7 of the Best Highland Tours from Edinburgh 2024

Interested in finding the Best Highland Tours from Edinburgh? You’re in the right place, I have your back!

Are you thinking about exploring the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh but feeling unsure about which tour to choose?

The Highlands offer some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, with vast landscapes, historic castles, and serene lochs. With so many tour options available, deciding on the best one can be a bit confusing.

Whether you’re interested in discovering the mysteries of Loch Ness, walking through the battlefields of Culloden, or simply soaking in the stunning views of mountains and glens, there’s a Highland tour from Edinburgh designed for you.

We’re here to help you sift through the options and find the tour that matches your interests and gives you a memorable journey into the heart of Scotland.

Let’s dive in and find out how you can experience the magic of the Scottish Highlands with the perfect tour from Edinburgh. Get ready for an adventure that will take you through some of the most iconic and majestic landscapes Scotland has to offer!

My Top 3 Picks: the Best Highland Tours from Edinburgh

#1 Top Pick
Brown highland cow and green field, Scotland

Highland Lochs, Glens & Whisky Day Tour

  • 10 hours
  • Admission fee included
  • Small group tour
#2 Pick
Composite image of red deer stag in Glencoe in Scottish Highlands in Winter with River Coe in foreground

Loch Ness & Highlands Day Tour

  • 12 hours
  • Small group tour
  • 50 minute cruise on Loch Ness
#3 Pick
The rising sun lighting the mountain peaks at Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland

Loch Ness and the Highlands

  • 12 hours
  • Very small group
  • Local guide

7 of the Best Highland Tours from Edinburgh in 2024

Brown highland cow and green field, Scotland

1. Highland Lochs, Glens & Whisky Day Tour Including Admission

⭐️ RATING: 5/5  | ⏳ LENGTH: 10 hours | ✅ Book it!

Explore the scenic Scottish countryside with a tour of Scotland Highlands and a whisky tour that kicks off in Edinburgh. With a small group, you will embark on an adventure through the Lowlands and Highlands of Scotland, where you’ll witness waterfalls and the salmon migration in the River Braan.

Along the way, you will stop at charming villages to enjoy refreshments and taste whisky while soaking in the picturesque scenery of lush valleys, serene lakes, and winding rivers. During this tour, you will be travelling comfortably in a Mercedes mini-coach.

“What a great day! We’re so glad we booked this tour. Penny, our guide was excellent!!! She kept us entertained with history, stories and useful info as we drove through the countryside. The mini coach was comfortable and the group size of 16 was perfect. The day flew by and it was just the right mix of driving and spending time at the various stops. I also liked the mix of seeing the natural sights like the hermitage walk/queens view along with stopping at 2 cute little towns where we could have lunch and do a little exploring. And the distillery stop was great. I will recommend this to to anyone I know going to Edinburgh!!” – Meribeth_M

There are a variety of tours departing from Edinburgh. So, if you’re looking for the best Edinburgh Highland tours, this small group tour is something you can’t miss. 

During the tour, you will go to the Hermitage Woodland Walk, where you can venture through the dense forest, offering views of a majestic waterfall. At Queen’s View, you’ll see the favourite viewpoint of queens. 

After sightseeing, your group will head to either Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery or Glenturret Distillery to sample some of the best whiskey around. After whiskey tasting, you will finally proceed to Dunkeld Cathedral, a historic cathedral by the river surrounded by a lush forest. 

Important details 

  • Start Time (and location): 9:00 AM at Bus Station Edinburgh EH1 3AY, UK
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Includes: Admission Fee: Tour & Tasting at Dewar’s Aberfeldy Distillery, Small Group Tour (maximum 16 passengers), Top range 16-seat Mercedes mini-coach, The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide

🤩 Check Prices and Availability!

Composite image of red deer stag in Glencoe in Scottish Highlands in Winter with River Coe in foreground

2. Loch Ness & Highlands Day Tour Including Cruise from Edinburgh

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 12 hours | ✅ Book it!

