Round trip Scotland (14 days): Example route + map & itinerary
On a round trip in Scotland? Use our planned out tour with itinerary + tips!
Scotland has everything you want as a nature lover: beautiful beaches, snowy peaks, phenomenal lakes and so much more. Additionally it is a region with a lot of history and a fascinating culture.
Are you planning to visit Scotland by car? Our mapped out route with travel guide is the perfect start for your road trip through Scotland.
Map of the 14-day round trip in Scotland (fly-and-drive)
Day 1: Edinburgh city walk
This itinerary foresees 1 day in Edinburgh. If you have more time than the planned 14 days, then this city is definitely worth staying a little longer and exploring further.
For our 1-day exploration of Edinburgh we have planned a city walk with the main focus on the Royal Mile, the famous street that leads along the Old Town to Edinburgh Castle. This city walk highlights the most important sights of Edinburgh. We mapped out a city walk in Edinburgh.
The inner city is 'split' into two parts: The Old Town and The New Town. In the old town you will find the Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the famous Royal Mile, where you will find many souvenir shops, cafes and restaurants.
Near the castle you can also visit a gigantic souvenir shop. This shop has four floors full of souvenirs and a basement where you can see the workmen weaving lambswool.
The New Town also offers nice pubs, restaurants and shops. This part is separated from The Old Town by a train track and a beautiful city park. Here you can indulge yourself in various museums by which many of them have free entrance.
Day 2: Edinburgh to Glasgow
Distance traveled: 220 km
The route of day 2 will take you to a completely different city. The rivalry between Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, and Edinburgh, the capital, sometimes goes hard, but remains friendly. The two cities may not be far away from each other, but in terms of culture and atmosphere they are miles apart. Before you can discover the differences for yourself, we first visit some interesting sights along the way. You will come across Kelso Abbey and Melrose Abbey.
Day 3: City walk Glasgow
The walk on this day of the Scotland tour will give you a diverse insight into Scotland's second largest city, Glasgow. With this city walk we want to introduce you to the main highlights of Glasgow, although this walk is only the beginning. Check out the fantastic restaurants, bars, clubs and events to better understand this complex city. And who knows, you might get captivated by it. We made a mapped out city walk in Glasgow.
Here is a list of things to do in Glasgow, to give you an idea of what to expect:
- First of all, Glasgow Cathedral is definitely worth a visit along with the connected cemetery.
- Fan of museums? Then the Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum is up your alley. This museum is located in a park and is very beautiful. There are also such a big variety of collections and exhibitions, that everyone will find his or her liking.
- Shopping in Glasgow is also a possibility, because there are many large shopping streets with a variety of chains, large shops and boutiques.
- In Glasgow Green Park you'll find the People's Palace and winter gardens: a museum and a greenhouse opened by the count of Rosebery 1898.
Day 4: Glasgow to Glencoe
Distance traveled: 221 km
As you leave Glasgow, you will be amazingly fast surrounded by beautiful scenery, which will only get more spectacular on your way to Glencoe. You will pass through Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park and of course make a stop at Loch Lomond, one of Scotland's most popular lakes. You will also pass through Glen Coe, a large volcanic valley which is considered one of the most beautiful routes in the United Kingdom.
The Trossachs National Park is a beautiful nature reserve that includes several mountain ranges including Trossachs. In this national park there are many protected nature reserves and small parks. The area is very beautiful and attracts a lot of tourists, but you really can not skip it!
Glen Coe is also such an incredibly beautiful place in Scotland. The road through Glen Coe takes you through the heart of an old volcano along many mountains, hills, fields, waterfalls, you name it. Here you can easily spend several hours (or even days) discovering.
Day 5: Glencoe to Tobermory
Distance traveled: 112 km
On day 5, several highlights on the way to the westernmost point of the British mainland, the Ardnamurchan Peninsula, are on the program. For example, you will pass the Sunart Oakwoods, a remnant of the mild rainforest that once covered the Europe's Atlantic coastline. The ferry will take you from Kilchoan to Tobermory on the island of Mull. You'll explore this island the next day.
