Loch Ness Day Trips and other Lochs from Edinburgh

Although no one guarantees that you will find the famous monster, I recommend that you visit one of the most famous lakes in the world.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

6 min read

Loch Ness Day Trips and other Lochs from Edinburgh

The beautiful scenery of Loch Ness | ©Dave Conner

When you travel to Edinburgh, once you have toured the city, a visit to Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands is an almost mandatory excursion. You will have heard dozens of stories about the famous Loch Ness monster, but they are not enough to give you an idea of the beauty of the Scottish landscapes, where you will find dream castles, mountains and huge lochs.

The Highlands region is located about three hours drive from Edinburgh and the best way to visit it without missing anything, is an organized tour.

Day Trip to Loch Ness and the Highlands of Scotland

If you are traveling to Edinburgh and want to add magic to your tourist itinerary, I recommend this day trip to Loch Ness and the Highlands of Scotland. With the help of a crazy guide, you will have the opportunity to know in depth this region that seems taken from a fairy tale. Mountains, castles and lochs frame the spectacular scenery of the Scottish countryside.

This tour includes comfortable round-trip transportation from Edinburgh and will take about 12 hours, including stops at Loch Ness, Stirling Castle and Glencoe Nature Reserve. You'll also have free time to wander around at your leisure, sample some craft beer in the local pubs or have a tasty lunch.

Why I recommend this tour

This tour is perfect if you have a few days in Edinburgh and want to spend a day marveling at **Scotland'**s scenic countryside. The tour is designed to be as comprehensive as possible so that the traveler gets an overall impression of the countryside, even if you only have one day to do the tour.

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Scottish Highland lochs and castles tour from Edinburgh

If you do not have much time during your visit to Edinburgh and you do not want to miss the experience of seeing the best Scottish lochs and castles, this tour is the most comfortable alternative. The price is around 58 € and includes the transfer in an air-conditioned vehicle and the services of a specialized guide who will show you the different stops along the route while telling you the stories behind them.

This activity lasts about 10 hours and you should contemplate that the food is on your own; so you can bring a picnic prepared, but you will also have free time to eat in one of the restaurants near the points of interest included in the tour.

Some of the places you will visit

  • Doune Castle in Stirlingshire
  • Kilchurn Castle on Loch Awe
  • Inveraray village and castle
  • View of the Arrochar Alps
  • Views of Loch Lomond in the village of Luss

Why I recommend this tour

This tour is very interesting because of the variety of landscapes and contrasts that you will see in the same day. The tour is wide and diverse so you will not only get the best photos but also a more than complete overview of the history and curiosities that the Scottish countryside holds.

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3-day tour to Skye Island and the Highlands from Edinburgh

If you have enough time during your trip, it is worth spending a night in Inverness, the city where Loch Ness is situated, to take this three-day tour from Edinburgh through the Scottish Highlands and Skye Island.

The tour is priced at approximately 200 € and includes round-trip transfer from Edinburgh and the services of a specialized guide, but does not include accommodation and meals. You can do two things: book your own accommodation in Inverness or book it as part of the tour for a supplement choosing between a hostel or a B&B.

Some of the places you will visit

  • Stirling Castle
  • Inverness
  • Isle of Skye
  • Skye Bridge
  • Loch Ness

Why I recommend this tour

I like this tour because of the historical content of the stops along the way. In addition, the fact that it is a three-day tour allows you to get to know the area much more thoroughly and have more free time to visit the places you liked the most and enjoy them at your leisure.

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We compare the excursions to Highlands...

  • Loch Ness and The Highlands Day Trip from Edinburgh
  • From $77
  • 12 hours
  • Transfers + Expert Guide
  • Visit to Loch Ness and Highlands
  • With guide
  • Book now
  • Highlands Lochs and Castles Day Trip from Edinburgh
  • From $77
  • 10 hours
  • Transfers + Expert guide
  • Visit Highlands and castles
  • With guide
  • Book now
  • Isle of Skye and The Highlands 3-Day Trip from Edinburgh
  • From $224
  • 3 days
  • Transfers + Expert guide
  • Visit to Loch Ness, Highlands, Inverness and Skye Island
  • With guide
  • Book now

What to see in the Highlands

Inverness| ©DavideGorla
Inverness| ©DavideGorla

Inverness

It is the capital of the Highlands and is the only place you can reach by public transport from Edinburgh. Among its main monuments include the cathedral and the museum of the city, but what is most worthwhile is to walk through its streets. Inverness is like being immersed in a fairy tale; the houses with fairy-tale roofs blend with the vegetation in perfect harmony while the mountains are the backdrop of the city.

Loch Ness

It is one of the largest lochs in the world and the best views are from Urquhart Castle. Of course, its main attraction is the legend of Nessie, a mythological monster that is said to have eaten a local man in the 6th century. Since then, and particularly since the twentieth century, there are many who claim to have seen him, but, according to science, it remains a legend.

Eilean Donan Castle

You will find many castles in the Scottish Highlands, but this is the most photographed in the country. Of course, it is not safe from legends as it is said that there is a ghost inside. Its exterior is already striking in itself, but you can also visit some areas of the interior; to do so you have to get to the vicinity of the Isle of Skye.

Isle of Skye

Presided over by Dunvegan Castle, it is the largest of the Hebrides Islands. The colors of the vegetation of this island you will not find anywhere else and can hardly be described in words. Castles, stone bridges, cliffs, lakes, gardens ... all this and much more is what you will find on the Isle of Skye.

Glen Coe Valley

A valley of a whimsical relief formed by the geology of ancient glaciers. The peace that is breathed between its mountains also make it an essential stop in the Highlands.

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Tips for organizing your trip to the Highlands and Loch Ness

Cliffs of the Isle of Skye| ©Robert J Heath
Cliffs of the Isle of Skye| ©Robert J Heath

Scotland's vegetation is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful in Europe; the colors of its forests and plains leave you speechless, but... nothing would be so green if it weren't for the rain. You will surely have heard that in Edinburgh, and in Scotland in general, it rains a lot and constantly, but perhaps you have not taken into account the fog that can also be a nuisance when making this type of excursions.

  • In summer the risk is reduced, but there is no guarantee that you will be able to see this type of landscape with clear skies.
  • Don't worry, the beauty is equally fascinating, although the visit is somewhat more uncomfortable. What you can do is go prepared with comfortable, waterproof clothing (avoid wearing jeans and go for the tracksuit) and, of course, umbrella and raincoat. As for your cell phone, get a waterproof case during your trip so you can keep taking pictures of the landscape despite the rain.
  • Finally, many of the routes through the Scottish Highlands will require you to walk; remember to wear the right footwear so you don't get too tired during the hikes (trekking shoes are ideal).
  • On organized tours, the routes are normally accessible to all types of travelers, but if you have any doubts or special conditions , consult your guide before starting the tour.

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If you are interested in a tour to the Highlands from Edinburgh, you will also be interested in

Edinburgh Castle| ©Jörg Angeli
Edinburgh Castle| ©Jörg Angeli

On the Scottish Highlands tour you will see many castles, but you should not forget to visit the spectacular Edinburgh Castle; you can do it on a guided tour or on your own.

You will find it in the center of the city on a huge stone hill. You will be surprised how well preserved this 12th century fortification is and, if you are accompanied by a guide during the visit, within its walls you will be able to discover many of the stories on which the history of the country is based. Find out how to organize your visit in my guide on Castle of Edinburgh Tickets.