Explore Scotland's top single malts at the source with this nine-day self-drive whisky itinerary. The journey begins in Edinburgh with tastings and a hike up Arthur's Seat before you drive north to Speyside, the heart of Scotch whisky. Here you'll visit two distilleries and a historic cooperage workshop, then drive to Fort William, where the mountains, lochs, and malt whisky meet. Taste the local tipple and seek adventure on mountain biking trails before returning to Edinburgh.


  • Taste your way across Scotland with distillery tours in different regions
  • Explore Blair Castle, then tour the Blair Athol Distillery, which dates back to 1798
  • Visit the UK's only cooperage and tour Abelour and Glenfiddich distilleries
  • Tackle famous mountain biking trails around Fort William and Ben Nevis

Brief Itinerary

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  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Edinburgh, Scotch Whisky Adventure Tour & Tasting

Embark on an Unforgettable Journey: The Scotch Whisky Adventure Tour and Tasting
See the world's largest collection of Scotch whisky with this afternoon's experience

Welcome to Scotland! You've landed in Edinburgh, a captivating historic and modern city known for its festivals, thriving arts scene, and friendly locals. On arrival, meet your private driver for a transfer to your hotel. En route, you might catch a glimpse of the mighty Edinburgh Castle, a huge fortress sitting atop an ancient volcanic hill and overlooking the Old and New Town centers. Drop your bags, refresh, and set off for a special afternoon whisky experience.

On a 90-minute tour, you'll visit the Diageo Claive Vidiz Scotch Whisky Collection, which is the world's largest collection of Scotch whisky with almost 3,500 individual bottles. Start with a whisky barrel car ride, explore the production and maturation process, and then discover the vast world of whisky aromas. Finally, you'll join a tasting and see the famous collection. After, explore the rest of the Royal Mile, then seek out whisky bars hidden down old alleyways and backstreets. 

Day 2: Arthur's Seat & Holyrood Park Walk, Holyrood Distillery Tour & Tasting

Innovation meets tradition at Holyrood Distillery in Edinburgh

Rise early to tackle Arthur's Seat, a serious hill walk in the heart of Edinburgh. Arthur's Seat is the highest of a group of hills formed from the remains of a volcano, and a short yet challenging hike takes you up to the rocky summit, some 824 feet (251 m) high. From up top, you'll admire views over Edinburgh, Holyrood Palace, the extensive parkland, and out to the countryside around the city. It takes around two hours to climb and return the 3-mile (5 km) trail to the summit. Take snacks or breakfast to enjoy at the top!

After, it's time to dive straight into Scotland's rich, vibrant, and varied world of whisky. Holyrood Distillery has put Edinburgh back on the Scotch whisky-making map, producing an incredible spirit that reflects the city's formerly rich brewing heritage. Tour the distillery, exploring its mash tuns, fermentation tanks, and stills, and taste the liquid gold yourself. Use the rest of your day to explore Edinburgh's sights and top whisky bars.

Day 3: Visit Edradour Distillery, Drive to Pitlochry

Edradour Distillery
Edradour Distillery is Scotland's smallest traditional distillery, so make sure it's open before visiting

After breakfast, pick up your rental car and make tracks toward Cairngorms National Park, located about 3.5 hours north of the capital. En route, visit Edradour, the smallest traditional distillery in Scotland. Dating back to 1825, this tiny spot produces the last handmade single malt whisky from a farm distillery still in production. Edradour uniquely boasts over 25 distinctive expressions of Highland single malts, and you'll taste some on a distillery tour. Scotland has zero alcohol tolerance for drivers—so if you're getting behind the wheel after any distillery visit on this trip, ask for "driver drams" to enjoy at your hotel.

After Edradour, make your way through the dramatic landscape of the Cairngorms on one of the best scenic drives in the United Kingdom. Admire scenery adorned with high mountainous peaks, waterfalls, sparkling streams, hidden lochs, and heather-bound forests. At the edge sits the charming town of Pitlochry, your home for the night. If you have time, admire "the best view in Scotland" when you follow in the footsteps of Queen Victoria at the Queen's View, overlooking the picturesque Loch Tummel.

Plan your trip to Scotland
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 4: Dalwhinnie Distillery Tour, Blair Castle & Blair Athol Distillery Tour & Tasting

Blair Athol distillery
The current Duke of Blair Castle has the only private army in Europe, the Atholl Highlanders

After a hearty breakfast, make the 40-minute drive to Dalwhinnie Distillery, located at the heart of the Scottish Highlands. Here you'll take a guided tour of Scotland's highest distillery, then sit down for a whisky masterclass to taste six smooth single malts paired with local artisan chocolate. If you're the driver, ask for "driver drams" to enjoy at your hotel later. After, continue to Blair Castle, home to the Atholl family for over seven centuries. Explore the fine 18th-century interiors and Scots Baronial architecture, then venture out into the 9-acre (3.6 ha) gardens.

