13 Best Loch Ness Tours for a Mysterious Day Out (2024)

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Ready to tour the gorgeous Loch Ness on a Loch Ness tour?

You’ve come to the right place, as we’re going to explore the best 13 Loch Ness tours in Scotland – all led by expert guides who want to share the beauty of this part of Scotland and help you skip the tourist traps.

If you’re like, just cut to the chase already, then don’t worry.

The best Loch Ness tour in Scotland is this Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands Day Tour from Edinburgh.

It has about 700 amazing reviews, so there’s no going wrong.

🐉Loch Ness is one of the most beautiful, picturesque and incredible parts of Scotland.

Because of its rich history, folk lore, and beauty, people love visiting here.

If you want to see what your other options are, here are 12 more tours, including Loch Ness monster tour, Loch Ness and Highlands tours and Loch Ness bus tours that are definitely worth your time.

So let’s get into the list of the best Loch Ness tours in Scotland 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 Loch Ness Tours ♒

#1 PICK 🏆Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands Day Tour from Edinburgh5 out of 5 Stars, 660+ reviews▶ Book Here!
#2 PICKLoch Ness and Caledonian Canal Cruise from Dochgarroch4.5 out of 5 stars, 400+ reviews▶ Book Here!
#3 PICKLoch Ness, Glencoe, and the Highlands Day Trip from Glasgow4.5 out of 5 stars,
400+ reviews
▶ Book Here!

1. Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands Day Tour from Edinburgh

Image: Urquhart Castle; Loch Ness. chris lovelock. [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars, 660+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 12 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS TOUR

  • Expert guide
  • Hotel pickup
  • Free time to explore
  • Boat ride

If you want a relaxing day in the Scottish Highlands, this is the tour for you!

You will have free time at many stops to soak in the beauty of this region.

Your knowledgeable guide will handle the details so that you don’t have to worry.

You’ll stop at many places for photo opportunities.

You’ll also have the chance to learn about the history and folklore of these places.

You can take a boat trip on the world-famous Loch Ness.

This is dependent on the weather, though.

You’ll have a smaller chance of canceling this plan if you visit in the summer.

You might even get to see Nessie!

You’ll make stops at Pitlochry, Glencoe National Nature Reserve, and Fort Augustus.

Lunch hour will be spent in Fort William so you’ll have the chance to try some local food. 

2. Loch Ness and Caledonian Canal Cruise from Dochgarroch

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars, 400+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS TOUR

  • Cruise on a boat on Loch Ness
  • Live commentary
  • Great views of local scenery
  • See Urquhart Castle

If you’re in the area and want to spend some time on the lake, this Loch Ness cruise is perfect for you!

Board the boat from Dochgarroch and embark on a 2-hour boat ride on Loch Ness.

You’ll get your money’s worth for sure!

The boat begins its journey in Loch Dochfour.

Cruise along the Caledonian Canal as you head into Loch Ness.

The boat is even equipped with a state-of-the-art Nessie sonar system.

So you might even find the infamous Loch Ness Monster!

You’ll get to see many beautiful sights!

Gaze upon the Urquhart Castle, Aldourie Castle, and the Bona Lighthouse.

Learn about the crash site of a Wellington bomber from World War II near the lake.

Your tour guide will share so much interesting information about the lake and the surrounding area.

Learn about the region’s history. Learn about mysterious legends and folklore!

3. Loch Ness, Glencoe, and the Highlands Day Trip from Glasgow

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars, 400+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 11 hours 45 minutes | ✔️ BOOK NOW

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS TOUR

  • Air conditioned vehicle
  • Round trip travel
  • Local guide
  • 4 stops

This day trip is a great way to explore the Scottish Highlands!

You’ll also get to see Glen Coe, Loch Ness, and more.

Discover Loch Lomond and travel into Rannoch Moor.

See Ben Nevis and Urquhart Castle.

Visit Fort Augustus and cruise Loch Ness. Drive to Inverness and through the Grampian Mountains.

Your local guide will tell you all about the beautiful region and iconic sights.

Take lots of pictures as you learn all about the heritage of this part of Scotland. 

A refreshment stop will be made at Loch Lomond.

Stretch your legs at Glencoe National Nature Reserve. Relax at Loch Ness and purchase tickets for a boat ride if you so desire!

Your final stop will be at Pitlochry Visit Scotland iCentre.

Here you can explore the small village of Pitlochry and get a bite to eat. 

4. Loch Ness Sightseeing Cruise from Clansman Harbour

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars, 370+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 1 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS TOUR

  • Sightseeing Cruise
  • Wi-Fi on board
  • Views of Urquhart Castle
  • Snacks and drinks for purchase

Embark from Clansman Harbour for a quick, yet relaxing, cruise on Loch Ness.

