Self-Drive Holidays
7 Nights
  • Fully customisable itinerary
  • Prices from: £1035 per person
  • Best time to go: April - October
  • Transport: Rental car included (optional)


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Sample a dram in one of Edinburgh’s traditional whisky pubs, explore the Royal Mile and enjoy a tour and tasting session at the Scotch Whisky Experience.

Malt Whisky Trail
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Speyside is home to the world famous 70 mile Malt Whisky Trail. This area is the heart of the whisky industry, and concentrated within a few miles are more distilleries than any other area in Scotland.

Ballindalloch Castle
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Ballindalloch Castle is one of the most romantic castles in Scotland. Known as the ‘Pearl of the North,’ the impressive castle was built in the distinctive Scottish baronial style.

Isle of Skye
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The Isle of Skye is popular for its stunning and dramatic volcanic scenery, including the Cuillin mountain range, the iconic Storr and spectacular Quiraing. Its famous Talisker Distillery produces wonderfully robust and award-winning malt whisky.

Atmospheric Glencoe
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Glencoe is Scotland’s most famous and mystical glen. Enjoy the great outdoors and spectacular views of the mountains of Glencoe from the Ben Nevis Distillery, at the foot of the UK’s highest mountain. 

Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park
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Experience stunning lochside scenery in the picturesque Scottish Lakeland, one of Scotland’s most idyllic and unspoilt areas, with the largest expanse of freshwater in Britain and the backdrop of the mountains looming beyond.

A Heavenly Self-Drive Distillery Tour

Experience a wonderful self-drive whisky tour through Speyside and the magnificent Highlands and Islands of Scotland. Visit dozens of distilleries dotted across stunning Scottish landscapes, each with its own history and character. A wealth of whisky discovery awaits you!

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Beginning in Edinburgh with a tour at the Scotch Whisky Experience, your holiday will get off to a flying start. Traditional pubs are hidden around every corner of Scotland’s bustling capital city, and they pride themselves on their jaw-dropping ranges of whisky. 

Continue north for a taste of Speyside, the home of Scotland’s malt whisky industry. In this scenic corner of north-east Scotland you will find a higher concentration of whisky distilleries than anywhere else. 

Travelling on to the magical Isle of Skye, you will visit legendary island whisky distilleries and have the chance to explore some of the country’s finest mountain and loch-side scenery, including some of Scotland’s most famous and historic castles. 

The final destination on your whisky adventure is the spectacular Scottish Lakeland, where there is no end to the delightful lochside villages, waiting to welcome you with friendly hospitality. By the time you return to Edinburgh, you won’t want to leave!

Suggested Itinerary

The holiday ideas on our website are just examples of the amazing trips we offer. Think of this itinerary as a starting point which can be tailored into something completely unique to you by our award-winning specialists.

We love the opportunity to use our first-hand knowledge and experience to design and deliver the perfect, bespoke holiday experience for you.

Day 1: Arrive in Edinburgh
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Arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland’s majestic capital city. Visit historic Edinburgh Castle, and enjoy a tour and tasting session at the Scotch Whisky Experience on the Royal Mile where you will learn the origins of malt whisky distilling and enjoy the first “wee dram” of many!
Overnight – Edinburgh

Day 2: Edinburgh to Speyside
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Travel north to Speyside into the heart of malt whisky country. A wonderfully scenic journey takes you into the Scottish Highlands, and past Dewars World of Whisky and picturesque Edradour – Scotland’s smallest distillery. Further north, pass Dalwhinnie Distillery, the highest distillery in Scotland.
Overnight – Speyside

Day 3: Speyside and The Malt Whisky Trail
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There are numerous distilleries to visit as you wind your way through the charming towns and villages of Speyside. We’d recommend the Glenfiddich Connoisseurs Tour at Dufftown and the wonderful Visitors Centre at Glenlivet. The Speyside Cooperage at Craigellachie is a vital part of whisky production and the village is home to the Macallan Distillery.
Overnight – Speyside

Day 4: Speyside Sightseeing
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After sampling the ‘water of life’ in the area, visit Ballindalloch Castle in the magnificent Spey Valley. The River Spey forms a focus for the area and is famous for its fishing and the pretty riverside villages of Aberlour and Carron. There are numerous activities in the area with many mountains to climb, forests to explore, and sparkling lochs to kayak and canoe on.
Overnight – Speyside

Day 5: Speyside to the Isle of Skye
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Travel on to Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, where you will follow the shores of mysterious Loch Ness before passing the most photographed of Scotland’s castles – Eilean Donan. From here it is a short journey to your destination on the magical Isle of Skye.
Overnight – Isle of Skye