Mull is the perfect place to spot beautiful and rare animals. This island is one of the best places to see the rare sea eagles or you can even see whales, dolphins or sharks on a boat trip! In addition, there are beautiful white beaches and stunning landscapes. Above all, go explore yourself!
Our not to be missed recommendations:
- Calgary Bay is a beautiful beach where you can completely unwind. Ideal for a walk.
- Hike on the Carsaig Arches: this brisk walk (not recommended for inexperienced hikers) rewards you with the most beautiful views of the island. You'll see waterfalls, caves, rock formations, wildlife and much more.
- Climb the Ben More. This climb offers a simple path that requires no special equipment. Once you reach the top, you will get a great view!
Day 6: Isle of Mull and Isle of Iona
Today we visit the Isle of Mull, the second largest island of the Inner Hebrides (Skye is the largest). Most islanders live in Tobermory, therefore most tourists limit their visit to this town.
However, Mull has a lot more to offer, and we recommend taking the time to explore the less visited parts of the island. Our proposed itinerary takes you along small, winding roads along the west coast and the magical, mystical Isle of Iona. Enjoy the varied and breathtakingly beautiful landscapes, as well as the extraordinary fauna and flora.
This route can be done in 1 day, but if you can take more time, a longer stay on the island is definitely worth it.
One of the most visited places on Isle of Iona is Iona Abbey, an abbey founded in the 6th century by Saint Columba. From this abbey Christianity was spread throughout Scotland. When you visit the abbey you will be given an audio-phone with which you can listen to Gregorian music and information, so you can visit the sight at your own pace. There is also a museum. A visit to the abbey and nunnery can not be missed!
Day 7: Isle of Mull to Isle of Skye
Distance traveled: 333 km
After spending a day on the Isle of Mull you return to the mainland. On your way north through the centre of the Scottish Highlands you'll come across famous places like the mountain top Ben Nevis and Loch Ness. The day ends on the beautiful Isle of Skye, without a doubt the most famous island of Scotland.
On the way you can board the Jacobite Steam Train. The Glenfinnan viaduct is one of the highlights of the trip, especially for Harry Potter fans who will undoubtedly recognize the place from many movies.
Day 8: Isle of Skye to Applecross
Distance traveled: 416 km
You only really get to know the Isle of Skye when you leave the car and go exploring by foot. Whether you're taking a leisurely coastal walk or a brisk mountain hike, or climbing the 'Inaccessible Pinnacle' of Sgùrr Dearg in the Cuillin mountain range, it's only off the track that you'll feel, smell and experience this beautifully untamed island. In order to fully enjoy the beauty of this island, you should actually stay here for a few days.
But fortunately there is also a lot to see and do when having a short visit to the island. In one day you can certainly see the most important sights of the Isle of Skye. The day ends in Applecross.
The Applecross peninsula is very charming and there is a very nice atmosphere. The area around Applecross is considered to be one of the earliest inhabited parts of Scotland. Many of the highlights have a long and interesting history.
Day 9: Applecross to Durness
Distance traveled: 375 km
On day 9 you will continue up north until you reach the wild coast at Durness, the most northwestern village in Scotland. You will drive this part of the tour on the touristic North Coast 500, a 500 mile (800 km) loop road that takes you to all the major sights along the coast from North Scotland to Inverness. You can expect a beautiful scenery.
With this route you zigzag from the town of Inverness to Applecross along the west coast. Afterwards you continue in the direction of Torridon and Ullapool. Next, you head north to some coastal towns to finally drive back via Dingwall to Iverness. Along the way you will get to see all kinds of beautiful places. For example, you will pass a mini castle, impressive mountains and beautiful nature.
Here we will share some of the highlights you will see during the beautiful route:
- Castles: along the way you will come across the ruins of Ardvreck Castle and Dunrobin Castle, which was used as a hospital during the war.
