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Drive & Hike: Highlands & Islands Discovery

14 Days & 13 Nights 4.8 Read 10 reviews
  • Choose from a variety of walks to suit your mood
  • Scenic driving though Glencoe towards Ben Nevis, the UK's highest mountain
  • Explore the rocky pinnacles of the Storr on Skye's
  • Visit the impressive 5000-year-old Callanish Standing Stones on Lewis
  • Look out for whales and dolphins on the ferry crossing
This superb two-week self-guided drive and hike adventure takes in the highlights of Scotland's Highlands and Islands. Explore wild Scotland; the Trossachs National Park, Ben Nevis, three remote islands (Isles of Skye, Harris and Lewis), Inverness and the Cairngorms National Park. Experience Scotland’s most rewarding landscapes and heritage with exhilarating walks interspersed with breath-taking scenic drive sto tranquil glens, craggy peaks and serene lochs. Discover brooding Ben Nevis on foot, and marvel at the wild shores and silver sands of the west coast. Cross by ferry to the romantic Isle of Skye, then the remote Hebridean Islands of Harris and Lewis. Return to the mainland and continue via Loch Ness to battle-scarred Culloden. Travel on through whisky country and the Cairngorms National Park to complete your trip with walks in historic Highland Perthshire.
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What To Expect

This self drive and hike trip is perfect if you're looking to embrace all that is dramatic, awe inspiring and unique about Scottish walking. This voyage of discovery explores the very best of the Scottish landscape and it's cultural and historic heritage. Drive and take the ferry between the main locations and then you can hike and enjoy the many attractions at your own pace.

Trip Type:

Discovery | Discovery


Drive and Hike | Exploration of picturesque and remarkable destinations by car combined with walks that highlight the best of a country or region.

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travellers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Islands
  • National Parks
  • Accessible by Rail

Grade & Terrain

This trip is graded moderate overall, although the walking does vary a lot from one day to the next. You can generally choose between easier and more difficult walks, some days have 1 or 2 options whilst others may only have 1. The trails follows footpaths, bridleways, coastal trails, open fields and some minor roads. The walks may involve some relatively steep ascent and descents should you choose to take the more difficult walks, such as Ben Nevis! All walks are of course optional and you can choose to explore by car instead if you wish. 


All the walks on this itinerary are available in the Macs Adventure Smartphone App. You will find the walks on the app and simply download the walk to your smartphone and follow the little blue dot! Some walks have GPS tracks only and others have walking directions. But if you follow the little blue dot you will not get lost. A reminder though not to take the more difficult walks on this itinerary in bad weather, such as Ben Nevis or the Quiraing. Some routes are waymarked, but others are not. All are optional. 

Accommodation Information

One of the highlights of this walking tour is the friendly local accommodation; we book hand-picked properties of a 3-4 star standard to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. All offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. We do recommend that you book this trip early as the areas covered are always popular and the guesthouses and inns do fill up early, especially in high season.

Additional Nights

Many of our walkers choose to add extra nights on the tour and these can be added at the time of booking. You will find descriptions, photos and weblinks to a selection of the accommodations we often use below. All are subject to availability at the time of booking and therefore alternatives of a similar or higher standard may be offered.

Single Rooms

This independent walking holiday is available to solo walkers.  As all our trips are priced per person based on two sharing there is a single supplement payable to cover the additional costs that are not shared. If you require single rooms within your party we will of course try to accommodate your request, subject to availability.


Breakfast is included each morning, while lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Your accommodation will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival, alternatively your guidebook also includes details of local shops and convenient lunch stops on the way. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs and restaurants.

  • 13 Nights in hand-picked B&B's and guesthouses
  • 13 Breakfasts
  • Ferry crossings as per itinerary (1 car per booking)
  • Information pack, and driving map (Phillips)
  • Access to maps, GPX tracks and daily route information with the Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app
  • 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our office
  • Travel to Glasgow / from Pitlochry
  • Car hire (we can arrange this for you if needed)
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks & snacks
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Additional nights along the route
  • Car hire (we can arrange this for you if needed)

When To Go

Please note that Skye is exceptionally popular throughout the summer months. As a result it may be necessary to book upgraded accommodations and/or taxi transfers to accommodate your dates. Your specialist will inform you of this prior to confirming your booking and advise of any supplement payable.

This drive-hike tour is best enjoyed between March and October, and you can start on any day of the week. 

Getting to the Start

By Air:

Located 8 miles west of Glasgow, the international airport is served by routes from around Britain and the world. A regular shuttle bus service runs to the city centre. If you fly into Edinburgh Airport, it is a tram journey into the city centre, then change for a train to Glasgow, or there is a citylink bus service, taking just one hour, which connects the two.

For further information regarding public transport in Scotland, please see the excellent Traveline Scotland website for timetables and fares. 

By Road:

Glasgow is served by an excellent motorway network. 

By Coach:

Services from UK destinations are operated by National Express
Services from Scottish destinations are operated by Scottish Citylink  

Getting from the End

Pitlochry is around 1h45 by road or under 2 hours by train from Edinburgh. Alternatively, Glasgow is 1h35 by road or 1h40 by train from Pitlochry.

General Information

The distances and ascent/ descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

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.

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Day 1 Arrive Glasgow and overnight Day 2 Callander and the Trossachs 3 miles / 5 km Day 3 Travel through the Highlands to Fort William Day 4 Walking in Glen Nevis or hike Ben Nevis 2.1 miles / 3.5 km Day 5 Drive the "Road to the Isles" to arrive on Skye 7 miles / 11 km Day 6 The Quiraing or free day in Portree 4 miles / 6.5 km Day 7 Ferry to Tarbert and walking on Harris 3.2 miles / 5.3 km Day 8 Drive to Lewis and walk among the Callanish Standing Stones 2.2 miles / 3.7 km Day 9 Butt of Lewis Walk 3.7 miles / 6.1 km Day 10 Journey from Lewis to the mainland, Ullapool Hill Path Walk 6.5 miles / 10.5 km Day 11 Ullapool and the Braes Walk 5 miles / 8 km Day 12 Drive south to Inverness Day 13 Discover the forests of Perthshire, Ben Vrackie Walk 5.5 miles / 9 km Day 14 Onward Travel

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