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Plan the Perfect Trip to Scotland: Can’t-Miss Scotland Road Trip Destinations

If you’re planning a trip to Scotland and need recommendations for where to go during your Scotland road trip, you’ve come to the right place! I recommend everyone travel to Scotland at least once—though you’ll likely want to return as one trip isn’t enough. One of the best ways to experience this beautiful country is to road trip Scotland over several days. Let’s jump into this Scotland travel guide!

Quick Tip: Book accommodation, tours, and transport ahead of time online to save money and stress. 
Best Scotland ToursClick here to check out the top Scotland tours
Best Scotland Accommodation: Click here to check out the best accommodation in Scotland
Best Scotland Transport: Click here to book a bus, ferry, or train in Scotland

Why Plan a Trip to Scotland?

Travelers tired of the chaos and hustle of large metropolitan areas should plan a trip to Scotland. Scotland travel is laid-back and rewarding—a Scotland road trip allows exploration at your own pace. Students busy with a master’s thesis writing service and office workers seeking a relaxing escape should consider travel to Scotland, though everyone will enjoy touring the country.

How Long Should I Take to Road Trip Scotland?

For a perfect Scotland itinerary, 5 days should be ideal. However, if you can take a more extended trip to Scotland, do it! There’s much to discover on a Scotland road trip, so the longer, the better.

Scotland Itinerary 5 Days (and More)

I recommend taking one to two weeks to travel to Scotland if possible so you aren’t pressed for time. If you can’t spend that much time on your Scotland road trip, 5 days is still good for exploration. I’ve rounded up several destinations, but you can always skip one or the other to keep your trip under a week.

1. Islay

Plan the Perfect Trip to Scotland: Can't-Miss Scotland Road Trip Destinations

Did You Get Travel Insurance Yet?

The Insurance companies I recommend are Hey Mondo and Safety Wing

Hey Mondo is great if you are looking for a great value flexible policy. They offer single-trip cover, annual multi-trip cover, and long-term travel cover. Safety Wing is great value, with monthly coverage starting at $45.08. It’s super easy to use, and it just renews each month. I currently use them as they offer me free cover for my son as part of my policy.

Read my full travel insurance post here, where I go into detail about all companies. 

The first spot I suggest visiting on a trip to Scotland is Islay, considered the germ of the Hebrides. When you first see its overwhelming beauty, you’ll be speechless. Nature isn’t the only Islay attraction—you can also visit multiple Scotch distilleries. While this trip appeals to alcohol drinkers, those who opt out can still enjoy watching the rare local birds that attract many visitors.

2. Edinburgh

Those who are fond of history and architecture should take a day to explore Edinburgh. Visit the top of Arthur’s Seat to enjoy the magnificent, panoramic city views. Edinburgh is great for walking through the winding alleys and paved streets and admiring centuries-old buildings. You’ll discover many cozy cafes, restaurants, and bars.

3. Isle of Skye

Plan the Perfect Trip to Scotland: Can't-Miss Scotland Road Trip Destinations

According to National Geographic, the Isle of Skye is one of the world’s best islands, making it a can’t-miss Scotland travel experience. This island has a rich history and picturesque landscapes, perfect for a weekend getaway. The stars are incredibly gorgeous here in the summertime, so you must visit if possible. Adventure seekers should also explore the Isle of Skye’s famous Fairy Pools.


Surfers often travel to Scotland to catch waves at . While many people associate Scotland with kilts, the country is much more than that. If you’re a surfing rookie, it’s best not to try the sport for the first time since the waves are powerful here. Instead, go camping and enjoy a short vacation among the stunning natural surroundings.

5. East Lothian

You can take a train from Edinburgh to East Lothian, one of the country’s most beautiful hidden gems. The area is so breathtaking you may feel like you’ve stepped on the set of “Game of Thrones.” Stroll along magnificent sandy beaches and go shopping for locally made souvenirs. Since vacation is about total relaxation, don’t miss the East Lothian pubs—there’s a great selection.

6. Isle of Lewis

Plan the Perfect Trip to Scotland: Can't-Miss Scotland Road Trip Destinations

Quick Tip: View my full UK packing guide here including a downloadable checklist. And check out my UK Essentials shopping list here.

The Isle of Lewis is another can’t-miss as you road trip Scotland. This destination stands out with its stone circle buildings, well-preserved over the centuries. Cross the bridge and find yourself in Great Bernera, which boasts a museum and a fantastic beach. The Isle of Lewis is the perfect place to visit for peace and quiet during a trip to Scotland.

7. Orkney

Orkney is the last place I suggest visiting when you travel to Scotland. Orkney is a beautiful archipelago with many unique and outstanding sights. From the village of Skara Brae to a vast colony of wild seals, there are endless activities to fill your vacation. Food lovers will be in heaven as Orkney has many delicious restaurants and fresh local cuisine.

Looking for somewhere to stay? Check out these options!
Loch Ness Bunk Inn
a&o Edinburgh City
Kirkwall Youth Hostel

Scotland Travel Guide Planning

🧳 Any recommendations on what I should pack for Scotland?

Yes! I have created a whole packing guide to Scotland which you can read here and you can also check out my packing list for Scotland on Amazon here.

🚗 Where can I book bus or private transportation while I’m in Scotland?

I strongly recommend using Bookaway. You can book almost all transport in the major tourist destinations through them online. They don’t just cover buses they also cover shuttles, ferries, and private drivers.

🎫 Where can I buy tickets for museums, attractions, and tours in Scotland?

I recommend either Viator or GetYour Guide. They have a lot of options!

👩‍⚕️ What is the best insurance to have while traveling?

I recommend using Heymondo for a great value policy. The app also offers you 24/7 Dr Chat. For Digital Nomads check out SafetyWing digital nomad insurance.

I have also written a blog post covering all my recommended travel insurance here

✈️ Any flight recommendations?

WayAWay offers you cheap flights with cashback. You can use this code CLAIRE22 to get 10% off. Otherwise Skyscanner or Expedia are my go-to flight searching platforms.

📱What do you use for internet connection while traveling?

I’m a big fan of personal WiFi devices and they have saved my ass so many times when traveling. I wrote a full review of the top travel WiFi devices you can read here. I personally use GlocalMe as I can either pop in a physical sim card or use their local carrier.

With regards to my phone connection, I use e-sims while traveling, so rather than having to swap out my regular sim card I can download the app and buy a virtual sim card. I recommend using eitherAirhub or Alosim. Both have great coverage of multiple countries and are very easy to use.

🛏️ What is the best platform to use for booking accommodation?

The 3 best platforms that I normally use are, and Expedia They offer great deals and multiple options. I always check all three to be sure of the best deals.

🛅 Do you have any luggage recommendations for traveling?

I do have a complete list of the best packing and luggage products that I recommend, you can check the list here. I’m currently traveling with this suitcase and this backpack. 

The Perfect Trip to Scotland: Final Thoughts

This Scotland Itinerary 5 Days (and More) is the only Scotland travel guide you need for an epic vacation. A Scotland road trip is the perfect opportunity to explore this stunning, diverse country. While you could spend weeks in Scotland without seeing the same thing twice, 5 days is all you need for an unforgettable experience.

Embark on an unforgettable Scotland travel experience as you stumble upon a charming street adorned with a glorious clock tower.