Highland Explorer: Skye & Far North
5 day tour

  • Cairngorm National Park
  • Loch Ness Highland tours
  • Mountain tour highlands scotland
  • Ben Nevis mountains scotland tour

Soak up the romantic beauty of the Isle of Skye and the Far North.

Tour map


National Parks

Places you'll explore

Cairngorms National Park - Gaze in awe at Scotland’s most beautifully rounded peaks.

Loch Ness - This loch holds more fresh water than all of the lakes in England and Wales combined.

Ullapool and Assynt - Explore outstanding natural scenery and breathtaking views in these beautiful locations.

Applecross* & Torridon - Looking for some serenity? This peaceful spot offers unblemished landscapes in their most natural state.

Eilean Donan Castle - Located on its own little island, this famous castle is sure to be a favourite.

Glencoe - Famous for an ancient massacre, this beautiful spot offers intriguing tales and mystical views.

Five Sisters of Kintail - Gaze in awe at the powerful peaks and rising ridges of this impressive mountain chain.

Your journey

Mountains, valleys, forests: we love all the wild places.

And there’s nothing we love more than sharing this passion with our passengers.

So on this trip we get you out exploring Scotland’s great wilderness. From the wind swept light house on the edge of Skye to the untouched beaches of the Northern Highlands.

But not everything on this trip is wild.

Because in the evenings we make sure you rest easy in Scotland’s calm and cosy little villages.

*A road closure on Bealach Na Ba Road means we're unable to take you to the Applecross Peninsula between 8th April and 18th May. Instead, you get more time to explore the other gorgeous sights of the North Coast 500.

Tour Details

09.00 - Gate J and Gate K, Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH1 3DQ
19.00 approx

Students, seniors over 60, and children between 5 and 15 (unfortunately, we don't carry children under 5 years old)

Important information
  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes
  • One 15 kilogram bag per person
Tour inclusions
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of a Rabbie's driver-guide
Tour exclusions
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions
  • Tour accommodation


Day 1

  • Wander around the beautiful village of Dunkeld
  • Try your best to spot the Loch Ness Monster

You head north over the Forth Road Bridge to the charming highland village of Dunkeld.

From here, you head into the Cairngorms National Park and the ancient pine forests of the Rothiemurchus estate.

You stop for lunch before a short forest walk takes you to the ruins of Loch an Eilein castle.

You enjoy panoramic views of Loch Ness as you travel down to the banks of the famous loch, and the village of Dores where you can do some “Nessie” spotting!

Then it’s onto the shores of Loch Broom where you spend two nights at Ullapool.

Day 2

  • Visit the crumbling ruins of Ardvreck Castle
  • Admire the pristine beach of Achmelvich Bay

Today, you explore the far northwest Highlands and the mountains of Assynt. This area is famous as being the first crofting area to be bought by the local crofters, the Assynt Crofters’ Trust.

You’re immersed in the history of the area and visit the 15th century ruins of Ardvreck Castle, once the stronghold of the MacLeods of Assynt.

The day is full of amazing views of some of Europe’s oldest landscapes, the stunning white sand beach at Achmelvich Bay, and the traditional fishing village of Lochinver.

You spend the night in the picturesque fishing village of Ullapool.

Day 3

  • Find out how palm trees arrived in the village of Plockton
  • Take the Bealach na Ba road, one of Scotland’s most beautiful routes.

You head south to take in the drama of the River Droma’s 60m plunge into the Corrieshalloch Gorge.

From here, you travel past the mountains of the Beinn Eighe nature reserve and along the picturesque coastline of Loch Torridon.

After your lunch stop in Applecross, you take one of the highest and most exhilarating roads in Scotland, Bealach na Ba.

In the afternoon, you stop in “tropical” Plockton, where you can see palm trees growing alongside Loch Carron and take time to enjoy its sheltered serenity. Then it’s over the sea to Skye and the delightful harbour town of Portree.

Day 4

  • Learn about Skye’s heroic landscapes
  • Spend an evening in the delightful town of Portree

Today is a flexible day on Skye. There are many options depending on the weather.

You may travel north to the stunning Quiraing mountain pass and enjoy a spectacular walk through Skye's extraordinary geological scenery. You can also visit Kilt Rock and see its waterfall cascading over the cliffs and down into the sea below.

After lunch, you may travel to Neist Point for a walk out to the lighthouse at the most westerly point on Skye. Alternatively, you may like to visit Dunvegan Castle, ancient ancestral seat of the Clan McLeod.

In the late afternoon, we return you to your accommodation in Portree for a free evening in the village.

Day 5

  • Take a picture of Scotland’s ‘most photographed castle’, Eilean Donan Castle
  • Travel through the mysterious landscape of Glencoe

Travel south from Skye and visit the famous stronghold, Eilean Donan Castle.

Continuing east through the rugged mountains of Kintail, you drive down through Glen Garry past Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, and onto Fort William for lunch.

