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Aberdeenshire Nature & adventure

Our most recommended Aberdeenshire Nature & adventure

From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Ben Nevis

1. From Edinburgh: Loch Ness, Glencoe, Highlands & Ben Nevis

Depart Edinburgh on an air-conditioned luxury coach (max 57 seats). Pass Stirling Castle and hear your tour guide tell tales of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce and the bloody battles fought out on these lands. First, arrive at Callander town, nestled at the foot of the Trossachs. Next, drive through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. Your Scottish guide will tell you about Rob Roy MacGregor, the infamous Highlander. Follow in the footsteps of James Bond ("Skyfall") and Harry Potter ("Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban") as you travel to the stunning Highland valley of Glencoe. Hear the eerie story of the Clan MacDonald massacre of 1692. Travel through Fort William, home to Ben Nevis, which at 4,409 feet is the highest mountain of the British Isles. Arrive on the south bank of Loch Ness in the charming village of Fort Augustus, where lots of cafes, shops, and restaurants offer a relaxing lunch. Stroll along the banks of the Caledonian Canal, then experience Loch Ness on an optional 1-hour boat cruise. Try to catch a glimpse of "Nessie," the legendary Loch Ness Monster. Admire the impressive Commando Memorial at Spean Bridge with views of the Nevis Range. Enter the Cairngorms National Park and discover "Monarch of the Glen" country. Drive along Loch Laggan before the roads climb above the Grampian Mountains. Travel over the Pass of Drumochter, linking the northern and southern Central Highlands. Experience the majesty of a mountain pass created by glacial activity during successive Ice Ages. Finally, stop briefly in the beautiful Victorian town of Pitlochry before heading back to Edinburgh city center, arriving at approximately 8:30 PM.

From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour

2. From Edinburgh: 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour

Embark on a 3-day guided tour of the Scottish Highlands and visit highlights, including Loch Ness and the Isle of Skye. Learn the history of this lush region from your guide and spend two nights in Inverness. Day 1: Departing Edinburgh, we will take our first short drive heading north and stop at the mysterious Kelpies. Scotland’s largest piece of outdoor art depicting mythical creatures of Scotland’s folklore that your driver will tell you all about. We’ll then continue on our journey and pass Stirling Castle. Be inspired by tales from your guide of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. Continuing north, into the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, admire the scenery as your tour guide explains the remarkable tribal clan history of the Highlands. Discover beautiful Glencoe, the most famous valley in Scotland, and hear of its tragic history. Admire the spectacular Glenfinnan Viaduct then head north and arrive on the southern banks of Loch Ness to get photos of the infamous monster Nessie! Stop for photos of Urquhart Castle before arriving in Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, where you'll stay for 2 nights, choosing from a local guesthouse, hostel, or hotel. Day 2: After breakfast, depart Inverness and drive across the Kessock Bridge to the Black Isle and marvel at the spectacular scenery of Achnasheen and Loch Carron. Arriving on the Isle of Skye, venture north to explore the highlights of the island, including; the Cuillin Mountains, Trotternish Peninsula, Portree, the Old Man Storr, Kilt Rock and the famous Quiraing. In late afternoon, stop for photographs of the most beautiful castle in Scotland, "Eilean Donan Castle." Backdrop to many famous films, such as 'Highlander' and 'Made of Honor', this castle is another must-see iconic landmark! A scenic drive through stunning Glen Shiel follows, returning to Inverness to stay your final night. In the evening, visit a local Highland Pub to drink some Scotch whisky or beer and eat some traditional Scottish food, whilst listening to some local musicians perform. Day 3: Visit Culloden Battlefield, site of the last Jacobite Rising, then 'Clava Cairns', incredible 4,000-year-old, Bronze-Age standing stones. Travelling south, stop at the Highland Folk Museum. Here you'll experience highland life in the 17th century. See the buildings, the clothes and weapons, and how people lived 300 years ago. Then, drive through the dramatic Cairngorm National Park. You will have the chance to experience a Scotch Whiskey tasting before you visit the historic village of Dunkeld on the banks of the mighty River Tay. Your journey back to Edinburgh takes you across the famous Forth Bridges. The expected arrival time back in Edinburgh is around 6:30 PM.

