The North Coast 500 is billed as Scotland's Route 66. Does it live up to the hype? Absolutely! The North Coast 500 (NC 500) covers 500 miles of the most remote, unique and scenically mind-blowing region of Northern Scotland. It's a spectacular coastal route on winding, often narrow, but very well maintained roads, populated by courteous drivers. Because the NC 500 is somewhat out of the way, it takes a little effort to get there. But those that do make that effort are very greatly rewarded. The NC 500 offers a little bit of everything that makes Scotland such a wonderful place to visit. Dramatic Highland peaks sweep majestically to loch and sea. Wildlife is abundant and outdoor pursuits a given. You'll encounter ancient castles, huge sea caves and renowned bridges. You'll have glorious white sand, pristine beaches virtually to yourself, and find unexpected yet wonderful surprises around almost every corner. This tour allows 6 nights to get to and from the NC 500 from Edinburgh and 5 nights on the route itself. The itinerary can be shortened or lengthened to suit your individual needs and trip logisitics....we're standing by to help you make it happen!
**Use tabs above to view Itinerary, Prices & How to Book.**
Included Unique Activities
Scotch Whisky Experience
Edinburgh Small Group City Tour
Stirling Castle Admission
2 Nights4-Star Landmark City Hotel
4-Star Landmark City Hotel
Tucked away in one of Edinburgh’s cozy corners, The Murrayfield Hotel is a 4-star stylish Victorian escape located just a couple of minutes away from Edinburgh Zoo, the national Murrayfield Stadium, and more! The hotel offers a restaurant and bar/lounge where guests can unwind with a delectable meal or drink. This hotel also offers a terrace, complimentary newspapers in the lobby, and dry cleaning/laundry services.
Murrayfield House features 44 stylish bedrooms boasting complimentary Wi-Fi and plush interior décor. All rooms feature a host of additional complimentary luxuries including luxury Soap Co. toiletries, tea and coffee making facilities, mineral water and Scottish shortbread.
All Guestrooms Feature:
- Hypo-allergenic bedding
- Free toiletries
- Hair dryer
- Digital channels
- Premium channels
- Food and drink
- Coffee/tea maker
- Free bottled water
- Iron/ironing board (on request)
Serving up lazy brunches and cozy candlelit dinners, The Bothy prides itself on serving up fresh produce sourced from all over Scotland.
If you’re looking for a spot to soak up the Scottish sunshine, the beer garden is the perfect place to indulge in some al fresco dining or a wee nip of Scottish whisky. If whisky isn’t your thing, there is also an extensive list of gin perfect serves and house cocktails.
Murrayfield Hotel is in Edinburgh's Murrayfield neighborhood, in close proximity to Murrayfield Stadium, Princes Street Gardens, Royal Botanic Garden, & Edinburgh Zoo.
2 NightsLynver Guesthouse
Lynver Guesthouse is a brisk 10-minute walk from Inverness city centre, the capital of Scotland’s renowned Highlands. Offering two spacious and modern guestrooms in a detached villa, Lynver allows guests to fully immerse themselves in the city culture. Popular sites such as the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, Inverness Castle, and Saint Andrew’s Cathedral are a short drive from their doorstep. Every modern amenity is available to meet the needs of all, whether visitors should be looking for a fun abode within the city, or a convenient hub from which to explore the surrounding countryside and sites such as Loch Ness and Culloden Battlefield. Lynver Guesthouse has proudly earned a 4-star Gold rating from Visit Scotland, and is excited to continue welcoming guests to their lovely property with excellence and genuine Scottish hospitality.
Lynver Guesthouse’s exclusive rooms are designed to provide the utmost in modern comfort and relaxation. Overlooking the back patio and front gardens, both bedrooms boast spacious quarters, tasteful décor and full central heating.
All Guestrooms Feature:
- Complimentary WiFi Access
- Digital TV with Freeview Channels and DVD Player
- Radio Alarm Clock
- Magazines & Tourist Information
- Tea/Coffee Making Facilities
- Mini Fridge
- En-suite Bathrooms, with Large Modern Showers
- Wide Range of Toiletries
Breakfast is served each day in Lynver’s bright and airy dining room, typically between 8.00am – 9.00am. Hosts Michelle and Brian are happy to accommodate dietary needs per prior arrangement, and have a wonderful selection of continental and full dining options available. Guests are urged to try their wildly popular Scottish Breakfast, complete with sausages, bacon, eggs, black pudding, tomato, and mushrooms. A delicious array of alternatives can also be made to order from the menu, using fresh local produce whenever possible. An eye for detail and mouthwatering dishes that go above and beyond the standard breakfast fare have earned Lynver Guesthouse the prestigious “Taste Our Best” award from Visit Scotland.