In the afternoon, you explore spectacular Glencoe, scene of the infamous massacre of the Clan Macdonald in 1692.

You then start your journey towards Edinburgh.

Customer Reviews

Michael at the wheel

David James Posted on 16/09/2017

Enjoyed five wonderful days and five types of weather, off and on the beaten track with Michael who went that extra mile every day to take us to locations that surprised and delighted us.

Magical Scotland Thank you Doug :)

Nazl305 Can Posted on 09/09/2017

I became a Scotland lover after my trip. I enjoyed every minute of 5 days 305 spent. I loved the mystic lochs,waterfalls and magnificent mountains. Scotland is a very beautiful country. And as 305 see every scotch is addicted to nature. But it is definitely our tour guide Doug made my trip meaningful and enjoyable. I liked Dougs music very much. I continued to listen after 305 return to Turkey. Every minute was wisely planned with stories and music. Doug is a wonderful storyteller. You can blindly trust him. If 305 have a chance to take a trip again,305 would definitely travel with Doug. Nazl305

wonderful experience

Marnie Wolpert Posted on 04/06/2017

Marnie Wolpert Posted on 04/06/2017

Not only the beautiful country, with mountains and lochs, but our driver/tour guide Nicky O made this holiday a spectacular one. So knowledgable about Scottish history and a wonderful story teller. He made up a special song for our multi-national group. One of the best tour holidays I have had in my many years of travel. I am making plans to go again next year.


Amber Rogers-Tillstone Posted on 25/05/2017

We were 3 generations ( my Mom and son and myself) on the 5 day Highland Explorer tour. It was an absolutely amazing experience and we all wished it lasted a bit longer. Everything was very well organized, we had a great group and a great tour guide with Nicky O. He really made the trip for all of us, with his gift for storytelling along with his vast knowledge of the history of Scotland and the places we saw and his self depricating humor making everyone feel welcome and was alot of fun, alot of laughing. My Mom who has gone on many tours throughout Europe said this was the best tour she had ever been on. The lovely Scottish music Nicky played just added to the whole flavor of the tour especially his song he wrote for us! Thank you for making our holiday an amazing, fun and very memorable one! Amber Rogers-Tillstone

What an amazing tour

Sabine Posted on 25/07/2016

I have been to many Rabbies tours during the last few years, but only one of my earlier trips was (only a tiny little bit) better than this current one. Our very young guide Grant did a brilliant, phantastic job as a driver and guide and took care of the group in an unbelievably dedicated way. I was deeply impressed. The group itself was the best I ever had. Wonderful guys, all of them. Scotland is so amazingly beautiful, that I cannot stop spending all my summer holidays there. And I can only recommend everyone to use Rabbies for touring Scotland.

A brilliant time- thank you Rabbies!

Maralyn and Bill Becher Posted on 20/03/2016

We have just returned from this amazing tour- Skye and North West 5 Day Tour and we want to thank Rabbies for the best possible first visit to Scotland that we could have! The coach was so comfortable and the lovely places we visited were a dream come true. The accommodation was perfect for our needs and the small group(6) of us travelling together got on so well. A major reason why this trip exceeded all expectations was our driver and guide, Dan Young. His knowledge of the geography and history of the area was fantastic. He was a brilliant driver and he was so kind and friendly. The whole trip was a delightful experience and we cant wait for the next time!!

Incredible Trip!

Pete Kruppenbacher Posted on 06/09/2015

My wife and I took our 5 year old daughter on the 5 day tour of the highlands with our guide, Alan Oliver. We had such an incredible time! not only was the scenery unbelievable the weather was almost perfect. Additionally, our guide Alan was the best. Simply put, weve been on lots of different tours in lots of different places but Alan was, by far, the best. He was friendly and welcoming and and always had a smile. He was very knowledgeable and could make the history of Scotland come alive. He knew when to play some music and knew when to talk to us. He was able to read the group very well and could make suggestions for us that were very helpful. His sense of humor was also very good. At the end of the 5 days we really felt that we had a friend in Alan and were quite disappointed that the tour was over. If anyone is looking at the 5 day tour of the Highlands I would definitely book it and if Alan is any indication of the kind of guides that Rabbies employs, you absolutely cannot go wrong. The next time we are in Scotland we are definitely booking a Rabbies tour!

Thank You Duncan!

