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Introducing Scotland

The romantic landscapes and dramatic features of this small territory make travelers feel like the region is much larger than it actually is. Pair that with a friendly culture, plenty of outdoor adventure, and incredible seafood, and Scotland is the trip that stays with visitors long after they leave.

When is the best time to visit?
As a year-round destination with distinct seasons, travelers should pick the time they visit on what they plan to do. Spring, summer, and fall are better for outdoor recreation, while winter is a popular time to explore the holiday festivals and seasonal cheer.

Where to go in Scotland?
Delight your senses at the bright green rolling hills of the Isle of Skye, enjoy the fun-oriented culture of Glasgow, camp out or trek the mountains surround Loch Lomond, learn about the history and architecture of Edinburgh, and tour the distilleries of Islay.

Thinking about traveling around the United Kingdom? Learn more about planning a trip to England or Wales. Many travelers also combine their trip to the UK with a visit to Ireland.

How many days do I need?
You can briefly get to know Edinburgh in about 3 days, but to experience the breadth of opportunities Scotland has to offer, upwards of 1 or 2 weeks is much preferable.

Explore trips by duration: 5 days · 7 days · 9 days · 10 days · 14 days

Scotland Tours & Itineraries

Get inspired by trips other travelers have loved
Etive Mor waterfall, Glencoe
Map of Scottish Highlands Self-Drive Tour: Edinburgh, Inverness & Loch Ness - 8 Days
Scottish Highlands Self-Drive Tour: Edinburgh, Inverness & Loch Ness - 8 Days

Discover the enchanting history and dramatic landscapes of the Scottish Highlands with this 8-day self-drive itinerary. Starting in Edinburgh,  drive north to the rugged highlands, where you’ll explore ancient castles, visit important battle sites, sail Loch Ness, and ride the world’s most scenic railway.

Neist Point at Isle of Skye
Map of Best of Scotland: Edinburgh & the Highlands - 7 Days
Best of Scotland: Edinburgh & the Highlands - 7 Days

This seven-day adventure combines Scotland's most memorable tourist destinations with a tour of the countryside in the magnificent Scottish highlands. You will start your trip by exploring Edinburgh's galleries, castles, and pubs before heading to the spectacular castles in Inverness. You'll spend two nights in Portree, where you'll visit castles and famous geological sites and tour the hiking routes before traveling to Glencoe, which is home to spectacular scenery.

Scotland's Edinburgh Castle has stood for over 1,000 years
Map of Scotland & Ireland - 14 Days
Scotland & Ireland - 14 Days

Fourteen days is ample time to experience the best of Scotland and Ireland, be it touring Edinburgh Castle, hiking the Highlands, or reveling in the historic streets of Dublin. The adventures are almost too many to list: wildlife safaris in national parks, boating across Loch Ness, cycling around Glasgow, and exploring the untamed beauty of the Isle of Skye. If that's not enough, you'll hit the road on a drive to some of the most beautiful locales in southern Ireland, like the Wicklow Mountains and County Cork.

The Old Man of Storr overlooking Skye's coast.
Map of Hike Scotland's Highlands & Islands: Glen Coe, Ben Nevis & the Isle of Skye - 9 Days
Hike Scotland's Highlands & Islands: Glen Coe, Ben Nevis & the Isle of Skye - 9 Days

This active 9-day hiking itinerary travels through some of Scotland’s most spectacular landscapes. Starting in the heart of the Highlands, you’ll walk along the West Highland Way, experiencing the wild beauty of Rannoch Moor and Glen Coe. The first leg of your walking journey ends at the adventure capital of Fort William, where you’ll get the chance to scale Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest peak. After a memorable ride on the historic Jacobite Express Steam Train, board a ferry for the Isle of Skye, where you’ll have three days to explore the rugged mountains, secluded coves, and idyllic villages of the Inner Hebrides.

