Cairngorms

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Cairngorms: Tours & Tickets

Cairngorms: Our most recommended tours and activities

Loch Ness, Glencoe & Highlands Small-Group Tour from Glasgow

1. Loch Ness, Glencoe & Highlands Small-Group Tour from Glasgow

Depart Glasgow at 8:00 and travel north towards the Highlands along the “bonnie, bonnie” banks of Loch Lomond. Crossing the ancient natural fault line that runs across Scotland you travel into the majestic Highlands where the scenery changes quickly and dramatically – the flat fertile plains of the Lowlands give way to shimmering lochs, rugged mountain tops and forest-filled glens. Traveling north through Breadalbane, meaning the 'High Country of Scotland,' you climb towards the wild desolation of Rannoch Moor and down into Scotland's most famous valley, Glencoe. Glencoe is infamous as the site of the Glencoe massacre in 1692. Beyond Glencoe you will enter the Great Glen, a deep glacial valley which follows a geological fault line. Passing through the town of Fort William you drive under Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, before arriving at Fort Augustus on the southern shore of Loch Ness. Of course, the loch is best known for the legendary sightings of the Loch Ness Monster, Nessie. Fort Augustus is a pretty little town in its own right, the Caledonian Canal which links the lochs of the Great Glen dominates the town and makes for a great place to relax and watch the boats sail by. You will stop here for lunch before travelling north the full length of the loch with opportunities to see the ancient stronghold of Urquhart Castle while taking a 5-Star Jacobite boat cruise on the loch. From Loch Ness you continue north through Inverness before traveling south through the mountains of the Cairngorms National Park. Your route takes you over the Drumochter Pass, 1500 feet above sea level, and past the 13th century Blair Castle, the ancestral home of the Duke of Atholl. Your next stop is the Highland resort town of Pitlochry, built on Victorian tourism and nestled amongst the mountains of Highland Perthshire. Transportation by top of the range Mercedes minicoaches for a more personal service.

From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Ben Nevis

2. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Ben Nevis

Depart Edinburgh on an air-conditioned luxury coach (max 34 seats). Pass Stirling Castle and hear your tour guide tell tales of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce and the bloody battles fought out on these lands. First, arrive at Callander town, nestled at the foot of the Trossachs. Next, drive through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Your Scottish guide will tell you about Rob Roy MacGregor, the infamous Highlander. Follow in the footsteps of James Bond ("Skyfall") and Harry Potter ("Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban") as you travel to the stunning Highland valley of Glencoe. Hear the eerie story of the Clan MacDonald massacre of 1692. Travel through Fort William, home to Ben Nevis, which at 4,409 feet is the highest mountain of the British Isles. Arrive on the south bank of Loch Ness in the charming village of Fort Augustus, where lots of cafes, shops, and restaurants offer a relaxing lunch. Stroll along the banks of the Caledonian Canal, then experience Loch Ness on an optional 1-hour boat cruise. Try to catch a glimpse of "Nessie," the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Admire the impressive Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge with views of the Nevis Range. Enter the Cairngorms National Park and discover "Monarch of the Glen" country. Drive along Loch Laggan before the roads climb above the Grampian Mountains. Travel over the Pass of Drumochter, linking the northern and southern Central Highlands. Experience the majesty of a mountain pass created by glacial activity during successive Ice Ages. Finally, stop briefly in the beautiful Victorian town of Pitlochry before heading back to Edinburgh city center, arriving at approximately 8:30 PM.

Edinburgh: Loch Ness & Scottish Highlands Tour with Lunch

3. Edinburgh: Loch Ness & Scottish Highlands Tour with Lunch

Embark on a full-day guided trip to Loch Ness from Edinburgh and tour the Scottish Highlands. See the UK's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, keep an eye out for Nessie on a boat cruise and enjoy a picnic lunch. Head north from Edinburgh and pass the imposing ramparts of Stirling Castle. Skirt the Trossachs Rob Roy country, and cross the wilds of Rannoch Moor before stopping at dramatic Glencoe; the scene of the infamous 1692 massacre.  Your journey takes you through Fort William. Pass Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain, before entering the Great Glen. Arrive at the pretty Highland village of Fort Augustus on the banks of Loch Ness, and enjoy a lovely picnic with freshly made sandwiches, fresh fruit, shortbread, and Scottish mineral water. If you fancy something more substantial, your guide will happily recommend some great local cafes.  Take an optional boat cruise on the loch, go for a scenic hike, or just relax by the Caledonian Canal. If you choose to sail along the waters of Loch Ness, it really is an unforgettable experience. Your boat is eqipped with the latest hi-tech color, sonar, and underwater imaging system, giving you a fascinating view of the underwater terrain and life. You might even see Nessie! You can also relax with a coffee or beer in the on board bar. Having seen the best of the Scottish Highlands, it's time to head back to Edinburgh via shimmering Loch Laggan and the wild and lonely Drumochter Pass. Head south and enter Perthshire, a land of forests, rivers, and mountains. See the spectacular Forth Bridge before arriving back in Edinburgh at around 20:00.