The City of Inverness
On The Map: Inverness is located on Scotland's central northern coast. The town is accessed via the A9 road from the southeast (Cairngorms National Park), A82 from the southwest (Loch Ness) , and A96 from the northeast (Speyside, Whisky Country)
Inverness is the true capital of the Highlands, and with 50,000 people, it is one of Scotland’s fastest growing cities. It is also one of the Highland’s oldest settlements. All roads still lead to the Highland’s center, Inverness. It feels like a compact town, but it has the bustle and air of a lovely city. Let your imagination run wild, and take a ghost tour led by an 18th century ghost, complete with period costume. Expect to hear tales of the city’s blood-chilling past, including ghosts, witches, murders, and spells! Stroll along the River Ness, or cruise on the Moray Firth, searching out bottlenose dolphins. It is very peaceful, especially if you’ve just been ghost-hunting... The River Ness flows through Inverness, and salmon fishermen come during the summer, even where the river runs right through the city’s center. High above the city is Inverness Castle, a unique Victorian built of red sandstone. Just below the castle is the museum and Art Gallery which runs exhibitions and workshops for kids. The main shopping area fans out from there in three directions, and includes a lively gathering place where pipers and other musicians get together and make music.
1 NightBeautiful Sea View Inn
Beautiful Sea View Inn
Judith Fish and her staff welcome you to the Applecross Inn. The Inn aims to provide you with friendly service, fabulous food and drink and comfortable accommodation. Situated in the village of Applecross, on the remote Applecross peninsula, in the North West Highlands of Scotland, the Inn boasts lovely views across the Inner Sound of Raasay, to the isles of Raasay and Skye.
The Inn offers seven comfortable en-suite bedrooms on a bed and breakfast basis, they all have sea views! Each room is comfortable and relaxing and offers tea and coffee facilities and a CD radio alarm. The ensuite is well appointed with cleansing products available. There are no televisions in the rooms but free wifi is available to guests. Please note, we book dining tables for residents automatically, discussing their dining time on arrival.
Famous for its quality, multiple award-winning, dining and bar, the Inn’s great range of delicious fresh meals are well worth the journey here. We specialize in using local produce, including seafood and Highland game and meats. There is also daily seafood specials and child and vegetarian menus available. Open for meals from 12 pm till 9 pm. Prices for meals range from £4.00 to £25.
Breakfast is a full Scottish Highland affair with poached smoked haddock and smoked salmon available as well as the traditional black pudding, sausages, bacon and free range eggs. To complement the hot food a range of cereals, fresh fruit, yogurts, juice and tea/coffee are available.
On The Map: Applecross is located on a peninsula in the Wester Ross region of western Scotland
Famous for idyllic scenery and the spectacular 'Bealach na Ba' drive, Applecross is both a small village and remote peninsula in Wester Ross. The name of Applecross is at least 1,300 years old and is used by locals to name the entire peninsula. The row of houses which is often referred to as Applecross Village, and is thusly marked on most maps, is actually called 'Shore Street' and is referred to locally simply as 'The Street'! The Applecross area is one of the earliest parts of Scotland to be settled by humans, and the nearby settlement of Sand is the location of a major archaeological site. The Applecross Heritage Centre is located 1 mile north of 'The Street'. The Centre is the focal point for operations of the Applecross Historical Society and houses an interesting collection of artefacts, archives and genealogical records. Sampling the culinary delights of the Applecross Inn (pictured), or purchasing locally smoked fish from the Applecross Smokehouse are highly recommended visitor diversions.
1 NightPremier Highland Hotel
Premier Highland Hotel
Having undergone recent refurbishment, The Royal Hotel in Ullapool offers effortless comfort on the coast of Loch Broom. The hotel is believed to date back to the 1890s and perhaps beyond as a local inn for the fisherman. Today, however, it has been delightfully transformed into a contemporary accommodation with all of the amenities and customer service to match an esteemed 3-star hotel. The Royal Hotel is considered a premier destination for those looking for an escape from the busyness of modern life. A stay at The Royal is made complete by the breathtaking views of the water and their proximity to town centre. The Royal Hotel’s owners are proud to present it as a hidden gem in the northwest of the Scotland Highlands, and look forward to sharing their seaside home with many visitors in the years to come.
The Royal Hotel boasts 54 contemporary rooms, many with panoramic views over the gleaming waters of Loch Broom and green mountains beyond. A number of room sizes and configurations are available to be enjoyed, all designed with your utmost comfort in mind.