From Aberdeen: Balmoral Castle and Royal Deeside Tour

3. From Aberdeen: Balmoral Castle and Royal Deeside Tour

Join our small group tour and experience the beauty of the royal deeside with it's connections to the monarchy and stunning scenery. The first stop on this tour will be at Balmoral where you will walk in the footsteps of generations of royals who have called this castle home. Balmoral castle was the late Queen Elizabeth's private country retreat and a beloved home. King Charles, who has his own private home on the estate, has a great affection for the castle and grounds. When visiting we highly recommend the audio tour where you will hear stories from people who lived and worked at Balmoral as they guide you around the estate. Scotland is iconic for its beautiful rugged mountains, hills of heather and cool clear rivers running through the countryside. On this short scenic drive we detour through the fringes of the highland moors and heath lands of the east Cairngorm national park. Ballater will be next on your tour and is is a picturesque Victorian village. This planned agricultural town dates back over two hundred years and is set around a central village green and the impressive Glenmuick Kirk which held its first service in 1800. A stroll around the town reveals an interesting range of many specialty shops and good selection of restaurants and cafes to enjoy some of the local food & drink. As we start to make our way back to Aberdeen we will visit the iconic Cambus O'May suspension bridge, a very popular outdoor destination for visitors walking in the area. A walk up to the Tomnaverie recumbent stone circle, is a breathtaking experience. A characteristic feature of this type of circle is a large stone on its side, flanked by two upright stones, usually on the south or south-west arc of the circle. The stone circle surrounds a burial cairn dating to about 4,500 years ago. Finally a visit the Queen's view just outside Tarland. The view gained its name from Queen Victoria who quickly fell in love with the view of the lower valley of the Dee which includes a view of the peak of Lochnagar. The view is particularly loved for its unspoiled beauty which has not changed greatly for hundreds of years making it even more remarkable, and a view which is iconic of Aberdeenshire.

Dunnottar Castle and Royal Deeside 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

4. Dunnottar Castle and Royal Deeside 1-Day Tour from Aberdeen

Travel in style in a Mercedes luxury 16-seat mini-coach from Aberdeen to one of Scotland’s archetypal structures, Dunnottar Castle. Witness the stunning fortress set on a cliff by the sea. It’s seen more battles than you’ve had cups of tea and is an essential Scottish destination. Your next stop is the Falls of Feugh. These cascading falls are mesmerizing; and if you’re lucky, you may even spot a salmon jumping up the river. It’s now time for lunch in Braemar, a lovely little village in the Cairngorms National Park with royal connections and plenty of local delicacies to try. After your delicious lunch, you'll then head to the Muir of Dinnet Nature Reserve and get the opportunity to go for a stroll. Keep your eyes peeled for otters, birds, and adders on this quintessential woodland walk. You leave the Cairngorms National Park and arrive in Aberdeen in the early evening.

From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & The Highlands 3-Day Tour

