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Loch Ness: Tours & Tickets

See all tours & things to do in Loch Ness

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 7,930 reviews

Amazing tour overall, would highly recommend.

We loved the tour, everything about it was amazing. From the breathtaking views of the highlands and Glencoe, to the Loch Ness cruise and Uquhart Castle, it was an amazing day. You're in the bus for about 8 hours, but you get out every couple of hours so it's not that bad. We loved taking pictures of the mountains and scenery, even though they don't do it justice. Words can't describe the views in front of your eyes. The quick stop in Pitlochry was nice too at the end of the day before returning to Edinburgh. We didn't have much time for lunch, but we had read some reviews before and packed our own lunch so we wouldn't have to worry about waiting in a long line and barely having enough time to scarf down our food before getting back on the bus. Finally, our tour guide Barbara was exceptional. She was very knowledgeable about the places we were going to and the areas we travelled through, as well Scottish history. She even taught us some Gaelic words. I'd highly recommend this tour.

Breathtaking scenery, amazing - Yvonne made it special

We have never visited Scotland before and we opted to join a tour as it would take away the planning, the driving and the stress involved in the logistics. We were drawn to this tour as it visited the Isle of Skye had a good itinerary and we wanted to travel the steam train. We were certainly not disappointed. From the minute we arrived at the check in for the adventure, the staff were friendly and organised. We had Yvonne for our trip, and she immediately impressed me. To be frank, she made the trip... given she was running the driving, the tour guide and planning etc. She was incredibly patient, knowledgeable about the local history and with a fantastic personality that drew everyone on the tour into what become a friends day out. We would have no qualm in booking again and are already looking at tours further afield and will certainly be asking for Yvonne by name. Cannot recommend highly enough.

Absolutely worth the money, friendly informative and enough time !

Everything went well, Busdriver has been very welcoming, friendly informative and funny , ship crew just the same and the Hot chocolate with Whiskey soooo good . I have been at Urquart castle before but to see it from the Loch has been just amazing and I think we had enough time to walk around ( 55min) . all in all it has been a great tour and even my son (10years) enjoyed every minute ! Thanks to everyone involved, I would highly recommend it !

Fantastic and excellent trip with awesome staff!

Carlo from contact centre was really helpful and easy to deal with in helping us rebooked our ticket. John and Jason from our coach are incredibly incredible! Thanks for the good experience! Absolutely fun and will recommend to others.

The tour was very Intriguing and beautiful!

Our tour guide Gary was amazing! He had the perfect mixture of humor and interesting facts about Scottish history. He was a great driver and conversationalist. Would greatly recommend!

Things to do near Loch Ness