I’ve just come back from my one day Scottish Highland tour from Inverness and it was WONDERFUL!
Enjoying Scotland without car is quite unfortunate. I don’t drive, so the most feasible option for me to visit the Scottish Highland was booking a tour. In fact, it took me lots of time initially to make plans and compare prices between different tour companies. Seriously, if you google Scottish Highland Tour from Inverness, chances are you’ll be overwhelmed with dozens of Highland tour adverts that all sound the same.
I finally decided to book with Rabbie’s Tours – one of the most highly rated tour companies in Scotland – and did not regret at all! I’ll give you some more details about this tour plus some seriously useful tips about touring the Scottish Highland at the end of this blog post. For now, let’s look at the best moments I had during this Scottish Highland tour through 10 photos below:
1. The magnificent Eileen Donan Castle
Eileen Donan Castle is deemed the most photographed castle in Scotland. Entrance ticket costs £6 (group discount) and is really worth it. I was most impressed with the castle’s kitchen where they put models of servants, food, dishes and cooking methods to demonstrate how a typical elite party in the past would be prepared.
If you don’t want to enter the castle, walking around it is still an enjoyable experience. Overlooking the Isle of Skye, Eileen Donan Castle is situated at the meeting point of 3 sea-lochs with gorgeous surrounding landscape.
2. Portree – Isle of Skye
We stopped at Portree – the capital town of the Isle of Skye for a quick lunch. This hilly town features cute small houses by the coast, fresh seafood and great viewpoints of other islands.
3. Kilt Rock
4. The Quiraing Walk
5. Sligachan – Ideal viewpoint for Black Cuillin Mountains
6. Loch Ness and other mesmerising lakes
7. Picturesque highland terrains
8. Dreamy, mystic and fairy-like landscape
Choosing a Scottish Highland tour
Choosing a suitable Scottish Highland tour really stressed me out, especially with my limited student budget. I initially thought of booking a 3 day Highland tour from Edinburgh, but later found that it’d be cheaper to go to Inverness and take a one day tour from there. After reading for hours what each tour company had to offer, I decided to choose Rabbie’s Tours for the following reasons:
- They’re very highly ranked and positively reviewed on Tripadvisor
- They give student discounts for their tours
- Their business philosophy aligns with my values. In particular, they try to support local communities by stopping at local independent businesses along the roads. They also aim to reduce their environmental impacts by donating £10/tonne of carbon to projects that benefit the environment and the wellbeing of local communities.
So, although I was wavering between Haggis Adventures (which was cheaper) and Rabbie’s, I chose the latter and did not regret at all.
Isle of Skye and Eileen Donan Castle tour with Rabbie’s
Rabbie’s offers a number of one day Scottish Highland tour from Inverness. The one I chose was Isle of Skye and Eileen Donan Castle, which departed at 8:00 from Inverness and returned at 20:00. 12 hours might seem quite long, but for me it passed quite fast!
I’ve left a very positive review on Tripadvisor for this one day Scottish Highland tour from Inverness with Rabbie’s. Still, I feel like I need to repeat here why I was so satisfied with the tour:
- I forgot the tour guide‘s name unfortunately, but he was AMAZING! It’s absolutely not too much to say he’s the spirit of the tour. Knowledgeable, humble, humorous, helpful and thoughtful, the tour guide wowed me from time to time with his brilliant storytelling ability, his flute-playing talent and the huge amount of knowledge he had about the Scottish Highlands. I remember as we were driving past Loch Ness, he told us intriguing stories of people who’d been determined to find the monster but never succeeded. Then to conclude these stories, he quoted his grandmother, saying perhaps the monster was capable of changing its shape. Just like the waves from the Loch, which turned into white horses at night to dance on the Loch’s surface. (Seriously, I had to buy a Scottish Fairy Tales book right after the tour because of his mysterious stories of this land!)
- When choosing which Highland tour to book, I could see from Tripadvisor that many people complained about having to sit for so long during these tours. Luckily for me, the tour with Rabbie’s included very frequent stops along the road (approximately once every hour). It really did not feel like having to endure a long and boring journey at all!
- The 16-seat bus from Rabbie’s was super comfy. The tour guide also played relaxing Scottish music on the bus, which kept us amused throughout the trip!
- With only 16 people on the tour, we bonded easily with each other. We also didn’t have to wait for someone who came back late because they forgot the meetup time or something like that, as occurring more often in bigger tour groups.
Important tips for your Scottish Highland tour from Inverness
Here are some other tips for you when going on a one day Scottish Highland tour:
- If possible, choose a tour on a weekday. Most local shops along the roads don’t open on Sunday, so you’ll lose the chance to buy amazing local food and souvenirs.
- I highly recommend bringing a waterproof jacket (and pants if possible). There are some stops during the tour where we can climb onto hills to take photos. If it’s rainy and windy and you only have your umbrella, taking photos is impossible.
- Don’t buy souvenirs in Edinburgh (Read more why here). If you want some memories for your Scotland trip, wait til you get to the Isle of Skye and buy them here.
- Rabbie’s Tours stop for one hour in Portree for lunch. Most cheap eateries here tend to be very crowded around that time though. Therefore, either pop in Co-op store for a quick cold sandwich or prepare your budget for a more fancy lunch. If you’re on a budget, bringing your own lunch is also not too bad. You’ll get to have lunch while beholding the beautiful landscape of this island.
- Weather can be volatile – grab the chance to take photos whenever you can. It’s also colder and more windy than in the mainland so make sure you dress well!
It’s been a month since I came back from my Scottish Highland tour and I still dream about this gorgeous land! I am sure you’ll also feel the same once you’ve been there.
If you have any photo of the Scottish Highland to share, or any other tip to add, please feel free to comment below!
Note: This article contains an affiliate link, but it will NOT cost you extra to book via this link.