The Best of the Black Isle
1 day

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Bottlenose dolphins, organically brewed beer, and cute coastal villages: this tour explores the best-kept secrets of northern Scotland.

Tour map

Highlights

Prehistoric Sites
Beaches

Places you'll explore


Black Isle Brewery - Talk to the Highland brewers and taste a delicious home-grown, organic beer.

Cromarty - Scottish writer, Ian Rankin, comes to this town to visit the local arts shop and enjoy the inspirational sea views.

Rosemarkie - Visit this village and explore the picturesque bays of the Moray Coast and a museum full of ancient Pictish relics.

Dolphin Cruise - Join an optional cruise into the Beauly Firth and spot the most northerly pod of bottlenose dolphins.


Your journey


The Black Isle is far more colourful than its name implies.

You see dolphins splashing about in the rich-blue Beauly Firth. You wander through villages lined by golden-yellow sands. And you find Celtic traditions deep within emerald-green forests.

Join this day tour and discover the beautiful palette of the Black Isle. You have a chance to go on a wildlife cruise, the option to taste locally brewed beers, and time to learn the tales of this history-soaked region of Scotland.

It’s perfect for people who enjoy venturing off the beaten track and learning about the different hues of indigenous wildlife, ancient traditions, and local flavours.

Tour Details

Departs
09.45 - Stance 7, Inverness Bus Station, Margaret St, Inverness, IV1 1LT
Returns
17:45
Discounts

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
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

Itinerary

You leave Inverness behind and head straight for the brewery. Tasting beer before noon may feel improper, but the Black Isle Brewery’s ethical beliefs and home-grown flavours will ensure you feel great about it.

After you’ve soaked up the local flavours, you take the short drive to Rosemarkie. This wonderful wee village offers you a chance to learn about ancient Pictish art and take in fresh sea views.

The journey then takes you to the equally picturesque village of Cromarty. There are plenty of things to do here. You can eat at a local restaurant, go shopping in the delightful arts and crafts shop, or visit the birthplace of the famous geologist, Hugh Millar.

Your next stop is an example of a strange, ancient Celtic tradition. It’s a small well in a forest where people leave offerings for spirits, gods, and wishes. You can leave something yourself, but please make sure it’s biodegradable and doesn’t damage the local environment.

Before heading back to Inverness, you have a chance to go dolphin spotting with ‘Dolphin Spirit’. Their boat is specially designed to limit disruption for the dolphins, the friendly guides tell you incredible facts about the wildlife, and the dolphins are active and use the beautiful firth as a nursery for their calves. It’s an essential Black Isle experience; but if you have other plans, you can skip this option, and we’ll take you back to Inverness earlier.

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FAQs

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

Meet our guides

Meet more guides

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Scottish Tourist Board 5 Stars Scottish Thistle Awards Winner 2015/2016 Green Tourism Award

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