3 Day tours from Edinburgh

Isle of Skye, The Highlands & Loch Ness 3 Day Tour from Edinburgh

Our three day tour from Edinburgh transports you through the majestic Scottish Highlands to the romantic Isle of Skye, immortalised in words and pictures the world over and voted the globe’s 4th best island destination according to National Geographic. This spectacular small group tour throws the spotlight on Scotland’s natural gems from Munros to sea lochs, from glens to heathery moors, from castles to fortresses. In summer you can opt for a one-way trip on the Jacobite Steam Train over the ‘Harry Potter bridge’, the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct made famous as the route to Hogwarts and one of the world’s most scenic rail journeys.

Important: Please check the “Details and FAQs” tab for the precise days/dates when the Jacobite Steam Train is operating.

Main Departure Point
Bus Stand ZE, Waterloo Place, Edinburgh

Costs:
Adults 16-59: £119.00 – £189.00
Seniors 60+, Students: £109.00 – £179.00
Children 5-15: £109.00 – £179.00

Please note we are unable to take children under 5.

See the Details & FAQ tab for optional extra costs and further information.

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Guaranteed departures & hotel pickups*

Certificate of Excellence Winner 2011- 2018

Day 1

From Edinburgh we go west to Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, and soon we’re deep in Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. On the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond sits our first stop, the charming village of Luss with its abundant summer floral displays. The village was chosen as a Christian settlement by the Celtic Saint MacKessog in AD 510 who was Scotland’s patron saint before St Andrew. Later it was raided by the Vikings but today you’ll find a pretty conservation village with a sandy beach and pier stretching out into the stunning loch.

From your luxury mini coach you’ll take in sparkling lochs, tumbling waterfalls and majestic Munros (Scottish mountains over 3000 feet) on our way to bleak but beautiful Rannoch Moor and Glencoe. We’ll stop for lunch here and you can learn about the infamous Glencoe Massacre of 1692 when the MacDonalds were slaughtered by the Campbells.

Our Highland road trip continues to Fort William, a popular holiday destination sitting in the shadow of Britain’s highest peak, Ben Nevis. Here you can opt to take one of the world’s most scenic railway journeys, the Jacobite Steam Train to Mallaig. This one-way, two-hour trip crosses the 21-arch Glenfinnan Viaduct, immortalised in the Harry Potter films as the journey to Hogwarts school.

From the train you’ll catch spectacular views of Glenfinnan and Loch Shiel stretching 17 miles out in the distance. Bonnie Prince Charlie raised his standard at Glenfinnan in 1745 in an ill-fated attempt to return the exiled Stuarts to Great Britain and Ireland’s throne. Today the Glenfinnan Monument, with its lone piper on top, proudly commemorates the Jacobites who died fighting their cause.

Another moving location to look out for is Loch Eilt, chosen for another Harry Potter scene where a sad Hagrid skims stones across its waters. The loch’s little island Eilean na Moine was chosen as the location for Dumbledore’s final resting place.

If you prefer not to take the train, you can spend a little time in Fort William before we carry on by road to Mallaig where we all meet up for our ferry ‘over the sea to Skye’. After landing in lush southern Skye we have a 30-minute drive to Kyleakin where we spend the next two nights.

Please note: Subject to it operating, we take the ferry to the Isle of Skye from Easter to the end of October. Outwith these dates we drive to Glenfinnan to see the viaduct and then drive north to Skye via the Skye Bridge.

Day 2

You’ll have a full day to explore the amazing Isle of Skye and your driver-guide has the flexibility to ensure you see the best of the island whatever the weather.

You can’t miss Skye’s mountain range, the Black Cuillins, which adorn calendars and paintings the world over. The sparkling azure waters of the Fairy Pools lie near their foot in Glenbrittle and make for great photos, or even a spot of wild swimming!

We stop for lunch in Skye’s main town of Portree before we head to the spectacular geological wonders of north Skye and the Trotternish Peninsula. This is a beautiful, if not bizarre, landscape of rocks and pinnacles that will leave you spellbound.

Access permitting, we’ll visit Faerie Glen, a peculiar, miniature landscape of grassy cone-shaped hills and lochans (ponds). It’s said that if you count these hills you’ll find 365 but if it’s a leap year there will be 366!

