There are fascinating boat tours from a number of places around the coast, including seal- and bird-watching trips. Inland bus tours of castles, distilleries, fishing lochs, and hill-walking routes are available locally.

Rabbie's. This popular tour operator organizes tours of various lengths throughout the Highlands, from half-day trips to 17-day epics. Tours start from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen, or Inverness, and travel is in comfortable 16-seater minibuses. Highland. 0131/226–3133; From £19.

Scotland Tours. Choose from a wide range of bus tours for a wide range of budgets, taking anywhere from one to eight days. The company is Highland-owned, and the guides know their region well. Highland. 0131/226–1414; From £42.

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