Scenic Flexi East to West

The Scenic Flexi is a good option for a 7 day Scotland itinerary and is one of our most popular tour plans. It is also a great driving route for first-time visitors to Scotland.

We call it the “Flexi Tour” because it provides a wide choice of day trips that let you tailor the holiday to your interests and length of vacation.

You can easily extend the itinerary to 2 weeks in Scotland by using the suggestions for day trips from Edinburgh, Inverness, Skye, and Oban.

Allow a minimum of 5 days to drive this tour route.
The guide also contains extra day trip suggestions for extending the tour to 3 weeks.

PLEASE NOTE: The Guides come in the format of PDF files. After payment, you will receive an automated email that enables you to access your Scotland Tour Itinerary.

Scenic Flexi East to West

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Tour Stats :

Guide Updated - 18 January 2024

Core Route Mileage:

Approximately 621 miles / 1000 Km

Tour Duration:

5 to 21 Days

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Tour Summary

  • Explore Edinburgh -

    Edinburgh is a compact city and easy to explore on foot. We provide directions for 3 walking routes that show you different sides of the Capital city; a walk down the historical Royal Mile, a leafy riverside path to the tranquil city oasis of the Royal Botanic Gardens and a more energetic hike to Arthur’s Seat with the option to continue to a pub with lots of history.

    The guide also includes options for day trips around the surrounding area by bus or train, as well as day trip options by car (see below for these).

    Stopover in Edinburgh

  • Day Trips from Edinburgh by Car -

    Continue to explore Edinburgh, or head out of the city with a choice of driving day trips that cover:

    • East Lothian where you can visit some spectacular castle ruins, a whisky distillery, pretty villages and maybe embark on a boat trip around Bass Rock.
    • West Lothian where you can see places that have featured in “Outlander” (e.g. Linlithgow Palace, Blackness castle, Midhope castle and Hopetoun house).
    • The Borders and a tour route around the regions many Abbeys and grand country houses. This day trip also features the famous Rosslyn Chapel.
    • St Andrews , where there is much more than a golf course to discover.  We also guide you to explore the photogenic fishing villages of the East Neuk of Fife.

    Stopover in Edinburgh


  • Edinburgh to Inverness -

    This driving route is packed with sightseeing opportunities.

    From Edinburgh, you head north to Perth, where you might wish to explore Scone Palace, the ancient crowning place of Scotland’s kings.

    Continuing from Perth, you may wish to schedule a visit to the neat Victorian spa resort of Pitlochry where you find the “Salmon Ladder”, 2 distilleries and the grand Blair Castle.

    Heading into the Highlands, we provide the choice of a direct route to Inverness or a more scenic route via the Rothiemurchus forest in the Cairngorms National Park. Both sets of directions give you the option for a visit to the historical and hauntingly sad battlefield of Culloden Moor.

    Driving Distance: ~158 miles

    Stopover in Inverness

  • Day Trips from Inverness -

    Inverness is a great touring base for exploring the Highlands and we supply you with directions for a range of day trips:

    • Black Isle - A short tour of the Black Isle where you can visit a carefully preserved 18th century village and embark on boat trips to see wild dolphins.
    • Moray Coast - A historical tour of Moray with its historical attractions and scenic coastline. This day trip features the highlights of Culloden, Clava Cairns, Cawdor Castle and Elgin Cathedral.
    • Glen Affric - A scenic drive into Glen Affric where you can see the last remains of the Ancient Caledonian Forest. This route includes options to explore a Neolithic stone circle, a forgotten Clan burial ground and a 150 foot high waterfall in a lovely woodland setting.
    • Loch Ness – We guide you past Loch Ness on the drive to Skye, but this Loch Ness day trip does a complete circular tour of the loch with time to take a cruise, visit the “Nessie” exhibitions and wander the ruins of Urquhart castle.
    • Dunrobin Castle - A day trip up the east coast to visit the spectacular Dunrobin Castle, which has all the opulence of a French chateau. You can return via a longer route that features a visit to an impressive cascade where you might see wild salmon leaping if you visit during late summer / autumn.

    Stopover in Inverness area

  • Inverness to Skye -

    We start this day with a drive via Loch Ness & Urquhart Castle to pick up the road that takes you west through the wilderness of Glen Shiel to the mountains of Kintail.

    Further along the route, you can stop at the famous Eilean Donan castle which you pass on the way to the Skye Bridge.

    Before arriving on Skye, we give you the options of a detour to a stunning mountain viewpoint, or a small diversion to visit a very pretty fishing village where you can enjoy a drink in the beer garden of a lochside pub..

    Driving Distance: ~115 miles

    Stopover on Isle of Skye or the nearby Lochalsh area

  • Day Trips around Skye & Lochalsh -

    Skye is a large island with many of the places of interest located along dead end single track roads. As a result, you are limited in how much you can cover in a day and you need to schedule at least a 2 night stopover.

