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North Coast 500 - a Self Drive Adventure

North Coast 500 - Scotland's answer to Route 66! A 516-mile round trip, that runs to and from Inverness, and around some of the most stunning coastal and mountain scenery in Europe.

North Coast 500 - a Self Drive Adventure

North Coast 500 - Scotland's answer to Route 66! A 516-mile round trip, that runs to and from Inverness, and around some of the most stunning coastal and mountain scenery in Europe.

Your North Coast 500 Tour Includes

  • Four (4) Nights accommodations in your choice of comfort or premium properties, with private facilities.
  • Pre and Post Night in Edinburgh.
  • Breakfast daily, continental or Scottish depending on the accommodation provider.
  • Service Charge & VAT.
  • Economy car rental with super collision insurance (upgrades to larger cars are available).
  • Admission to Inverewe Garden & Stirling Castle.
  • A 50-minute cruise on Loch Ness.
  • Portfolio of travel documents and travel bag.


North Coast 500 is Scotland's answer to Route 66. This 516 mile round trip runs through some of the most stunning coastal and mountain scenery in Europe. 

Day 01: Arrive Edinburgh

Private transfer from the Airport to your pre-booked hotel. Time to explore Edinburgh independently. Overnight in Edinburgh.

Day 02: Glencoe and Loch Ness

Collect your car rental from designated car rental location and depart from Edinburgh this morning and head west to Loch Lomond, Britain’s largest lake. Drive the full length of the loch to admire the scenery before crossing the desolate Rannoch Moor. Continue through Glencoe, one of Scotland’s most famous glens, due to its tragic history and beautiful scenery. Drive past Fort William and onto Spean Bridge and Fort Augustus, located on the shores of Loch Ness. We have included a 50-minute cruise on Loch Ness out of Fort Augustus today, giving you an option to spot Nessie. Continue your drive to your overnight location, in the Loch Ness area. Overnight: Loch Ness area in pre-booked accommodations.  (B)
Approximate mileage on day 02: 200 miles

Day 03: Applecross and Inverewe Garden

Leave the Loch Ness area this morning and start your journey along the North Coast 500 route. From Invermoriston, cut across to the west coast and along some quieter roads surrounded by beautiful remote scenery. You have the option to explore Applecross Peninsula this morning, a haven away from noise and clutter of modern life, home to just 238 people and accessed by only two roads, or cut across to Torridon and along beautiful Loch Torridon. You can also drive via Achnasheen and along beautiful Loch Maree on to Gairloch. The afternoon invites you to visit Inverewe Garden, admission included in your package. Inverewe Garden is a botanical garden just to the north of Poolewe. Enjoying the influence from the Gulf Stream, the gardens have a wide range of plants including palm trees. Overnight is in the small harbour town of Ullapool or Gairloch. Overnight: Ullapool / Gairloch area. (B)
Approximate mileage: 199 miles (with Applecross) or 169 miles (without Applecross)

Day 04: Mountains, Beaches and Caves

Depart from Ullapool/Gairloch area and make the short drive to Knockan Crag which offers a great photo opportunity of Stac Pollaidh; a spiky mountain which rears up immediately to the north of the single-track road from the A835 to Achiltibuie. At Knockan Crag visitor centre (admission not included), the history of Scotland’s geology is told through poetry, sculpture and interactive exhibitions. Continuing on the A835, you will see Ardvreck Castle, a ruined castle dating from the 16th century which stands on a rocky promontory jutting out into Loch Assynt. At Achmelvich we recommend a visit to its beautiful white sandy beach. The unique morphology of the area means there are many nearby walks and climbs, including the famous Suilven, for those interested in hiking. After a photo stop at Kylesku Bridge continue to Durness and nearby Smoo Cave for a possible visit. Smoo Cave is a large combined sea cave and freshwater cave located at the eastern edge of the village of Durness in a dramatic location. Continue along the north coast to your overnight location, possibly stopping at Bettyhill along the way (if staying in Thurso) to learn more about the tragic story of the Highland clearances. Overnight: Tongue / Thurso area. (B)
Approximate mileage: 165 miles

Day 05: John O'Groats and Dunrobin Castle

Departing this morning you are on your final leg of the North Coast 500 route. You may want to stop at Dunnet Head for spectacular views across to Orkney on a clear day, or at John O’Groats, famous for being one of the most northern points of the British mainland. Turn south and continue along the east coast. You may choose to stop at Dunrobin Castle (admission not included); the family seat of the Earl of Sutherland and the Clan Sutherland. The Castle resembles a French chateau with its towering conical spires, the gardens of the Castle are wonderful and throughout the summer there are regular falconry displays. Continuing towards your overnight stay in the Inverness area, and to conclude your North Coast 500 route, there may be time for a visit at Glenmorangie Distillery (admission not included) to round off the journey on one of the most stunning driving routes in Europe. Overnight: Inverness area. (B)
Approximate mileage: 181 miles

Day 06: Cairngorms National Park, Stirling and Edinburgh

It is time today to leave the Highlands and you will travel south following the A9, past Aviemore and the Cairngorms National Park, the first national park in Scotland. Why not stop at the Hermitage near Dunkeld which invites you for a short walk. A National Trust for Scotland protected site, it is just to the west of the A9 on the banks of the River Braan in Craigvinean Forest. At Perth, turn off to Stirling and visit Stirling Castle where we have included admission. Stirling Castle is one of the largest and most important castles in Scotland, both historically and architecturally. Return back to Edinburgh late afternoon, to return your car. Make your way to your pre-booked hotel for your last night in Edinburgh. (B)
Approximate mileage: 187 miles

Day 07: Edinburgh - Edinburgh Airport.

A leisure transfer from your hotel to the airport is included. Bid farewell to Scotland with a promise to return. (B)

Rates & Hotels

2022 Dates & Prices (Click Date to Book) 2022 Dates & Prices (Click Date to Book)
Dates Land Only Land Only
2022 Dates & Prices (Click Date to Book) 2022 Dates & Prices (Click Date to Book)
Dates Land Only Land Only

Hotels/Plans Available for Departure Dates

North Coast 500 - A Stunning Self-Drive Adventure - with comfort accommodations
North Coast 500 - A Stunning Self-Drive Adventure - with premium accommodations

Tour Details

Your land package begins: / Your land package ends:

(As most International flights are overnight flights - please book air accordingly)

Flight Details

Accommodation Details

    Requests are not guaranteed and are subject to each hotel's discretion and availability

UK Hotel


Pre and post nights booked at a mid-level hotel [more]

Accommodations booked by Rabbies UK


Depending on package booked, accommodations can be BB/Guesthomes, 3* Hotels/Inns (and some packages may include 4* Hotels) [more]


Prices are based on two (2) passengers sharing a twin/double room. If a single room is booked, single supplement applies.

This tour does not include:

  • Items not noted on itinerary
  • Lunches
  • Dinners
  • Transfers
  • Visitor attractions


Unfortunately, due to the 2020 pandemic, Celtic Tours will only be offering airfare for groups sizes of 15 or more. Individuals should book directly with airlines. Please make sure you book your flight to arrive and depart on accurate dates. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Departures & Transfers

Departure date is the date the starts in Edinburgh. Please book air one day before to accommodate overnight flights.