Self-Drive Holidays
10 Nights
  • Fully customisable itinerary
  • Prices from: £1370 per person
  • Best time to go: April - October
  • Transport: Rental car included (optional)


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Situated at the edge of the Great Glen, Inverness is known as the Capital of the Highlands. Nearby you will find Culloden Battlefield, site of the last battle of the Jacobite Rising, and mysterious Loch Ness.

Mountains of Assynt
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Admire the majestic splendour of mountains that Assynt has to offer. The spectacular mountainous backdrop is made up of distinctively shaped mountains including the remarkable Suilven.

Bealach na Bà
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Experience a thrilling journey over the Bealach na Bà with spectacular views and hairpin bends. Bealach na Bà, meaning pass of the cattle, has become well known and is a must if you’re passing through the Applecross Mountains.

Inverewe Gardens
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Explore the world-famous Inverewe Gardens – an oasis of exotic plants and vibrant colour. Many rare species of plants are thriving in this part of Scotland due to the effects of the Gulf Stream. Enjoy the lush setting and varying scents around every corner.

Dunrobin Castle
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Visit the magnificent ancestral home of the Dukes of Sutherland, Dunrobin Castle, resembling a French chateâu with magnificent gardens and falconry displays. Dunrobin is the most northerly of Scotland’s great houses and with 189 rooms, is also the largest in the Northern Highlands.

Achmelvich Bay
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Hidden away on the West Coast is Achmelvich Bay, a beautiful white sandy beach and is known to be one of Scotland’s most beautiful beaches. Relish in this little corner of paradise, and enjoy the pristine water and rugged backdrop.

A Spectacular Route around Scotland’s North Coast

Experience Scotland’s answer to Route 66 on this self-guided road trip holiday. The North Coast 500 offers an unforgettable journey through some of Europe’s most exhilarating scenery.

From Inverness, the cosmopolitan capital of the Highlands, journey into north-west Scotland to explore one of Europe’s last great wildernesses where majestic mountains and sparkling lochs await.

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Travel to the rugged North Coast of Scotland, where sweeping sea views and isolated beaches combined with the warmest of Highland hospitality is everything you can expect from your time on the North Coast 500, and much more!

Head over to the West Coast as you bask in some of the most beautiful mountainous scenery that Scotland has to offer. Enjoy some of the best walking in the ancient mountains of Torridon whilst discovering hidden white sandy bays.

Visit the most northerly point of mainland Britain, at Dunnet Head with its spectacular sea cliffs and views over to the Orkney Isles. Admire the stunning sea stacks at Duncansby Head or take a photo at the iconic John O’Groats signpost. Travel south into Caithness to explore a region full of historic towns and endless miles of sandy beaches. 

Return to Inverness through the picturesque Black Isle where your unforgettable journey on the North Coast 500 comes to an end.

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 Inverness
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Arrive in Inverness, the Capital of the Highlands, where you can wander along the picturesque banks of the River Ness, see Pictish carvings at Inverness Museum & Art Gallery, or go in search of ‘Nessie’ at nearby Loch Ness.
Overnight – Inverness

Day 2: Inverness to Wester Ross
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Your journey on the NC500 begins today. Travel west to the tranquil Applecross Peninsula and enjoy one of the most spectacular road trips in the British Isles, with jaw-dropping views across to the Cuillin Mountains on the Isle of Skye. Picturesque fishing villages and crofting townships are scattered all along the coast.
Overnight – Wester Ross

Day 3: Wester Ross Sightseeing
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One of Europe’s last great wildernesses is yours to explore today. Visit famous Inverewe Gardens, go dolphin spotting on a boat trip from Gairloch, walk along miles of deserted white sandy beaches, or enjoy some of the best walking in the country in the ancient mountains of Torridon.
Overnight – Wester Ross

Day 4: Wester Ross to Ullapool
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Your next destination in the north of Scotland is Ullapool – an idyllic, whitewashed fishing village sitting on the banks of Loch Broom. More great beaches await you, so take your time, relax and settle into a slower pace of life.
Overnight – Ullapool

Day 5: Ullapool Sightseeing
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Discover the magical Summer Isles, enjoy an exhilarating walk to the summit of Stac Pollaidh for stunning views of the islands, or a bracing cliff top walk to the Old Man of Stoer.
Overnight – Ullapool

Day 6: Ullapool to Durness
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A wonderfully scenic and winding road passes secluded beaches, secret bays and hidden coves to your destination in the Far North, the spectacularly located village of Durness.
Overnight – Durness area

Day 7: Durness Sightseeing
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Tucked away behind several gorgeous white sandy beaches, Durness is a magical spot and a great base for relaxing beachfront strolls. Explore dramatic Smoo Cave, visit Balnakeil Craft Village, or walk 4 miles to Sandwood Bay – one of Britain’s most beautiful and secluded beaches.
Overnight – Durness area

Day 8: Durness to Thurso
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Travel the old road across the very top of Scotland past the remote mountains of Ben Loyal and Ben Hope following the cliffs and stunning golden beaches of our northern coast.

The bustling town of Thurso awaits – a perfect base to explore the wild and rugged Far North.
Overnight – Thurso area

Day 9: Far North Sightseeing
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Visit the most northerly point in mainland Britain, Dunnet Head, with its stunning sea cliffs and views across to the Orkney Isles, or the opulent Castle and Gardens of Mey – the Queen Mother’s holiday home. Take a photo at the iconic John O’Groats signpost, or visit Duncansby Head with its awe-inspiring sea stacks.
Overnight – Thurso area

Day 10: Thurso to Dornoch
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Travel south through the unspoilt region of Caithness – a former Viking stronghold – to Dunrobin Castle. The ancestral home of the Dukes of Sutherland resembles a French chateâu with magnificent gardens and falconry displays.  

The picturesque Royal Burgh of Dornoch is your home for the night. The town has miles of golden sandy beaches to explore, as well as a 13th century Cathedral.
Overnight – Dornoch

Day 11: Return to Inverness
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Travel south through a wild and vastly uninhabited area and take a short walk up to visit the impressive Fyrish Monument, built on Fyrish Hill in 1782.

Continue south to Inverness, where your unforgettable journey on the North Coast 500 will come to an end.

What's Included?

Your holiday includes:

  • Carefully selected en-suite accommodation for 10 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
  • 10 days rental of an Economy car (other vehicle categories available) including comprehensive insurance
  • 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
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 £1370

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 £2115

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

North Coast 500

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