Day 6: Isle of Skye Sightseeing
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A full day on Skye to visit Talisker Distillery on the shores of Loch Harport, producing a wonderfully robust and award-winning island malt whisky. Visit romantic Dunvegan Castle, explore the alien-like landscape of the Quiraing, or climb aboard a fabulous boat cruise into the heart of the magnificent Cuillin mountains.
Overnight – Isle of Skye

Day 7: Isle of Skye to The Trossachs
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Depart Skye by ferry and travel on the wonderful Road to the Isles to Fort William, where the Ben Nevis Distillery lies at the foot of the UK’s highest mountain. Your journey takes you through spectacular Glencoe and across wild Rannoch Moor before arriving at your final destination in the picturesque Scottish Lakeland.
Overnight – The Trossachs


Day 8: Depart Edinburgh
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After breakfast, it’s less than a two hour drive back to Edinburgh, where your unforgettable Highlands & Islands Malt Whisky Trail will come to an end.

What's Included?

Your holiday includes:

  • Carefully selected en-suite accommodation for 7 nights including traditional Scottish breakfast
  • Comprehensive information pack
  • Personalised itinerary with our recommendations for the best places to eat and drink and sightseeing suggestions
  • Map of Scotland with our recommended driving route
  • 7 days rental of an Economy car (other vehicle categories available) including comprehensive insurance
  • Tickets for the Edinburgh City Sightseeing Tour
  • A tour and tasting at The Scotch Whisky Experience
  • All ferry crossings (as per your itinerary)
  • 24-hour emergency contact number
  • Full financial protection

Your holiday doesn't include:

  • Travel insurance
  • Flights
  • Lunches and evening meals

Accommodation & Prices

Special Places to Stay Special Places to Stay
Special Places to Stay Special Places to Stay
Premium Premium
Premium Premium
Premium Premium
Standard Standard
Standard Standard

We know that after a busy day of sightseeing an exceptional place to stay makes all the difference. That’s why all of the accommodation we select is hand-picked using our first-hand knowledge of the best places to stay.

Our discerning team has a wealth of experience, and we extensively research and regularly review all of the accommodation we select for our clients.

Please choose from one of our accommodation categories below. If you wish to combine these categories or perhaps upgrade for a special occasion let us know in your enquiry.

Accommodation type
Price per person
4* Guest Houses and 3* Hotels
From £1035

A collection of quality 4* Guest Houses and 3* Hotels often located in beautiful locations which provide an excellent standard of accommodation.

Tastefully decorated and furnished, these properties are generally owned and operated by locals who have a genuine passion for their region which they are keen to share with you. Their warm hospitality is sure to be a highlight of your Scottish experience.

Boutique Guest Houses and 4* Hotels
From £1420

Our Premium category includes a unique collection of luxurious and stylish boutique Guest Houses and small 4* Hotels. These are wonderfully charming and intimate and run with great flair by their owners.

It also comprises larger 4* Hotels selected for their high standard of accommodation, exceptional service, and great location. These range from traditional luxury to contemporary Hotels.

Special Places to Stay
Exceptional Hotels and luxury Resorts
Please enquire

From award-winning luxury Hotels to unique country retreats, all of which offer exceptional accommodation with superb facilities and outstanding service.

These are truly magical places and amongst the best Scotland has to offer. The perfect choice when you would like somewhere really special which can be a treat for the night or for your entire holiday.

Car Hire

Our packages include car rental and comprehensive insurance for the duration of your holiday. Absolute Escapes has an excellent relationship with a number of car hire operators and we are able to offer quality vehicles and great value for money.

If you plan to bring your own vehicle, we are also able to offer this itinerary without a rental car.

All our packages include:

  • Collision Damage Waiver
  • Super Damage Excess Waiver
  • Third Party Insurance
  • Theft Waiver
  • Tax
Vauxhall Corsa or similar
  • Good for 2 people
  • Maximum of 4 passengers
  • 2 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission
Ford Focus or similar
  • Good for 2 – 4 people
  • Maximum of 5 passengers
  • 2 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission
Volkswagen Passat or similar
  • Good for up to 4 people
  • Maximum of 5 passengers
  • 3 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission
VW Sharan or similar
  • Good for 5 people
  • Maximum of 7 passengers
  • 3 – 4 large suitcases
  • Manual or automatic transmission

Make an enquiry

Highlands & Islands Malt Whisky Trail

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