We noticed that you are based in the US - click here to visit our US website US 
Peace of Mind Guarantee: Worry-free booking after Covid-19 >Where can I travel? Advice on planning >
 

Scotland Whisky Trail

5 Days & 4 Nights
  • Tour Speyside's many distilleries sampling renowned drams as you go
  • Balmoral Castle, Scottish home of the royal family, set in the Cairngorm National Park
  • A variety of tours, tastings and masterclasses at iconic single-malt distilleries
  • Imposing Dunnottar Castle perched on the dramatic seacliffs of Aberdeenshire
  • Visit The Quaich Bar and enjoy being guided through their 900-strong whisky collection
Embark on a whisky odyssey around the Scottish Highlands as you explore Perthshire, Royal Deeside and Speyside. Home to half of Scotland's distilleries, Speyside is the heartland for every whisky lover; from aficionado to novice alike. Find your single-malt match, as you tour distilleries sampling malts with soft honey notes like Glenfiddich or the rich sherried drams of Macallan. You might find yourself leaving with more than one or two prized souvenir bottles! Enjoy delicious Highland cuisine as you spend evenings planning the next day's adventure with our information pack brimming with local expertise. All this set against the backdrop of a landscape peppered with centuries-old castles cloaked in legend; from rugged mountainscapes to idyllic countryside, and sweeping coastlines.

What To Expect

The ideal trip for connoisseurs of Scotland's most renowned export, whisky. As you wander between the shining copper stills discover how the story of this emblematic tipple is woven into the heritage of the Scottish Highlands. Not only does our recommended route pass through Speyside, the most distillery-dense region of Scotland, it also allows ample opportunity for visiting some of Scotland's most iconic castles along the way. However, you don't have to be a single-malt enthusiast to get the most out of this self-drive holiday! Allow our local expertise to guide you on a hassle-free journey of cultural discovery. Experience Scottish hospitality at it's finest, not just at your accommodations, but as you tour distilleries and meet the local bar-tender who is as passionate about whisky as you are.

Trip Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent holiday.

Activity:

Multi-Centre Discovery, Self-Drive Discovery | On this discovery tour spend a mix of multiple nights in more than one location, but on some tours this may be combined with only one night in a place too., A tour where you can travel from A to B at your own pace exploring the sights en-route.

This trip is suitable for:

Mixed Abilities, First Timers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Wine, Whisky & More...

Inspiration:

  • Classic

Navigation

Your information pack will include a day-by-day itinerary, with recommended driving routes between overnight stops, as well as recommended detours and must-see sights and attractions. You can use Google maps to navigate the route on your phone, or your car's sat-nav. If you are hiring a car we recommend adding on a sat-nav as internet signal in the Highlands isn't always reliable. 

Accommodation Information

You will overnight in hand-picked small hotels, B&B's and guesthouses, all of which have been chosen to ensure you experience warm Scottish hospitality at its best! We regularly use the below properties listed in the itinerary but may accommodate you elsewhere if these are unavailable. 

Single Rooms

This holiday is available to solo travellers but as all our tours are priced per person based on two sharing there is a single supplement payable to cover the additional costs. If you require single rooms within your party we will, of course, try to accommodate your request subject to availability.

Meals

Breakfast is included each morning and normally consists of a continental buffet with tea and coffee, fresh fruits, yoghurt, cereals, eggs and bread with jams. Often also on the menu are cooked options like freshly made porridge, a traditional cooked Scottish breakfast and smoked fish with scrambled eggs. 

We don't include lunch and dinner so you are free to choose from the available options. Your information pack includes details and recommendations of convenient lunch stops, cosy cafes and restaurants along the way. A couple of decades ago the food scene in Scotland was somewhat lacking, but now you'll find a range of high quality, varied options with everything from award-winning fish and chips to intimate Michelin-listed dining experiences, and casual restaurant menus showcasing delicious locally-sourced produce. 

Additional Nights

You can add additional nights wherever you please on the route. Of course we highly recommend additional nights in the city of Edinburgh at the start/end of your trip!