Then, visit the Blair Athol Distillery, which dates back to 1798, and draws its water from the ancient Alt Dour that flows from the heights of Ben Vrackie. This local pure mountain water contributes to the whisky's mellow quality and smooth finish. Join a tasting tour to explore behind-the-scenes at the distillery and sample a few golden drams. 

Day 5: Drive to Inverness via Speyside Cooperage & Aberlour Distillery

Speyside Cooperage
Watch the barrel artisans work at rapid speeds at Speyside Cooperage

This morning, drive two hours to Speyside. Scotland's largest whisky region has the perfect climate for growing barley, and this, combined with the quality of its natural mountain water, helps to produce its superb malt whiskies. First, visit the Speyside Cooperage, where you'll experience the ancient art of barrel making. Watch highly skilled coopers work at lightning speed, using medieval-looking tools to fix and create the finest casks. Since 1947 this family-owned cooperage has worked with American oak using traditional methods and tools, and a former cooper will lead you through the workshop and visitor center.

Then, drop into the famous Aberlour Distillery for a special tour and tasting of classic Speyside-style whisky on the banks of the River Spey. After the tour, make the 75-minute drive to Inverness. Before checking into your accommodation, stop at the Culloden Battlefield, the site of the final Jacobite Rising, the last pitched battle fought on British soil. The visitor center has interactive exhibits and artifacts. After, you could visit the nearby Clava Cairns, an ancient cemetery thought to be 4,000 years old.

Day 6: Visit Cawdor Castle, Glenfiddich Distillery Extended Tour

Learn the intriguing history of Cawdor Castle
Learn the intriguing history of Cawdor Castle near Inverness

After breakfast, make the short 25-minute drive to historic Cawdor Castle, a traditional Scottish castle built and inhabited by the Cawdor family for more than 600 years. The fantastic medieval tower was constructed around a legendary holly tree. Visit the 14th-century fairy-tale castle and explore the three distinct gardens before continuing to the Speyside whisky region once more.

Today you'll visit the world-famous Glenfiddich Distillery for an in-depth and extended tour and tasting. One of the oldest family-owned Scotch whisky distilleries, Glenfiddich, started in 1886, and you'll discover how its essence remains unchanged. After a distillery tour, you'll visit Warehouse 8, home to the unique solera process, and discover what makes the 15-year-old such an exceptional dram. Finally, enter the Malt Master's Blending Room to taste four cask-strength 15-year-old samples. Then, blend your own to take home by combining different cask samples together. 

Day 7: Drive to Fort William via Ben Nevis Distillery, Corpach Wreck & Loch Eil

Ben Nevis Distillery Tour
Ben Nevis Distillery has crafted exceptional whisky since 1825

Today's whisky trail takes you from Inverness to Fort William, a two-hour drive away. Your next stop is the Ben Nevis Distillery, which has been crafting Scottish whisky at the foot of Britain's highest mountain since 1825. Tour the distillery and sample their top selection of whiskies before continuing to the loch-side village of Corpach for lunch. Set on the shores of Loch Eil, this cute spot is known for mussel farming—so enjoy a bowl of fresh mussels or local seafood, then set off for a scenic loch walk.

Stop to photograph the Old Boat of Caol, which sits proudly on a stony beach with a backdrop of Ben Nevis, Scotland's highest peak. After, continue to nearby Fort William, the "adventure capital of the UK." This loch-side town sits between crystal-clear lakes and snowcapped mountains, drawing outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world. Check into your accommodation and rest up ahead of tomorrow's final adventure.

Day 8: Mountain Biking in Fort William & Ben Nevis

Take on World Cup trails in the hills around Fort William and Ben Nevis

Whether you're a committed adrenaline junkie or simply enjoy a peaceful cycle through unspoiled nature, you'll love today's two-wheeled adventure. The Nevis Range is famed as a downhill cycling World Cup venue, and all three racecourses are open to the public to ride. Picture sweeping, flowing, or technical descents of up to 3,940 feet (1,200 m) that take you along grand ridges and through some of the most inspiring Scottish scenery.

If you really want to test your skills, you can jump on the gondola to ride The Red Giant, a singletrack descent packed with 1,780 feet (543 m) of gravity-fed fun, or try the World Cup downhill track! Choose to make it a half-day or full-day adventure, and return to Fort William to rest and indulge in local seafood in the evening.

Day 9: Drive to Edinburgh, Depart

Your whisky adventure across Scotland draws to a close today

And finally, your nine-day Scotch whisky road trip comes to an end. Hop in the car one last time and make the 3.5-hour drive to Edinburgh airport. Make sure you allow enough time to drop off your rental car ahead of your flight home or onward. Safe travels!

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