5. From Edinburgh: Isle of Skye & The Highlands 3-Day Tour

This 3-day tour takes you on a discovery of the beautiful mountain scenery and fascinating sights of the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye. Visit numerous glens, lochs and castles in some the most dramatic landscapes in the country, including Eilean Donan Castle, the Fairy Glen, Loch Ness and Glen Coe. You will be transported from Edinburgh through the highlands and the Isle of Skye in a comfortable minibus. Learn about the long and violent history of the Scottish Highlands with your tour guide, from the bloody massacre of the Macdonalds at Glen Coe to Scotland’s great patriot William Wallace, whose name has resounded through British history for 700 years. Detailed itinerary Day 1 The tour first stops off at the delightful village of Dunkeld where you can explore the ancient cathedral grounds and walk through the mature woodland alongside the mighty River Tay. Continue north to the wild mountain scenery and misty locks of the Pass of Killiecrankie, Cairngorm National Park and Laggan. Admire Scotland’s highest mountain Ben Nevis along the Great Glen to Invergarry before travelling onwards through the stunning Glen Shiel (Five Sisters of Kintail) to Eilean Donan Castle. Enjoy the great views from the Skye Bridge as you drive onto the island under the shadow of the Cuillin Mountains to Portree where you will be dropped off at your accommodation. Please let the tour provider know your preferred accommodation choices when booking. The accommodation is reserved for you and should be paid for on arrival. Day 2 Today is spent touring the Isle of Skye, a flexible itinerary at the discretion of your driver/guide * (see below). Enjoy a half-day scenic drive along the dramatic Trotternish Ridge with its spectacular cliffs and rock formations. Stops can include Lealt Waterfall, Kilt Rock sea cliffs, the Old Man of Storr rock pinnacle and a walk at the Quiraing mountain pass. Another popular stop is the Fairy Glen, a delightful miniature Highland landscape and legendary home of the 'wee people'! The second half of the day explores the stunning southern part of the island which includes well-known sights and some hidden gems discovered over the years. Nestled under the Cuillin mountains is beautiful Glen Brittle. Rugged scenery surrounds you and there are several fantastic options for this section of the tour, including a short walk in the iconic mountain landscape. Another popular excursion is the drive to Neist Point lighthouse for spectacular views to the Western Isles. The 13th century home of the famous Clan McLeod, Dunvegan Castle offers guided tours, a useful wet-weather option because of Skye's famously changeable weather. It's not called the 'Misty Isle' for nothing! Day 3 After returning to the mainland you drive past the Five Sisters of Kintail before stopping at the world-famous Loch Ness. Enjoy lunch in Fort Augustus at the southerly tip of Loch Ness before continuing on through Fort William to Glencoe. Learn about the bloody history of the famous glen and admire the wild scenery before heading on to Tyndrum for a break. Return through the Lowlands and Stirling to Edinburgh in the evening.

Inverness and The Highlands 2-Day Tour from Edinburgh

6. Inverness and The Highlands 2-Day Tour from Edinburgh

Enjoy a 2-day tour encompassing the very best of the Scottish Highlands. Admire spectacular mountain scenery as you are transported in a comfortable mini-coach from Edinburgh to the Highlands, where you will discover the magic and charm of this beautiful region. Admire Doune Castle, Glenfinnan Viaduct (the 'Harry Potter' bridge), Britain’s highest mountain Ben Nevis, explore the magical Loch Ness, visit Britain’s northernmost city Inverness, and discover Scotland’s violent history at Glencoe. Detailed itinerary Day 1 Leaving Edinburgh the tour passes Stirling Castle and the National Wallace Monument before a first stop at Doune Castle. Protecting the gateway to the Highlands and with spectacular views from the medieval tower, the castle has recently been seen as Winterfell in the TV series Game of Thrones, but is probably most famous for featuring in the film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. As you continue north the mountains and lochs provide a dramatic backdrop for the journey to Glen Coe. After lunch visit the Glenfinnan Viaduct (Apr-Oct only) which famously features in several Harry Potter movies as the Hogwarts Express train crosses the bridge. Historically this stunning viewpoint also marks the spot where Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie) landed on mainland Scotland and raised his standard prior to the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion. As we travel along the Great Glen admire Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, and then along the banks of Loch Ness to Urquhart Castle. Stay overnight in Inverness, the northernmost city of the United Kingdom and the pretty capital of the Highlands. The tour provider will contact you for your preferred accommodation choices once you have booked. The accommodation is reserved for you and should be paid for on arrival.  Day 2 After being collected from your accommodation it's only a short drive to Culloden Moor where the Jacobites were finally defeated by government soldiers in 1746, the last battle to be fought on British soil. You will have time to walk on the battlefield and learn more about this tragic event that killed 700 Highland clansmen in 3 minutes. From there, visit one of Scotland's most evocative and sacred prehistoric sites, the nearby 4,000-year-old stone circles and burial mounds at Clava Cairns. As you drive south through the Cairngorms National Park, you'll hear about the flora and fauna of this wonderful wilderness which was officially protected in 2003 and is the largest national park in the British Isles. After lunch in one of the charming villages inside the national park, arrive at the lively Highland town of Pitlochry. During your break here there is an option to visit the Blair Athol Distillery (sorry, no children under 8). Alternatives include a short walk to the famous hydro electric dam and salmon ladder, or Black Spout waterfall. Your final stop is a gentle riverside walk through Big Tree Country at Dunkeld, a beautiful way to finish the tour all seasons of the year. Return to Edinburgh by the iconic Forth Rail Bridge.