Make the most of your time and go on one of the best day tours from Edinburgh Scotland, and enjoy a personalised excursion to Loch Ness in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. Witness the lakes surrounded by forests and the tucked-away villages on your way to Glencoe and Fort Augustus.

During the tour, you will go boating while looking for the elusive Loch Ness Monster. You will also explore Cairngorms National Park as part of your Scottish highlands tour. Your travel experience improves as you ride a high-quality, 16-seater Mercedes mini-coach. Being in a small group tour makes your experience more intimate and personalised. 

Ally was great! He had a lot of jokes, information on history and different aspects of places/things were we seeing and kept the trip entertaining! Definitely recommend to do this trip if you are wanting a day tour. Sufficient breaks if you need the washroom or to get food/drink along with short stops to check sights out and get pictures.” – Cayla_O

In this one day Highland tour from Edinburgh, not only will you pass by iconic landmarks like Stirling Castle, the Wallace Monument, and Linlithgow Palace, but also find comfort in a luxurious 16-seat Mercedes mini-coach. 

Now, as you continue through Fort William, you’ll see breathtaking sceneries of the Scottish Highlands, including the magnificent Great Glen. At Fort Augustus, you’ll go to the shores of Loch Ness, where you can opt for a seasonal boat ride in search of the legendary Loch Ness Monster!

After having lunch, you will continue your highlands trip through Spean Bridge village en route to Cairngorms National Park. There, you’ll catch panoramic views of Loch Laggan and Craig Meagaidh, a famous filming location for the TV series ‘Monarch of the Glen.’ 

Important details 

  • Start Time (and location): 7:45 AM at Bus Station Edinburgh EH1 3AY, UK
  • Duration: 12 hours 
  • Includes: Admission Fee – includes 50 minute cruise on Loch Ness, The chance to see “Nessie”, the Loch Ness monster, Small Group Tour (maximum 16 passengers), Top range 16-seat Mercedes mini-coach, The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide

🤩 Check Prices and Availability!

The rising sun lighting the mountain peaks at Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland

3. Loch Ness and the Highlands Very Small Group Tour from Edinburgh

⭐️ RATING: 5/5  | ⏳ LENGTH: 12 hours | ✅ Book it!

If you’re looking for the best Loch Ness tour from Edinburgh, this high-rated tour is among the top choices. In this 12-hour day tour, you’ll delve into the mysteries surrounding the legendary loch during an exciting day trip. 

You will be taken north along Scotland’s picturesque West Coast to explore one of the nation’s most renowned lochs. Encounter amazing sights, including the haunting ruins of Linlithgow Palace, the peak of Ben Nevis and the Highland landscapes featured in films like ‘Skyfall.’

The tour comes with an expert guide who will amuse you with captivating tales and fascinating information about the region, ensuring your journey is thrilling and highly informative.

Angela was amazing! Great commentary over the whole 12 hour tour and extremely knowledgeable. She answered all of my questions too. This is around a 400 mile loop trip so don’t expect long stops at multiple locations. There are a few long stops, including the longest at Loch Ness. Other quick stops are for photos only. I read the reviews before I booked and understood this. Some negative reviews don’t seem to realize that you can’t take a day trip to these locations and spend long periods at multiple places. Worth every pence!” – Nicholas_L

You will pass by many historic sites during this ultimate Loch Ness tour from Edinburgh, paired with Scotland highland tours. Some places included are Linlithgow Palace and Stirling Castle. Explore the natural beauty of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park and the dramatic scenery of Glencoe National Nature Reserve.

With your guide throughout the tour, pass along the wilderness of Rannoch Moor and take in views of Ben Nevis from the Commando Memorial. Enjoy lunch in Fort Augustus by Loch Ness, and remember to go for that must-needed boat cruise!

