11 Best Scottish Highlands Tours from Edinburgh in 2024 (local approved)

This post contains affiliate links for which I may make a small commission to help keep the site running. You will not be charged extra for these items had you not clicked the links. Thank you for your help to keep the site running!

Ready to take on the absolutely gorgeous Scottish Highlands on a Scottish Highlands tour from Edinburgh?

You’re in for a treat, as we’re going to explore the best 11 Scottish Highlands tours that depart from Edinburgh to make sure that you’re choosing the right one for you and your travel style.

Bonus: you’ll skip the tourist traps and the tours that aren’t worth your time or money.

If you don’t have time to read the whole guide, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

The best Scottish Highlands tour from Edinburgh is this Loch Ness, Glencoe, and Scottish Highlands Complete Tour.

It has about 1,800 amazing reviews, so there’s no going wrong.

From the sweeping vistas to the gorgeous waterfalls to the adorable wildlife (Highland Coo, anyone?), this is one of the must-see parts of the UK and it’s really difficult to tour the Highlands from Edinburgh on your own without a tour as a visitor to Scotland.

If you want to see the full list of options, here are 10 more tours from Edinburgh to the Scottish Highlands that are worth it.

Let’s get into the list so you can book it already!

PS – booking in advance is highly, highly recommended so you don’t miss out.

Hey! Want more honest UK tips and planning advice? Click here to join my London and UK Travel Tips Facebook group, where I can answer more of your questions!

Easy Guide: Best Scottish Highlands Tour from Edinburgh Picks

#1 PICK 🏆Loch Ness, Glencoe, and Scottish Highlands Complete Tour5 out of 5 Stars, 1,800+ reviews▶ Book Here!
#2 PICKScottish Highlands and Hogwarts Express Tour5 out of 5 stars, 300+ reviews▶ Book Here!
#3 PICK3 Day Scottish Highlands Adventure from Edinburgh5 out of 5 stars, 480+ reviews▶ Book Here!

11 Best Scottish Highlands Tours from Edinburgh

1. Loch Ness, Glencoe, and Scottish Highlands Complete Tour

Scottish Highlands tour from Edinburgh

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars, 1800+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 12 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW


  • Round-trip transportation from Edinburgh
  • A friendly driver guide with plenty of stories
  • Option for a Loch Ness cruise
  • Stops in Callander, Glencoe, Loch Ness, and Pitlochry

If you want the highest rated and most complete Scottish Highlands day trip from Edinburgh, then this one is for you.

You’ll start in the beautiful town of Callander, the “Gateway to the Highlands,” where you’ll have some time to explore and take a comfort break. Along the way, your guide will dazzle you with stories of Scottish heroes and myths, as well as pointing out famous landmarks like Stirling Castle and the Kelpies.

Then it’s off to Glencoe, which has some of the most picturesque scenery in all of Scotland.

The main event, Fort Augustus Abbey, is situated on the shores of Loch Ness, and you can have the option of taking a 1 hour cruise along Loch Ness or you can explore the beautiful village and the canal lock system.

You’ll also enjoy such beautiful stops like the Commando Monument, Loch Lomond, and Forth Bridge.

Pitlochry is the final stop before you return to Edinburgh, where you’ll enjoy gorgeous surrounding hills and mountain views. Don’t forget to buy some shortbread – a must in the Highlands!

The tour guides are always friendly and welcoming, the Scottish Highlands are always worth the trip, and past visitors can’t find enough good things to say about this tour.

2. Scottish Highlands and Hogwarts Express Tour

Scottish Highlands tour from Edinburgh

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars, 300+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 13 hours, 30 minutes | ✔️ BOOK NOW


  • ride on the Jacobite Steam Train, the real Hogwarts Express!
  • Round-trip transportation from Edinburgh
  • Stops in Pitlochry, Glenfinnan, Mallaig, and Glencoe
  • Plenty of Scottish stories and Harry Potter behind-the-scenes info!

If you’ve got a Harry Potter fan in tow, then this tour is your best bet for a Scottish Highlands tour from Edinburgh.