From there we head for the Quiraing, an iconic geological landslip that is on many a traveller’s tick list. You’ll have time to capture plenty of pictures before we move on to the magnificent Mealt waterfall and Kilt Rock, a spectacular 90-metre-tall column of basalt that appears to resemble our national tartan dress.

On our return to Kyleakin, and an evening to yourselves, we’ll stop for photos at the Old Man of Storr, a pinnacle of rock created by a massive ancient landslide.

Day 3

With the Black Cuillins behind us we leave the island by road and the Skye Bridge, opened in 1995 to much controversy. Our tour of Highland lochs, glens and castles continues to Eilean Donan, Scotland’s most iconic fortress. The 13th century castle is perched on a little island at the meeting point of three magnificent sea lochs. Its spectacular setting has been seen in TV and films such as Highlander and Loch Ness and James Bond epic The World is Not Enough.

From there we’ll take time to go off the beaten track to visit Glenelg viewpoint for amazing views to Loch Duich and the Five Sisters of Kintail and then drive on to Fort Augustus at the southern tip of Loch Ness.

There’s time for lunch and a stroll beside one the world’s great waterways where you can witness its famous canal locks in action. Or you might like to try to secure photos of elusive Nessie on a one-hour ‘monster-spotting’ cruise.

Then it’s back to dry land and a road trip through the Grampian Mountains and across sweeping ‘Monarch of the Glen’ country to Dalwhinnie Distillery for a wee dram of single malt whisky and a chocolate tasting session.

From your panoramic window seat you’ll see the landscape change from moody mountain and moorland to lush forest and woodland not surprisingly known as Scotland’s ‘Big Tree Country’. Keep an eye out for birds of prey and red squirrels. Journeying through Perthshire we’ll pass Blair Castle, ancient seat of the Dukes of Atholl and home of Europe’s only remaining private army the Atholl Highlanders. Just a few miles down the road and we’re enjoying our final refreshment stop in the Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, favoured by Queen Victoria and Scots novelist Robert Louis Stevenson.

We return to Scotland’s capital city Edinburgh via the Queensferry Crossing. Opened on 30 August 2017 and costing over £1.3 billion, this 2.7 km structure is the longest bridge of its type in the world. As you cross, look left for a great view of Scotland’s most famous structure, the Forth Bridge, whose three red cantilevers carry the rail line over the Firth of Forth. The Forth Bridge has been declared a UNESCO world heritage site, placing it on a par with the Great Wall of China and the Taj Mahal.

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Departure & Return Information
Bus Stand ZE, Waterloo Place (opposite the Apex Hotel)
Edinburgh
At the end of this tour you can return to Edinburgh or Glasgow. All you need to do is email us (include your booking reference number) at tours@discoverscotlandtours.com and we will arrange this with your tour driver-guide.

Summer 2019
Mon, Wed & Fri 1st Apr – 19th Apr
Mon & Wed 22nd Apr – 8th May
Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu & Sat 13th May – 28th Sept
Check in 07.45
Departs  08.00
Returns  19.30

Important
Please note if you are late in arriving at your departure point and as a consequence miss your tour you will not be entitled to a refund.

Tour Inclusions
Costs are for transportation by air-conditioned 16 seat mini-coach and the services of an English speaking driver-guide.
During the summer the ferry from Mallaig to the Isle of Skye is included in the price.

Tour Exclusions
Accommodation, lunch, refreshments and entry fees to visitor attractions.

Children
We regret that we do not carry children under the age of 5 on our scheduled tours.

Luggage Limits
Luggage is restricted to one medium sized suitcase/ bag (maximum weight 15 kg) and one small carry-on bag per person.

Jacobite Steam Train
Tickets are available for this tour on the following dates only.
Mon, Tue, Wed & Thur from 13th May – 12th Sept.
Saturday’s from 15th Jun – 31st Aug.
Unfortunately we are unable to upgrade standard tickets to first class.

Mallaig to Isle of Skye Ferry
Between 1st Apr and 28th Sept 2019, we travel by ferry from Mallaig to the Isle of Skye. Tours out-with these dates, travel via Glenfinnan, Fort William and the Skye Bridge.

Hotel Departures
Unfortunately we do not offer a hotel pick up service on our multi-day tours.

Tour Highlights

Day 1
Glasgow, Luss, Loch Lomond, Glencoe, Ben Nevis, Fort William, Glenfinnan, Jacobite Steam Train (specific dates), Mallaig ferry to Skye (Apr to Sept only) & Kyleakin.

