ONE WEEK SCOTLAND ITINERARY

One week trip to Scotland was one of the most memorable travel experiences I have ever had. It left me not only with plenty of absolutely stunning images but with great stories of adventure. Scotland is not like any other place in Europe and it deserves exploration beyond the reach of big cities.

I am going to share with you a suggested one week Scotland itinerary. It starts in Edinburgh, goes to the Isle of Skye and back via Glasgow.

One Week Scotland Itinerary

Day 1. Edinburgh

Arrive in Edinburgh. Spend a day in a beating heart of Scotland. This stone made city will not leave you careless. Among the best things to do in Edinburgh: Arthur’s Seat hike and of course – Scottish pubs and whiskey!Scotland Itinerary - scotland view For more information, read my article: A DAY IN EDINBURGH: THINGS TO DO

Day 2. Edinburgh to Isle of Skye

Drive to Isle of Skye. You can do this in different ways. If you have a car, you can take the A9 towards Inverness and pass the Loch Ness on the way to get familiar with a famous monster. Another alternative (which we took as we didn’t rent a car) is to hitchhike through to Isle of Skye. If you want to know more on how to do it right, read my post: HITCHHIKING IN SCOTLAND WORKS? Either way, it will most likely take you the entire day to do the trip, especially if you want to stop and see things on the way.

Day 3. Portree, Isle of Skye

Wake up in Portree, rent a bicycle or a car and go to explore the natural beauties of the Isle of Skye. The best way to do this is to make a loop going north seeing Old Man of Storr, Quiraing, Uig and coming back to Portree.Scotland Itinerary - old man of storr

Day 4. Isle of Skye

From Portree, take a trip west to see the oldest inhabitable castle of Scotland – Dunvegan castle and further to the most western part of Isle of Skye to see the Neistpoint Lighthouse.


Day 5. Mallaig and Harry Potter Train

Take a bus to Armadale from which you can take a ferry to Mallaig. Here the link to ferry booking.Scotland Itinerary - mallaig view Mallaig is a small but very lovely town, so spend some time exploring it while you wait for your train. Take a ride to Fort William on a most famous train in Europe – a Jacobite steam train that carries all students of Harry Potter movie to Hogwarts.Scotland Itinerary - Jacobite train

Day 6. Loch Lomond and Trossachs

Take a bus (or drive) from Fort William down to Loch Lomond and Trossachs to explore one of the biggest national parks in Scotland. If you have a tent, you may as well stay here overnight.

Day 7. Glasgow

Catch a ride to Glasgow (should take around 2 hours) and spend a day exploring city’s numerous museums and galleries, or simply take a relaxing city walk enjoying a pie and a pint in a local brewery.

Scotland Itinerary - mallaig bench

Waiting for the “Hogwarts” train in Mallaig

The Isle of Skye trip won’t be complete if you don’t interact with locals as they are, in my view, adding up enormously to the cultural experience. Try the famous chips and fish, haggies and of course at least some of the strong Scottish whiskey.

To make the travel easier, you might want to check out Get Your Guide website for tour bookings. It will give you a list of available tours with prices (there are plenty from Edinburgh!) and you can choose which one suits you best. Most of them cover the same itinerary as suggested by me.

For more information about things to do and places to stay in Isle of Skye, read my ULTIMATE GUIDE TO ISLE OF SKYE

Is you are planning on making Isle of Skye a bicycle trip, check out my article on what it’s like: 7 CIRCLES OF HELL IN SCOTTISH HIGHLANDS

For the best places to stay in Scotland I recommend checking out Booking.com or AirBnb.

Like it? Pin it!Scotland Itinerary

Tell me about your travel plans! When are you going and what are you going to see?


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11 comments… add one
  • Skye Class 26 Jul 2016, 4:46 pm

    This is great! I went to the Isle of Skye three times last month, and am going again next month. It’s my favorite place in the world, after all, and I recently wrote my own post on how to explore the island in two days, including some local hidden gems that aren’t on Google Maps and even the locals don’t know about. Scotland is definitely the country that everyone needs to visit once, although they won’t be able to resist coming back for more!
    Skye Class recently posted…I Had the Best Meal of My Life at SkeppsgossenMy Profile

    • Lena 26 Jul 2016, 5:49 pm

      Sounds really exciting! What would be your favorite thing to do in the Isle of Skye then? I absolutely loved hiking strange places,like Old Man of Storr, but what about you? Are you exploring by car or bicycle or maybe other mode of transport?

