- Take a culinary tour of Edinburgh's best artisanal shops & markets
- Explore the culture & history of the Highlands in Inverness
- Sample local seafood & world-class cuisine on the Isle of Skye
- Spot sea birds, seals & castles as you cruise off the coast of Mull
- Tour the famous island whisky distilleries of Islay
|Arrive in Edinburgh, Historian Guided Walking Tour
|Edinburgh Food Tour, Drive to Inverness & Culloden Battlefield Tour
|Drive to the Isle of Skye
|Skye & Raasay Whisky Trail
|Skyeskyns Tannery Visit & Three Chimneys Culinary Experience
|Drive to Oban, Boat Tour to the Coast of Mull
|Fly to the Isle of Islay
|Islay Whisky Tasting Tour
|Fly to Oban, Drive to Edinburgh
Day 1: Arrive in Edinburgh, Historian Guided Walking TourWelcome to Scotland! Upon arrival at the airport in Edinburgh, you'll be met by your private driver and transferred to your hotel. Scotland's capital since the 15th century, Edinburgh is a lively and picturesque town set amongst rocky hills and crags, filled with quirky charm and atmospheric corners to explore. Highlights include Holyrood Palace, the royal residence since the 16th century, the Old Town’s picturesque jumble of medieval tenements piled high along the Royal Mile, and hilltop Edinburgh Castle, a royal fortress that dominates the city's scenic skyline.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 2: Edinburgh Food Tour, Drive to Inverness & Culloden Battlefield Tour
Work up an appetite on this morning's three-hour culinary tour. Led by a chef or food writer, this tour gives you insider access to some of Edinburgh’s top food shops, where you'll meet shop owners, taste artisanal products, and discover some of the best-kept secrets of Scottish culinary traditions. Your walk starts in the up-and-coming area of Stockbridge, where you can visit Scotland’s oldest specialist deli and wine merchant or stop at the city's first independent coffee shop to learn about the local renaissance of good coffee. Browse the season's wild game in the window of a real butcher shop, then slip inside to taste some game pies. In the market, sample some of the hot and cold smoked salmon, haddock, trout, and seafood from an award-winning smokehouse.
Afterward, it's time to bid Edinburgh farewell for now as you pick up your rental car and head north toward the Highlands and Inverness, a compact and charming city on the banks of the River Ness.
After checking into your accommodations, you can visit the nearby Culloden Battlefield for a moving and fascinating tour. The site of the last battle on British soil, Culloden sits on top of a ridge, four miles east of Inverness. Here the final conflict of the Jacobean Uprising in 1746 changed the shape of the Highlands forever, and the Jacobite army of Bonnie Prince Charlie met a chilling end. After a stop at the multi-media center onsite, your private guide will take you for a walk on the battlefield. Because so many Highland families ended up leaving Scotland, Culloden has become a focal point for their returning descendants and a site of global importance in terms of cultural visits.
Alternately, opt for a two-hour cruise along the Caledonian Canal to the legendary waters of Loch Ness. Boarding at Dochgarroch, the breathtaking journey takes you past the lakeside ruins of Urquart Castle and a panorama of mountains, water, and sky.
Day 3: Drive to the Isle of Skye
Today you'll get back on the road and drive west to the Isle of Skye. The largest island in the Inner Hebrides, Skye boasts a breathtaking coastline of peninsulas and coves radiating out from a mountainous center. Known for its rugged beauty and charming fishing villages, the island is also famous for its excellent whisky.
Your destination for the night is the pretty portside town of Portree, where you'll get checked into your hotel and rest up for a full day of island exploration tomorrow.
Day 4: Skye & Raasay Whisky TrailEmbark on an exciting full-day journey through Skye's whisky heritage today, visiting three distilleries over two Hebridean islands. With private transportation and a whisky guide to lead the way, you'll tour Skye's two historic distilleries, Talisker and Torabhaig, before catching a ferry to the nearby Isle of Raasay to sample their eponymous spirit alongside accompanying chocolates to compliment the complex flavors. All three distilleries are located in magnificent settings, and you'll enjoy scenic views as you learn about how water, climate, and land shape the character of the islands' remarkable whiskies.
Day 5: Skyeskyns Tannery Visit & Three Chimneys Culinary Experience
Explore some of Skye's traditions today with a visit to Skyeskyns Tannery, where you'll learn about the time-honored methods of sheepskin production and leather making. After a 15-minute tour of the tannery and its processes, you'll visit the showroom to discover the many different breeds and types of sheepskin.
Get settled into your hotel, then head to the Skye Serenity Spa and soothe tired muscles with a full body massage using locally sourced seaweed oil. Designed to detox and balance the body while removing areas of tension and stress, it's the perfect way to pamper yourself after some long days of sightseeing.
In the evening, embark on an unforgettable culinary experience with a six-course tasting menu at the renowned Three Chimneys. Considered one of the best restaurants in the UK and the world, the dishes at Three Chimneys are all "mile zero"—with oysters fished from the bay, crab from nearby Loch Bracadale, lobster from Loch Dunvegan, and local Talisker whisky flavoring sauces and deserts. The cuisine is both traditional and inventive but always refined. You'll sit at the communal kitchen table, watching the tableau of a busy kitchen as they prepare an evening of world-class dishes and drink pairings
Day 6: Drive to Oban, Boat Tour to the Coast of Mull
Make your way back to the mainland today, where you'll drive south to reach the coastal town of Oban. Join a boat tour to explore more of the coast, heading out of Oban Bay into the scenic Firth of Lorn. Here you'll be met with breathtaking views of the Inner Hebridean islands of Mull, Kerrera, and Lismore, and spot native wildlife such as sea eagles, seals, and occasionally dolphins. Make sure to bring your camera—along the two-hour journey you'll also pass three historic coastal castles and get a bird's eye view of the iconic Lismore Lighthouse.
The rest of the day is free for you to explore Oban at your leisure. As night falls, savor a local catch from "the seafood capital of Scotland" and end the evening in a cozy pub along the seafront.
Day 7: Fly to the Isle of Islay
Today you'll catch a short flight to the exquisite Isle of Islay, the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides. Famed for its whisky, the island is home to nine working distilleries, which you'll tour tomorrow on an immersive tasting journey.
Settle in and enjoy the rest of the day at your leisure—discovering the island's beautiful beaches and bays, traditional villages, and remarkable birdlife.
Day 8: Islay Whisky Tasting TourDelve into the world of Scotch whisky today, with a full-day tour of the best distilleries on Islay and neighboring Jura. With a private driver and guide, you'll learn about the unique processes and natural conditions that create the islands' famous peaty, smoky single malts, and sample some of their finest offerings. Among the stops, you'll visit Lagavulin, one of Islay's most famous distilleries that trace its roots back to an illegal still in 1720. Today its 16-year-old single malt with its distinctive label has become one of the best-known whiskies in the world.
Day 9: Fly to Oban, Drive to Edinburgh
This morning you'll say your final goodbyes to the Hebrides as you catch a flight back to Oban and the mainland. Then it's time to hit the road and make your way to Edinburgh as you enjoy the scenic drive back through the Highlands. Upon arrival in the capital, drop off your car and get settled into your hotel before heading out for a night on the town. Explore the city's vibrant culinary scene for dinner before toasting your final evening at a cozy traditional pub.
Day 10: Depart Edinburgh
Your Scottish adventure draws to a close today as a private transfer takes you to the airport to catch your departing flight. Safe travels!
More Great Scotland Itineraries
Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Scotland? Check out these other Scotland itineraries, with outdoor adventures, castle visits, and best-of tours to hit the highlights or explore different ways to spend 10 days in Scotland.