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SPECIAL TOURS - Clan Tours ~~ Dark Deeds Tour ~~ Diana Gabaldon Outlander Tours ~~ North Coast 500 Tour ~~ Rosamunde Pilcher Winter Solstice Tour ~~ The Magical West Tour

T06 North Coast 500 - A four day tour around the very best of the far north of Scotland

ArdneakieNC500 or North Coast 500 (launched in 2014) is the acclaimed touring route round the north of Scotland. It has already been likened to American Route 66 in terms of iconic status. At just over 500 miles, it is one of the most spectacularly memorable coastal routes in the world. Inverness Tours have developed a magnificent & unique four-day tour along this route. Accommodation is limited in some of the remoter areas, so booking well ahead is to be recommended. We can advise on accommodation if necessary, although sites like TripAdvisor are also invaluable.

This four-day tour comes complete with bolt-on options which still ensure that you do every mile of NC500, and receive our special certificate as a result. However, while you are undertaking the NC500 you can also visit the Orkney Islands, or the Isle of Skye, or the Western Isles by increasing the tour length to five days. Or why not go for adding all three Island Archipelagos to the NC500, and achieve it all, within our six-day extravaganza!

The four-day NC500 begins and ends in the Highland Capital – Inverness. The route can run clockwise or anti-clockwise as suits you, and can include your own choice of stunning walks, visits and visitor attractions on each of the four days. (Our advice would be clockwise). For more information check NC500 on VisitScotland.

We might advise the following, as some “must see” attractions enroute, but if you have other ideas instead then we are happy to accommodate them:-

Day One (Inverness to Gairloch via Applecross) 140 miles Bealach na Ba

Head west out of Inverness, through Beauly and past lonely Achnasheen. Drive over the world-famous Bealach na Ba Pass, with the thought of lunch and a walk on the beach at Applecross drawing you onwards. Next, the unforgettable journey around the Applecross Peninsula, to Torridon, with its mountain Visitor Centre and Red Deer Centre. End the day in Gairloch, perhaps having either spent time in the old growth forests of beautiful Loch Maree, taken the 4pm boat trip from the harbour, or perhaps just enjoyed a beach walk.

Day Two (Gairloch to Durness) 149 miles

In the morning we follow the Wester Ross Coastal Trail, enjoying both Inverewe Gardens and Corrieshalloch Gorge, before reaching Ullapool for free time and an early lunch. The route heads north here, through UNESCO site the North-West Highlands Geopark. Take a walk at Knockan Crag, or at the gaunt ruins of Ardvreck Castle; then on to Lochinver, and perhaps a visit to Highland Stoneware or the Assynt Centre. Circle the Stoer Peninsula, and continue north, where Durness and Smoo Cave beckon.

Day Three (Durness to Wick) 108 miles

In the morning, enjoy a scenic journey past remote beaches and small crofting villages. Attractions might include a look at a Souterrain, a walk to Castle Varrich above the Kyle of Tongue or a visit to Strathnaver Museum at Bettyhill. There will be free time in the town of Thurso for lunch. After lunch enjoy the North-East corner, perhaps visiting a combination of Castletown Harbour, Dunnet Beach, the late Queen Mother's Castle of Mey, and John O Groats. The day ends in the ancient Royal Burgh of Wick.

Glenmorangie DistilleryDay Four (Wick to Inverness) 103 miles

South of Wick there are a range of different archaeological sites like the Loch of the Yarrows and the Hill of Many Stanes. There are also the fabulously scenic Whaligeo Steps. South of the Ord of Caithness stands the beautiful Dunrobin Castle which is a rewarding visit. Free time and lunch in Dornoch could be followed by a tour of Glenmorangie Distillery or a visit to the Collegiate Church at Tain. The day ends with a drive south through the Firthlands of Easter Ross and the towns of Dingwall and Beauly. The NC500 Odyssey finally comes to a close, back in the Highland Capital, Inverness.


Total price for 4-day Core Tour: £1580 for guide and vehicle (+ £285 total subsistence to guide, paid at time of tour).

Lodgings & admissions not included. Tour price subject to normal booking discounts.


If you choose to add one or two days on to your four day tour, then it would allow you to see one, two or even all three of the following island groups. Likely attractions that you would be able to visit on each are described below –

Kilt RockThe Western Isles or Outer Hebrides

The Outer Hebrides are an island chain lying west of the Highlands of Scotland. We will visit the northernmost island (Lewis & Harris), staying overnight in the main town; Stornoway. The next morning there will be time to take a trip to the west coast of Lewis, to visit the world-famous sites of the Callanish Standing Stones, and the Dun Carloway Broch. A broch is an Iron-Age defensive tower unique to Scotland - and this is one of the best in the country).

The Orkney Islands

These islands lie north of the Highlands – and as well as being well-endowed with ancient sites and standing stones, they are also steeped in Viking history. We can stay overnight in Kirkwall giving time to visit the Orkney winery, the Bishop’s Palace, the Earl’s Palace, St Magnus Cathedral, The Stones of Stenness, the Ring of Brodgar, Skara Brae and perhaps the Broch of Gurness.

The Isle of Skye

The mystical, magical Isle of Skye lies west across a new bridge, near Eilean Donan Castle. Staying overnight in the island capital of Portree gives enough time to see the Black Cuillin Mountains, the Storr, Kilt Rock, the Quiraing, the Fairy Glen and Eilean Donan Castle.

Please email for prices & arrangements if you want five or six days with island groups included.

Scara Brae