      • Skye Class 14 Sep 2016, 10:14 am

        It’s hard to say. The Quiriang, Old Man of Storr, Fairy Pools and Fairy Glen all compete for my favorite place in the world, but then I find new places there like St. Columba’s Isle or the Cave of Gold. Next time I go I’m going to explore the 3000 year old buildings on the peninsula south of Glenbrittle. I usually go with a rental car, but sometimes I get a bus tour. The island is too big to go by foot or bike, unless you have many days. I usually only go for two or three days.

    • MARICEL 03 Nov 2016, 12:29 pm

      GOOD FOR YOU!

  • Barbara Rollman 30 Nov 2016, 3:54 pm

    My sister and I just got finished with the outlander book and now we want to see the country. We are 53 & 62 yrs and would like to see the key places to visit. We may stay up to 10 days . any advice

    • Lena 30 Nov 2016, 10:53 pm

      Barbara, this sounds exciting. Though I mainly explored the Western part of Scotland, I can say that it is a great place to be if you wish to combine natural sights with historical ones. Isle of Skye, for example, offers amazing natural sights, like Quiraing, Old Man of Storr, etc. On the other hand, you can also see some great castles, like Eilean Donan Castle right nearby Skye. Regardless of what you choose to do, I advice you to still spend some time in Edinburgh, it is very rich in culture. And, of course, consider Lock Lomond & The Trossachs.
      By the way, would you recommend the book? 😉

      • Joanne Ramsden 25 Dec 2016, 5:11 am

        I can recommend the book. Read the first one in 2003 and haven’t looked back. We visited Scotland very briefly this past summer. My dad was born in Lanark. I was able to go to the church. I look forward to the day (s) ! We can come back. I want to do so much, see so much. Thank you for your info. I am compiling my list.

      • Wendy 15 Apr 2017, 1:50 am

        My favorite trips have been my trips to Scotland. I’ve been a couple of times and spent 3 weeks each trip. It still wasn’t enough time! Edinburgh was amazing and takes some time to explore. Day trips from the city are great, too: Roslyn Chapel, Melrose Abbey, Hadrian’s Wall, Alnwick Castle (Hogwarts). We did Isle of Skye as well and although we loved The Quiraing and Old Man of Storr, our favorites were the Fairy Glen (looks like it is out of Lord of the Rings ) and an 11-mile hike we took along the coast to Boreraig and Suisnish hamlets. You can see the ruins of their homes, left there after they had been violently evicted. The views were absolutely beautiful, even in the rain. I would also highly recommend not missing Glencoe and Glenfinnan. The latter has the viaduct used in the Harry Potter films. You can climb the surrounding hills to get a picture as the Jacobite Express goes past (and the engineer will usually wave). 🙂 For Outlander fans or any history buff, I would recommend Culloden as well. It’s an extremely somber visit but as I have Scottish ancestry, I wanted to go (and you can find the headstones for the various clans). I haven’t done too much on the eastern side either but have ventured further north this last time and hit the Orkney Islands. There are amazing archaeological sites there as well. Isle of Lewis was beautiful and (lastly) I would recommend a day trip that requires a drive to Oban. You get to see Staffa and Treshnish Isles, where you can view the now-endangered puffins up-close. In two trips, I haven’t managed to see Glasgow yet but perhaps I will the next time. We also missed the Fairy Pools on Isle of Skye so perhaps we’ll get that in next time too. We just traveled through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs but I’d definitely like to see more of that as well. And, by the way, I’d recommend the book as well. The whole series, really. 🙂

        • Lena 15 Apr 2017, 10:13 am

          Wendy, this is such a valuable input! Scotland, truly, is one of the few places I would gladly come back to again and again. And next time I will surely try to get to places you recommend, especially Fairy Glen and the place where you can see Jacobite train passing by 🙂

  • Car Rental 10 Feb 2017, 6:16 pm

    Thanks for your article. I live in Scotland in the Borders, which is also beautiful. Although I have seen much of this lovely country, there is an endless amount of sites to see and experience. You have highlighted more to explore in the near future.

    Chris

  • Jain 16 Feb 2017, 1:22 pm

    Hi Lena, Great pics! i have visited Edinburgh, Glasgow and Loch Lomond few years before but never been to Highlands. Will be visiting Isle of Skye next time 🙂
    Jain recently posted…Sacré-Coeur- The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of ParisMy Profile

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