See all the beautiful views surrounding the lake and learn about the lake’s history and folklore!

This is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the area.

Take in the gorgeous views and admire the misty fog that surrounds Loch Ness.

You’ll also see some iconic sights that are within view of the lake. For instance, you’ll get to see Urquhart Castle! 

The best part is you can marvel at the natural beauty from an open air deck on the boat or an enclosed floor.

Even if the weather isn’t perfect, you’ll still be able to be comfortable!

The boat is also equipped with a sonar system.

This is the perfect tool to help you locate Nessie!

Whether you’re a believer or not, this will certainly be an exciting aspect of the cruise!

5. 2-Day Highlands and Loch Ness Tour from Edinburgh

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars, 90+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 2 days | ✔️ BOOK NOW

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS TOUR

  • Overnight accommodation as per selected
  • Driver/guide
  • Breakfast (2)
  • Scheduled free time

Embark from Edinburgh on this 2 day tour with a night in Fort Augustus. See everything the Scottish Highlands has to offer!

The best part is that you don’t have to worry about making the plans.

You just need to go along for the ride!

You’ll have the chance to marvel at Loch Lomond and Ben Lomond on this tour.

Then see Ben Nevis and have time to explore at Fort William.

This is known as Scotland’s hiking capital, so you’ll have plenty of free time to enjoy the views.

This tour also stops at Glencoe National Nature Reserve.

Learn all about the history of the region and its natural beauty.

Another history stop will be at Culloden Battlefield. 

The tour will drive along Loch Ness.

But if you want to buy tickets, you can get on a boat to actually go out on the lake!

Before heading home, you’ll get to visit a local distillery and learn about whisky production.

Maybe even sample some!

6. Loch Ness Cruise and Outlander Day Tour from Inverness

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars, 70+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 9 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS TOUR

  • Air-conditioned vehicle with Wi-fi
  • Local Scottish English Speaking Guide
  • Loch Ness Cruise 1 hour
  • Urquhart Castle Entrance

If you want to enjoy the scenic beauty of the rural Scottish Highlands, this is the tour for you!

You can marvel at Scotland’s natural beauty without worrying about the details.

Someone else will do the planning and driving!

They’ll also share loads of information about the region with you.

Cruise Loch Ness and see the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Get lunch in Beauly Priory and have some free time to explore.

This is actually where you can find some filming locations for Outlander! You’ll also visit Clava Cairns.

Here you can see and learn about the mysterious burial chambers and standing stones.

You’ll also learn a lot of history relating to Outlander

This tour also stops at Culloden Battlefield.

Learn about the rich history behind this battlefield before heading home for the day.

7. Inverness Half-Day Loch Ness and Outlander Sites Tour

⭐️ RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars, 90+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 4-5 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS TOUR

  • A wee Dram of Whisky if desired
  • Local Guide
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Coffee and/or Tea

This small group tour leaves from Inverness for a quick tour of some popular destinations in the Scottish Highlands.

It is especially geared towards Outlander fans!

While it’s easy to spend an entire week here, it is beneficial to only spend half a day.

This is especially true if you don’t have a lot of time to explore and want to see the highlights!

Clava Cairns is a burial site that has been well preserved for thousands of years.

Learn so much interesting history and marvel at this Outlander filming location.

Stop by Culloden Battlefield to learn what went down here.

You might even recognize some of the trivia from your favorite show.

You’ll also get the chance to visit Loch Ness and see Urquhart Castle!

And don’t worry.

If you’re a bit thirsty, the tour will provide coffee and tea.

And if you want to try out a new Scottish distillery, you can visit Great Glen Distillery and taste for yourself.

8. Glenfinnan Mallaig and Loch Ness Adventure Full-Day Tour

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

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS TOUR

  • 7 stops
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • All Fees and Taxes
  • Less popular destinations

If you love to visit iconic destinations, but hate dealing with crowds of tourists, this is a great tour.

You’ll spend a day exploring the Scottish Highlands.

However, you’ll spend most of your time stopping at less popular places.

They’re just as amazing as the tourist traps, but not as crowded.

This tour will travel along the length of Loch Ness and make many stops.

You’ll have plenty of time to explore Glenfinnan Viaduct. Harry Potter fans will probably recognize the landscape!

You’ll make many quick stops to take pictures and marvel at other landmarks.

These include Commando Monument, the Falls of Foyers, and Dores Beach. These places are full of natural beauty!

You’ll have a few chances to grab refreshments and take photos at Urquhart Castle and Fort Augustus.

And lunch will be at Mallaig.

You’ll have time to eat its local seafood and walk around its gorgeous shoreline.

