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Our spectacular Highlands tour showcases Scotland’s astounding diversity, from river-cut valleys and open moors to serene lakes and soaring mountains.
Immerse yourself in the astounding diversity of Scotland’s celebrated Highlands. Here, amidst one of Europe’s last great wildernesses and the stage for history’s epic clan conflicts, you’ll experience breathtaking beauty, rich culture, and sheer drama up close. From your refined accommodations in intimate, stone-clad villages, you’ll walk the river valley of Speyside, hike the mountain setting of Cairngorms National Park, and follow the famous Great Glen Way to the legendary lakeside of Loch Ness. Along the way, traverse tranquil farmland, sylvan woodlands, a rare forest of birchwood and juniper, and the Highland’s famous moors. Medieval and baronial castles provide insight into the families that shaped this rugged region while whisky distilleries illuminate your grasp of Scotland’s long-beloved amber spirit. This is a self-paced Highlands tour unlike any other!
- Walk amidst an astounding diversity of Highland landscapes—green river-cut valleys, open moors, serene lakes, and soaring mountains cloaked in dense forests.
- Visit the centuries-old castles of Balvenie and Braemar, once home to mighty kings and today testament to the endurance of Scottish clans.
- Hike in a rare and magical forest of birchwood trees and juniper underbrush, a natural treasure protected by European law.
- Ascend the summit of Morrone for breathtaking panoramic views of the Cairngorms Mountains.
- Follow the Great Glen Way as it traces the Caledonian Canal to the legendary Loch Ness.
- Walk along the shores of legendary Loch Ness to Foyers Falls, a sight so stunning they inspired Robert Burns to write a poem about them.
- Stop for tours and tastings at some of Scotland’s most renowned whisky distilleries, including Glenfiddich in Dufftown, the “malt whisky capital of the world.”
The Dowans Hotel
Stylish and cozy and built in 1888 in Scottish baronial, the boutique Dowans Hotel is grand yet small, with only 16 rooms. Victorian charms are everywhere, yet this modern inn caters to a 21st-century clientele. Each room has its own character, designed with muted tones and soft splashes of color. In front, a manicured lawn looks over the Spey Valley while an ornamental pond and fountain in back is watched over by the summit of Ben Rimmes. The ’57 Restaurant (named for the parallel on which it sits from the equator) brings in venison from a local estate, fish from Portsoy and lobster from Lossiemouth. And of course, it boasts a whisky selection from some 500 distilleries in the Speyside region.
The Fife Arms
A former hunting lodge of Queen Victoria and sometimes called an “Art Hotel,” the Fife Arms is a glorious centerpiece of Braemar. Renovated by a pair of Scottish art dealers, it exudes the character of its original age with a twist. Its 46 rooms may seem plucked from 19th-century Scotland, but they also inspire a sense of childlike wonder for the way they infuse playfulness into history. Modern art peppers the common areas, too, creating an atmosphere that’s comfortable for all. Rooms are designed by theme; during your stay, relax in a “Nature and Poetry” room, adorned with objects inspired by the natural world and words by Scottish poet Alec Finlay. Treat yourself to a spa treatment and a stellar meal at The Flying Stag—its namesake protruding from the wall behind the bar.
The Lovat Loch Ness
Once a hunting lodge and now an inviting eco-conscious inn, the luxurious Lovat Loch Ness overlooks the Caledonian Canal and the lake from a beautifully manicured lawn. Since 1869, it has been lodging travelers; today, you’ll experience a blend of Highland heritage and contemporary charm in rooms bathed in natural lighting and bright colors. Station Road and The Waypoint, the two dining venues, rely on local providers and foraged ingredients to ensure the freshest cuisine possible, all served with a flair for artistic presentation.
|9 meals: 7 breakfasts, 2 dinners|
|Detail water- and tear-resistant Route Notes and maps|
|Orientation meeting with a Country Walkers representative|
|Local representative available 24/7|
|Scheduled taxi and luggage transportation (Please note: if unable to walk, it is possible to travel with your luggage from one accommodation to the next at no additional charge)|
|Access to Self-Guided Flight Concierge — Ask our knowledgeable team to find flights that sync perfectly with your planned trip.|