With historic cities, quaint towns and villages, beautiful countryside and some of the best whisky distilleries in the world, Scotland makes for a wonderfully diverse and relaxing vacation. Combining day trips to Glasgow, St. Andrews, and Loch Ness, you'll spend eight nights in Edinburgh taking in everything this historic capital has to offer. Wander centuries-old castles, tour modern galleries, and visit medieval seaside villages.

Highlights

  • Walk the Royal Mile in charming Edinburgh
  • Tour a whisky distillery and enjoy sampling  fine Scottish whisky
  • Overlook Glasgow from the top of a Victorian cemetery
  • Discover golf's roots with a trip to St. Andrews
  • Explore the Scottish Highlands with a trip to Loch Ness

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Edinburgh Edinburgh
Day 2 Explore Edinburgh Edinburgh
Day 3 Visit a whisky distillery Edinburgh
Day 4 Day trip to historic Glasgow Edinburgh
Day 5 Day trip to St. Andrews and the villages of Fife Edinburgh
Day 6 Discover Edinburgh Castle Edinburgh
Day 7 Day trip to Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands Edinburgh
Day 8 Spirit of Scotland performance Edinburgh
Day 9 Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Edinburgh

Edinburgh
Welcome to Edinburgh!

Scotland's capital is the perfect place to start your vacation in Scotland. Meet your private transfer at the airport and drive to your accommodation in central Edinburgh. 

Day 2: Enjoy Edinburgh’s top attractions

Scotland - Edinburgh, Royal Mile
Stroll along Edinburgh's Royal Mile

This morning you will meet your guide at your hotel for a driving tour of the main attractions, starting at the top of the Royal Mile. Here, you will explore Old Town and see the 17th-century high-tenement house, Gladstones Land, St. Giles Church, the Mercat Cross, John Knox House, and the Kirk (Church) of the Canongate, all while your guide entertains you with fascinating facts and anecdotes. Finally, you will arrive at the Scottish Parliament and Holyrood Palace, before enjoying panoramic vistas from a vantage point on Arthur’s Seat.

The driving tour ends with a visit to New Town, featuring sublime examples of Georgian architecture, including the childhood home of Robert Louis Stevenson.

Day 3: Visit a whisky distillery

Displayed scottish whiskies, Edinburgh, Scotland
Discover the subtleties of fine Scottish whisky

Meet your guide today and head to a local brewery for a unique whisky-tasting experience. Sample single malts and rare blends, while learning everything there is to know about the "water of life," scotch.

Day 4: Day trip to historic Glasgow

Glasgow, Scotland, UK
Wander the Victorian Necropolis and admire views overlooking Glasgow

Early this morning you will drive the short distance west to the historic city of Glasgow. On this full day tour, see the People’s Palace Museum in Glasgow Green, the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), and the Victorian Necropolis Garden Cemetery. Admire landmarks such as the medieval Glasgow Cathedral, the oldest cathedral on mainland Scotland, the Duke of Wellington statue, and Mercat Cross. Immerse yourself in local life as you stroll around George Square, Glasgow Green, and Buchanan Street.

Day 5: Day trip to St. Andrews and the villages of Fife

St. Andrews, Scotland
Swilcan bridge on the 18th hole of St. Andrews Old Course

Setting off from Edinburgh you will travel the hour and a half north to St. Andrews and the intriguing region of Fife. Drive over the Forth Road Bridge into Fife, taking in the scenery as you pass by the coastal villages of East Neuk. Then on to the famous seaside town of St. Andrews, home to Scotland's oldest university (founded in 1413) and golf courses. On this day trip, there will also be time to view Falkland at the foot of the Lomond Hills.

Day 6: Discover Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh
Edinburgh Castle in the distance watches over the city

Today you will have the chance to explore the most iconic attraction in Edinburgh, the Edinburgh Castle. This historic fortress dominates the Edinburgh cityscape and is thought to date back to the 2nd century. It was once a royal residence, and on your private tour, you will be able to learn more about the secrets of this evocative castle with an expert guide.

Day 7: Day trip to Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands

The Urquhart Castle. Medieval castle on the shores of Loch Ness in the mountains of Scotland
Visit the medieval Urquhart Castle on the shores of Loch Ness

Today, you will venture north toward Inverness, stopping to visit one of Scotland’s most famous attractions, the mythical Loch Ness, in the center of the mountainous Scottish Highlands. This famous lake is thought to be home to a secretive sea monster known as “Nessie,” but its existence has never been confirmed. As a part of this full-day experience, you will enjoy a tour of the lake and a cruise with live sonar, allowing you to learn all the eerie secrets and perhaps even spot Nessie.

Day 8: Spirit of Scotland performance

Scotland - Edinburgh - Bagpipes
Experience a bagpipe performance

Take the day to discover more of Edinburgh at your own pace capping off your trip with a fun-packed Scottish evening. Enjoy a multi-course meal of traditional Scottish dishes, drink, and haggis tasting, while you take in a performance of professional bagpipe players in full Highland dress, accompanied by musicians and dancers. 

Day 9: Depart

Scotland - Edinburgh - holyrood Palace
Holyrood Palace

Say farewell to Edinburgh and enjoy one last taste of luxury with a private transfer from your hotel to the airport for your return flight home.

Map

Map of Discover Scotland - 9 Days
Map of Discover Scotland - 9 Days