Loch Ness and the Highlands 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

4. Loch Ness and the Highlands 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

Your tour departs Aberdeen and heads straight for the ‘Whisky Capital of the World’, Dufftown. Unfortunately it's too early in the morning to taste the whisky at the Glenfiddich Distillery, but you have time to take a photo of the iconic site and grab a coffee. Venture through the heart of Speyside and arrive at Loch Ness for an optional boat trip which is bookable via your guide on the day of the trip. Onboard the ship, you travel over the widest and deepest part of the loch and get a fine view of Urquhart Castle. Upon your return back on dry land, it’s time to travel deep into the past at Clava Cairns. This spot is situated in a gorgeous green grove and boasts well-preserved ancient burial tombs. They even say this spot was the inspiration for Outlander’s Craigh na Dun. Follow this up with a trip to Culloden Battlefield, the location of the final Jacobite Rising. It’s an eerie, flat, tragic landscape that can put the history of Scotland into perspective. The interactive exhibition center here really brings it all to life. Have a comfort break within the gorgeous Cairngorms National Park before you reach Aberdeen 8:00 PM.

Dunnottar Castle and Royal Deeside 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

5. Dunnottar Castle and Royal Deeside 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

Travel in style in a Mercedes luxury 16-seat mini-coach from Aberdeen to one of Scotland’s archetypal structures, Dunnottar Castle. Witness the stunning fortress set on a cliff by the sea. It’s seen more battles than you’ve had cups of tea and is an essential Scottish destination. Your next stop is the Falls of Feugh. These cascading falls are mesmerizing; and if you’re lucky, you may even spot a salmon jumping up the river. It’s now time for lunch in Braemar, a lovely little village in the Cairngorms National Park with royal connections and plenty of local delicacies to try. After your delicious lunch, you'll then head to the Muir of Dinnet Nature Reserve and get the opportunity to go for a stroll. Keep your eyes peeled for otters, birds, and adders on this quintessential woodland walk. You leave the Cairngorms National Park and arrive in Aberdeen in the early evening.

From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, & the Highlands Day Tour

6. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, & the Highlands Day Tour

Immerse yourself in the history of Scotland on this day tour that takes you to all of the most important sites in Scotland. Visit the Highlands, Cairngorms National Park, Loch Ness and more. Your day begins on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, where a coach will pick you up for your day of adventure. As you head towards the Highlands, you will see the amazing Forth Bridges. Then try some delicious home baking in the beautiful Highland town of Pitlochry. From there, continue on through the Cairngorms National Park, where you will enjoy stunning scenery amidst the unique wilderness of the National Park. Take a break at Loch Ness, which is famous all over the world for its beauty and mystery. From here, you will have the chance to take a 'monster spotting' cruise and visit Urquhart Castle (optional extra ticket) and look for the famous monster for yourself. Next, visit Glen Coe, a broodingly beautiful spot that is steeped in history. As you stand at the mouth of the glen, you'll feel the past come to life as your guide tells you about the terrible massacre of the Clan. On your way home, you pass by the beautiful city of Stirling, where you can see its stunning castle and learn more about the exploits of William Wallace that were dramatized in the film Braveheart.

From Edinburgh: Speyside Whisky Trail 3-Day Small Group Tour

7. From Edinburgh: Speyside Whisky Trail 3-Day Small Group Tour

A warm welcome awaits you in Speyside, home to more than half of Scotland's malt whiskey distilleries. You’ll have a chance to sample the whiskey and enjoy the magnificent scenery of Cairngorm, Speyside and Royal Deeside. Day 1: Head north through the Kingdom of Fife to Lindores Abbey Distillery. This modern Scottish distillery is built on the site of the first-ever recorded distillery in the country. After lunch in Pitlochry, sample the delights of Scotland's highest distillery at Dalwhinnie, near the source of the River Spey. Once you’ve warmed with this dram of “the gentle spirit”, continue through the Cairngorms National Park before reaching Grantown on Spey - your base for 2 nights. Day 2: Enjoy a whole day exploring Scotland’s most famous whiskey region. After a scenic drive towards the coast, make your first stop of the day at Glen Moray distillery, where you can try whisky matured in a wide selection of casks. Travel back up the Spey River to Craigellachie for a visit to the Speyside Cooperage*, where you see another aspect of the whiskey-making process. After lunch in nearby Aberlour, visit Cardhu Distillery, which is the first distillery pioneered by a woman, Helen Cumming. Today, Cardhu is the most important whisky in Johnnie Walker Black Label. From here, travel back to Grantown on Spey. *Speyside Cooperage is only visited on Monday and Wednesday departures. Day 3: In the morning visit Scotland's highest distillery at Dalwhinnie, set in splendid mountain scenery at the heart of the Cairngorm National Park.  Then, enjoy the majesty of Royal Deeside. Pass by Balmoral Castle, and stop in the village of Braemar in the heart of the National Park. From here, the route south passes over Scotland’s highest mountain pass, through Perthshire, and back to Edinburgh.

