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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 7,401 reviews

Fantastic guides on the bus and boat. Lovely trip.

I am not normally a fan of tours but this one was great, with a very interesting and entertaining commentary from the coach driver, and interesting history and local information commentary on the boat. There was heavy traffic in Inverness the day I booked, meaning that the bus arrived / left late and we missed our timed boat. We were given two options for how we wanted to do the tour (2 hour cruise, or cruise and visit the castle) and everyone’s choices were accommodated, we just arrived back in Inverness later than originally planned. We were also given complimentary snacks on the cruise because of the delay. The castle is beautiful and the cruise really worth doing as you find out more about Loch Ness.

Beautiful journey with a knowledgeable guide

We were so pleased with this tour. Rory was an excellent guide, and we were glad to have his guidance and oversight of the itinerary, as we wouldn’t have known where to go. He took us to so many places of such breathtaking beauty and to many others that for various other reasons were lovely to experience. We were worried about doing a tour instead of driving ourselves, as we wanted some independence, but in the end the guidance was worth it, and there was still plenty of time to be on our own and to focus on the beautiful scenery around us instead of on driving. I 100% recommend.

Fantastic tour with a friendly and funny guide.

Fantastic tour through the Highlands followed by a boat trip on the dark Loch Ness. Everything was well arranged. The tour guide / driver Allan was funny and was able to tell with great passion about the history of Scotland and occasionally interrupted by matching music. Pittstops were regularly held to enjoy the surroundings and take pictures. What I thought was a pity that we made a stop at the Callander parking lot and not at Doune Castle, which is just in front of it. Apart from that, we had a fantastic day.

Fantastic- guide was knowledgeable, funny, engaging and the tour great

Brizo was engaging with typical Scottish humour. He had a wealth of knowledge and made the history and stories of the areas we drove through come alive. He clearly loves his country and wanted to pass that on to us. He played super music and got the whole bus singing! The tour stops were wonderful as well. From the whiskey distillery to the hairy coos to the scenic vistas and Loch Ness, it was super. We would highly recommend this tour to everyone!!!!!

Very good price and able to do both activities

Very good, the only thing is the distance from the Cruise ship. We were on princess cruise. From the cruise ship we had to get a taxi and the cost was $ 150 Pounds both ways, so if you are doing this tour from a cruise , add this cost. Still it was cheaper than any of the tours offered by princess cruise ship.

Loch Ness Cruise and Urquhart Castle Reviewed by

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