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
Here’s also the map of one week Scotland itinerary you can use as the inspiration.
Day 1. Edinburgh
Arrive in Edinburgh and start your exploration of Scotland with its cozy capital. You can easily spend a day or two in this beating heart of Scotland. I fell in love with Edinburgh thanks to its medieval charm, unique stone buildings and warming chatter of the locals in countless pubs.
Among the best things to do in Edinburgh, you will find the hike to Arthur’s Seat, Edinburgh castle, and of course – Scottish pubs and whiskey!
Oh, and did you know that J.K. Rowling wrote the world-famous Harry Potter books sitting in cafes of cozy Edinburgh streets? You can join one of the Harry Potter walking tours to hear the full story and visit places where Rowling took her inspiration and wrote her books.
Where to stay in Edinburgh?
- Budget: Stay in a clean CODE POD hostel with free breakfast right in the heart of the city!
- Mid Range: Get that true Scottish feel by staying in a 16 Pilrig guesthouse.
Day 2. Edinburgh to Isle of Skye
How about jumping straight into adventure by starting your 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 about 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. Isle of Skye, day 1
If you got to the Isle of Skye within a day – perfect! I suggest you start your exploration of the island with its major town – Portree.
Again, there are a few ways to go about things to see in the Isle of Skye. If you don’t have a car, you can rent a bicycle to explore the natural beauties of the Isle of Skye in a more adventurous manner. The best way to experience the island is to make a loop going north seeing Old Man of Storr, Quiraing, Uig and coming back to Portree.
Day 4. Isle of Skye, day 2
If you are staying in 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 Neist Point Lighthouse.
For the lovers of more adventurous holidays, there are some great hiking possibilities in the mountains south of Portree, namely the Black Cuillin (Sgurr nan Gillean) which is a popular climbing spot.
Day 5. Mallaig and Harry Potter Train
Leaving the Isle of Skye, use Armadale as your exit point. This is where you can take a ferry to Mallaig.
Why Mallaig? Very simple, this is where you can hop on to that famous Hogwarts train that took Harry Potter and his student-friends to the school of magic.
Mallaig is a small but very lovely town, so spend some time exploring it while you wait for your train. I suggest you grab a plate of fish-and-chips at Jeffy’s while you wait, it was some of the best one I had in my life.
Take a ride to Fort William on a most famous train in Europe – a Jacobite steam train. Though the experience won’t be exactly the same as going to Hogwarts, the train ride is always a fun experience and the views you’ll see out the window will not leave you disappointed.
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.
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
- If 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
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Tell me about your travel plans! When are you going and what are you going to see?