The ruins of Castle Urquhart at Loch Ness
Map of Scenic Scotland: Edinburgh, Inverness & Skye - 7 Days
Scenic Scotland: Edinburgh, Inverness & Skye - 7 Days

This week-long itinerary perfectly introduces Scotland's most scenic locales—blending a self-drive adventure with unforgettable guided excursions and experiences. Beginning and ending in the charming capital of Edinburgh, you'll set off into the rugged Highlands for a road trip to remember. Step back in time at the Culloden Battlefield, cruise the legendary waters of Loch Ness, and tour whisky distilleries on the Isle of Skye.

Loch Morlich in the Cairngorms National Park
Map of Winter in the Scottish Highlands - 6 Days
Winter in the Scottish Highlands - 6 Days

Experience winter in the Scottish Highlands on this unforgettable six-day itinerary. Surrounded by frozen lochs and ancient pine forests, you'll settle into a wonderland of scenic treks, wildlife watching, whisky tasting, and cozy fireside evenings. Spend three days with an expert guide who will take you hiking in this spectacular landscape and share fascinating tales of local history and their vast knowledge of the local flora and fauna. The guide will be able to tailor activities to your interests and activity level and act as your driver for those days.

Make the Most of Your Time in Scotland

Have a fixed number of days? Maximize the things to see and do during your visit
A Scot plays the bagpipes in Edinburgh
How Many Days to Spend in Scotland

From ancient castles to whisky distilleries and Highland Games (not to mention a mythical monster in Loch Ness), there's a reason bonnie Scotland is awash with "Outlander" fans....

Scotland Travel Advice

Read our detailed insights to make sure you have the best trip
Sunrise, Loch Lomond
Planning Your Perfect Honeymoon in Scotland

Conjuring up romance effortlessly and with subtlety, Scotland is a stunning destination in which to celebrate your love for each other. For the backdrop to your honeymoon here,...

Our Latest Scotland Content

Views across the Isle of Skye
Map of Self-Drive Scotland: Inverness, Isle of Skye, the Trossachs & Edinburgh - 5 Days
Self-Drive Scotland: Inverness, Isle of Skye, the Trossachs & Edinburgh - 5 Days

Walk in the footsteps of royalty with this five-day highlights tour of Scotland's spectacular scenery. Discover "paradise in the Highlands" at Balmoral Castle as you pass through the sweeping plateaus of the Cairngorms. Cruise the mysterious Loch Ness and explore Scotland's most photographed castle at Eilean Donan before hiking rugged peaks on the Isle of Skye. A delve into the history and atmospheric backstreets of enchanting Edinburgh rounds off this small but perfectly formed itinerary.

Edinburgh Castle
Map of 5 Days in Scotland - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas
5 Days in Scotland - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas

From touring ancient castles to sampling local whisky to walking along serene beaches, there's plenty to do on a five-day trip to Scotland. You can keep things basic with a three-stop tour that takes you from the beautiful city of Edinburgh to the mountainous region of Glencoe. Or, make the most of your stay by visiting five destinations, including the Highland capital of Inverness and the coastal village of John O'Groats.

Whisky tasting in Scotland
Map of Whisky & History in the Scottish Highlands - 5 Days
Whisky & History in the Scottish Highlands - 5 Days

This 5-day tour of Scotland is designed for history and whisky enthusiasts. Begin with a private walking tour in Edinburgh. Next, a driver accompanies you to the Highlands to enjoy your first toast at Dalwhinnie Distillery and a tour of the renowned Culloden Battlefield, followed by more distillery stops in Dufftown. Then, embark on the Skye & Raasay Whisky Trail—accompanied by stunning scenery—a beautiful architecture tour of Glasgow, and a final historical stop in Bannockburn.

