This 11-day self-drive whisky trip explores Scotland's best single malts. The journey begins in Edinburgh with a tasting before you venture north to the famous distilleries of Speyside to discover the heart of Scotch whisky and visit a cooperage workshop set amid rolling hills and misty rivers. Next comes the Isle of Skye and then Oban, where the sea meets mountains and centuries of whisky-making tradition. End in Glasgow with a final toast to the liquid gold. Sláinte mhath!


  • Taste your way across Scotland with distillery tours in different and distinct regions
  • Visit Blair Castle, then tour the Blair Athol Distillery, which dates back to 1798
  • Go wild river fishing in the heart of Cairngorms National Park 
  • Visit the UK's only cooperage and tour five famous Speyside whisky distilleries
  • Join a guided sea kayaking experience and discover wildlife on the Isle of Skye

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Edinburgh, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Holyrood Distillery Tour Edinburgh
Day 2 Visit Edradour Distillery, Drive to Pitlochry Pitlochry
Day 3 Explore Blair Castle, Blair Athol Distillery Tour & Highland Games Pitlochry
Day 4 Wild River Fishing Experience, Drive to Aviemore Aviemore
Day 5 Visit Speyside Cooperage, Aberlour Distillery Tour, Drive to Inverness Inverness
Day 6 Full-Day Speyside Whisky Trail Tour Inverness
Day 7 Drive to the Isle of Skye, Skye & Raasay Whisky Trail Tour Isle of Skye
Day 8 Guided Sea Kayak Experience Isle of Skye
Day 9 Drive to Oban, Oban Distillery Tour Oban
Day 10 Drive to Glasgow via Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park Glasgow
Day 11 Clydeside Distillery Tour, Depart Glasgow  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Edinburgh, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Holyrood Distillery Tour

Holyrood Palace
Holyrood Palace was first founded as a monastery in 1128

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, take a taxi to your hotel. Drop your bags, refresh, and lace up your walking shoes. This afternoon you'll dive straight into Scotland's rich, vibrant, and varied world of whisky—but first, some history. Make your way to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official residence of the British monarch in Scotland. Wander the halls to view the finest artworks in the Royal Collection and tour the beautiful State Apartments.

After viewing the Throne Room and Morning Room, tour the chambers of Mary Queen of Scots, where the tower brings you into a world of intrigue, tragedy, and murder. Then, it's whisky time. 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.

Day 2: 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.

Day 3: Explore Blair Castle, Blair Athol Distillery Tour & Highland Games

Blair Atholl Distillery
At the Blair Atholl Distillery, you'll taste six extraordinary whiskies

The Atholl family has called Blair Castle home for over seven centuries, and today you'll explore the fine 18th-century interiors and Scots baronial architecture a half-hour north of Pitlochry. After wandering the grand halls, venture out into the 9-acre (3.6 ha) gardens, where you'll find a large wooded grove, a ruined church, a red deer park, and a Gothic folly. Admire Highland cows grazing in nearby fields and look for native red squirrels and peacocks.

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 whiskey's mellow quality and smooth finish. Join a tasting tour to explore behind-the-scenes at the distillery, discover the meticulous process that transforms grains into cherished single malt, and sample a few golden drams. If you're driving, ask for takeaway packs. 

If you can, time your visit to catch the Highland Games at Blair Castle in May. The annual Atholl Gathering kicks off with a parade on a Saturday with the Atholl Highlanders, the only remaining private army in Europe who act as personal bodyguard to the Duke of Atholl, chief of Clan Murray. Watch as they strut their stuff with pipes and drums, then return for the traditional Highland Games on Sunday. Watch tossing the caber, throwing the hammer, piping and dancing, and tug-of-war.

Day 4: Wild River Fishing Experience, Drive to Aviemore

Fishing scotland
The River Spey season runs salmon from February to September, while brown trout runs from April until October

The lochs and rivers surrounding Killiehuntly offer wonderful opportunities for fly fishing, whether you're a seasoned fisher or a happy beginner. Make the drive an hour north, lapping the west side of Cairngorms National Park. In Killiehuntly, you'll be in the safe (and dry-witted) hands of some ghillies who have fished these waters for decades. You'll fish for salmon on the world-famous River Spey, with space for four to six rods on the Kinrara beat. If you prefer, you could fish for trout on four secluded lochs with the help of a Highland pony to transport equipment and lunch.