Then, experience Cairngorms National Park before concluding your journey in the heart of the Scottish Highlands. Finally, return to Edinburgh via the Forth Road Bridge.

Important details 

  • Start Time (and location): 7:45 AM at Waterloo Pl, Edinburgh EH1 3BQ, UK
  • Duration: 12 hours
  • Includes: Very small group tour – average group size of around 12 passengers, Live commentary on board, Local guide, Transport by air-conditioned Mercedes mini-coach, Driver/guide

🤩 Check Prices and Availability!

A picture postcard cottage at Glencoe in the Scottish Highlands

4. 2-Day Loch Ness and Inverness Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh

⭐️ RATING: 5/5  | ⏳ LENGTH: 2 days | ✅ Book it!

Unlike other tours, this 2-day Loch Ness and Inverness tour gives you ample time to explore more destinations during your vacation, making it one of the best day trip tours from Edinburgh. The tour includes overnight accommodations at a hotel or bed & breakfast. 

Explore two of Scotland’s renowned destinations—Loch Ness and Inverness—while enjoying scenic drives through pine forests, passing by majestic castles, and visiting charming villages. 

Travel in style and comfort aboard a Mercedes mini-coach, ensuring an intimate experience with a small group of up to 16 passengers. Your informative guide will make this excursion personalised and one of the most memorable Scottish Highlands tours. 

Our driver/tour guide Donald was excellent. He is so passionate about sharing information and history about Scotland. Donald was very thoughtful about passengers’ needs. His commentary was interesting and helpful. I would definitely take another tour with Donald. I also really enjoyed the boat trip on Loch Ness and the drive through the glens and near other lochs. The countryside was amazingly beautiful.” – Gary_K

If you want to make the most of exploring Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh, this 2-day tour is a great way to do it. You will meet with your driver/guide at an accessible location in Edinburgh and board your comfortable vehicle en route to your journey. 

On your first day, you will have quick stops at Loch Lubnaig and Glencoe Mountain; take advantage and take great photos of these scenic places. Then, you will have an hour to explore Urquhart Castle before heading to Loch Ness to have an opportunity to go boating and discover the river’s mystery! You will then pass by the Commando Monument as you head to Inverness to spend the night. 

For your second day, you will travel through scenic back roads and visit Clava Cairns, a 4000-year-old cemetery. Enjoy the majestic views of Scotland’s round peaked mountains at Cairngorms National Park. Before heading back to Edinburgh, you’ll also have a chance to visit The House of Bruar to stroll to a scenic waterfall. 

Important details 

  • Start Time (and location): 9:15 AM at Bus Station Edinburgh EH1 3AY, UK
  • Duration: 2 days
  • Includes: Breakfast, Overnight en-suite accommodation with breakfast, 
  • Small-group tour (maximum 16 passengers), Transportation by top-of-the-range 16-seat Mercedes mini-coach, Driver/guide

🤩 Check Prices and Availability!

Popular Scottish hiking place in Glencoe, Highlands, with low clouds above.

5. West Highlands, Lochs & Castles Day Tour Including Admission

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5 | ⏳ LENGTH: 10 hours | ✅ Book it!

This is one of the most captivating Scottish Highland tours from Edinburgh that travels through the stunning West Highlands. You can enjoy dramatic landscapes stretching from the Breadalbane Mountains to the enchanting Trossachs National Park during the tour, while a knowledgeable guide accompanies you. 

Explore charming villages like Luss and Inveraray while listening to tales of celebrated Scottish heroes and rebels. Visit Doune Castle, a renowned filming location of Monty Python and The Holy Grail.

I’ve booked and taken several day trips, and this one was the best on all counts. We made several stops at castles, lochs, mountains, and to see the highland cattle. Our guide, Stephen, was so knowledgeable about the history and had interesting stories that helped make it come alive. We loved traveling with the small bus and group, we were able to make friends with several on board.” – MaryAnne_N

Set out on an unforgettable journey through the Scotland Highlands from Edinburgh, beginning your journey early in the morning. Your first destination is Stirling, where you can explore the renowned Doune Castle and the surrounding scenery. 

