• Eilean Donan Castle Scotland, Ross-Shire Eilean Donan Castle
    Eilean Donan Castle
  • the courtyard at Culross palace Scotland, Fife, Culross Palace
    the courtyard at Culross palace
  • Loch Rannoch Scotland, Kinloch Rannoch view of Loch Rannoch
    Loch Rannoch
  • View of Loch Carron, Scotland Scotland, Loch Carron
    View of Loch Carron, Scotland
  • Glen Quaich Perthshire Scotland Scotland, Perthshire Glen Quaich
    Glen Quaich Perthshire Scotland

A Scottish Circuit - A Guided Motorcycle Tour

The Highlands, Scotland

4 star hotels, dinner, bed and breakfast

This Scottish motorcycle circuit embraces the better parts of the NC500 and traverses some of our favoured biker roads in other parts of Scotland.
On this guided tour you will ride some of the best motorcycle routes starting from The Highlands
We have not set dates for this tour yet and there may have added a new variant, so, check our tour diary. If you are interested in this tour or something similar then please contact us and we shall set a date, alternatively, browse our upcoming tours to see what's new.

Contact us to discuss your bespoke tour requirements.
Provisionally Book This Tour Ask for more details about this Tour Learn about our group discounts

The North Coast 500 circuit also referred to as NC500 is hailed as Scotland’s Route 66 and it's a fine costal route. It helps tourists explore parts of northern Scotland that have long been overlooked and no doubt local businesses along the route have benefited from the increased tourism. We would also expect that many of those taking the route will deviate from the circuit to find what might be lurking around the bend or over the hill. Likewise, we expect that to reach the start and end point at Inverness that most will traverse other parts of Scotland to experience both Lowlands and Highlands to see more of what Scotland has to offer. However, if you need some help in doing that then this is the tour for you.

We offer many Motorcycle Tours in Scotland and this Scottish motorcycle tour is not that north coast route although this tour embraces the best of the north coasts 513 mile long route we omit some of the less interesting roads, such as the east coast run along the A9, replacing with more interesting less travelled roads further inland in some of the most remote areas of Scotland. Naturally we also chose some of our favourite roads south of Inverness to take you to and from the north coast circuit and no trip to Scotland would be complete without visiting at least one island and so we include parts of Skye.

We hope you will agree that this circa 1100 mile motorbike tour around Scotland makes a more interesting motorbike tour and allows you to see a bit more of Scotland although you may have to return again and again and take part in other motorcycle tours we operate if you really want to see all Scotland has to offer the biker!

N.B. NC500 and North Coast 500 are registered trade marks of North Coast 500 Limited. McTours is not affiliated with this company in any way.

Look at this itinerary and discover some of the most interesting motorcycle routes in scotland

Day of arrival

There will always be things to see and do in the towns and cities we chose to start and end our tours and often the hotels will often have leisure and spa facilities. This gives time to relax and recover from any travel or jetlag because guests arrive at various times with some arriving earlier than others, so, nothing can be formally planned.

If you are hiring a bike through us we shall arrange to either have it delivered to the hotel or take you to the collection point. There you can check over your machine and ensure all is to your satisfaction. You can take a brief ride to familiarise yourself with the machine.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Edinburgh to Aviemore 185 miles about 5 1/2 hours riding

Crieff High StreetWe depart our hotel, Carberry Tower Mansion House and Estate, taking the Edinburgh City Bypass the onwards to the Forth Crossing where we break shortly for those wishing to photograph the bridges. We then make our way west along the north shore of the Forth to the conservation village of Culross where we take our first refreshment break of the day.

The route then progresses north to Crieff where we shall stop for lunch before crossing Glen Quaich to Loch Tay, when we deviate east past Aberfeldy on onwards to Pitlochry where we take another refreshment break.

As we leave Pitlochry we shall make our way along the north shore of Loch Tummel to Tummel Bridge before turning north to Dalwhinnie where those interested in Scotch whisky can take a distillery tour. The last leg of the journey continues north to Aviemore where we stop for the night at the 4 star MacDonald Hotel.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Aviemore to Dornoch 170 miles about 5 hours riding

The old station an Strathpeffer We depart Aviemore heading north along the course of the River Spey to Boat of Garten and Nethy Bridge before reaching Grantown-on-Spey. We then head towards to coast and on reaching Nairn to alter course to the west to reach our first stop of the day at Inverness.

Departing Inverness we south to Loch Ness as far as Drumnadrochit before turning north to Beauly and on to Strathpeffer a leafy Victorian spa town. These towns are not really scheduled stops but we will make a short stops for photographs before progressing through Dingwall and along the Cromarty Firth onwards to Portmahomack where we break for lunch. The village dates back to AD975 when St Colmac established a priory. By the 19th century it had become a major fishing port. Although this is on the east coast of Scotland the village it on a peninsula and so faces west towards the mainland.