After your day with a rod immersed in nature, you'll have a choice—release the fish back into the water or ask the team to cook your catch for your supper. After, continue another half hour up the road to Aviemore, a charming town and hub for outdoor enthusiasts who flock here for hiking, skiing, and mountain biking. Settle into your accommodation, then find a good place for dinner in town.

Day 5: Visit Speyside Cooperage, Aberlour Distillery Tour, Drive to Inverness

Speyside Cooperage
Watch barrel artisans at work at the Speyside Cooperage
Plan your trip to Scotland
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

This morning on a guided tour of the Speyside Cooperage, a 50-minute drive north of Aviemore, you'll experience the ancient art of barrel making. Watch highly skilled coopers working at lightning speed, using medieval-looking tools to fix and make 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. You can even try building a miniature barrel yourself! Finish with a dram of their exclusive 10-year-old single malt whisky, then continue on the road.

Speyside and the surrounding areas are steeped in history and rugged highland beauty. Scotland's largest whisky region has the perfect climate for growing barley, and the quality of the natural mountain water combines to make superb malt whiskies. Just around the corner from the cooperage, drop into the famous Aberlour Distillery for a special tour and tasting on the banks of the River Spey. Aberlour claims to have a definitive Speyside single malt, which you can use as a reference point on your whisky trail tomorrow. After the tour, make the 75-minute drive to Inverness.

Day 6: Full-Day Speyside Whisky Trail Tour

Immerse Yourself in the Enchanting Speyside Whisky Trail
Today you'll visit the world-famous Glenfiddich Distillery and three other distilleries

Today is all about whisky and the secrets of single malts—and your lucky driver gets a slice of the action. Leave the car behind and join a small-group guided tour across the best distilleries of the Speyside area. Begin with a tasting at the historic Tomatin Distillery, established in 1897, and savor the soft, mellow notes of this wonderful Highland single malt. After, visit Cardhu Distillery, established by former whisky smugglers in 1824.

For lunch, you'll stop off at the Mash Tun in Aberlour to enjoy a bite to eat, some banter, and perhaps a dram for the road. This whisky bar is the perfect place to refuel before heading to the world-famous Glenfiddich Distillery for another tasting. Glenfiddich is one of the few distilleries that remain family-owned, producing a distinctive single malt developed by generations. Conclude your tour with a traditional experience at Glen Moray Distillery, sampling their "Elgin Heritage" range of 12, 15, and 18-year-old single malts.

Day 7: Drive to the Isle of Skye, Skye & Raasay Whisky Trail Tour

Skye & Raasay Whisky Trail
Journey across the Isle of Skye today, soaking up whisky and surreal landscapes 

Today's final destination is the Isle of Skye, a 2.5-hour drive away. Set off early to reach the dramatic and ethereal isle in time for today's guided whisky trail, which will take you to three distilleries across two Hebridean islands. A local whisky expert will collect you for the adventure into single malts. Kick off at Talisker, the oldest operating distillery on Skye. Set on the shores of Loch Harport, with spectacular views of the Cuillins, taste the seductively sweet and full-bodied single malts that reflect the wild character of these lands. After, board a passenger ferry to the Isle of Raasay.

A 10-minute walk from the port, you'll arrive at the local distillery for a very special whisky, gin, and chocolate tasting. The offering here is inspired by older styles of Hebridean single malts, resulting in a lightly peated whisky that's balanced with rich dark fruit flavors. Return to Skye and drive south to the Torabhaig Distillery, where whisky-making traditions have thrived for nearly two centuries. This historic distillery pays homage to its natural surroundings and draws on the island's pristine water, land, and climate. After a complete distillery tour, you'll taste the golden liquor made here.

