Escape to the Highlands. Fly to Inverness, Scotland and enjoy a land of open skies, rugged mountains, sparkling lochs, romantic castles, culture and history.
From the stunning Road to the Isles and legendary Loch Ness to the mysterious Black Isle, this holiday features a host of Highland highlights. Take a ride on the Strathspey Steam Railway, visit a 16th-century castle and a whisky distillery, and take a cruise on the Moray Firth, home to a wealth of marine and birdlife. Discover the beauty, variety and warm welcomes that this very special part of the world has to offer in the company of our friendly, knowledgeable tour manager.
Spot wildlife on a cruise on the Moray Firth
Enjoy a ride on the nostalgic Strathspey Steam Railway
An unforgettable journey on the Road to the Isles from Fort William to Mallaig
Discover the beauty of the Moray Coast and visit Brodie Castle
An opportunity to join a tour and tasting at the Dalwhinnie whisky distillery
Set off on a tour of the beautiful Black Isle
Go mythical monster hunting on a boat trip on Loch Ness
A chance to visit the Victorian seaside town of Nairn
Following your flight into Inverness airport, you'll be met by your tour manager and make the short transfer to Carrbridge. Depending on your flight time, you might be able to explore Inverness before checking into your hotel.
Spend the rest of the day relaxing at your hotel or in the pretty village. Opposite your hotel, you'll find the famous Packhorse Bridge, which dates back to 1717 and is reputed to be one of the oldest bridges in Scotland.
Included Brodie Castle And Moray Coast Tour
Brodie Castle, Moray Coast Trail Start/Finish
This morning, we head to the rose-coloured, turreted Brodie Castle (entrance payable locally but free to National Trust members), the ancestral home of the Brodie clan for over 400 years and a treasure trove of priceless antiques and artefacts. The castle building reflects the changing needs of the residents over the centuries – from the impenetrable 16th-century guard chamber to a sprawling Victorian extension with some magnificent rooms. A guided tour will help you make the very most of your visit. The beautiful grounds, which boast a dazzling display of daffodils in the spring, are also well worth exploring.
Later in the day, you’ll have the chance to see some of the renowned Moray Coast, and to explore the fine, historic town of Elgin with its warren of alleys and closes and awe-inspiring cathedral ruins.
Included Visit To Inverness And The Black Isle, And Wildlife Cruise
Inverness, Black Isle
Explore the capital of the Highlands today as we visit Inverness. This thriving city is home to a delightful Victorian Market, an excellent museum and art gallery, and some attractive riverside walks. We'll also enjoy a short tour of the Black Isle, which is neither black nor an island, but rather a delightful scenic peninsula surrounded by three bodies of water. We'll stop at Fortrose and the charming nautical town of Cromarty.
Your day ends as you board the Spirit cruiser to enjoy a cruise around the inner Moray Firth to try to spot a variety of marine wildlife and birds, hopefully including seals, otters or porpoise. A specialist guide will give a full commentary, so that you don’t miss anything.
Included Visit To Loch Ness
No holiday to the Highlands would be complete without visiting beautiful, mysterious Loch Ness. We'll head to Fort Augustus, at the southern tip of the loch, where a series of locks join it to the Caledonian Canal, and the Caledonian Canal Heritage Centre gives a fascinating insight into the history and operation of the canal. From here, we'll head past the dramatic ruins of Urquhart Castle to Drumnadrochit, where you may like to visit the Loch Ness Exhibition Centre, which is packed with information about the loch, or perhaps take a boat trip (payable locally) to go monster hunting. Nature lovers are in for a treat as the wooded shores of the Loch are home to an abundance of wildlife, including cormorants and ospreys.
Included Strathspey Steam Railway Ride And Visit To A Distillery
Strathspey Railway - (Aviemore, Station), Distillery House
This morning, you'll take a ride on the nostalgic Strathspey Steam Railway through the Cairngorm National Park, home to five of Scotland’s six highest mountains. Sit back and relax as your vintage train spends 45 minutes steaming through the lovely Spey Valley, following the River Spey past heather-clad moors and forests.
Your day also includes a visit to the Highland village of Dalwhinnie where you can explore, or visit a distillery to enjoy a guided tour and the chance to sample three different single malts (entry and tour payable locally).
The Road To The Isles From Fort William To Mallaig
We head west today, following the evocatively named Road to the Isles from Fort William to Mallaig. On this wonderfully scenic day, we'll pass landscapes ranging from sandy beaches to flowering heather moors and dense woodland. We'll stop at the Glenfinnan Visitor Centre, from where you can see the lone Highlander atop the Glenfinnan Monument looking out over Loch Shiel. Take the short uphill walk from the centre to get a wonderful view of the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct.
The road ends at the thriving fishing port of Mallaig. Don’t miss the town's heritage centre, and if you’re fond of kippers, you’ll go a long way to find any that taste better than those found here.
At the end of a long but incredibly scenic day, we'll return to the hotel.
Fly Back To Your Local Airport
No Meals, No Meals
Today, you'll travel back to Inverness airport to catch your flight home at the end of a wonderful break in the Highlands. Those not flying until the afternoon will also enjoy a short visit to the Victorian seaside town of Nairn, where pretty walking trails run alongside the river, and a seafront promenade overlooks the Moray Firth.
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately 45 minutes.
Combining hotel transfers
We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Travelling to Europe after Brexit
New rules apply when travelling to European Union countries and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. The following are useful guidelines which will help you prepare for your next adventure. Note that these new rules do NOT apply when travelling within the United Kingdom or to the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man or the Republic of Ireland. You do require government issued ID when travelling by air though.
Passport - British passport holders need to have at least six months validity left on their passport and it needs to be less than ten years old; passports which have a longer validity than ten years are not valid for travel once the tenth anniversary of issue has passed. These rules do not apply to travel to Ireland where you can continue to use your passport as long as it’s valid for the length of your stay.
Visa - If you’re a tourist, you do not need a visa for short trips to most EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. You’ll be able to stay for up to 90 days in any rolling 180-day period. Different rules will apply to Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania; if you visit these countries, visits to other EU countries will not count towards the 90-day total. Travel to Ireland will not change and stays there will not count towards the 90-day total.
European Travel Information & Authorisation System (ETIAS) - Towards the end of 2022, it is likely that non EU citizens will be required to apply online for an authorisation to visit most European countries. The current details suggest there will be a charge of €7 per person and the authorisation will be valid for all trips made to the EU in a three year period from issue. We will advise you of confirmed details prior to your tour’s departure.
Border Control - At border control, you may need to show proof of your return journey - your travel documentation issued by us will be sufficient for this. You will also need to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens if manual checks are required.
Healthcare Cover - You should always get appropriate travel insurance with healthcare cover before you go abroad which covers pre-existing conditions. You should understand the terms and conditions of your travel insurance and be happy with its cover for healthcare and travel disruption. Newmarket sell a comprehensive travel insurance policy. Ask our travel consultants for more information. You should also apply for a UK Global Heath Insurance Card (GHIC) which lets you get urgent state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. Note GHIC is only valid in EU countries and not in Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.
Mobile Roaming - Roaming charges have been re-introduced by some UK providers when visiting the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Prior to travel, please do check with your phone operator for the most up to date information.