Included
  • 4 Night in 3-4* B&B's, guesthouses and small hotels
  • 4 Breakfasts
  • Detailed information pack brimming with our local knowledge
  • Our daily recommendations for places to see and visit
  • Our daily recommendations for top places to eat and drink
  • 24/7 Emergency support from our UK office
Excluded
  • Car hire (available as an optional extra)
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks
  • Distillery tours and tasting experiences (pre-booked online or paid locally)
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance (required)
Extras
  • Additional nights at the start/end or along the route
  • Car hire (available as an optional extra)

When To Go

You can start this tour on any day of the week from March to November, subject to availability. The busiest times of the year are around Easter and May when accommodations fill up quickly, so book as early as possible if you are planning to travel then. If you travel before Easter, and after mid-October it is worth noting that some attractions may either be closed, have limited access (i.e. castle interiors may be closed but the gardens open), or may open later and close a little earlier in the day. Please note that some distilleries only offer particular tours on certain days of the week, and aren't always open 7 days a week, particularly in the shoulder season. We always recommend checking the links in our information pack for up-to-date opening times and booking distillery tours as far in advance as possible to avoid disappointment. 

During the shoulder season - March to early April and after mid-October - the Scottish weather tends to be more unpredictable and is often colder and rainier. However, attractions and popular viewpoints will generally be quieter. 

Weather and Climate

Scotland enjoys a temperate climate, meaning it's relatively mild all year, except in winter when temperatures dip below 0 degrees Celsius and it snows regularly in the Highlands. The Highlands are renowned for variable weather so you should be prepared for everything; from 'dreich' days (a Scottish word for rainy days that are a bit bleak) to days with beautiful blue skies and warmer weather. Whatever the weather it tends to be breezy so spare layers are always recommended.

From the end of April to October average daily temperatures vary from 9-15 degrees Celsius. Monthly rainfall varies from 10-16 mm per month on averarge. Generally, May to July are the driest and mildest months, but exploring later in the year from September to October is pleasant in cooler temperatures and the autumnal scenery is spectacular as the leaves begin to change colour. To see the purple heather blooming on the hillsides the best time to travel is from late July to early September. 

Getting to the Start

Your trip begins in the well-connected city of Edinburgh. If traveling in your own car from across the UK, or western Europe via the Channel Tunnel, you'll find the city is easily accessible and well-connected by the M8, M77, M74 and M6 motorways. If you are driving or traveling from further afield we recommend and extra night in Edinburgh at the start of your trip so you can make the most of your first day of sight-seeing. 

By Road: Edinburgh is served by an excellent motorway network. It's a 1h 15m drive from Glasgow to Edinburgh on the M8 motorway. Newcastle is approximately a 2.5 hour drive from Edinburgh, and Manchester and Birmingham, 4 and 6 hours respectively. London is 7.5 hr (via the M1 and A1), and if arriving in Folkestone from France (via the Channel Tunnel) it's an 8-8.5 hour drive via the M20, M11, and A1 roads. 

Alternatively, if arriving in Edinburgh by public transport and renting a car please see the excellent Traveline Scotland website for timetables and fares and more information regarding public transport in Scotland. Edinburgh is well-linked across the UK, Europe and beyond by flying into either Glasgow or Edinburgh international airports. Glasgow and Edinburgh are just over an hour apart by road and it doesn't take much longer to travel between the two by an express bus or train service. 

By Air: Located 8 miles east of the city of Edinburgh, the international airport is served by routes from around the UK and the world. There are regular shuttle bus and tram services running from the airport into the city centre, with a journey time of around 30 minutes. There's also a taxi rank outside the airport to take people into the city centre. 

By Rail: Edinburgh is also connected to central Scotland and England by good rail links. See the Scot Rail website for Scottish locations and National Rail for UK-wide locations.

By Bus: Services from UK destinations are operated by National Express. Services from Scottish destinations are operated by Scottish Citylink

Car Rental 

We don't include car rental in the cost of our discovery tours to keep things flexible as we realise many people may wish to use their own car. If you decide to arrange car rental through us, we have a partnership with Europcar and can arrange this easily for you. As standard we would book an Economy category car (suitable for up to 4 people) with included comprehensive insurance, prices are on a request basis. Please just let us know if you would like to upgrade your car. 