The next section of the route is just under 20 miles and will take about 30 minutes where we reach our hotel Dornoch Castle. After check in we shall take a brief trip up the coast to Dunrobin Castle, the home of the Earl of Sutherland. The restyling was the work of famous Scots Architect Robert Lorimer the building is more akin to a French Chateau at first glance but on closer inspection you will find it is an interest blend of Scots Baronial and French Renaissance. After the castle tour we make the 12 mile trip back to Dornoch Castle a 500-year-old converted Scottish castle that is now a 3 star hotel and whisky bar.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Dornoch to Scourie 170 miles about 5 hours riding

Ben Loyal near TongueThe first major habitation we pass through is Lairg after which we shall mainly be riding single track roads. There will be very little traffic but when we do meet other vehicles especially travelling in the opposite direction it can prove challenging because many cars don't realise that most bikes have no reverse gear so pay added attention when passing other vehicles. We shall make our first stop at The Garvault which claims to be Britain's most remote hotel. We are not staying but we shall get a refreshment break here because they serve lovely cakes.

The next section of our route takes us up to Scotland's north coast at Melvich where those who really must add John O'Groats to their bucket list head east and the rest turn west either way traversing the north coast. We shall all regroup at Bettyhill where we break for lunch. The beaches in this part of the world are quite spectacular and generally have very few people on them so we may well take a wanted down to Farr Bay which is a short stroll from Bettyhill whilst waiting for the John O'Groats group to return.

We complete our days journey by travelling towards Britain's most north westerly town, Durness, where we shall refuel because our hotel is in an isolated spot 25 miles to the south of Durness. If you want to see what is one of Scotlands nicest beaches then you could make the trip along the coast passing Kinlochbervie and going as far as you can where you must park at the end of the road. From here it is a hike across the hills to Sandwood Bay. It is very remote and well worth the walk.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Scourie to Gairloch 150 miles about 5 hours riding

Mount Assynt from LochinverYou will notice another significant change in scenery now we are on the west coast. Here the coastline is more rugged as will become apparent when we make our way south to Kylesku and then west to Nedd. Along this road at the Assynt Crofters Lodge we come close to the Old Man of Stoer a 60 metres high sea stack but we do need to hike a few miles to see it so I?ll leave that for you to decide if you are up for the walk. We continue our route to Lochinver where we take a refreshment break.

After tea break we continue on the single-track roads with a mixed landscape offering mountains, sea views and fresh water lochs all the way to our lunch stop at the Summer Isles Hotel in Achiltibuie. From here you will have great views south to the Summer Isles.

After lunch we make our way to Ullapool then hug the coast around Little Loch Broom and Loch Ewe where you will see the Isle of Ewe then on to where we stop for the day.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Gairloch, Applecross, Plockton, Dornie, Glenelg, Greshornish 180 miles 6 hours riding

Bealach Na Ba. view to south from Bealach Na BaWe depart Gairloch heading alongside Loch Marie to Kinlochewe then on to Torridon and Shieldaig. From here we hug the coast all the way to Applecross. Along this route you will have great views across to Rona and Raasay with Skye lying beyond. We shall take a refreshment break in Applecross before crossing the Bealach na Ba Scotland’s third highest road and Britain’s steepest climbing 624m with 20% gradients and multiple hairpin bends. The road is also single track so be ready for a challenge! As the road drops back down to Loch Kishorn we make our way around the Loch and on to Loch Carron where we find our next stop at the village of Plockton. Although on the West Coast, Plockton faces East and so is sheltered from the prevailing wind. The surrounding waters are warmed from the Gulf Stream allowing tropical plants to grow. Depending on our rate of progress we might break for lunch at Plockton or our next stop.

The journey from Plockton to Dornie is short. Here Loch Alsh, Loch Long and Loch Duich converge and one of Scotland’s most photographed castles can be found; Eilean Donan Castle. There are recordings of a structure on this tiny island as long ago as 580AD but for centuries all that remained was a ruin until the current castle was rebuilt in 1932. We shall stop here for photographs and if we didn’t dine in Plockton we can grab a bite to eat in the castle visitor centre.

If we were to proceed down the road to Kyle of Lochalsh there is a bridge to Skye but a far more novel way to reach the island is by travelling along the old military road to Glenelg where we will find the last operating manual turntable ferry in the world. This small ferry crosses the 600m sea between the mainland and Skye approximately every 20 minutes. When we reach the Isl of Skye we continue to our hotel the former Manor House of the MacLeod Family on the remote and unspoilt Greshornish peninsula.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Isle of Skye Circuit 170 miles about 6 hours riding

the quiraing looking southThis day circuit of helps you see much of the Island. There are many dramatic and scenic spots in Skye and on this journey, we will stop at some of the islands best. Our first stop is at Dunvegan Castle. The seat of the Clan Macleod and the only castle in Scotland that has been continuously occupied by the same family for over 800 years. The building has significant architectural importance because it contains work from ten different periods ranging from circa 1200 through to the 1850’s. We shall stop to tour the castle and gardens and enjoy a coffee break in the castle café.