Scotland Travel Maps

Get the lay of land, and understand distances between the places you want to visit
Scotland map: 5 Days in Scotland - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas
5 Days in Scotland - 3 Unique Itinerary Ideas
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Scotland map: 1 Week in Scotland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
1 Week in Scotland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
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Scotland map: 2 Weeks in Scotland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
2 Weeks in Scotland - 5 Unique Itinerary Ideas
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Meet our Local Travel Specialists

Experienced travel agents with a passion for Scotland
Travel specialist William Armstrong
active 12 hours ago

William Armstrong

I am your English-born, UK and French expert for all activity holidays in off-the-beaten track destinations in UK and France. I have lived, worked and traveled extensively in both the UK and...

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Travel specialist Rachel Long
active 13 hours ago

Rachel Long

Although I have always lived in beautiful Wales, I am passionate about travel. As a child I spent family holidays in Britain, touring the west coast of Scotland and the south coast of England,...

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Travel specialist Stephen Molloy
active 17 hours ago

Stephen Molloy

Urbanist by training, he spent most of his twenties traveling and living overseas. Bitten by the bug, he lived in Papua New Guinea, Timor-Leste, California, Australia, DRC, Kenya, Pakistan...and...

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Travel specialist Eleanor Whitticombe
active 2 days ago

Eleanor Whitticombe

I have been lucky enough to travel to many places, from the USA to Dubai to Thailand. I have lived and worked in the beautiful Canadian Rockies. Eventually the draw of the coast and home,...

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Trip Reviews for Scotland

The latest reviews by travelers who booked their trip on kimkim

Trip of a Lifetime
Scotland | Sep 21 - Oct 5, 2022

CIndy
CIndy B.
Pinehurst, NC | Reviewed on Nov 07, 2022

Our trip to Scotland planned by Rachel exceeded our expectations and became the trip of a lifetime for us! With very little lead time, she planned a two week trip filled with wonderful experiences and excellent accommodations. We were fortunate to have excellent guides to drive us from one location to another. Their commentary and insights helped us to appreciate what we were seeing. We especially enjoyed Neil McLeod, who did a fantastic job of finding interesting sights and stops for us, and... read more

Our trip to Scotland planned by Rachel exceeded our expectations and became the trip of a lifetime for us! With very little lead time, she planned a two week trip filled with wonderful experiences and excellent accommodations. We were fortunate to have excellent guides to drive us from one location to another. Their commentary and insights helped us to appreciate what we were seeing. We especially enjoyed Neil McLeod, who did a fantastic job of finding interesting sights and stops for us, and we loved his stories! We had such a good time together and he made our trip filled with special moments.

We asked Rachel for some quiet times to sit by the fire or read, and we loved being able to do that at The Haven Guest House and Monachle Mohr. The DunstaneHouse was also memorable and in a great location.

Hotel Reviews
The Dunstane Houses
Edinburgh

We had a comfortable room and loved the location. The food was amazing and the staff went out of their way to be friendly and provide excellent service.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
the biscuits provided, modern luxurious bathrooms
Monachyle Mhor
Lochearnhead

This is a dream come true kind of place! In a gorgeous setting. Our room was super clean and comfortable. The staff was outstanding and the food was the best we had on our trip. Don't miss staying is this unique and wonderful place.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Activity Reviews
Edinburgh Private Walking Tour
Edinburgh

This was not the ordinary walking tour! Our private guide took us to several places in the city that were off the beaten path and so interesting! She had a wonderful presentation!

Quality of Experience
Visit Inverarary Castle
Scotland
Local specialist: Rachel Long

Walking Vacation in Scotland
Scotland | Sep 7 - Oct 16, 2022

Michael
Michael S.
Canada | Reviewed on Oct 22, 2022

Just back home after more than 40 days walking and touring around Scotland. This trip was originally planned for 2020 but was delayed until this year due to COVID. We travelled to Inverness, Orkney, Shetland, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Isle of Skye, and Fort William. We used car hire, trains, and ferries to get around and it was great fun. What was special, was that William provided us with walking itineraries at each place we visited so we had a choice of 5 or 6 hikes of varying durations whenever... read more