Wendy L Posted on 28/06/2015

On May 13/15 we set off from Edinburgh to tour the Highlands with a group of 9 other people. With the help of our terrific driver and guide Duncan, we quickly bonded and enjoyed our time together exploring the history and gorgeous scenery of the Highland area! The small Rabbies bus, expertly manoeuvred by Duncan allowed us to travel to out of the way places, into small villages and up winding roads to summits with always spectacular views! All the while we were treated with the outmost courtesy by Duncan and constantly entertained and educated by his prodigious knowledge of history and great storytelling ability. We felt very fortunate to have been part of his tour. The tour was definitely a highlight of our 3 week trip to the U.K. and we would happily recommend this company to anyone! Wendy and Peter Marrs, Peterborough Ontario, Canada

tour 05/09/2014 - 10/09/2014

Ingele De Potter Posted on 30/09/2014

Been on a tour with Rabbie's for the first time and it was awesome. Emily our guide was the best, she gives so much information and know a lot of lovely stories. Had the best time ever in the heart of the Highlands, so many beautiful landscapes on the way it was mindblowing ! Love Scotland even more ! Hope to come back soon. Thank you Rabbie's ! Greatings from Belgium


Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay two nights in the fishing village of Ullapool* and two nights in the harbour town of Portree, on the Isle of Skye (some tours may stay in Inverness instead of Ullapool).

*Tours departing on 12th May stay in inverness instead of Ullapool on the first night due to a book festival. And the tours departing on 27th and 29th September stay two nights in Inverness instead of Ullapool.

How does the accommodation work?

Your tour excludes accommodation; but when you book, you can ask us to reserve local accommodation for you, or you can choose to reserve your own accommodation in the overnight locations.

I want Rabbie’s to book my accommodation, what happens now?

Once you've booked your tour, we'll reserve all your accommodation, and your driver will drop you off with your hosts. You’ll pay your accommodation directly. Most don’t accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay cash.

What if I want to change my accommodation booking with Rabbie’s?

Changes to accommodation cannot be guaranteed and are subject to availability. A minimum amendment charge of £5.00 will apply.

I booked my own accommodation is there anything I need to do?

You’ll need to contact us with your accommodation details. Please only reserve accommodation within the overnight towns that your tour stops in.

Your driver will drop you off at your chosen accommodation as long as it’s relatively central. You can find a selection of hotels at hotels.rabbies.com.

What if I cancel my tour at short notice?

If you cancel less than three days before departure, you may be liable for the cost of your first nights’ accommodation. And occasionally you may be liable for all your accommodation costs.

What are the accommodation types and what do they cost?

We try to reserve accommodation that’s no more than a 20-minute walk from the town centre.

We regularly check our accommodation suppliers to ensure they reach a certain standard. The prices below are for guidance only.

B&B (Bed and Breakfast) Standard

The toilet and showering facilities are shared with at least one other room in the house, and the price includes breakfast. The cost is between £30.00 - £35.00 per person per night. A single standard is between £35.00 - £60.00 per night.

B&B En/suite

The showering and toilet facilities are private, and breakfast is included in the price. The expected cost for a room, based on two people sharing, will be between £40.00 – £50.00 per person per night.

The expected cost for a single room will be between *£55.00 - £80.00 per night.


Hotels have a bar or restaurant and provide evening meals. Breakfast is included in the price. The expected cost of Hotel 3* is between £65.00 - £85.00 per person per night. Hotel 4* is approximately £75.00 - £120.00 per person per night.


A hostel consists of dormitory rooms with 4 to 16 bunk beds. The bathroom facilities are a short distance from the dorm room. Kitchen facilities are equipped so you can make your own meals. The cost is between £15.00- £25.00 per person per night.

Please note that SYHA hostels only offer same gender dorms. Some independent hostels will offer mixed rooms (males and females together).

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, you can read our FAQs, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, or email rooms@rabbies.com.


Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

The UK and Ireland's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure, we only pick up from our central meeting points. What's more is leaving the city using the most direct route also reduces the carbon footprint of our tours.

Is there parking close to the departure point?

We don't recommend bringing your car into the centre of our departure cities. It can be hard to find parking, and there are excellent public transportation services.

When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.

What happens if I'm late or miss the tour?

If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies.

What are your cancellation policies?

We have a cancellation period of three days for our one day tours, and 21 days for longer tours. If cancelled outside this period, we'll give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this period, refunds are at our discretion. Click here to view full terms and conditions.

What is a guaranteed departure?

It's simple: you book, you go. This means we'll never cancel your tour because of a minimum numbers policy.

Can I pre-book a specific seat?

Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable 16-seat mini-coaches have huge windows. So, you'll always get a good view.

Are there toilets on the bus?

Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.

Do you take children on your tours?

We regret we don't carry children under the age of five on our scheduled tours.

You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.

How much time do I get off the bus?

We want you to enjoy Britain and Ireland. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of time to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.

Why do you exclude visitor attractions?

We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.

Do we need to bring our own lunch?

You don't need to. We stop in small towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.

Should I tip the driver-guide?

Let's be honest, our driver-guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.

What about travel insurance?

We advise you take out travel insurance. You can click here for excellent rates.

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email tours@rabbies.com, or check out our full FAQs.

4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or less

You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back

Guaranteed departures: you book, you go

Internationally recognised for our award winning experiences

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