Day 2 
The Fairy Pools (if accessible), The Faerie Glen, The Cuillin Mountains, The Quiraing, Kilt Rock & Mealt Falls, The Old Man of Storr & Portree.

Day 3 
Eilean Donan Castle, Five Sisters of Kintail, Fort Augustus, Loch Ness, Cairngorms National Park, Grampian Mountains, Blair Castle, Pitlochry & Queensferry Crossing.

Please note we may visit some attractions on a different day due to seasonal changes.

Jacobite Steam Train
Adults £31.75
Seniors £31.75
Students £31.75
Children £18.75 (5-15)

Eilean Donan Castle
Adults £7.00
Seniors £7.00
Students £7.00
Children £6.00

Loch Ness Boat Cruise
Adults £15.00
Seniors £14.00
Students £15.00
Children £9.00

Dalwhinnie Distillery (this is a tasting option and not a full distillery tour)
From £6.00 per adult depending on tasting option chosen. Your Tour Leader will inform you of options available on the day.

All payable in cash on the day

FAQs

Where does the tour stay overnight?

We stay in the village of Kyleakin for both nights of our tour (please note during peak season some of our passengers may be allocated accommodation in the villages nearby to Kyleakin).

The village has some restaurants for evening dining and a shop should you require any necessities.

Can you reserve my accommodation?

Yes, we can reserve both B&B & hostel accommodation for you. There is an option to request your preferred accommodation when booking. You will then receive a confirmation email containing details of your accommodation provider & the exact cost of your stay.

Payment is made directly to the accommodation provider in Skye.

What is the price for accommodation?

The guide price for accommodation is as follows:

  • B&B double/twin room: £90.00 - £110.00 per room per night based on 2 people sharing.
  • B&B single occupancy: £80.00 - £90.00 per room per night.
  • Hostel: £17.50 - £24.00 for a mixed dorm bed.

We provide a guide price as each establishment has their own pricing structure. Our accommodation is allocated on a first come first serve basis so an exact cost will not be known until you have booked and we can confirm what is available.

Can I book my own accommodation?

You can self-book your accommodation should you wish to. The accommodation must be in the village of Kyleakin and we ask that you let the accommodation provider know that you are travelling with us.

If you choose to book your own accommodation, please inform us where you are staying as soon as possible.

Will we be dropped off and picked up at our accommodation on Skye?

Yes while you are on Skye, your Tour Leader will drop you off each evening and collect you at a designated time each morning.

Please ensure you are ready in plenty of time each morning.

How much luggage can I bring?

Our luggage allowance is medium suitcase weighing no more than 15kg per person plus a small handbag/laptop bag which can be brought on to the coach. This allowance is set based on the overall weight limit of the coach and therefore can not be altered.

There are left luggage facilities in both Glasgow and Edinburgh Train Stations and Edinburgh Bus Station if you require to store luggage while you are on tour.

What can we do if we don’t want to participate in an optional extra?

All attractions are optional. Should you wish not to visit an attraction then your Tour Leader will provide you with information of any alternative options in the area, this may be local walks or the location of a nearby coffee shop.

Will I be able to pay by credit card while on tour?

In the Scottish Highlands many businesses do not accept card, particularly in rural areas where mobile signals are not very strong. Optional extras are also paid in cash to your driver. Therefore, it is best to bring cash with you.

There are cash machines on route should you require to take out money while on tour.

It is important that we are able to take the Jacobite Steam Train as part of our tour, is it guaranteed that we will be able to take the train?

We have standard class tickets for each seat on our tours on Mon, Tue, Wed & Thur from 13th May – 12th Sept & Saturday’s from 15th Jun – 31st Aug.
Unfortunately we are unable to upgrade standard tickets to First Class as the Jacobite Steam Train does not offer one way First Class tickets.

Does the 3-day tour visit a Whisky Distillery?

Yes, our 3 day tour visits Dalwhinnie Distillery. Passengers have the time to purchase a whisky tasting here or explore the gift shop.

We offer the opportunity of a whisky distillery tour on our one-day tour to Stirling Castle & Loch Lomond National Park.

Departs
Bus Stand ZE
, Waterloo Place - (opposite the Apex Hotel)
Check in 07.45: Departs 08.00 - Returns 19.30

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