Our Scotland travel guide reveals a land full of wildlife, and mountainous and marine magnificence.
Best time to visit the Scottish Highlands
Winter transforms the Highlands with clear, pristine snowy landscapes. Itís the season that many mountain guides love beyond all others.
Every season has a hint of magic to it in the Scottish Highlands. During summer the wildlife, from golden eagles to deer and dolphins, is prolific and visible, and the waters are perfect for cruising. Autumn sees the foliage taking on beautifully rich hues while the tourist crowds fall away, the first flurries of snow landing in upper reaches. Spring brings fine walking weather and carpets of wildflowers. Winter transforms the Highlands with clear, pristine snowy landscapes. Itís the season that many mountain guides love beyond all others, one that promises opportunities to see the Northern Lights, especially in remote parts of the Cairngorms or the Hebrides.
Our Scottish Highlands Vacations
Scottish Highlands Weather Chart
If you'd like to chat about Scottish Highlands or need help finding a vacation to suit you we're very happy to help.
Scottish Highlands, month by month
Responsible Travel recommends
Fiona Forsyth, from our Scotland cruising vacations partner The Majestic Line, says: ďMy favourite season for cruising is autumn. The colours in the Highlands are beautiful in September and October.Ē
Andy Bateman, co-founder of our Scotland walking partner, Scot Mountain Vacations, says: ďFor the first-time walker in the Highlands I would suggest coming in springtime. During normal summers it can be very busy, especially on the west coast, so accommodation has to be booked well in advance. You also have fewer problems with midges in spring, and you do get some of the best weather in the Cairngorms in March, April and May. We actually have less rain than Cornwall here on this side of the Highlands.
ďPeople often ask me what my favourite season is for walking in the Highlands and it would have to be winter, with the snow on the pine trees, and views that on clear days can go on forever. You can see Ben Nevis 80km away from the high Cairngorms. I know a lot of the other guides up here feel the same way.Ē
Robert Kidd, founder of our Scotland rail vacations partner McKinlay Kidd, says: ďI love the end of June because of the amount of daylight. Even when youíre going to bed itís still light. And September, because you begin to get the autumnal colours. The heather is in full purple bloom, thereís a real vibrancy about the Highlands and itís not particularly busy either.Ē
More about Scottish Highlands
Learn why the best vacations in the Scottish Highlands are those that deliberately slow you down.
Learn about Scotlandís right to roam, digging snow holes, and responsible walking vacations in the Highlands.
Rail tours through the Highlands immerse you in wild, remote landscapes where roads donít go.
Sail between freshwater lochs along the Caledonian Canal or around the sea lochs of Argyll.
The wildlife you can expect to see, when and where to go, and why join a specialist guided vacation.
Vacations in the Cairngorms open the doors to the biggest national park in the UK.