Throughout your trip, your guide will comment on stories about local legends like Rob Roy MacGregor. Along the shores of Lock Lomond, you’ll visit Luss Village Paths.

After lunch, you will see Loch Awe, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Upon arriving at Inveraray Castle, you’ll learn about the historic battles that occurred in the region. 

Important details 

  • Start Time (and location): 8:15 AM at Bus Station Edinburgh EH1 3AY, UK
  • Duration: 10 hours
  • Includes: Admission Fees – Doune Castle included in tour price, Small Group Tour (maximum 16 passengers), Top range 16-seat Mercedes mini-coach, The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide

🤩 Check Prices and Availability!

Open road leading through the dramatic Scottish Highlands of Glen Coe Scotland.

6. Loch Ness, Scottish Highlands, Glencoe & Pitlochry Tour from Edinburgh

⭐️ RATING: 5/5  | ⏳ LENGTH: 12 hours and 30 minutes | ✅ Book it!

Enjoy a Loch Ness Tour and a trip to the Scottish Highlands, Glencoe and Pitlochry as you join one of the best Highland day trips from Edinburgh. This full-day adventure takes you to some of Scotland’s spectacular areas. Journey through the Scottish Highlands, with stops at Glencoe and Loch Ness. 

The tour includes a ride from a comfortable vehicle, an experienced driver/guide, and admission tickets. You’ll also visit Fort Augustus Abbey, Commando Monument and Pitlochry. 

This was a great trip, and the highlight of my visit to Scotland. Colin was my tour guide and he was absolutely great. He was funny and extremely knowledgeable about the land, culture and history of Scotland and the highlands. The tour was long but he kept us entertained the entire trip. I highly recommend it.” – Julie_B

If you only have a day to spare, this Highland tours Edinburgh takes you to multiple iconic spots in Scotland within 12 hours. You’ll head north from Edinburgh to Callander, known as “The Gateways to the Highlands. Then, pass by Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park for a quick selfie. 

Your guide will tell you all about Glencoe, a place with an eerie past, before heading to Fort Augustus Abbey. There, you could cruise and hear tales about the loch monster, Nessie!

After 2 hours at the lake, you’ll continue your trip and stop at Commando Monument for a quick tribute. Before heading back to Edinburgh, you will visit Pitlochry, a town with a majestic background. 

Important details 

  • Start Time (and location): 8:00 AM at Deacon’s House Cafe 304 Lawnmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2PS, UK
  • Duration: 12 hours and 30 minutes
  • Includes: All taxes, fees and handling charges, Experienced ‘Hairy Coo’ Driver-Guide providing live commentary and storytelling throughout, Air-conditioned vehicle, Regular Comfort Breaks

🤩 Check Prices and Availability!

Water pouring off The Three Sisters of Glen Coe after heavy rain 
Coire nan Lochan with Gearr Aonach (692M left), Guala Laidir (right) and Stob Coire nan Lochan (1115M centre in clouds), Glen Coe, Highland, Scotland, UK

7. Full-Day Trip to Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands with Lunch from Edinburgh

⭐️ RATING: 4.5/5  | ⏳ LENGTH: 12 hours | ✅ Book it!

Among the many tours, this is considered one of the best highland tours from Edinburgh you could take if you’re looking to see the spectacular sights of the mountains and visit Loch Ness. 

You will travel through Rannoch Moor to Glen Coe and across Great Glen to Fort Augustus during the tour. Also included in the tour is a visit to numerous iconic locations like Stirling Castle, Ben Nevis, Cairngorms National Park, and Forth Bridge. An English-speaking guide accompanies you throughout your trip, and a complimentary lunch picnic at the Fort will be provided. 