We continue to the Fairy Pools. We cannot ride all the way so a little walking is necessary if you want to see the beautifully crystal clear blue pools on the River Brittle that are famed for Wild Swimming.

The next section passes through Pottree and onwards to an area of Skye much favoured by hill walkers “The Quiraing” a landslip on the eastern face of Meall na Suiramach, the northernmost summit of the Trotternish. The whole of the Trotternish Ridge escarpment was formed by a great series of landslips; the Quiraing is the only part of the slip still moving, indeed the road at its base, near Flodigarry, requires repairs each year. Parts of the distinctive landscape have earned particular names. The Needle is a jagged 120-foot (37 m) high landmark pinnacle, a remnant of land slipping. As you might gather it is a most dramatic area.

A short distance further on we come to another of Skye’s landmarks, the dramatic waterfall at Kilt Rock so named because the vertical basalt columns form the pleats along a sea cliffs that resemble a kilt. The Mealt Waterfall freefalls 60 meters from the cliff into the Sound of Raasay below. When there is a strong northerly wind the water can be blown away and so it doesn't actually reach the bottom at all! Care must be taken in this area and you are advised to stay inside the security fencing at the viewing point.

After stopping for photo taking we will make our way to Portree, the largest town on the Island, stopping this time in the town for lunch. Along the way we pass the Old Man of Storr a large pinnacle of rock that stands high and can be seen for miles around. The town is relatively modern having been established about 200 years ago when Lord MacDonald formed a fishing village. The name Portree means “Kings Port” or “Port on the Slope” in Gaelic and as such the area name predates the town. It is known that King James V (of Scotland) visited the area in 1540.

We leave Portree and cross to Elgol near to where the cave the Bonnie Prince Charlie hid before his escape following defeat at Colloden.

We double back towards Broadford then make our way to Armadale where we catch the ferry back to the mainland and out hotel in Mallaig.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Mallaig to Carberry 200 miles about 6 hours riding

View to Loch Shiel and Glenfinnan MonumentWe depart Mallaig and will make brief stops for protographs at Morar, Glenfinnan and Ft William before progressing to Glencoe when we make a refreshment stop. The journey to the south east then continues through the Trossachs National Park to Callander where we break for lunch.

After lunch we cross the Campsie Hills and make our way to Callander House an interesting Museum of 14th c. origin and later redesigned in the style of a French Renaissance chateau. We can also visit nearby the Falkirk Wheel, a rotating boat lift that connects the Forth and Clyde Canal with the Union Canal, and also the Kelpies, 30-metre-high horse-head like sculptures depicting kelpies (mythical sea horses and origin of Loch Ness Monster).

Our journey then continues to the east passing Linlithgow Palace until we join dual carriageway that circumnavigates the south side of Edinburgh as we make our way back to the motorcycle rental depot and our hotel

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Day of departure

Homeward bound or onward travel. After breakfast you will checkout of the hotel and be transported to the airport or station for onward travel. Those who have come on their own bikes will ride off.

View Route Guide (indicative only, actual may differ)

Route Variation

Please note that maps are indicative because it is not always possible to enter all the waypoints and on the day of departure as we need to review our routes based upon the latest traffic and weather information available making changes as and when necessary.

Ask for more details about this Tour Provisionally Book This Tour Learn about our group discounts

Motorcycles For Rent in The Highlands, Scotland, Available on this Tour

Most motorcycles available for hire are obtained directly from local mainstream dealers. We can source others to ensure most riders needs are accommodated. However, we do not have exclusive access to these rental motorbikes and so models, availability and prices must be confirmed. Prices and terms are set by the dealers who supply the machines and they are liable to update them regularly.


The CFMOTO 650GT with its parallel twin 650cc engine, Bosch fuel injection, SHAD panniers and top box, taller windscreen and adjustable suspension with longer travel; this bike will be a perfect partner for long distance journeys. The 650GT utilises the same base engine used in their TT racer with proven reliability and offering smooth power through the Bosch fuel injection system, you'll enjoy riding the CFMoto 650GT. These bikes are equipped with the latest TFT dashboard, LED lights front and rear, plus LED indicators, Continental ABS, Spanish J.Juan brakes and Metzeler tyres. They were designed by Kiska, the powerhouse behind the designs for KTM. Built to take on the open roads and made to last those longer journeys. Using the super reliable 650cc engine, paired with high specification auxiliary parts the CFMOTO 650GT is a perfect grand tourer for those on a tighter budget. 795mm seat height, 60 BHP, 56 NM, 218kg. Supplied with 2 x Shad Panniers (side cases) and a Garmin Zumo GPS. Low rental cost plus £0.23 per mile.