From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & Highlands 3-Day Guided Tour

8. From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & Highlands 3-Day Guided Tour

Tour the Scottish Highlands and explore the Isle of Skye on a 3-day guided tour from Edinburgh. You’ll see castles, craggy mountains, picturesque towns, and maybe even a monster on this excursion. Stay overnight in a bed and breakfast accommodation. Detailed Itinerary Day 1: A Spectacular Route North On the way to Skye your route takes you past beautiful Stirling Castle, across the brooding expanse of Rannoch Moor, and through Glen Coe. As you near the coast, you’ll see Eilean Donan Castle (optional tour available), which was featured in the film Highlander. Overnight stay in Inverness. Day 2: A Full Day on Skye You'll have the full day to explore the Isle of Skye. If you like, you can take it nice and easy but still see all the sights. Highlights include the the craggy Cuillin Mountains, the dramatic hills of the Quiraing, and stunning Trotternish Peninsula. You might see seals out in the waves as you walk along the coast, or a stag standing on a hillside. Return to Inverness for your overnight stay. Day 3: Monster Spotting on Loch Ness Drive along the banks of Loch Ness where you can take a boat tour to Urquhart Castle or do a bit of monster hunting from the shore. As you head back to Edinburgh, your route will take you through Inverness, the Cairngorms, and Pitlochry. At the Culloden battlefield, the site of the defeat of the Jacobites, there is the option of taking a tour. Continue on through the stunning Cairngorm Mountains and stop to explore the picturesque town of Pitlochry.

From Inverness: Cairngorms and Speyside Whisky Tour

9. From Inverness: Cairngorms and Speyside Whisky Tour

You travel through Speyside to the majestic Cairngorms National Park. This is the largest National Park in the UK and home to mighty mountains and wonderful wildlife. The options are plentiful, and your guide will show you the best of the incredible scenery around Loch Morlich and Glenmore. Follow the famous river Spey past several distilleries to Glen Moray Distillery. Explore this historic, 120-year-old distillery boasting traditional copper stills. Opt to take a tour and sample the core range of Glen Moray's delicious whiskies. A short drive back to Inverness returns you in time for you to enjoy the sights and sounds of a lively evening in the capital of the highlands.

From Edinburgh: Loch Ness and The Highlands Group Day Trip

10. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness and The Highlands Group Day Trip

Escape the bustle of Edinburgh and take a full-day sightseeing tour of Scotland’s magnificent Highlands. Traveling in a small group in a 16-seat Mercedes minibus, get a more intimate experience as you visit Loch Ness, Glencoe Valley, and Rannoch Moor. Drive past Linlithgow Palace, the birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots, and continue to Stirling Castle, and the National Wallace Monument, commemorating Scotland's hero William Wallace. Stop for a coffee at Callander, before crossing the Highland boundary fault line. Learn about the Highland clans, such as the MacGregors, and the famous folk hero, Rob Roy MacGregor. Continue north through Breadalbane, and ascend Rannoch Moor’s heather and peat bogs, dotted with dozens of lochs. Pass the majestic peak of Buachaille Etive Mor, and descend into Glencoe Valley. Drive under Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, before arriving at Fort Augustus on the southern shore of Loch Ness. Look out for the Loch Ness Monster or simply enjoy the scenery on this 2-hour stop, with time for lunch. Pass the mountains of the Cairngorms National Park, then Loch Laggan, and finally the Drumochter Pass. See the 13th-century Blair Castle before heading through the forests of Perthshire to Perth, the medieval capital of Scotland. Cross the famous Forth Bridge on your way back to Edinburgh.

Other Sightseeing Options in Cairngorms

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What people are saying about Cairngorms

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 4,569 reviews

The trip was well planned, covering the vast essential attractions in the Scottish Highlands, as well as extra viewpoints. We also had some time to spend in small local villages and bask in the atmosphere. Steve was a wonderful guide, very entertaining and informative. Even though the group was a bit quiet, he still managed to remain spirited and kept up the cheer with his amazing Scottish music playlist.

Very nice day! Our guide Steven was also very invested in his role, the landscapes were exceptional. We had some free time in nice places to take pictures. I recommend if you want to easily visit Scotland without the hassle :)

Very well organized excursion .. the guide is prepared and nice .. we made stops along the way to admire the Scottish landscape, so as to make the long journey by coach to reach Loch Ness lighter

Amazing highland experience with Steven's wonderful guidance. Appreciate the professional and personal attention that Steven provided throughout the tour. It was a wonderful experience for us !!

A great experience in the Scottish highlands, a chance to discover the elements of Scottish culture and nature.