Just back home after more than 40 days walking and touring around Scotland. This trip was originally planned for 2020 but was delayed until this year due to COVID. We travelled to Inverness, Orkney, Shetland, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Isle of Skye, and Fort William. We used car hire, trains, and ferries to get around and it was great fun. What was special, was that William provided us with walking itineraries at each place we visited so we had a choice of 5 or 6 hikes of varying durations whenever we stayed anywhere for a few days. It turns out that there are no bad places to hike in Scotland. We really liked the Fife Coastal Path which we walked over seven days, and hiking in the Highlands near Torridon during what felt like a gale was even more fun. William suggested a guide lead us up Ben Nevis when we were in Fort William and it was an excellent suggestion. David was exceptional and even though we experienced rain, hail, and snow on the ascent, this was the highlight of our trip. I must also mention our accommodation which was all very different from one another but uniformly excellent. The very best place we stayed at was Corbies Rest in Inverness, not so much for the facilities, which were very good, but because of the owner Eilidh Gilchrist. She is a marvel. Friendly, outgoing, and has an amazing amount of information in her head about where to and what to see.
Throughout our time in Scotland we were in contact with Stephen who works with William. There were a couple of minor glitches that came up during our trip and Stephen took care of them right away. I would recommend this company to anyone wanting to visit Scotland. They know their product!

Local specialist: William Armstrong
William
William Armstrong
Local specialist in UK | Reviewed on Nov 10, 2022

Hi Michael

It was a pleasure looking after you in Scotland. I am very happy that our conversations from 2019 translated into a successful adventure in the autumn of 2022.

All the best, thanks for choosing us.

Best
Will

Stephen & team were amazing!
Scotland | Aug 26 - Sep 2, 2022

Gail
Gail P.
Westminster, CO | Reviewed on Sep 16, 2022

We couldn't have been happier with our self-guided walking tour in Scotland. We were able to experience the Highlands up close and personal. As a solitude lover, I was in heaven on the long walking trails -- very few people, immense vistas, and silence except for the sound of running water. Stephen, our support team, was fabulous -- always answering questions quickly and making on-the-fly adjustments as needed. David, my guide for the hidden valley hike, was absolutely delightful. All of... read more

We couldn't have been happier with our self-guided walking tour in Scotland. We were able to experience the Highlands up close and personal. As a solitude lover, I was in heaven on the long walking trails -- very few people, immense vistas, and silence except for the sound of running water. Stephen, our support team, was fabulous -- always answering questions quickly and making on-the-fly adjustments as needed. David, my guide for the hidden valley hike, was absolutely delightful. All of the lodgings met or exceeded our expectations. We particularly liked the Kings House in the Highlands. The four-person walking tour of Edinburgh was top notch -- our guide was extremely knowledgeable, providing us with background and context that we would not have otherwise had as we enjoyed this historic city.

Hotel Reviews
Bridge of Orchy Hotel
Bridge of Orchy

The Bridge of Orchy is a very small settlement on the West Highland Way. The hotel is a quaint, and very comfortable property. The staff was soooo helpful and just a delight.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
The staff was soooo friendly!
Kings House Way Inn
Glencoe

This is new building in the middle of nowhere on the West Highland Way -- great if you're hiking or touring the Highlands. The rooms are spacious and comfortable and the food was excellent.

Authenticity & Character
Location
Staff
Cleanliness & Comfort
Local specialist: Stephen Molloy
Stephen
Stephen Molloy
Local specialist in Dorset and Lyon | Reviewed on Sep 20, 2022

Thank you Gail

I am really happy that you chose to travel with us in Scotland and that you loved the diverse experiences in the Highlands. It was a pleasure to see that you both enjoying hiking at the end of Summer along the West Highland Way. Kingshouse is also one of my favourite unique hotels in Scotland.

We are used to doing tailormade proposals, and so adapting on-the-go is fine for us.

Thank you for choosing us and have a superb Fall at home (or elsewhere).

Thanks
Stephen