- Mountains and peaks: During your ride you'll be surprised by many impressive mountain peaks such as Ben Hope, Stac Pollaidhen An Teallachof Suilven. If you like to climb them, you should be better prepared, because the hikes are not easy!
- The most beautiful beaches: from secluded beaches to beautiful nature, you will find it all on this route. Our favorite beaches are Balnakeil Beach with enchanting white sand and Achmelvich Bay where you can also visit one of the smallest castles in Europe (the Hermit's Castle).
- Nature, nature, nature: you will of course, as mentioned several times, discover many beautiful natural wonders such as spectacular waterfalls, limestones, a sea cave and much more.
Day 10: Durness to Invernes
Distance traveled: 386 km
From Durness you could take a shorter route south to Inverness. However, we suggest you take the longer route along the northeast part of the country. This part of Scotland can seem quite gloomy, but there are some interesting stops along the way, such as Dunnet Head. This is the northernmost point of the British mainland. Keep in mind that this will be a long drive: around 6 hours, without taking stops into account.
Day 11: Inverness to Cairngorms
Distance traveled: 72 km
Compared to day 10, you will spend much less time in the car on day 11. Nonetheless, you will be able to enjoy beautiful lochs, rugged mountains and ancient Caledonian forests along the way, but in a more adventurous way by exploring by foot or bike. Cairngorms National Park has everything for the nature lovers.
The Cairngorms National Park is an impressive nature reserve with an area of more than 4000 km². The Cairngorms is very popular among hikers, nature and animal lovers, because of the many mountain peaks and reindeers you can visit. Enough reasons why you should definitely visit this national park!
Day 12: Cairngorms to Stirling
Distance traveled: 222 km
On the twelfth day you will travel from Cairngorms to Stirling. Along this route you will find a lot of cosy towns and beautiful landscapes. For example, you can take a panoramic route that leads past Tomintoul, the highest village in the Scottish Highlands, to charming Braemar. On the way you will pass Balmoral, the Scottish residence of the Queen, where you can enjoy beautiful views over the river Dee.
You will also pass by Doune Castle, which you may recognise from Monty Python and the Holy Grail of Game of Thrones where it was used as part of the set for Winterfell, home of the Starks.
Day 13: Stirling to St Andrews
Distance traveled: 90 km
On day 13 you will have the chance to explore two of Scotland's most interesting and historically important cities. Stirling and St Andrews have each played their part in Scotland's fascinating but often very bloody history, and are now important and vibrant centers with plenty things to see and do.
Stirling is best known for its castle on top of a volcanic rock, and the many steep streets that lead to the old town. Sterling also offers many sights such as the Mercat Cross, the centre of commerce, the Old Town Jail, the Holy Rude Church and the highlight of the city; the Stirling Castle.
St Andrews is known for two completely different things, namely the university and the sport golf. One of the oldest golf courses in the world is located in St Andrews, which is why it is sometimes referred to as the 'home town of golf'. There are also other sights such as the castle, the cathedral, chapels and much more.
Day 14: St Andrews to Edinburgh
Distance traveled: 120 km
The last day of the tour has arrived. We return along the coast to Firth of Forth and cross it to return to Edinburgh. On the way back you will discover even more beautiful villages in the area known as the East Neuk of Fife, each with their own character and charm. You will also come across the beautiful sandy beaches of Elie just before you enter Edinburgh.
Where to stay in Scotland? (with discount)
Looking for a place to stay during your trip in Scotland? We advise you to search mainly in the area of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen. These are the cities where you'll find the widest variety.
Which car to rent?
- Are you still unsure which car to rent for your road trip?
- Do not rent a car that is too small, go for a comfortable car.
- Be sure to book an all-inclusive insurance policy so you can drive around in peace.
- A reliable car rental company is Rentalcars (very large offer).
- Read more tips about renting a car on vacation.
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