9. Loch Ness and the Highland Experience Bus Tour

⭐️ RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars, 8+ reviews | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 12.5 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS TOUR

  • WiFi on board
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • 5 stops
  • Scheduled free time

Ride on a luxury coach with a knowledgeable guide as you explore the Scottish Highlands.

With air conditioning, WiFi, and USB charging ports, you will be very comfortable during all the time you’ll spend driving around. 

Stop at Kilmahog to get refreshments and spot some Highland Cattle. Stretch your legs and take a few photos at Glencoe.

Spend a couple hours in Fort Augustus.

You can take a Loch Ness cruise or explore this historic town.

Stroll the streets of Pitlochry.

Admire the views of Cairngorms National Park. Enjoy lunch at the Caledonian Canal and watch the locks in action.

The day will fly by with this jam-packed tour that allows you to see the best of the Scottish Highlands!

With scheduled free time, you’ll be able to tweak the itinerary to meet your desires.

10. Loch Ness Tour

⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 11 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS TOUR

  • Bottled water
  • Snacks
  • Air-conditioned vehicle
  • Private transportation

Exploring the Scottish Highlands is no quick journey.

But it can be made quicker when you don’t have to worry about other guests on the tour.

So this private tour is a great way to explore the Scottish countryside without worrying about other people!

While you can customize the itinerary since this is a private tour, there are some recommended stops.

Take pictures at the Stirling Castle!

Stretch your legs at Loch Tulla.

Explore the natural beauty of Loch Lubnaig.

Learn some history at Glencoe National Nature Reserve. Marvel at Pattack Falls.

And, of course, spend some time at Loch Ness.

You can even purchase tickets for a cruise!

Explore Fort Augustus and pick up some souvenirs and eat a delicious lunch.

As you drive to Loch Ness, keep your eyes open for Loch Leven, Loch Linnie, Loch Lochy, Fort William, and Ben Nevis.

You can always slow down or stop to get some pictures!

11. Legendary Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle Tour

⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 4 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS TOUR

  • Bottled water
  • Local Driver/Guide
  • Fun Day
  • WiFi on board

This quick tour is perfect for anyone who wants to see Loch Ness but doesn’t have a lot of time.

Since it only takes half a day, you can see the highlights and head home!

The comfy car will make the drive enjoyable.

The knowledgeable tour guide will tell you all about the area and its history!

You’ll drive through Dochgarroch to get to Loch Ness.

Admire the beauty of the Caledonian Canal and maybe spot some Highland Cattle.

If you do, you may even get to feed them some carrots!

Visit the Loch Ness Centre to learn about the lake.

Grab something to eat or even take a quick boat tour! While here, you can also explore the ruins of Urquhart Castle.

Stop at Beauly Priory to learn about its rich history and enjoy the beautiful environment!

12. The Ultimate Loch Ness Group Tour from Invergordon

⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 8 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS TOUR

  • Scottish Snacks
  • Bottled Water
  • Restroom on board
  • Gaelic Singing and Whisky Toast with Fiona

Drive through gorgeous Beauly on your way to Loch Ness.

Arrive at Dochgarroch Lock to embark on a 60-minute Loch Ness cruise!

Enjoy boating on the water and looking for Nessie while you learn about the lake’s legends. 

You’ll have a chance to explore the ruins of Urquhart Castle, as well.

You can also take a quick tour of Culloden Battlefield and experience a 360 degree cinematic learning opportunity.

This is where you can get lunch, too.

Explore the grounds of Cawdor Castle.

Even enjoy a sweet treat or a refreshing drink.

This is a cute place to relax and take pictures.

The last leg of the tour will take you past the iconic sites of Inverness.

See many of the beautiful landmarks of the city. You can even take a photo stop at St. Andrews Cathedral.

13. Invergordon Cruise Excursion to Loch Ness and Outlander Sites

⏳ TOUR LENGTH: 7.5 hours | ✔️ BOOK NOW

WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THIS TOUR

  • Bottled water
  • Leisurely itinerary
  • Services of knowledgeable local guide
  • Guided walks if desired

Outlander fans will love this tour!

See many filming locations and learn about their history.

Not only will you learn real life historical facts, but you can also learn some behind the scenes trivia from the show!

This tour only allows up to 7 people.

That means you’ll never have to fight a crowd of guests! This also allows for a personalized experience.

Learn the significance of the Clava Cairns and see if you recognize it from your favorite TV show.

Spend some time at Culloden Battlefield.

Not only does this battlefield play a big part in the TV series, it also has some serious historical significance.

Spend some time exploring Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle.

Maybe you’ll even see the world-famous Loch Ness Monster!

Enjoy a glass of gin at Great Glen Distillery.

Even if you don’t like gin, you’ll love tasting a drink so fresh!

Finally, spend some time at Beauly Priory.

This village was once a monastic community that is now a fun place to visit.

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.

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

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