Laurie and Jada were absolutely wonderful and so friendly. Exactly the right amount of being talked-at… have fun facts and history when it applied but left long stretches for us to just admire the landscape. I live in Scotland so I was worried it would feel overly-touristy but it absolutely did not!” – Analia_K

The tour takes you through several remarkable places in Scotland. You’ll pass by Stirling Castle as you drive through the Trossachs National Park. You’ll then have a brief stop in the highland town of Callander before visiting the town of Glencoe, famous for a tragic massacre in 1692.

As you continue, you’ll pass by Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, on the way to the Great Glen. Arriving at Loch Ness in Fort Augustus, you can take a Loch Ness boat cruise, take a walk, or relax by the Caledonian Canal in this picturesque Highland village. 

The journey then leads you through the Cairngorms National Park, crossing over the Drumochter Pass, a wild and lonely stretch. Heading south, you’ll enter Perthshire, known for its forests, rivers, and mountains, with a stop in Pitlochry or a similar town.

Important details 

  • Start Time (and location): 8:00 AM at Bus Station Edinburgh EH1 3AY, UK
  • Duration: 12 hours
  • Includes: Local Scottish English Speaking Guide, Picnic lunch – freshly made & locally sourced valued at £4.50. Drink not included

🤩 Check Prices and Availability!

FAQs About highlands tour from edinburgh

Highland tours from Edinburgh can vary in length, ranging from one-day trips to several days. One-day tours offer a snapshot of the Highlands, covering key sites and scenic spots. Multi-day tours provide a deeper exploration of the Highlands, allowing you to visit more destinations and even some of the islands. Depending on your schedule and interests, you can choose a tour that fits your travel plans best.

The Scottish weather can be unpredictable, so it’s best to dress in layers and be prepared for all conditions. Wear comfortable walking shoes or boots for exploring the rugged terrain. Bring a waterproof jacket or raincoat, as rain showers can happen anytime. Don’t forget to pack a hat and gloves, especially outside of summer, as it can get quite chilly, especially in higher elevations or near the coast.

While each tour has its unique itinerary, many Highland tours from Edinburgh include visits to iconic landmarks and natural wonders. Popular stops often include Loch Ness, known for its legendary monster; Glencoe, with its dramatic landscapes and dark history; the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle; and Ben Nevis, the UK’s highest mountain. Other tours may explore the Isle of Skye, famous for its rugged beauty and mystical sites.

The remote highland Bothy sitting in solitude on the banks of Loch Stack.with mountain tops of Arkle in background

Final Thoughts: scottish highlands tour from edinburgh

As we wrap up our look into the best Highland tours from Edinburgh, it’s clear that an adventure into the heart of Scotland awaits you.

Whether you’re drawn by the allure of Loch Ness, the dramatic vistas of Glencoe, or the historic battles of Culloden, there’s a tour tailored to bring these experiences to life. The Scottish Highlands are not just a place to visit; they’re a journey through time, nature, and the stories that have shaped Scotland.

Choosing the right tour means aligning your interests with the wonders that these tours unveil. From one-day escapes to immersive multi-day adventures, the opportunity to explore the Highlands’ majestic landscapes and rich history from Edinburgh has never been more accessible.

So, pack your spirit of adventure, prepare for all kinds of weather, and set off to discover the magic of the Scottish Highlands.

Each tour promises not just sights and sounds but memories that will linger long after you’ve returned. Safe travels, and may your Highland adventure be as breathtaking as the landscapes you’re about to explore!

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Author

  • Angelica Peralta

    Meet Angelica, who at 22, boldly pivoted from a legal career to pursue her passions in travel and writing. With a focus on sustainable travel, she has explored Asia and Europe, emphasizing local cultural engagement along the way | Specializing in digital nomad travel, crafting comprehensive itineraries, identifying top tour guides, sharing regional insights on Asia, The Americas, and Europe, and advising on eco-friendly travel practices.

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