Arrive in Edinburgh, Scotland U.K. and head to rental car location in downtown Edinburgh. (We paid approximately $400 Euros for 5 days). From there, we drove 5 hrs (apprx.) to Oban. Along the way we stopped at multiple locations that we found beautiful (also, to run around the car to wake up - no joke).
Hotel in Oban: The Ranald Hotel (41 Stevenson Street, Oban, PA34 5NA, United Kingdom)
Dined at: Waterfront Fishouse Restaurant
We left Oban after a day of exploring and going on the Oban Distillery tour. From there we continued on our adventure to Isle of Skye. This trip took longer than expected, approximately 8 hrs - but, worth every single second. Again, we leveraged our "adventurous" GPS navigation.
Hotel in Isle of Skye: Cullin Hills Hotel (Isle of Skye, Portree, IV51 9QU, United Kingdom) - This one was a little more pricy, but definitely worth it.
Dined at: The Caledonian Cafe (local, bar food - delicious and a wonderful atmosphere).
Spent the morning, going for a run and then driving through the northern part of Isle of Skye. After a half of a day (4-6hrs) of exploration we started driving to Elgin. Pro Tip: I would've stayed another 2 (two) days in Isle of Skye to explore further and completely skipped out on Elgin. On our way to Elgin, we stopped at the 2 (two) distilleries mentioned earlier (Benromach and Glenfiddich). Glenfiddich was neat, because we explored all their experiments, hear the unique history and even witness and frankly, be in the presence of a 100+ yr old barrel of Scotch. The Glenfiddich was more commercial (obviously), Oban and Benromach were more local, owned and intimate. I would say that doing both the local and commercial are the way to go; experience both.
Hotel in Elgin: Mansion House Hotel (The Haugh, Elgin, IV30 1AW, United Kingdom)
Elgin Restaurant(s): TripAdvisor
We left Elgin and headed through more farm land. I'll have to say that the North East part of Scotland has way more rolling hills and farm land. We made our way into St. Andrews and spent the afternoon walking around the school, the castle and the many golf shops and restaurants they have to offer. It was such a lovely afternoon - they even let you (basically) walk right onto the 9th hole and watch whom ever is playing. Loved it there. After leaving there, we headed to Edinburgh. We dropped off the rental car, did a fast paced walking tour and ate at a quaint little restaurant (not our favorite, but will link to Tripadvisor for reviews). The next morning, making that day 5, we left for the airport and went to Dublin.
Hotel in Edinburgh: Sheraton Grande Hotel and Spa (1 Festival Square, Edinburgh EH3 9SR, UK)
Edinburgh Restaurant(s): TripAdvisor
1. Stay at least 7-12 days in Scotland. I would spend more time Isle of Skye, stop in Glasgow and spend longer doing the official Scotch Trail. But mainly, Isle of Skye
2. Pack a rain coat, it's always overcast with a mist. It adds to the beauty of Scotland
3. Make sure your GPS is set on "Adventure Mode" and/or "No Highway(s)". The backroads are where it's at.
4. Have a designated "driver" or do a tour to go to the Distilleries
5. Bring a camera with extra memory cards, also - try bringing a polaroid, it was pretty fun to have that
6. Make sure you stop and see a squishy! My lovely name for the sheep, they were literally so squishy looking.
7. Driving takes much, much longer than Google Maps tells you. I would tack on an additional 2 hours to each of their projections.
8. HAVE FUN!