All Guestrooms Feature:
- King Size Mattress
- Complimentary Wi-Fi Internet Access
- Flat Screen TV
- Central Heating
- Tea/Coffee Making Facilities
- Direct Dial Telephone
- Complimentary Toiletries
The Royal Hotel is proud to count themselves amongst the delicious variety of restaurants available in Ullapool. Their restaurant, the Dining Room, serves a wonderful selection of Italian foods, featuring a few classic favorites. Only the freshest local produce and seafood is used on their menu, meticulously prepared each day by their talented team of chefs. With a recently refurbished the kitchen, you will have the chance to sample only the highest standards of service and food.
Sharing the same delicious menu as the Dining Room, the Waterfront Bar also offers a fantastic collection of malt whiskies, gin, and beers. A lovely outdoor terrace and a number of picnic benches are available for dining al fresco during the warmer months.
On The Map: Ullapool is located on Scotland's northwest coast. The town is approximately 1.5 hours northwest of Inverness on the A835 road.
Upon arrival in town, you are immediately struck by Ullapool's whiteness and by its regularity of design and layout. This is a legacy of the town's origins, being designed and built in 1788 by Thomas Telford and the British Fisheries Society. The aim was to exploit a boom in herring fishing at the time. This peaked and then, in an early example of overfishing, declined from the 1830s. Fishing has remained at the heart of the town's economy, but in recent times, tourism has also been a big player. Surrounded on all sides by majestic mountain peaks, Ullapool is a scenic feast for the eyes. It also makes a great base for exploring the northwest of Scotland, particularly those parts that are a little too remote to reach from Inverness, the traditional 'Gateway to the Highlands'. In warmer months, boat trips run to the Summer Isles and around Loch Broom, where you will see an abundance of wildlife including seals & dolphins. Ullapool is also the access point for the ferry to Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. Ullapool boasts some very nice pubs, and a good range of shops.
1 NightReal Countryside B & B
1 NightPreferred Historic B & B
Preferred Historic B & B
Murray House Bed & Breakfast is a traditional town house built in 1835 and situated in Thurso town centre.
Private parking and a well established garden with secure storage for bicycles and sports equipment are to the rear of the house, freshly caught fish can be frozen to take home. We are a ten minute walk from the railway station and there is a regular bus service from Inverness, Wick airport is 20 miles away.
Comfort and a high standard of cleanliness is a top priority therefore we have a strict NO SMOKING policy.
We have 6 en-suite bedrooms: 1 family room, 1 twin/double room, 2 double rooms and 1 single room. Our single and 2 double bedrooms are on the first floor, our twin/double and family bedrooms are on the second floor.
All our rooms have central heating, double glazing, comfortable beds, powerful showers with a plentiful supply of hot water. Each bedroom has a flat screen freeview television, a kettle with hospitality tray, hairdryer and a welcome folder providing local information, sample menus, maps and timetables.
All rooms are Wi-Fi enabled.
Spare blankets, hot water bottles and extra pillows are provided.
Murray House is an ideal base for exploring the many attractions and activities Caithness has to offer. Thurso esplanade and beach, famous for surf enthusiasts is a 5 minute walk away, restaurants, bars and shops are all within 200 yards.
Scrabster the local port for catching a ferry to Orkney is just over 1 mile away and Pentland Ferries who operate a car ferry from Gill’s Bay is approximately 17 miles from Thurso. John O’Groat Ferries is a passenger ferry approx. 20 miles along the north coast where you can visit Orkney’s attractions on a day trip – highly recommended.
1 NightHistoric Luxury Castle Lodgings
Historic Luxury Castle Lodgings
- Direct Dial Telephones
- Tea & Coffee Hospitality Tray
- Laundry & Dry Cleaning Service
2 NightsSpacious Country B & B
Spacious Country B & B
- TV with Freeview Channels
- Tea & Coffee Hospitality Tray
- Alarm Clock
- Rental Car - Includes Insurance, Unlimited Mileage & All Taxes
Points of Interest
- Spend Two Nights in Captivating Edinburgh
- Visit Stunning Blair Castle
- Discover the Natural Beauty of Cairngorms National Park
- Stay in Inverness - The Capital of the Highlands
- Enjoy the Unspoiled Locale of the North Coast 500:
- Glen Ord Distillery & Rogie Falls
- Bealach na mBa & Inverewe Exotic Gardens
- Kylescu Bridge & Balnakeil Beach
- Smoo Cave & The Castle of Mey
- The Whaligoe Steps & Grey Cairns of Camster
- Travel the Length of Mysterious Loch Ness
- Reve in the History and Scenic Splendor of Glencoe & Glenfinnan
- Explore Several Famous Scottish Castles to Explore!
