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Itinerary in Scotland: between the Highlands and the islands

The 10 or 11 day Scotland itinerary described here can start and end in Edinburgh or Glasgow.

Scotland is famous for the Highlands – a mountainous area covered with moors – but also for its coast, which is dotted with inlets and fjords (Moray Firth, Firth of Tay, Firth of Forth) that penetrate deep into the interior. The country is a continuous game of contrasts with an incredible amount of different environments – from the hills of Dumfries and Galloway in the south to the solitary and wild landscapes of the Highlands in the north.

To reach Scotland it is better to book one of the many Low Cost flights that reach Edinburgh or Glasgow. Directly upon arrival at the airport we will then take our car booked in time which will allow us to cross the Scottish Highlands. Car rent.

Day 1: Edinburgh

Our itinerary in Scotland begins with a day dedicated to visiting Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland. The first stop is a walk on the royal route that connects the two historic castles of the city, crossing the medieval alleys and admiring the eighteenth-century buildings of the New Town. Capital of elegance, Edinburgh is one of the most famous cities in Europe for its lifestyle.

The historic center offers above all magnificent examples of artistic elegance that go as far as the 17th century, while the modern part (built starting from the 18th century) is a model of urban planning. In the medieval part, the Castle that dominates the city and the “Royal Mile” that connects the Castle to the Palace of Holyroodhouse stand out. The historic areas of the city (Old and New Towns) were declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1995.

Night in Edinburgh.

Day 2: Edinburgh – Pitlochry – Blair – Aviemore (125 miles, 200 km)

We leave Edinburgh for Pitlochry, one of the most elegant holiday resorts in Europe. Today our itinerary continues for a visit to Blair Castle, a charming residence and residence of the Dukes of Atholl.

Night in Aviemore.

Day 3: Aviemore – Dunrobin – North East coast – Thurso (166 miles, 265 km)

Day dedicated to the visit of the Spey river valley, Cairngorm National Park and Dunrobin Castle, residence of the Dukes of Sutherland. The castle is full of valuable rooms with paintings, furnishings and antique furniture. In the terraced garden overlooking the sea you can watch the flight of birds of prey. The itinerary continues along the north-east coast of the country.

Night in Thurso.

Day 4th-5th: Orkney Islands (150 miles, 240 km)

Two full days of excursion to the Orkney Islands (Orkney), a group of 67 islands, of which only 29 are inhabited. UNESCO in 1999 included the Neolithic art present in Orkney among the world heritage sites, these monuments include a large chamber tomb (Maes Howe), two ceremonial stone circles (the Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar) and a settlement (Skara Brae). These are important prehistoric settlements that give light to aspects of the life led by prehistoric man over 5000 years ago in this remote archipelago in the north of Scotland.

The islands are also a paradise for nature lovers. Visit to the bay of Scapa Flow, the scene of tragic episodes of war, and to the tiny Italian Chapel built by Italian prisoners transforming a shack between 1943 and 1945. We then reach Kirkwall, the capital of the Mainland, the largest island of the group, with a lively port and paved pedestrian streets.

Nights in the Orkney Islands.

Day 6: Thurso – North West Coast – Ullapool – Inverness (200 miles, 320 km)

Today our itinerary in Scotland continues with a beautiful route along the wild and fascinating north west coast. On our itinerary in Scotland we cross a beautiful coastal landscape. In Kylesku you can take a short cruise to the colonies of seals and seabirds. Stop in Ullapool, a small seaside resort on Loch Broom. Arrival in Inverness, capital of the Highlands.

Night in Inverness.

Day 7: Inverness – Urquhart – Loch Ness – Kyle of Lochalsh (90 miles, 144 km)

We continue the itinerary in Scotland going further into the Scottish Highlands where nature and silence reign supreme. The itinerary runs along the mythical Loch Ness lake. We stop in Urquhart and visit the ruins of the castle, on a promontory of the lake, one of the most photographed corners of Scotland. We arrive at the extreme southern Port Augustus of Loch Ness and continue to Loch Garry, Loch Loyne and Loch Claunle up to Kyle of Lochalsh, the entry point of the Isle of Skye. Visit of Eilean Donan castle, scenery of the film “Highlander”.

Overnight in Kyle of Lochalsh.

Day 8: Isle of Skye (Hebrides Islands) (150 miles, 240 km)

Full day excursion to the Isle of Skye, the largest of the Hebrides. The island is very beautiful, rich in wild nature, with breathtaking views, rugged mountains, rugged coasts, fjords, in a world where Celtic traditions still survive (all road signs are bilingual, English and Gaelic). From here, if you have more days available, you can continue to visit the other Hebrides islands, such as the islands of Harris and Lewis.

Night on the Isle of Skye.

Day 9: Kyle of Lochalsh – Glencoe Valley – Isle of Mull (160 miles, 256 km)

We start from Kyle of Lochalsh and cross the Glencoe Valley, of great scenographic impact. Then we come to Lochaline and from here by ferry we reach Fishnish on the Isle of Mull. We then cross this island to the western end of Fionnphort. From here we ferry to the islet of Iona, dominated by an abbey in severe gray stone, founded by St. Columban in 563.

Night on the Isle of Mull.

Day 10: Oban – Kilchurn – Inverary – Glasgow (150 miles, 240 km)

Take the ferry from Craignure, on the Isle of Mull, to Oban, on the Firth of Lorne, on the mainland. We continue to Dalmally, where it is possible to visit the ruins of Kilchurn Castle, surrounded by a beautiful landscape. Stop in Inverary, a typical Scottish village on the banks of Loch Fyne where you can visit the Castle of the same name. Our itinerary continues with a visit to the village of Luss, in the central part of Loch Lomond. We reach Glasgow, the largest city in Scotland.

Night in Glasgow.

Day 11: Glasgow – Edinburgh (50 miles, 80 km)

In Glasgow, the majestic Cathedral of St Mungo is worth a visit, the only example of a medieval Scottish church remained intact. The city is an established center of style, architecture and design. Continue to Edinburgh.

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