Loch Ness
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Loch Ness: Tours & Tickets

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5 Loch Ness Monster Myths and Legends

Scotland's Loch Ness Monster has been the center of myth and tall tales for 1500 years. Though the Highlands are spectacular to see, its famous loch continues to lure visitors in hopes of a chance encounter with this elusive creature of the deep.

What lurks beneath the surface

What lurks beneath the surface

Some say that Scottish lore about mythological creatures living in its waters, such as kelpies, selkies and "water horses," fuels the fire of a monster prowling Loch Ness.

The saint that saved the day

The saint that saved the day

The first encounter was in 565 AD, when St. Columba drove a water beast away with the power of his voice and prevented it from devouring one of his companions in the water.

A grainy picture paints a thousand words

A grainy picture paints a thousand words

Road work along the shore in 1933 seemed to rouse Nessie from the deep, and a year later a black-and-white photo revealed a slender neck and small head emerging above the surface.

Jurassic proportions

Jurassic proportions

Nessie's features ironically resemble a plesiosaurus, a sea reptile that looks like a lizard with flippers and lived in the early Jurassic period 200 million years ago.

Let sleeping monsters lie

Let sleeping monsters lie

Extensive use of technology has yet to find the mythical monster. Though if ever caught, ancient legend predicts a catastrophic end of the region--it's food for thought!

Our insider tips

Getting to Loch Ness

If you're renting a car, take the A82 highway to reach the visitors' center in Drumnadrochit, which is on the northwest shore of Loch Ness. If you're relying on bus service, there are daily departures from Inverness (30 minutes) and Fort Williams (1 1/2 hours).

Loch Ness activities

The Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition in Drumnadrochit exhibits the history of the region and the hunt for Nessie. The biggest attraction is, of course, a one-hour cruise on Loch Ness, complete with sonar equipment and underwater cameras just in case. Apart from the monster-mania, Urquhart Castle is nearby and worth a visit. Though blown to bits in 1692 and left in ruins, it provides amazing views of Loch Ness from its elevated location.

When to go

Scotland's weather is variable. You could wake up to grey and rain, but then bask in sunshine by lunchtime. May and June are recommendable months to visit, as the weather is generally fine, and the days are long. Consider September, as well, when the crowds are less and fall is in the air.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Hours will depend largely on your means of transportation. Tours of the loch will have limited times.
  • Is it expensive?
    Prices vary by tour or mode of transportation, as well as the activities you plan to do there.
  • Will I need a guide?
    It's not necessary, but for a short visit, a guide can point out the best locations to see.
  • How to get there
    Loch Ness is reachable by car or bus, with many tours passing through from major cities.
  • Additional information
    Be prepared for rain while visiting and pack accordingly! Pay attention to transportation times when planning your visit!

What people are saying about Loch Ness

Overall rating
4.6 / 5
based on 6,802 reviews

The perfect way to see so much of Scotland in a few days.

Priced well, very organized, B and B's were all lovely and well appointed. Great mix of fellow tourists. We had Daniel as our guide...he somehow managed to "herd his sheep" and keep us on schedule...while entertaining us with fabulous historical facts and witty tidbits. He is also an excellent driver...the one lane roads and roller coaster bumps were handled with expertise. We would like to have had more time at Glencoe...otherwise the stops were well timed. Great trio...we will be recommending it to others. Daniel is a charming, easy going, organized guide...glad we met him!

Are you ready for adventure?! Rose is so buckle up! (Rose is the guide

Rose did a phenomenal job guiding us through time and to the highlands. Not only did she share stories of great adventure and myth but of personal life experiences and fun moments. This made all the difference and created a more personable experience even without being face to face! Now that’s talent!! She even shared how much she loves her job and co-worker Stephen... who is apparently a phenomenal human so.. KEEP IT UP STEPHEN! Thanks Rose for the trip!! I hope this review gets to a raise!! I promised you a good one!

Our driver/guide, Kenny, couldn't have been better!

Kenny was incredibly knowledgable about every part of the tour, but he didn't stop at giving you the facts, he was kind and entertaining. I loved seeing the highlands and Glencoe was breathtakingly beautiful. No signs of Nessie; she must have been napping. Bring a sweatshirt and a jacket for Loch Ness, it's chilly even in June! If you only have a couple days in Scotland, this is a great way to get a taste of the country.

Overall our Scotland tour was excellent.

The sites we visited, Loch Ness and Glenco, were well worth the trip. But we spent the majority of our time on he bus. The bus driver, Paul, was a great driver but I grew very weary of his talking and story telling of Scottish wars and massacres. It’s was somewhat of a downer. But the sites were beautiful and the bus was comfortable.

Wonderful experience covering a large area of Scotland

The enjoyment of the tour was greatly enhanced by Brendan our driver/guide. He was extremely knowledgeable about the history of the area, which he was able to impart with both clarity and wit, holding the attention of all and inducing several outbreaks of laughter along the way.

Things to do near Loch Ness