Scotland, with its smorgasbord of scenery and opportunities, is a funfair for those unfazed by the unknown and enthused by adventure. Live life on the edge with 10 epic experiences you can only have in Scotland.
Survive the night in a Scottish bothy at the end of the world
Delve deep into Scotland’s wildest parts and spend the night in a bothy — an abandoned former croft, farmstead or shepherd’s hut punctuating the deepest, darkest areas of Scottish wilderness. Totally off the grid and available for free to one and all, it takes prowess, perseverance and a compass to find these hidden huts. Once there, the bothy (which is usually the most rudimentary of shelters) will offer a roof and perhaps a hearth. But after that, it’s up to you to last the night. Follow in the footsteps of adventurer Geoff Allan and take a leaf out of his Scottish Bothy Bible, the holy grail of bothies in Scotland.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Climb the inaccessible pinnacle on Skye
Go on — we dare you. The Inaccessible Pinnacle, a 50-metre shark’s fin of a rock, sits teetering atop Sgurr Dearg at 986 metres. Join other adrenaline-seekers and clamber to the top of this jagged blade and highest point of Sgurr Dearg, the only Munro with a peak accessible through rock climbing. Embrace the transcendental views of Skye and map out your descent.
Hunt for Nessie at Loch Ness
Who knew cryptozoology could be so fun? We’ve all heard the tales surrounding sightings of Scotland’s own denizen of the deep but have we really tried to find him? There’s truth to every story, so make it your life’s mission to get to the bottom of it. If unsuccessful, Loch Ness, the second largest and second deepest of Scottish lochs, is graced with breathtaking scenery and mystical qualities.
Go Munro-bagging across Scotland’s most magical mountains
They say the greatest alpinists are the ones with the worst memory. Either way, Munro-bagging is an adventure of irresistible appeal. But what is this obscure sounding activity, we hear you say? In Scotland, a Munro is a mountain of over 3,000 feet or 914 metres. The attached hazards, like perilous weather conditions and bipolar terrain, are all part of the allure. So, scale some of the most desirable Munros in Scotland — think Buachaille Etive Mòr, Ben Nevis, Ba Bheinn and Ben Alder — or preferably all (that’s Munro-bagging).
Partake in a real Scottish ceilidh…
…and dance the Orcadian Strip The Willow, preferably with no shoes on so you can spin better! Ceilidhs are a Scottish tradition and you’ve not lived until you’ve experienced one! Between the harmonious mix of traditional instruments, ageless rhythm of the people weaving in and out dancing about, barrels of booze and overall convivial vibe, there’s no better party or place to grasp a true glimpse of the fun-loving nature of the Scots.
Sail to the Isle of Staffa and get lost in the magic of Fingal’s Cave
A natural wonder, Fingal’s Cave is an otherworldly sea cave praised for its symmetry, hypnotic acoustics, spellbinding colours and hexagonally jointed basalt. Its overwhelming beauty has inspired many artists and prominent figures including Pink Floyd, artist J.M.W Turner, Queen Victoria and Romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn. Witness this unmitigated slice of intrigue for yourself by taking a boat tour to the Isle of Staffa.
Party the night away at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay
Hogmanay, the Scottish New Year’s Eve, is a sight for sore eyes. A slew of fireworks paint the sky like a dream, the city swells with a hodgepodge of people from all over the world, the sounds of famous bands resonate around every corner, smells of delicious food inundate the air and parties pop up in every space. And when the clock strikes midnight, there’s no replicating that feeling when the crowds link arms and belt out Auld Lang Syne at the top of their lungs. This unsurpassable celebration is an unrivalled way to usher in a new year.
Explore Edinburgh and The Lothians from a hot air balloon
If tour buses send you to sleep then perhaps experience the ethereal beauty of Scotland’s capital and its surrounding kingdoms by floating through the sky in a hot air balloon. As you ascend towards the clouds, the city will become a canvas of inspiration, with landmarks like Arthur’s Seat and the Castle offering a brand new perspective. Catch a bird’s eye view of rolling Scottish hills, tiny picture perfect villages and magical scenery. Oh, Scotland.
Experience the ‘World’s Most Spectacular Landing’
Although visiting the many islands is a no brainer when it comes to a Scotland-themed bucket list, there is one place that stands out. At five miles wide by eight miles long and the most southerly of the Outer Hebridean people-populated islands, Barra is pure magic. This wee paradise is a mecca for adventurers with its endless array of outdoor activities. But first, you have to land on Traigh Mhor beach, the only runway beach out there to boast scheduled airline services. As fairytale-esque as the destination is, this beach runway first became licensed in 1936 and has been going strong ever since. Unsurprisingly, flying into this dreamy destination was voted the world’s most spectacular landing.
Hone in on those photo skills with an epic photography holiday on Skye
Whether new to the scene or a seasoned snapper, the Isle of Skye is one of those iconic locations that, whatever the mood or circumstances, loves the camera. Thanks to avid photographer and winner of UK Photographer of the Year Marcus McAdam, Culture Trippers of all kinds can embark on a photography workshop of unrivalled proportions. Think precarious ridges, enchanting fairy pools, Scottish wildlife, silky beaches, unaltered terrain, wild wilderness, noble mountains and more. The best part — getting to see Skye in her element.
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meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.