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.
56 thoughts on “16 Breathtaking Photos of my Scottish Highland Tour from Inverness”
I actually heading to Scottland for the first time in September. Unfortunately, I’m only spending two days there and will only see Edinburgh. I’m really into hiking though so I think I will have to book another trip and focus on visiting the highlands. When is the best time of year to visit? Weather wise that is.
It’s not yet too cold in September so I think your trip will be alright (though of course, it will still rain a lot). May to August is the most popular time for visiting Scotland because it’s warm 🙂 but I think maybe it’s better to visit around October or April to avoid the crowd.
May is usually a good month as is September. Usually midge free too.
Thanks for this great overview of the best escapes of Scotland; really liked the layout of this post. We didn’t visit it on our last trip in United Kingdom, but hopefully we’ll visit this gem on our next vacation. We’d love to visit the Eileen Donan Castle for sure!!
I have been dying to go to Scottland, I really love greenery and this just seems like the perfect place for me. Thanks for sharing tips too. I try not to do weekend tours ever because they’re so crowded, sometimes it’s too difficult though.
I have always wanted to go to Scotland but I’ve mostly seen photos of beautiful architecture in Edinburgh and other major cities. The highlands have plenty more to offer although a different kind of travel experience. The Donan Castle is as beautiful as it is eerie. Meanwhile, Kilt Rock is such a magnificent natural feature!
I’m fortunate enough to live in the Highlands and never tire of the beautiful scenery! I’m so glad you had such an enjoyable trip, your photos are stunning. 🙂
Beautiful! Hopefully I can get there some day.
Wow gorgeous! So dreamy landscape! But the bad weather is to be expected I guess! I dont know why but Scotland makes me think of ghost!😂
Oh – My – Goodness! Your photos are incredible and make me want to pack my bags and head up to Scotland right now! So green and lush! And that castle! ❤️
Wow! Your pictures are amazing. I am dying to make it to Scotland one day. Everything about it looks incredible.
I am alway intrigue of what is lifestyle in living in Scottish highlands. Their sceneries are so beautiful and unique. I guess spending the summer would be nice here. Glad you made it!
I love the pictures of Scottish Castles. It always strikes me as a gorgeous hiking destination. I hope to get there over my next visit to UK. Fingers crossed!
I keep saying that I will visit Scotland sometimes soon but I never make it. I guess that after I’ve read your post and seen those amazing photos i need to book a plane ticket to Inverness. It’s one of my UK bucket list to reach the Isle of Sky.
Best. Post. Ever. I took a tour of the Scottish Highlands in 2009 and I fell in love with Scotland. I didn’t have my own car either so a tour was the only way to go for me. But it was so worth it for all the great stories you get to hear, it really adds ambiance to the already-beautiful scenery.
One of my friend also took Rabbie tours to explore Scotland! Indeed they are pretty good. I’ve only been to Edinburgh in Scotland and haven’t explored the highlands! Kilt rock is so picturesque! That bridge at Inverness looks stunning!
You took some very nice photos of Scotland. The country really seems like a fairytale. The landscape is so beautiful. I read another blogger that used Rabbies tour and had a great time as well.
Scotland is beautiful any time of year. Thete are so many places to go especially if you are an outdoor person. Just need to be prepared for rain which can happen even on a cloudless day 😀
Those photos are really inspiring
Great tips especially about choosing a tour on the weekday. Ireally enjoyed reading this post. It brought back fond memories of my visit to Scotland. Thank so much!
The pictures are beautiful I have always admired Scotland and wanted to visit it but never got a chance till now. I hope i do visit and make sure to add these places in my itinerary 🙂
The Isle of Skye looks like it could be in the Caribbean with those bright colors. I love how this looks like a fairy tale dream come true. Great tips, as weekday travel is almost always a winner, provided attractions are open.
So much green it makes my head spin, but in the best kind of way. Thanks for sharing, especially because I was considering doing a trip like this myself. Cheers!
Amazing pictures! Scotland has such rich nature and lovely landscapes! I’ve never been there but would love to travel the different towns and hike some mountains!
Absolutely GORGEOUS! I love the houses in Portree, the colours are so cute! Scotland has been appearing in my feed more & more lately… I think it’s a sign I need to return!