Restrictions: Minimum age 25, minimum experience 1 year, Excess £1500

Weekly Hire From: Pound £620


The CFMOTO 650MT is a great rival to the Kawasaki Versys 650 and Suzuki VStrom 650 offering a comparable parallel twin 650cc engine, Bosch fuel injection, engine protection bars, wind deflecting windscreen, integrated handguards and SHAD panniers and top box, we think this bike offers all a rider needs if on a tighter budget. Styled by the Austrian design team Kiska and with close association with KTM the CFMoto 650MT is available for hire and is perfect for a diverse range of riding and rider skill levels. Supplied with removeable panniers the 650MT also have an adjustable windscreen and engine protection bars and features the following. 60.35HP - 45kW at 8,750rpm Torque: 56Nm at 7,000rpm 650cc parallel twin cylinder liquid cooled engine Bore x Stroke: 83 x 60mm 6 speed gearbox Bosch ECU and fuel injection CST tyres. Front: 120/70R17 Rear: 160/60R17. J.Juan brakes Dual channel ABS USD front forks and adjustable rear monoshock On the fly mapping with dual riding modes 2180 long x 835 wide x 1332 high (in mm) 1425mm wheelbase 840mm seat height 218kg 18 litre fuel tank capacity 2 x Shad Panniers (side cases) Garmin Zumo GPS Low rental plus £0.23 per mile

Restrictions: Minimum age 25, minimum experience 1 year, Excess £1500

Weekly Hire From: Pound £620

Triumph Tiger 900GT Pro Rent Triumph Tiger 900GT Pro

The Tiger 900 GT Pro is a thrilling new version of this popular model built with a whole new aggressive attitude and style. Supplied with top box and 2 panniers. Mileage chare is £0.30 per mile.

Restrictions: Minimum 25 years old. 3 years old an appropriate Driving License

Weekly Hire From: Pound £1,050

BMW F750GS Rent BMW F750GS

The F 750 GS gives you more power, more comfort, more spirit of GS. N.B. There is a £40 insurance surcharge for non UK license holders. We will arrange to take riders to the dealers premises to collect. Those who want delivery and uplift at the hotel will be charged an additional fee typically £100 each way.

Restrictions: Minimum age 25, minimum experience 1 year, Excess £2000

Weekly Hire From: Pound £1,470

BMW F850GS Rent BMW F850GS

860 mm seat, 853cc, 70KW (90HP), 92 NM torque, Riding Modes; Rain and Road, ABS Pro, LED Headlight (Low/High beam Headlight), LED Rear Light, LED Indicators, TFT with Connectivity, Adjustable Brake & Clutch Levers, Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), USB Port, Cross Spoke Wheels, Adjustable Windscreen

Restrictions: Minimum age 25, minimum experience 1 year, Excess £2000

Weekly Hire From: Pound £1,470

Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250 Rent Harley-Davidson Pan America 1250

Weighing in at 239kg and with a seat height of 850mm coupled to the all new Revolution® Max 1250 that delivers 127nm torque makes this an outstanding adventure bike.

Restrictions: Minimum age 25, minimum experience 1 year, Excess €1000

Weekly Hire From: Pound £1,190

Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 Alpine Rent Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200 Alpine

The Tiger Explorer 1200 Alpine Edition was inspired by epic alpine adventures. Supplied with top box and 2 panniers. We have 2 saddles; a low heated one and regular comfort. These provide a versatile saddle height from 815mm up to 855mm to suite a variety of leg lengths. Mileage charge is £0.30 per mile

Restrictions: Theft-Damage deposit £2500, Minimum age 25, 2 years riding

Weekly Hire From: Pound £1,350

BMW R1250GS Rent BMW R1250GS

The increased engine capacity brings you increased performance 136 HP and 143 Nm maximum torque at 6,250 rpm. N.B. There is a £40 insurance surcharge for non UK license holders. We will arrange to take riders to the dealers premises to collect. Those who want delivery and uplift at the hotel will be charged an additional fee typically £100 each way.

Restrictions: Minimum age 25, minimum experience 1 year, Excess £2000

Weekly Hire From: Pound £1,960

Other makes and models of motorcycle may be available for hire on special request, so, if you have a preferred ride just ask and we shall see what can be arranged.

Further details

Parties interested in this tour should get in touch now to intimate interest via our Enquiries Form or email hi@mctours.eu or phone +44(0)141 416 0230