Not only does it include some absolutely stunning stops in the Scottish Highlands, like Pitlochry (known for its gorgeous high street and stunning hillside views) and Mallaig, an adorable fishing town, but there’s one thing this tour has that the first one doesn’t.

A ride on the Hogwarts Express.

Of course, it’s not the real Hogwarts Express – it’s really known as the Jacobite Steam Train, but this was used as the Hogwarts Express in the movie.

Any exterior shot where you see the train “heading to Hogwarts” – yeah, that’s the real life Jacobite Steam Train.

This particular tour also includes lots of Harry Potter filming locations and behind-the-scenes information, but not exclusively – so you’ll satisfy both fans and non-fans as you explore the Highlands.

The transportation to and from Edinburgh is a comfortable coach and you won’t have to do any of the logistics – just let yourself enjoy as you’re picked up and whisked away and then returned safely to Edinburgh at the end of the day.

3. 3-Day Isle of Skye and Scottish Highlands Tour

Scottish Highlands tour from Edinburgh

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars, 487+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 3 days | ✔️ BOOK NOW


  • 2 nights and 3 days of guided adventure around the Scottish Highlands
  • Hotel or bed-and-breakfast for 2 nights
  • Isle of Skye and Scottish Highlands stops
  • Ride on the Jacobite Steam Train, known for being the Hogwarts Express

If you’ve got some time in your schedule, this 3-day tour of the Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh is the best way to pack in as much as possible.

You’ll still get round trip transportation from Edinburgh included, but with 2 nights of hotel or bed and breakfast in between.

You’ll get to stay on the Isle of Skye, using this as your base, and along the way you’ll wander through the Highlands with your expert guide as you see everything from the mythical Old Man of Storr to Dunkeld Cathedral and Eilean Donan Castle.

You’ll also experience Loch Ness, and on the final day you’ll take a ride on the Jacobite Steam Train, better known to Harry Potter fans as the Hogwarts Express.

Don’t miss this chance to experience the best of the Highlands – with a 3 Day Highlands tour from Edinburgh, you’ll see more than what you can see on a single day tour.

4. Day Trip to Scottish Highlands and Loch Ness with Lunch

Scottish Highlands tour from Edinburgh

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars, 1,312+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 12 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW


  • A picnic lunch
  • Stops in Callandar, Fort Augustus/Loch Ness, and Pitlochry
  • Optional boat cruise on Loch Ness, searching for Nessie
  • Friendly driver-guide who won’t let you miss a moment of fun

If you want a day tour of the Scottish Highlands with lunch included, this tour is for you!

You’ll enjoy the gorgeous village of Callandar, the gateway to the Highlands, and then you’ll carry on north as you explore Fort Augustus Abbey, on the shores of Loch Ness.

Once there, you can enjoy your included picnic lunch and you can also take an optional boat tour of Loch Ness before the tour departs again.

Enjoy the stop at Pitlochry, where you should definitely check out the gift shops and buy some authentic Scottish souvenirs like shortbread or “tablet” (basically pure sugar – yes, please).

You’ll also get to drive through Glencoe as well as passing by famous Scottish Highlands landmarks like Ben Nevis (a mountain) and Stirling Castle (which seriously has to be seen to believe how magical it looks from below).

Tour the Highlands from Edinburgh in style and with total confidence with this tour!

5. Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle Day Tour

Scottish Highlands tour from Edinburgh

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars, 1420+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 12 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW


  • Visit to the stunning Urquhart Castle, overlooking Loch Ness
  • Time to take an optional Loch Ness cruise
  • Stops in charming Highlands villages like Pitlochry
  • Expert, friendly guide
  • Round trip transportation from Edinburgh

Including Loch Ness, Glencoe, and Pitlochry, this tour, a Scottish Highlands day tour from Edinburgh, is a fascinating day trip from Edinburgh compete with the option to see Urquhart Castle, a gorgeous castle on the shores of Loch Ness.

There is also time for an optional boat tour on Loch Ness, as well as plenty of photo pit stops along the way to make sure you capture all of the best memories.

The guides for this tour are exceptional, highly rated for their friendliness and enthusiasm, and just all-around fun.