I just came back from Scotland – although the weather was mixed and the midges wanted to eat us alive – it was an amazing trip – the landscapes were so spectacular. So nice to bring back the memories by looking at your beautiful photos 🙂
What a incredible photos! I can’t believe I haven’t visit Scotland yet and I am loving in London right now! Its so beautiful there! I love all those castles, mountains and lakes! amazing !
Although I have seen many posts on Scotland, every time I see them, they fill me with awe. I think the first time I saw them in the movie Braveheart, so there is an added epic feel to it for me.
I’ve heard such good things about Rabbies Tours. I;ve never used them as I’m from Scotland and have a car, but their tours all looks so great!
Nice photos! I was in Scotland last year and visited some of the same site. It really brought back the memories, so pretty up there.
I have to totally agree that these are breathtaking pictures. These are tempting me to go explore this part of the world. It shows scotland is so very beautiful
This post looks full of green. And awesome photos.
The photos are indeed breathtaking. And you have given good tips for the Scottish Highland Tour!
Oh my gosh, this is amazing. The jealousy is real, Scottish castles and Loch Ness even. I need to see this at some point in the very near future.
Truly! It left me in awe. I wish I could go there someday.
Wow. Very beautiful! And I love your pictures. Thanks for sharing 🙂
I wish I had seen more of the Highlands when I lived in Scotland! I love the coloured houses especially.
That’s brought back lots of fabulous memories. You’ve given some great tips on the tour experience too. When we went, we took the overnight sleeper, and then spent a few days driving around the local area in a hire car. You saw many of the same places, and it’s focused my mind on returning soon. And you even got a picture of Eilean Donan without it rising from the mists!
I don’t know why Scotland has yet to go off on my radar, but I have been seeing so many gorgeous photos lately. The colorful houses are dreamy and I would definitely try to find my way to get up close and personal with them.
You’ve captured my favorite place so beautifully! I studied abroad in Edinburgh in 2003 and Scotland will forever remain my favorite country in the world.
The Scottish Highlands always take my breath away. I love the options of what to do and where I can go. I haven’t seen some of the things you mentioned. Thank you.
I’ve never been to Scotland but I really would love to visit it one day! The houses of the isle of Sky are so lovely!! I love that everything is so green and well preserved! I’d like to take a lot of pictures of that beautiful nature 🙂
I just loved the greenery, the castle and the mountains. Scotland is now on my bucket list.Thanks for sharing.
Dying to visit Scotland! My younger sister just got back and if her pics didn’t make me jealous enough, these definitely did! You take amazing photos 🙂
Why is Scotland so beautiful. From the landscape to architecture there is something so amazing about it, top of my list of places to visit. Definitely saved to my Pinterest.
The capital town of the Isle of Skye looks like the place I’d like to retire out for at least 2-3 days! So pretty! Now the castles and grasslands of Scotland are calling us and we don’t wanna wait for long.
Your pics are gorgeous! I’ve never been to the scottish highlands but I really like the sceneries and hillscapes. would love to visit those destinations!
I haven’t visited Scotland yet but I’ve seen the pictures and it looks beautiful. I likeed idea how they showed feast tradition in the castle. And shoe colorful houses are super cute
WOW! Your pictures are gorgeous. I have heard lot of good things about Scottish Highlands and was, in fact, looking forward to a trip this September with Rabbie’s but some how things didn’t materialise. But there’s always the next time 🙂
Dreamy images and very inspiring. Great job
I’d never herd of Eileen Donan Castle, it’s stunning from your picture and I understand why it’s the most photographed in Scotland. Thats a good tip about preparing for rain and wind, I know how the weather can be in the Highlands. The Highlands are so green and picturesque, so many Instagram opportunities!
This is so gorgeous!! What an amazing trip. I loved both Ireland and Scotland when I went. I didn’t know the tip about not buying souvenirs in Edinburgh. The Isle of Skye looks incredible! I hadn’t been there yet. Great post and absolutely beautiful photos
What an awesome breakdown of your trip to the Highlands. I have been wanting to go to Scotland and see as much as I can see. I totally understand the rain and weather situation, when I went to Ireland it rained a few days I was there, but was totally worth it.
Scotland is a delight. There is so much to enjoy. This tour looks wonderful. I will keep this company in mind for a trip in the future.
These pictures are so beautiful and you have really show the beauty of Scotland. Thanks for sharing.
I have only ever been to Edinburg, I need to explore way more of Scotland! These pictures just made me want to explore all the more.