Our route through Speyside and Invernes Shire starts at Aberdeen, the northernmost Scottish airport with international connections.
From Madrid we do not find direct flight with good schedules, so as I always looked for the best options on skyscanner.
We made the first trip around Amsterdam and the return to Paris (although it is an airport that I try to avoid because there are almost always delays, this time the schedule was the best, but we had delay).
We rented a car at the same airport. My recommendation is that you do it online before you arrive so that you don't find that there are no cars available, and that you rent it with the insurance at all risk. The price is a little more expensive, but you save a lot of headaches with damage charges once you're back.
The first stop was Craigievar Castle, a beautiful and different Scottish stately pink castle, seven storeys high, and finished in 1,626. It rained on us a lot, but it was worth every drop. The time of year when we visited Scotland (late September) dedicated a completely autumnal landscape, with the perfect colours among the greens, browns, oranges and reds, which in this castle I fell in love with. The Castle is whole, perfect and very nice to see, especially for the environment in which it is located.
Normally rain shaves a place, and while it's clear that it's not the best companion to discover places, Scotland is special, and envelops the atmosphere in incredible magic.
From here the next stop was en route to eat.
We had found Grouse Inn, a very typical pub that has more than 700 kinds of whiskey that you can try there, and also with a tea room. Don't expect glamour or a trendy place, but very nice people who explain in detail the origin of their most famous bottles, making the pub a perfect and friendly place to make a quick stop.
The next destination was already on Loch Ness in Invernes Shire. The well-known huge lake with fairytale landscapes where from the impression Braveheart can appear at any time. It was cold and rainy, but it's all so bucolic, there was magic everywhere.
We stopped at various points to take pictures, but it wasn't up to the village of Drumnadrochit that we parked the car. The village itself is little worthitful, but Urquhart Castle, from the beginning of the thirteenth century is worth a stop. It's on the shores of Loch Ness, right in an area of currents where the water seems to hide the most famous monster in all of Scotland.
The castle is in ruins, and stands only halfway, but it's worth relaxing watching that colorful crossover. The green of its esplanade contrasts with the water of the lake reflecting the rear mountains. Wonderful.
We continue on our way to see sunset in the Castle i had most to see on this trip. The most photographed Eilean Donan Castle, located on an islet attached to land by a stone bridge and making it absolutely perfect. It began to build in 1,220, and has appeared in a number of films, making it one of the most visited in the country. Don't expect an entire castle, because only the ruins remain, but they are the most beautiful ruins I saw on this journey. The light that was at sunset turns this castle into pure magic, and the reflection of its ruins on Lake Duich.
I liked it so much, that around the ise of Skye where we stayed for a couple of nights, we visited it again in the early morning more calmly to enjoy it with more light, and calm.
This was the tour we did the first day. We got to sleep in Portree, on the Isla of Skye. Our choice here was The Bosville, a very well located hotel, very comfortable and with a good restaurant where we had dinner both days and with a breakfast with the best smoked salmon we took in Scotland. Below I leave the link to the itinerary with the destinations and the route by car. Enjoy it!