at Edradour, the smallest traditional distillery in Scotland, to taste their handmade single malt whisky (you can request "driver drams" to enjoy safely at your hotel).

In the morning, hit the road to the Dalwhinnie Distillery, Scotland's highest distillery, for a chance to try single malts paired with artisanal chocolate. Continue to Blair Castle, where you can admire the Scots Baronial architecture before visiting Blair Athol Distillery, famous for its whisky made from pure mountain water. Stop at Speyside Distillery to learn about barrel making at the country's only cooperage, then study the solera process on an extended tour of Glenfiddich Distillery. Spend your final full day mountain biking the World Cup trails of the Nevis Range before returning to Edinburgh. Learn more

Itinerary #5: Island Hopping in Scotland

Experience Scotland's beauty, culture, and cuisine with this island-hopping itinerary. A great fit for travelers keen on nature and culture, you'll savor seafood in Oban, dance at a traditional Scottish ceilidh, spot wildlife on a cruise around Mull, and enjoy a private yacht ride on Loch Lomond. Round off your trip with a folk music walking tour in Glasgow, followed by an evening of live music and Scottish fare.

The colorful town of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull
The colorful town of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Glasgow, Ferry to Arran, Visit Arran's Nature Arran
Day 2 Return Ferry, Drive to Oban, Oban Distillery Tour Oban
Day 3 Highland Oban Games, Traditional Scottish Ceilidh Experience Oban
Day 4 Ferry to Isle of Mull, Explore Tobermory Isle of Mull
Day 5 Full-Day Guided Mull & Iona Tour Isle of Mull
Day 6 Spot Sea Eagles on a Wildlife Cruise Isle of Mull
Day 7 Return Ferry, Drive to Loch Lomond, Private Yacht Cruise Alexandria
Day 8 Drive to Glasgow, Scottish Trad Trail Tour & Folk Music Glasgow
Day 9 Visit Glasgow Cathedral, Depart  

Begin in Glasgow, where you'll board a ferry to the island of Arran and experience this "Scotland in miniature" at your own pace, perhaps taking a walk on the beach, visiting the prehistoric Machrie Moor Stones, or popping into the local whisky distillery. After returning to the mainland, drive to Oban, where you'll feast on seafood at a waterfront restaurant and attend a Scottish ceilidh, a social gathering with live music and folk dancing. Hop a ferry to the Isle of Mull and choose from activities such as hiking up Ben More, visiting the ancient stone circles, or wandering around the colorful harbor town of Tobermory.

Then, a private guide will share tales of headless horsemen and fire-breathing dragons on a tour of Mull before taking you on a ferry to the island of Iona, home to Iona Abbey, an important pilgrimage destination. Next, you'll have the chance to spot sea eagles, dolphins, and more on a wildlife cruise before returning to the mainland on Day 7. Drive to Loch Lomond for a private yacht cruise, then continue back to Glasgow, where you'll cap off your trip with a folk music-themed walking tour and a traditional Scottish meal. Learn more

More Great 9-Day Scotland Itineraries

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


Map of 9 Days in Scotland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 9 Days in Scotland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas