1. From Inverness: Torridon, Applecross, & Eilean Donan Castle
This tour focuses on the most beautiful and varied landscapes of the Highlands. You leave Inverness and head north over the Beauly Firth towards the dramatic landscapes of the northern Highlands. You may stop for views and photos before arriving at the exceptionally beautiful viewpoint for Loch Maree. You head down towards the Loch to Beinn Eighe Nature Reserve Visitor Centre for a short break. From here, you take the single-track road through one of Scotland’s National Nature Reserves. Your driver-guide tells you about the woodland regeneration in the area and may give you a chance to get a view over the area and enjoy a close look at the native pine trees. You now travel through the imperious landscape and dramatic geology of the Torridon mountains. As you reach the west coast, the road ascends and gives you incredible views across the Torridon Range, down over the Loch, and out to sea. In the scenically situated town of Sheildaig, you have a refreshment before taking on one of the most beautifully twisting roads in Scotland. This road may be the most photographed road on the famous North Coast 500 route. In Applecross, there’s plenty of time for a relaxing lunch and maybe a little walk along the waterfront. You take the shorter but even more dramatic road out of Applecross, the famous Bealach na Bà (Pass of the Cattle), and if the weather allows, you stop for viewpoints at the top and bottom of this dramatic road. At Loch Duich, you find Eilean Donan Castle*, situated on a small island accessed by bridge. You can visit the castle or simply enjoy the view from the visitor centre, which has a café, shop, and toilets. The journey back to Inverness passes the Five Sisters of Kintail Mountain range, historic Glenshiel, Loch Ness, and the Great Glen. You arrive in Inverness in the early evening. *Please note that Eilean Donan Castle has reduced opening hours between 1st October and 22nd December, which may affect some tours. If your tour departs between 29th October and 22nd December, you will be unable to visit inside the castle but will be able to stop for photos of the exterior. The castle is fully closed from 22nd December 2023 until 1st February 2024 (opening date TBC). The castle will also be closed due to weddings on the following dates: November 1st, 4th, 9th, 10th, 11th & 18th, and December 1st & 7th.