- Discover the Unique History and Sites of Stirling
Speyside, The Whisky Triangle, Elgin, North East
Cawdor Castle, Inverness, Highlands
Culloden Battlefield, Inverness, Highlands
Pitlochry, Central Scotland
Blair Castle, Pitlochry, Central Scotland
Cairngorms National Park, Central Scotland
Glen Ord Distillery, Inverness, Highlands
Bealach na Ba, Strathcarron, Highlands
Available Tour Dates
Jan, Feb, Mar, Nov, Dec
From 2,098 per person
Available Tour Dates
Apr, May, Sep, Oct
From 2,218 per person
Available Tour Dates
Jun, Jul, Aug
From 2,350 per person
Your 2022 Price Includes
POINTS OF INTEREST
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"Christmas in Ireland"Jan 3, 2022
This Ireland trip was amazing, and Jennifer did a wonderful job planning it! We booked it fairly last minute (booked the experience Nov 1st for a departure date of Dec 20th), but despite that, Jennifer was able to create an itinerary that covered everything we wanted to do and stay in amazing locations. All of the pre-booked events worked out flawlessly, never ran into any issues! Jennifer was super helpful and answered all my questions; she made traveling during these Covid times way less stressful. Thank you, Jennifer and Authentic Vacations for an amazing Christmas in Ireland!
"Ireland Anniversary"Dec 31, 2021
This trip exceeded our expectations on every single level. Adina planned the absolute PERFECT Irish experience that enabled us to celebrate our third wedding anniversary better than we ever could have imagined. Every single step of the planning and booking experience was straight-forward, and we were always able to contact her if we had a question or concern. Michaela was also another agent we worked very closely with and her kindness is something I will always remember. I have already recommended AV to everyone I know, and we will absolutely be taking more trips through this agency in the future. This was the trip of our lives!!
"Experience family roots in Scotland"Dec 29, 2021
It took a while to get there after dealing with multiple delays because of Covid, but we finally made it to Scotland. Authentic Vacations worked with us so well for the initial plan and with all the necessary revisions. Our hearts were happy to see where my husband's grandmother was born. The accommodations were just right for us, and the experiences that they arranged were great and helped us to enjoy the beautiful country. Thank you!
"Beautiful Florida Vacation"Dec 26, 2021
I had never used Authentic Vacation before. They were great my trip was exceptionally well planned. Lonna was excellent to work with, she had all my answers and put us in beautiful hotels, she had also arranged all of our outings. Things went extremely smoothly. They are an exception to the rule.
"California Getaway/Wedding"Nov 19, 2021
After the cancelation of our Ireland trip, we were supposed to do just as everything closed down, I thought we would never get away. It took a while to get things figured out with this company but in the end, they came through and help me plan a trip to California. The hotels were perfect and everything else went as planned. Thanks, Lauren for helping us figure this all out.
"Worth The Wait - Birthday In Ireland"Nov 8, 2021
After two reschedules due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, we were thrilled to finally be able to make it to Ireland. It exceeded our wildest expectations. From quaint seaside B&Bs to a night in a castle to lovely boutique hotel, we had a varied and beautiful experience. We loved the ability to modify our itinerary as we went so that we could discover things on our own time. But, the planned pre-booked events all worked out flawlessly. Couldn’t Recommend Michele more. She helped us select a location for a return Covid PCR test and was available for any questions.
"Fantastic 46th Anniversary In Ireland"Nov 4, 2021
Finally, after postponing our trip twice due to COVID-19 we were finally on our way! Michelle, our Authentic Expert, was fantastic & everything was perfect! Our hotels were magnificent & everything was in order. We had absolutely no issues.
After our 3 nights stay at the luxurious Shelbourne, we set out for the following for a magnificent, unforgettable 12 days with Jimmy. We traveled 2058km through Galway, Connemara, Derry, Bushmills, Belfast, Trim & back to Dublin.
The highlights of the trip, besides the grand Jimmy, were the Wild Atlantic Coast, Connemara area, and the coast of Antrim which was absolutely incredible, some of the most beautiful scenery we have ever seen. The bonus was Jimmy’s audible historic narrations throughout our trip. We consider Jimmy a friend & will keep in touch.
Succinctly stated the only way to see Ireland is bypass. Having a personal driver was the only way to travel Ireland.
Ashford Castle was beyond our expeditions! So elegant and absolutely beautiful! The spa is a must. Walking the ground was stunning! I did the Hawk walk! I had my own Hawk, walked through the woods & let him go, a few minutes the Hawk flew back & landed on my arm. I cannot say enough about this experience. Afternoon Tea was certainly a must!
All the hotels recommended by Authentic Vacations were a very high standard.
"Hawaii Honeymoon & Birthday"Nov 1, 2021
Considering All, and COVID messing up a Scottish trip. Hawaii was lovely. Although the Hotel had troubles with their book keeping and no meals (continental breakfasts) were served due to Covid mandates. We did enjoy the place and getting a room on the water side with a lanai was key. Otherwise you would have a view of a parking lot or local road. Lots of wild roosters crowing around 3am. Very rustic and local.
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