Getting from the End

Your trip also ends in Edinburgh. Onward travel from Edinburgh is easy if continuing in your own car via good motorway links to the rest of the UK. 

By Road: It's a 1h 15m drive from Glasgow on the west coast to Edinburgh on the M8 motorway. Newcastle is approximately a 2.5 hour drive from Edinburgh, and Manchester and Birmingham, 4 and 6 hours respectively. 

If dropping off a rental car and continuing your onward journey by public transport we recommend breaking the journey by adding an extra night in Edinburgh. For specific information regarding public transport in Scotland, please see the excellent Traveline Scotland website for timetables and fares. 

By Air: Located 8 miles east of the city of Edinburgh, the international airport is served by routes from around the UK and the world. There are regular shuttle bus and tram services running from the airport into the city centre, with a journey time of around 30 minutes. There's also a taxi rank outside the airport to take people into the city centre. 

By Rail: Edinburgh is also connected to central Scotland and England by good rail links. See the Scot Rail website for Scottish locations and National Rail for UK-wide locations.

By Bus: Services from UK destinations are operated by National Express. Services from Scottish destinations are operated by Scottish Citylink

General Information

On confirmation of your booking, you will receive a personalised itinerary and comprehensive information pack. This carefully curated pack, designed with our own local knowledge and expertise, will include recommended driving routes, the must-see places and attractions to stop at en route, and our suggestions for the best places to eat and drink. 

Car Rental 

We don't include car rental in the cost of our discovery tours to keep things flexible as we realise many people may wish to use their own car. If you decide to arrange car rental through us, we have a partnership with Europcar and can arrange this easily for you. As standard we book an Economy category car (suitable for up to 4 people) with included comprehensive insurance, prices are on a request basis. Please just let us know if you would like to upgrade your car. 

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

How do I navigate?
What places and sights can I visit along the route?
Where can I eat?
What are the roads like?
Are distillery tours and tastings included in the trip?
Can I add extra nights?

Itinerary

Day 1 Edinburgh to Pitlochry through Perthshire and with whisky tastings and visits to castles Day 2 Pitlochry to Craigellachie via the Cairngorms National Park and the Dalwhinnie Distillery Day 3 Explore Speyside with whisky tastings galore at Glenfiddich, Tomintoul and Glenlivet Distilleries Day 4 Craigellachie to Ballater via Royal Deeside, Balmoral Castle and Braemar Day 5 Ballater to Edinburgh with visits to Dunottar Castle and St Andrews. Onward travel

The Macs Adventure Way

  • Tailor-Made Adventures Tailor-Made Adventures
  • Freedom Freedom
  • Book With Confidence Book With Confidence
  • Expertise Expertise
  • Positive Impact Positive Impact
The perfect adventure, built to suit you.
  • Knowledgeable and helpful friendly specialist adventure planners
  • Tailor-make your trip to suit your interests
  • Start on any date that suits you
  • Choose your ideal trip length and difficulty
  • Range of accommodation options
  • Choice of trip styles
Authentic adventure travel experiences on your own terms.
  • Choose your own travel companions
  • Walk, cycle and explore at your own pace
  • Make your own decisions
  • Choose your own path
  • Indulge your passions
Feel secure in making the right choice for your precious adventure time.
  • 15,000+ unbiased trip & service reviews
  • Feefo Platinum Award 2021
  • As featured in the Guardian, National Geographic Traveller, and more
  • Founder owned & operated since 2003
  • Passionate team members based in the US, the UK & Europe
  • 100% Financial Protection
  • "Peace of Mind Guarantee" means no worries if you need to change your plans
You can be confident that every detail of your holiday has been expertly planned.
  • Meticulously planned adventures
  • Quality, hand-picked accommodation
  • Seamless and reliable arrangements
  • Comprehensive trip information & insider tips
  • Detailed maps, route notes and mobile GPS app
  • Helpful 24/7 support should you need it
Travel the right way, and make a positive impact.
  • Travel responsibly
  • Explore off the beaten track
  • Support locally owned businesses
  • Engage with local communities
  • Minimise your impact
  • Maximise the benefit of your travel
  • Challenge yourself & grow
Currency:
£ - GBP - Pound
Country/Region name:
UKUK