From legendary lochs to crumbling castles, the Scottish Highlands will surprise you at every turn
The Highlands is the Scotland you imagine when you close your eyes. It’s the moody skies above a wild and rugged coastline; tiny cottages at the foothills of soaring mountains, and fascinating folklore that has inspired artists and poets for centuries. Join your local guide to track down Nessie on Loch Ness, explore pristine landscapes in Cairngorms National Park or marvel at ancient fortresses cloaked in history. Whether it's your first or tenth time in the Highlands, its charm will keep you coming back for more.
Our Scottish Highlands tours & holidays
Highlights of the Scottish Highlands
Scottish Highlands tour reviews
Scottish Highlands FAQs
Trips from 1 January 2023 onwards
From 1 January 2023, Intrepid will no longer require travellers to provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19 (excluding all Polar trips and select adventure cruises).
However, we continue to strongly recommend that all Intrepid travellers and leaders get vaccinated to protect themselves and others.
Specific proof of testing or vaccination may still be required by your destination or airline. Please ensure you check travel and entry requirements carefully.
The Scottish Highlands refers to the north-western part of Scotland that stretches from Fort William all the way up to the coast by the Isle of Skye, and Durness in the far north-west to Inverness in the east.
If you’re travelling from overseas, the closest airports to fly into are Glasgow International Airport (GLA) or Edinburgh International Airport (EDI). From here you can hire a car, catch a bus or take a train to one of the cities or towns in the Highlands. If you're travelling from the UK, you can take a train or coach to Fort William or Inverness and transfer to a local train or bus to get around the Highlands.
If you have a car, driving is the easiest way to get around the Highlands and explore at your own pace. Don’t worry if you don't have a car, as the main places and sights in the Highlands are pretty well connected with public transport. Trains operate between all of the main cities including Inverness, Aviemore and Fort William (and all of the towns in between). If trains aren’t available for where you want to go, chances are you can take a local bus or coach with Stagecoach, Scottish Citylink or the National Express. You can also take a ferry as a foot passenger or with your car to get to the Highlands’ many islands.
Billy Connolly once said, “There are two seasons in Scotland: June and Winter”. And he’s not entirely wrong. The weather can be very hit and miss even during the summer. The best time to visit in terms of the weather being on your side is between June and August when the days are longer and warmer. However, visiting in the colder months can also be a great time to see snow-capped mountains and get cosy in the pub around a log fire. No matter what time of year you visit, it’s best to be prepared for rain and chilly weather.
For a trip to the Highlands, or anywhere else in Scotland, bring plenty of comfortable clothing that will see you through long days of walking, exploring and visiting attractions. The weather is pretty unpredictable, and even if the forecast says it will be warm or dry, it could (and probably will) change. Bring a waterproof jacket, a warm coat, gloves, a hat and a scarf. A waterproof day sack can also come in quite handy to protect your phone and personal items if the heavens open while you're out on a walk.
The Scottish Highlands covers a pretty big area including mountain ranges. Internet access and mobile phone coverage is fine in villages, towns and main tourist hubs, but it might be a little patchy in more remote areas or at higher elevations.
Intrepid is committed to making travel widely accessible, regardless of ability or disability. That’s why we do our best to help as many people see the world as possible, regardless of any physical or mental limitations they might have. We’re always happy to talk to travellers with disabilities and see if we can help guide them towards the most suitable itinerary for their needs and where possible, make reasonable adjustments to our itineraries.