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Black Isle

Black Isle: Our most recommended tours and activities

From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour

1. From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour

Embark on a 3-day guided tour of the Scottish Highlands and visit highlights, including Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye. Learn the history of this lush region from your guide and spend two nights in Inverness. Day 1: Departing Edinburgh, we will take our first short drive heading north and stop at the mysterious Kelpies. Scotland’s largest piece of outdoor art depicting mythical creatures of Scotland’s folklore that your driver will tell you all about. We’ll then continue on our journey and pass Stirling Castle. Be inspired by tales from your guide of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Continuing north, into the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, admire the scenery as your tour guide explains the remarkable tribal clan history of the Highlands. Discover beautiful Glencoe, the most famous valley in Scotland, and hear of its tragic history. Admire the spectacular Glenfinnan Viaduct then head north and arrive on the southern banks of Loch Ness to get photos of the infamous monster Nessie! Stop for photos of Urquhart Castle before arriving in Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, where you'll stay for 2 nights, choosing from a local guesthouse, hostel, or hotel. Day 2: After breakfast, depart Inverness and drive across the Kessock Bridge to the Black Isle and marvel at the spectacular scenery of Achnasheen and Loch Carron. Arriving on the Isle of Skye, venture north to explore the highlights of the island, including; the Cuillin Mountains, Trotternish Peninsula, Portree, the Old Man Storr, Kilt Rock and the famous Quiraing. In late afternoon, stop for photographs of the most beautiful castle in Scotland, "Eilean Donan Castle." Backdrop to many famous films, such as 'Highlander' and 'Made of Honor', this castle is another must-see iconic landmark! A scenic drive through stunning Glen Shiel follows, returning to Inverness to stay your final night. In the evening, visit a local Highland Pub to drink some Scotch whisky or beer and eat some traditional Scottish food, whilst listening to some local musicians perform. Day 3: Visit Culloden Battlefield, site of the last Jacobite Rising, then 'Clava Cairns', incredible 4,000-year-old, Bronze-Age standing stones. Travelling south, stop at the Highland Folk Museum. Here you'll experience highland life in the 17th century. See the buildings, the clothes and weapons, and how people lived 300 years ago. Then, drive through the dramatic Cairngorm National Park. You will have the chance to experience a Scotch Whiskey tasting before you visit the historic village of Dunkeld on the banks of the mighty River Tay. Your journey back to Edinburgh takes you across the famous Forth Bridges. The expected arrival time back in Edinburgh is around 6:30 PM.

Applecross, Loch Carron & Wild Highlands Tour from Inverness

2. Applecross, Loch Carron & Wild Highlands Tour from Inverness

Depart Inverness early in the morning and begin your tour crossing the beautifully scenic Black Isle and stopping in the village of Lochcarron. Enjoy the views across Loch Carron and perhaps pick up a bite to eat, before you continue on to Achintraid. The small village enjoys views over Loch Kishorn and a breathtaking mountain range on the opposite shore. Continue your journey, climbing upwards through dramatic landscape over the Bealach na Ba (Gaelic for Pass of the Cattle). Pause for photos at the summit of the third highest road in Britain at over 2000 feet, so be ready for those breathtaking views across Raasay and the Isle of Skye. Begin your descent to Applecross village, located on a beautiful bay and full of natural wildlife, perfect for nature lovers. Look out for otters, red kites, deer and perhaps pine martens. Stop here and enjoy plenty of time to explore the village. Begin your return journey to Inverness, driving along the banks of Loch Torridon, through the Beinn Eighe National Nature Reserve. This nature reserve is one of the oldest in Britain and is home to plenty of wildlife; you may even spot a golden eagle. Travel on through Shieldaig and Kinlochewe and homeward bound to Inverness.

Inverness: Loch Ness, Skye, & Eilean Donan Castle Tour

3. Inverness: Loch Ness, Skye, & Eilean Donan Castle Tour

Travel from Inverness to Skye on a day tour exploring the countryside and seeing the main sights. Your day starts with a bit of monster spotting as you drive along the shore of Loch Ness. Stop at the little village of Invermoriston, where you can take in the views and see a delightful ruined bridge. Your journey winds through Glen Moriston and Glen Shiel and on past the 5 Sisters, a stunning range of mountains that dominates the surrounding landscape. Continue to Eilean Donan Castle, one of Scotland’s most picturesque castles, perched on its own island at the head of Loch Duich. Next cross over the bridge to Skye and head for Broadford. Your tour of this magical island takes in the stunningly beautiful road through Glen Suardal. You’ll also see the iconic Red Cuillin Hills and, as you reach the little village of Torrin, you’ll be able to enjoy views of Bla Bhein (Blanven). The road then drops to hug the banks of Loch Slapin. Continue with a steep climb over Strathaird where you'll have an extended stop. Your journey then heads back to the mainland past the little island of Eilean Ban. Stop off at Achnasheen and then drive home via the scenic Black Isle.

