Fort William showing mountains and a lake or waterhole

The Highlands is a region synonymous with drama and romance because of its sprawling unbridled landscape, which incorporates soaring Munros and mountains, jewel-blue lochs that reflect the sky, emerald forests and majestic wildlife. The Scottish Highlands is integral to Scotland’s identity as a nation, and its vast expanse across the north of the UK offers activities and adventure for people from every walk of life.

Where are the Highlands?The Highlands make up a large area of Scotland, and they don't have definitive boundary lines. Traditionally, the boundary was considered to run horizontally from Helensburgh to Stonehaven, but it is now accepted that parts of Morayshire, Nairnshire, Banffshire, the Hebrides and Aberdeenshire are also considered to be part of the Highlands.

What to Do and Where to Stay in the HighlandsThere is so much to explore in this part of Scotland, and where you stay depends on what you want to get out of your trip. For climbers and adventure seekers, Fort William offers access to some of the largest Munros in the UK, including the famous highest mountain, Ben Nevis. Walkers, hikers, bikers, skiiers and trekkers will find a home in the Cairngorms National Park.

Keen kayakers, swimmers, and water sports fans can enjoy plenty of lochs in the region, including Loch Morlich. With locations like Aviemore, Inverness, Fort William and Glencoe all offering spa hotels, sleek boutiques, comfy B&Bs and traditional inns, you can set your worries aside, and your head to rest, by finding accommodation that suits you using Expedia’s handy search tool. Inverness boasts a lively city centre and it is popular with holidaymakers thanks to its close proximity to Loch Ness, where you can search out Nessie and take a tour of the fantastic Urquhart Castle.

Exploring the Isle of SkyeHead to Kyle of Lochalsh, and cross the bridge to the famed Isle of Skye to see the fairy pools, eat freshly caught seafood, explore the Old Man of Stoer and stroll the streets of Portree. This island offers opportunities for Munro baggers to take in a few peaks among the Cuillin too.

Whisky Trails, Golf and the North SeaOn the eastern side of the Highlands past Inverness and the legend of Loch Ness is Moray Speyside, where the Coastal Trail is almost as famed as the Malt Whiskey Trail. See the spectacular north eastern coastline of Scotland where unexpectedly sandy beaches are sheltered by rock outcroppings. Cliffs and tide pools welcome in marine and bird life that will have you reaching for your binoculars.

If you’d rather savour the smooth malts Scotland is famous for, visit a few renowned distilleries like Glenlivet, Glen Moray, Glenfidditch and Strathisla, where you can taste centuries of knowledge in these perfected brews.

The Highlands are where Scottish songs are sung, tales are told and legends are made. Travelling to this magical part of Scotland will leave an indelible mark on your life, so start planning your journey to the Scottish Highlands with Expedia today.

Popular cities in Highland

Urquhart Castle showing a lake or waterhole and building ruins
Known for River view, Historical and Walking
Inverness has all the attractions of a major city, including quality museums and heritage sites, as well as a perfect placement for Highland exploring.

Reasons to visit

  • Urquhart Castle
  • Inverness Castle
  • Eden Court Theatre
Isle of Skye showing a bay or harbour, a beach and a pebble beach
Isle of Skye
Known for Dining, Poolside bars and Islands
From mist-shrouded mountain peaks to plunging sea cliffs and moss-carpeted valleys, this windswept Scottish island is a place of wild, rugged beauty.

Reasons to visit

  • Dunvegan Castle
  • Talisker Distillery
  • Neist Point Lighthouse
Oban showing a coastal town
Known for Friendly people, Ferries and boats and Islands
This waterfront town offers a range of typical Scottish delights, including a famous distillery, evocative castle ruins and dramatic, wild landscapes.

Reasons to visit

  • Ganavan Sands
  • Dunstaffnage Castle and Chapel
  • Scottish Sealife Sanctuary
Portree Harbour featuring a coastal town and a bay or harbour
Known for Dining, Islands and Scenery
The biggest and busiest town on the Isle of Skye, Portree is built around a colorful harbor where fishing boats still arrive to offload their catch of the day.

Reasons to visit

  • Portree Harbour
  • Old Man of Storr
  • Quiraing
Fort William featuring street scenes
Fort William
Known for Friendly people, Dining and Poolside bars
Hike around this picturesque region for views of the stunning lochs. Study Scottish cultural facets of pubs, haggis and whiskey.

Reasons to visit

  • Ben Nevis
  • Inverlochy Castle
  • Neptune's Staircase
Known for Poolside bars, Secluded and Luxury
Upscale Lairg awaits: its mountain views, bars, fishing and more!

Reasons to visit

  • Loch Inchard