Day 8: Guided Sea Kayak Experience

Sea Kayaking Scotland
This morning you'll witness amazing scenery and wildlife while sea kayaking around Skye

Skye's coastline is scattered with high cliffs, sea stacks, and picturesque fishing villages. This morning you'll explore the sights from the water—away from the crowds—with a half-day guided sea kayak experience. Grab a paddle and follow your local kayak expert on a scenic journey along the coast of Skye. A magnet for nature lovers and explorers seeking a taste of Scotland's untamed beauty, this adventure gives you an alternative perspective on the special island while learning about its history, nature, and folklore. Pause at a remote beach for a picnic, and spot wildlife on the coast.

This afternoon is yours to explore as free time. You could take another hike, perhaps to the blue-hued Fairy Pools in Glen Brittle, or hike through the otherworldly landscape of the Quiraing. Explore the historic Dunvegan Castle, the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland, and its beautiful gardens, or see the Neist Point Lighthouse, perched atop a dramatic cliff.

Day 9: Drive to Oban, Oban Distillery Tour

Oban, West coast of Scotland
Life in the small fishing village of Oban changed in 1794 when the Oban Distillery opened

Make your way to Armadale this morning and wave goodbye to the Isle of Skye as your ferry crosses over to Mallaig on the mainland, then continue two hours south to Oban. The "seafood capital" of Scotland is a quaint waterfront town with sweeping views to Kerrera and Mull. En route, pause at the Glenfinnan Viaduct, the longest concrete railway bridge in Scotland, which is 1,250 feet (380 m) long. Made famous by the "Harry Potter" movies, the Jacobite Steam Train runs twice a day, so time it right to experience a little magic of your own.

Once in Oban, check into your accommodation, drop the car, and make your way to the Oban Distillery. When brothers Hugh and John Stevenson arrived at the frontier of the Hebrides in 1793, they found little more than a natural harbor and a windswept view. They opened the Oban Brewing Company, starting with beer and moving to whisky a year later. Gain an insight into the historic distillery's whisky-making process while enjoying a dram of exquisite single malt. Afterward, seek out Scotland's top-quality fish and shellfish at a waterfront restaurant as the sun sets.

Day 10: Drive to Glasgow via Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park

Loch Lomond
Picturesque Loch Lomond often looks like a watercolor painting 

The largest freshwater loch in Scotland, Loch Lomond, is an area of natural splendor, a 90-minute drive from Oban. Here you can go boating, kayaking, and paddleboarding on the clear waters, while the surrounding Trossachs National Park offers superb hiking and cycling trails. The picturesque villages of Balmaha and Luss dot its shores, and for panoramic views, Conic Hill beckons with a moderate hike.

Use today to explore the wild beauty of this national park, full of mountains, lochs, forests, and glens—with breathtaking views wherever you go. Take a cruise on Loch Katrine or kayak on Loch Lomond. Visit the Sea Life and Birds of Prey Centres or tour Scotland's most picturesque distillery at Glengoyne. Stumble across the beautiful Falls of Dochart, running through the small town of Killin. Closer to sunset, make the 50-minute drive to Glasgow and check into your accommodation.

Day 11: Clydeside Distillery Tour, Depart Glasgow

Clydeside Distillery
Old meets new at the Clydeside Distillery in Glasgow

It's your final day in Scotland, and you've woken up in Glasgow, Scotland's largest and most exciting city. Your 11-day whisky adventure might be drawing to an end, but there's always time for one last dram. Embark on an immersive journey at Clydeside Distillery when you join a tour and tasting. Discover the art of spirit production as you delve into its dockside story and witness the development of its single malts. Finally, you'll taste two superb whiskies aged in first-fill bourbon casks and first-fill sherry butts. As always, if you're driving, ask for driver's drams to enjoy later.

After, make your way to the airport with enough time to return your rental car, double-check that your precious whisky purchases are securely packed, and check into your flight home or onward. Safe travels!

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Map of Great Scottish Whisky Adventure - 11 Days
Map of Great Scottish Whisky Adventure - 11 Days