Northwest Highlands: Private Tour with Hike

4. Northwest Highlands: Private Tour with Hike

If you like wide-open spaces, lonely glens to hike up, and dramatic mountian scenery, this tour has it all. After getting picked up, your guide will explain the course of the day and make any adjustments that you may require. Leaving Inverness and heading northwest over the Black Isle, you will be entertained with stories and legends of the area before stopping off at the beautiful, old Silver Bridge. Follow the Black Water river to the huge Aultguish Dam and onto Wester Ross. At Corrieshalloch Gorge, you’ll take a 30-minute walk and learn about the traces left from the ice age that formed the landscape. Take in the breathtaking views of this spectacular ravine. The fishing village Ullapool is the next stop, where you can take time to wander the streets and have a light refreshment. Then you’ll venture into one of the last wildernesses in Europe. Stop and take in the peculiar yet stunning Stac Pollaidh, Suilven, and An Tealach mountains. After traveling through some of the oldest mountains in the world, you’ll stop at the tiny fishing village of Lochinver for lunch. Depending on the weather, your lunch will be served in the restaurant or on a sandy beach under the shadow of Ardvreck Castle before you head into a lonely glen for your main 2-hour hike of the day: the Bone Caves of Inchnadamph. From here continue on through Sutherland and onto the east coast of Ross and Cromarty where the landscape changes again to flatter and greener farmland. Journey through the beautiful Strath Okyel and onto the Kyle of Sutherland, where a spectacular view awaits. From there you’ll return to Inverness, taking in the old navy port of Invergordon and a curious monument on top of Fyrish Hill.

From Inverness: Private Northern Scottish Highlands Tour

5. From Inverness: Private Northern Scottish Highlands Tour

Embark on a private day trip to the Northern Scottish Highlands departing from Inverness. Visit historic and scenic landmarks such as Struie Viewpoint, Dunrobin Castle, and the Loch Fleet Nature Reserve with a flexible itinerary to suit your interests. Start with pickup from your hotel or other accommodation in or around Inverness. Hop into the vehicle and travel north across the Black Isle to Struie Viewpoint where a brief photo stop is made. Spot a number of natural landmarks including the Kyle of Sutherland along Dornoch Firth. Travel further and pass through the villages of Ardgay and Bonar Bridge to the next stop at Achany and Falls of Shin Waterfall where migrating salmon can often be seen jumping the falls as they migrate further upstream. Pass through the village of Lairg and onwards to Dunrobin Castle. Upon entry to the Castle, explore the beautiful gardens, the fascinating museum, and the magnificent falconry display. Next, you may take an optional visit to Clynelish Distillery and, if desired, taste some whisky samples and browse in the shop on site. Set off southward with a drive along the shores of Loch Fleet National Nature Reserve with a photo stop. Stop in the medieval town of Dornoch where you can browse the many shops for bespoke, locally-crafted items. Golfing enthusiasts can also visit the pro shop at the world-famous Royal Dornoch Golf Course. After some time in Dornoch, travel back towards Inverness.

Other Sightseeing Options in Black Isle

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What people are saying about Black Isle

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 361 reviews

It was FANTASTIC! Wear comfortable shoes (I bought sneakers with memory foam and it was a BLESSING) and dress warm (bring a sweater and a jacket; Isle of Skye is pretty chilly and you will see some FANTASTIC scenery throughout the trip, but a lot of it is at the top of hills and the wind isn't very forgiving) and you will enjoy yourself immensely! And if you can, request Brian Smith as your guide; you will NOT regret it. He will keep you so entertained that you will be sad when the trip is over. Genuinely friendly and hilarious; a perfect example of what I was hoping for in a Scottish man/guide =) As a proud lover of warm weather (and the U.S....most days), only Brian could have me strongly considering moving to Scotland. (I hope you are reading this Brian! It's Princess, and I wrote that last part just for you. =) )

A little girl's dream come true... set foot in Scotland, thanks to our guide Steve, a really great guide, friendly, funny, passionate and proud of his origins! It was a pleasure to be with him and the whole group. The group was really great thanks to them, great atmosphere. Sublime places, a road trip worthy of Scotland which is a summary in 3 days of this magnificent country. Thank you and see you soon, I highly recommend it! #thehairycoo

The tour guide Scott was very friendly and accommodating. He knew everything about the places we visited. He also took good care of everyone and kept us entertained throughout the three days. Unfortunately, we only saw some of the stations on photo stops, but we also visited many extraordinary places that you probably don't normally see.

better than expected, splendid nature and super guide, Brian Smith, well prepared, funny and caring, made us fall in love with Scotland

Excellent all day trip with lively guide. Lots of photographic stops