    • Explore Skye - We provide directions for a drive around Skye that explores the island's dramatic landscapes as well as Dunvegan Castle, Talisker Distillery, craft shops, tearooms, pubs and walks. There's more than enough in our guide to fill several days on Skye. Driving Distance: ~138 miles
    • Alternative Day Trip around Loch Alsh & Loch Hourn - Skye can be a very busy place so we also provide directions for a tour around this quieter area where you can take in one of our favourite viewpoints, soak up the atmosphere at mysterious Iron Age Brochs, or enjoy a cup of coffee in one of the remotest tearooms in Scotland. You can return to Skye via a tiny car ferry that operates from Easter – October.

    Stopover on Isle of Skye or the nearby Lochalsh area

  • Skye to Oban -

    In this journey leg, we guide you down the spectacular West coast to the lively town of Oban.

    We would recommend leaving Skye on the Mallaig ferry, but also provide you with directions for taking an inland route via the Skye bridge.

    If taking the Mallaig ferry, you can explore the beautiful beaches of the Morar coast where the white sands can look Tropical on sunny days. Following the “Road to the Isles”, you travel via Glenfinnan, where Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army first rallied in 1745. Nowadays, most people come to Glenfinnan to see the railway viaduct featured in the “Harry Potter” movies, but we also guide you to some less obvious film locations.

    Both routes converge near Glen Coe and you may wish to detour into the glen for a photo stop before starting on the last journey leg down the Argyll coast. This is an area with a rich history and our guide gives details of some of its infamous characters and events.

    The day ends in the lively fishing town of Oban where there is a great choice of seafood restaurants. We list our top recommendations in the guide so you can make reservations for a meal to remember.

    Driving Distance by Ferry route: ~87 miles  (Mallaig to Oban, plus a ~40 minute ferry crossing) 

    Driving Distance by Bridge route:~120 miles  (Skye Bridge to Oban)

    Stopover in Oban Area.

  • Day Trips from Oban -

    Oban is a great touring base and the guide provides you with a choice of day trips for exploring the wider area.

    • Jacobite Steam Train – With an early start, you can get to Fort William in time to catch the morning steam train service to Mallaig. A must for “Harry Potter” fans, but a popular attraction so you need to book early. April - October
    • Day Trip To Mull, Iona & Staffa – You can either take a day off driving and join an organised boat / coach trip to Iona & Staffa, OR you can follow our directions for exploring the island by car. If taking the car across, we recommend that you stay on Mull for 2 or more nights and we supply information to allow you to adjust the tour plan for an island stopover.
    • Day Trip to Inveraray via Kilmartin Glen – This route guides you along a road that we rate as one of the best scenic drives in Scotland. History fans will enjoy the ancient standing stones and burial chambers of Kilmartin Glen. The return leg features the pretty 18th century village of Inveraray and the ornate Inveraray castle which is home to the Duke of Argyll.
    • Lorn Islands – Within a short distance of Oban you can visit a choice of small islands with unique characters. Our itinerary gives you details of each island’s highlights and the best ways that you can explore them.

    Stopover in Oban Area.

  • Oban to Glasgow / Edinburgh -

    The first leg of this journey heads inland to Crianlarich via the shores of Loch Awe, Scotland’s longest loch. Along the way, we guide you to the footpath that leads to the ruins of Kilchurn castle which guards the east end of the loch.

    Crianlarich translates from the Gaelic for “Low Pass” and it is at this village that you choose between the road to Glasgow, or the road that heads east through the Trossachs to Stirling and Edinburgh.

    If going to Glasgow, you travel along the length of Loch Lomond and can stop for a drink in a haunted 18th century inn, or join a cruise on the Loch.

    Driving Distance: ~90 miles to Glasgow

    If returning to Edinburgh you could schedule journey breaks at Doune castle and Stirling castle. Fans of the "Outlander" TV show will recognise Doune Castle as it was the film location for "Castle Leoch".

    Driving Distance: ~117 miles to Edinburgh

    Stopover in Glasgow or Edinburgh.

Tour Gallery


To help you book the best places to stay, we offer a guide to Recommended Accommodation along the route of this tour.

We personally visit all the accommodation featured in the guides and only select places where we would wish to stay ourselves. Read More...

When you "Checkout", you will have the option to buy the Accommodation Guide.

Preview Accommodation Guide

Car Hire - How to Save Money

When you buy a Secret Scotland Tour Itinerary you will receive a Discount Code that gets you a 10% reduction on the cost of Car Hire from Arnold Clark Rental.

Simply use the Secret Scotland code when you book via the Arnold Clark website and your car hire discount will automatically apply.


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