If you want to include a castle in your Scottish Highlands day trip, then definitely choose this one.

6. Loch Ness and Glencoe Tour from Edinburgh

Scottish Highlands tour from Edinburgh

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars, 650+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 12 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS TOUR, one of the best one day Highlands tours from Edinburgh

  • On-board commentary
  • Boat tour of Loch Ness
  • Time for lunch in a charming Scottish Highlands village
  • Expert, friendly guide and multiple pick-up points

Another Scottish Highlands day trip option is this one with Gray Line Scotland, who will whisk you through all of the major sites and make sure that you’ve got the full scoop on Scottish lore.

The guides are known for being incredibly helpful and knowledgeable, and past visitors appreciated the storytelling and interesting facts they have to share.

See the picturesque vistas at Glencoe, known for being used as a scene setting in plenty of famous TV shows and movies, and enjoy your time in charming Scottish villages and towns like Pitlochry, a Victorian resort town.

Children over the age of 6 are more than welcome on board, so plan a day out with the whole family as you tour the Highlands together.

7. Scottish Highland Games Day Trip from Edinburgh

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars, 30+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 9 to 12 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW

Image: Highland games, Lochearnhead, Scotland. ozgecan. [CC by 2.0] via Flickr


  • Round trip transportation from Edinburgh
  • Day spent at one of the Highland Games (runs late May to September)
  • Expert, friendly guide to tell you more about the Games and the Highlands
  • Gorgeous views on your ride to and from the games

There’s something incredibly magical about the Scottish Highlands games that take place in various villages and towns in the summer months.

Getting to them on your own as a visitor would be almost impossible in many locations without a car, so book onto this tour to experience the fun for yourself without having to worry about the logistics.

With so many Highland coach tours from Edinburgh to choose from, this one is truly unique.

Not only will you pass by gorgeous Scottish Highlands scenery with a chance for a photo or two en route, but you’ll get to spend the day at the Scottish Highlands Games, taking in local culture and appreciating this authentic Scottish thing to do!

Your expert and friendly guide will tell you everything you need to know about the Games and you’ll get to have what is, for many visitors, a once-in-a-lifetime Scottish Highlands experience.

8. Scottish Highlands Luxury Private Tour with Local

Scottish Highlands tour from Edinburgh

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 8 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW


  • Private tour of the Scottish Highlands with no other passengers
  • Fully customizable experience (or let the guide pick the best spots!)
  • Pick-up service from wherever you are in Edinburgh
  • Plenty of time for sightseeing

Want to see the Scottish Highlands in the ultimate comfort and luxury?

Hop into your private Mercedes-Benz and let your private chauffer take you all around the Scottish Highlands on this incredible private tour.

You can use their existing route, selected to show off the absolute best of the Highlands, or you can work with them to customize your experience.

Better yet, while on this Scottish Highlands tour from Edinburgh, you can ask to stop wherever you want – this is your tour, after all, and as long as it fits into the day you have, there’s no worries if you want to stop and get out and take a picture, use the bathrooms, or stop at scenic viewpoints to admire the view a while longer.

You’ll get door-to-door service, picking you up and dropping you off from your hotel or accommodation, and you’ll make incredible family memories that will most definitely last a lifetime.

9. Small Group 3-Day Scottish Highlands and Isle of Skye Tour

Scottish Highlands tour from Edinburgh

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars, 960+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 3 days | ✔️ BOOK NOW

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS TOUR, one of the best Highlands tours from Edinburgh

  • 2 nights in Portree on the Isle of Skye with breakfast included
  • Small group for a more intimate experience (16 people or less)
  • A combination of guided tours plus leisure time to explore on your own
  • Expert, friendly guide
  • Round trip transportation from Edinburgh

Another option for those having a little bit longer to see the Highlands, this 3-day Scottish Highlands tour from Edinburgh is a small group version, meaning you won’t be traveling with more than 16 people total on your tour.

You’ll get 2 nights of accommodation in a hotel or B&B in Portree, on the Isle of Skye, and you’ll use this as your base as you travel around the Highlands for three full days.