Loch Ness, Inverness, & Highlands 2-Day Tour from Edinburgh

7. Loch Ness, Inverness, & Highlands 2-Day Tour from Edinburgh

See the beauty of the famous Loch Ness and stay in Inverness, the capital of the Scottish Highlands, on this 2-day small group tour. Detailed Itinerary: Day 1: Depart Edinburgh and head north across the River Forth towards the Highlands. A short stop in Dunkeld is followed by a walk along the River Tay, or perhaps at the nearby Hermitage, before you head for the holiday town of Pitlochry for lunch. From here the tour now takes you past Blair Castle into the Cairngorm National Park, where you will spend some time taking in the majesty of this amazing area, deep within the ancient Caledonian Pine Forests of the Rothiemurchus Estate. You then continue north and arrive at your destination of Inverness, where you will be dropped off at your accommodation. The evening is free for you to explore the capital of the Highlands. Day 2: After a leisurely breakfast you will be picked up from your accommodation in Inverness and explore the surrounding countryside en route to Loch Ness. Here you have the chance to take a boat trip along the loch with great views of Urquhart Castle, or to stay on shore and visit the impressive ruins of the castle, overlooking the loch. You will spend your lunchtime on the southern shore of the loch in the charming village of Fort Augustus. The Caledonian Canal, which links the lochs of the Great Glen, dominates the town and makes a great place to relax and watch the boats sail by. You now continue south past Ben Nevis and Fort William to Glencoe. This haunting glen was the scene of a terrible massacre in 1692, where many of the Clan Macdonald were slaughtered. The return journey continues over the wild and remote Rannoch Moor and into the countryside around Stirling, before finally reaching our starting point of Edinburgh.

Other Sightseeing Options in Aberdeenshire

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What people are saying about Aberdeenshire

Amazing! Amazing! Amazing! I am not someone who likes organised tours and especially 12 hours but this one was awesome thanks to our guide Brian Smith!!! The detailed stories and history of the areas we visited, the wonderful jokes and great humour, and The perfect playlist! And incredible driver…safety first and I couldn’t have felt more safe with Brian at the wheel on those sketchy roads! I wish I had known..I would have booked all my tours with Hairy Coo!!! This particular tour had it all to get a first taste of the highlands. Brian thank you for making my day visit of such a breathtaking place even more perfect and amazing!!! I could not I have asked or wished for more! Perfect! Recommend this tour 110%

This tour with guide John was spectacular, I had never met a guide with such a sense of humor and tireless as this one. He made a day of bus travel fun. The landscapes are spectacular, and the stops also make sense, there aren't those stops to foist things on. The village where we stopped to see Loch Ness has many services such as cafes and places to eat, and it is beautiful. We caught snow and it even snowed while we were in the village, which made the experience even more interesting.

Good choice if you are not spending much time in Edinburgh. In one day you can get to Highlands and Loch Ness in a cool atmosphere (traveled with Steve, highly recommend) while listening to many interesting facts about Scotland. Considering you make around 500 km and the guide is there for you for 12 hours straight, it is a great value for money. I really had a good time.

Great release! So yes, there are a lot of buses, but for a first discovery of Scotland it's perfect! Sublime landscape, full of explanations told by the guide making the bus journey lighter! I totally recommend!

Great tour! Wonderful guide with a real sense of humor. Gave photo stops anytime he could. Very knowledgeable of what we were seeing. The bus was very comfortable and there were adequate restroom stops.