• Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness

Scottish Highlands

Filled with more natural and historical mystique than people, the Highlands are where Scottish dreams are set. The evocative "Weeping Glen" of Glencoe aches with both history and natural beauty. Legends of Bonnie Prince Charlie linger around crumbling castles as tunes played by pipers in kilts swirl around tourists. The Highlands are the most mountainous, least inhabited, and — for many — most scenic and romantic part of Scotland.

At a Glance

▲▲▲ Isle of Skye Dramatically scenic island featuring craggy Cuillin Hills, jagged Trotternish Peninsula, historic castles, distilleries, dynamic clan history, and the colorful harbor town of Portree.

▲▲ Oban and the Inner Hebrides Handy home-base town of Oban, hosting great distillery tour and restaurants, that's connected by ferry to the isles of Mull, Iona, and Staffa.

▲▲ Inverness Regional capital with easy access to more Highlands sights, including Culloden Battlefield (Scotland's Alamo) and monster-spotting at the famous Loch Ness.

▲ Glencoe Stirring "Weeping Glen" offering some of the Highlands' best scenery and hikes.

▲ Orkney Islands Island group off the north coast, with Scotland's best prehistoric sites and a naval harbor with a fascinating past.

▲ Fort William and the "Road to the Isles" Transit-hub town anchoring a meandering road through a particularly historic and rugged stretch of the western coast.

▲ Eastern Scotland Area with a grab-bag of appealing sights between Inverness and Edinburgh, including an early Iron Age crannog site on Loch Tay, sheepdog shows, the distilleries of Speyside, the royal retreat at Balmoral Castle, and cliff-capping Dunnottar Castle.

▲ Wester Ross and the North Coast Remote, less-touristed region with some of the Highlands' best get-away-from-it-all scenery.

▲ Pitlochry Whisky and hillwalking mecca.