Enjoy the stunning beauty of Loch Ness and keep an eye out for Nessie, explore the enchanting vistas of Glencoe, and enjoy free time in the Highlands to visit distilleries, breweries, gift shops and so much more.

You’ll depart and return back to Edinburgh, so you don’t have to worry about any of the logistics and can get to know your friendly guide as they tell you all of the stories of the Highlands over your 3-day experience.

Truly, if you have the time – do it. Book it right now.

These are some of the best Highlands tours around and the extra couple of days mean you can fit in so much more.

10. Private Full Day Highlands Tour with Hairy Coo Meeting

Scottish Highlands tour from Edinburgh

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars, 38+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 12 hours 30 minutes | ✔️ BOOK NOW


  • Completely private guided tour of the Scottish Highlands
  • A dedicated stop to get to see the iconic Highland Coos or Hairy Coos (those adorable cows!)
  • Dedicated driver and guide with as much local knowledge as you can possibly handle
  • Organic tea or coffee, shortbread, and a nip of Scottish whiskey!

Another private tour of the Scottish Highlands, this one specifically includes the chance to get up close to the famous Highland Coos, a type of cow that you’ll instantly recognize once you see them with their adorable shaggy hair!

Let your private guide whisk you around and show you all of the local sites without any other visitors to compete with – no worrying about whether you can hear the guide, no problems waiting for people at stops.

It’s just you and your travel party, an expert Scottish local guide and driver, and the chance to live out your Highlands dreams as you travel throughout this gorgeous part of the country.

11. Brilliant Scottish Highlands e-Bike Tour from Edinburgh

Scottish Highlands tour from Edinburgh

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars, 9+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 9 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW


  • Bike or e-Bike for the day
  • Round trip transportation from Edinburgh
  • Relaxing bike rides through the Highlands, as well as hiking opportunities
  • Time for lunch and sightseeing

A unique option for taking a tour of the Highlands from Edinburgh is this bike tour of the Highlands!

No, you’re not riding your bike all the way there, don’t worry. It’s also a Highlands bus tour from Edinburgh.

You’ll be picked up in a coach/bus and then be driven to the Highlands, where you’ll get to go on an easy bike tour (you can choose an electric bike if you feel that is a better option for your fitness level) around destinations in the Highlands.

There’s plenty of time for lunch, and some hiking options during the day to make sure that you fit it all in and enjoy an active day out.

This is a great option for families with teenagers or those who want a bit of a different way to see the Highlands instead of just sitting in the bus all day.

The guides are top notch and the path for the bikes is easy enough that you don’t need to be some sort of cycle guru to enjoy yourself and take part.

Hey! Want to use our trusty guides to the best tours in other places across the UK? Check these out!

UK Travel Planning Guide: the FAQs

🏥 Should I buy UK travel insurance?

Absolutely yes. Basic coverage is not expensive, and as a visitor you are NOT covered under the NHS. Compare policies and prices with Travel Insurance Master here, a big name in the travel insurance business, and cross that off your list.

🔌 Do I need travel adapters for the UK?

Yes, you do, otherwise you won’t be able to plug in your electronics/phone/lifelines. I recommend this one, which is all-in-one so you can use it in other countries.

🚗 What do I need to drive in the UK?

The first thing you need to check out if you’re planning on renting a car in the UK is this guide to driving in the UK for visitors – the roads, signs, and driving experience will likely not be what you’re used to and it’s essential to prepare yourself to stay safe and aware.

🛌 What’s the best way to book hotels in the UK?

For UK hotels, Booking is the best site as it offers free cancellation on many properties. If you want an apartment, I always recommend VRBO over AirBnb.

📳 Will my phone work in the UK?

Yes – if you set it up right. Check out my guide on making your foreign phone work in the UK to ensure that you get the type of service you need.

🚿 Can I drink the water in the UK?

Yes, UK water is great and perfectly safe. But drink out of taps in any kitchen or use water fountains. Double check before drinking out of the taps in hotel bathrooms, though, as they may be on a different system. London water is safe to drink.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.