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HomeRoad TripsEuropeWest EuropeGreat BritainScotlandNorthern Coast Panoramic Road
The Inner Hebrides/The Isle of Skye/Photo by FrankWinkler on Pixabay

Northern Coast Panoramic Road

Thurso - Bettyhill - Tongue - Durness

Expect on your itinerary

Landscape Landscape
Security Security
Benefit-stress ratio Benefit-stress ratio
Beach Beach
Comfort Comfort
Road conditions Road conditions
Wildlife Wildlife
Historical sites Historical sites
Northern Coast Panoramic Road ACTIVATE MAP Stages3 km118 h/stage0.6

Best months to drive

I II III IV V VI
VII VIII IX X XI XII

Road Trip Costs

How much does it cost to go on a Northern Coast Panoramic Road in Scotland?

Economy
Low budget options by car rental, accommodation and catering. In- and Out-bound travel expenses are not included.
rent & more 45EUR drive & more 13EUR sleep & more 77EUR eat & more 96EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) 186EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) incl. rented car 231EUR
Standard
Mid budget options by car rental, accommodation and catering. In- and Out-bound travel expenses are not included.
rent & more 72EUR drive & more 25EUR sleep & more 154EUR eat & more 144EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) 323EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) incl. rented car 395EUR
Premium
High budget options by car rental, accommodation and catering. In- and Out-bound travel expenses are not included.
rent & more 126EUR drive & more 25EUR sleep & more 220EUR eat & more 192EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) 437EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) incl. rented car 563EUR
Camper
On the road in RV, overnight at camp grounds with self-catering. In- and Out-bound travel expenses are not included.
rent & more 225EUR drive & more 38EUR sleep & more 55EUR eat & more 96EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) 189EUR Total (est. for 2 prs.) incl. rented car 414EUR
Car rental Book hotel Flights
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Northern Coast Panoramic Road Itinerary

The Northern Coast Panoramic Road is an amazing 73-mile journey that winds along Scotland's north coast. Starting in Thurso, the route passes through Bettyhill and Tongue, before ending in Durness. This scenic journey offers stunning views of the coastline and its many attractions, from secluded beaches to majestic cliffs. The best time to drive is during the summer, when the days are long and the light is perfect for taking in the sights. The roads are in good condition, so any driver can make the trip. However, this road trip can be managed with a high budget only. The Northern Coast Panoramic Road provides an exceptional experience, with memories to last a lifetime. Whether you're looking for a leisurely day trip or a longer adventure, this route has something for everyone. With its picturesque landscapes, hidden gems and breathtaking views, this road trip is sure to be a highlight of your travels. Time to complete is recommended to be 1 day.
number of days 1 number of days
route length 118 km route length
budget high budget
good for family good for
traffic direction on the left traffic direction
accident level moderate accident level

START Thurso

Distance 118 km Driving time 1.9 h Pace: modest 30.6 kWh Airports INV
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Thurso is a picturesque town in Scotland, located on the northern coast of Scotland and serves as a starting point for the well-known road trip - the Northern Coast Panoramic Road. With its stunningly beautiful natural landscapes, Thurso provides an unforgettable experience for all travelers. The town of Thurso is home to a number of interesting sights and attractions. Visitors can take a stroll around the harbor and admire the old fishing boats, visit the local museum and learn about the history of the town, or take a leisurely walk along the cliffs and enjoy the incredible views. For passengers arriving by air, the closest international airport is located in Wick, Scotland (IATA code WIC). Car rental services are available at the airport, making it ideal for travelers planning to explore the area by car. Overall, Thurso is the perfect starting point for the Northern Coast Panoramic Road - offering a wealth of sights and attractions, as well as excellent car rental services. With its breathtaking scenery and fascinating history, visitors to Thurso will be sure to have an unforgettable experience.

1 Thurso - Bettyhill

Distance 49 km Driving time 0.8 h Pace: fast 14.7 kWh View map Itinerary
junction of road trips interesting  historic site attractive landscape accommodation options
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Welcome to the Thurso - Bettyhill road trip! Get ready to explore this stunning route, only 30 miles and less than 1 hour of driving, that will take you through some of the most beautiful landscapes of Scotland. Start your journey in Thurso, the northernmost town in mainland Scotland. Here you can visit the Old St Peter's Church and the Castle Hill. The latter is a prehistoric mound that dates back to the Iron Age. Continue your drive towards Bettyhill, where you can explore the ruins of the old Dunnet Castle. This 15th century castle is a great place to explore and take pictures. On your way to Bettyhill you can stop at the beautiful Strathnaver Museum, where you can learn about the history and culture of the area. So, don't miss out on this amazing road trip and its fascinating attractions! Remember that more information about attractions, accommodation options, recommended restaurants, and campsites along the route is available in the "Itinerary" of this stage. Enjoy your journey!

2 Bettyhill - Tongue

Distance 21 km Driving time 0.3 h Pace: fast 6.3 kWh View map Itinerary
interesting  historic site accommodation options
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Are you ready for an unforgettable road trip experience? Starting in Bettyhill, Scotland, and ending in Tongue, this 13-mile journey will take you less than an hour to complete. As you drive, take a moment to appreciate the historical sites that you will come across. From ruins of ancient castles to standing stones, these sites will give you a glimpse into Scotland's past. Along the way, you will also come across some of the most picturesque views of the Highlands. Make sure to take some time to stop and appreciate the beauty of this region. Once you reach Tongue, you will be rewarded with a stunning view of the bay. Be sure to take some photos to remember this experience. For more information about attractions, accommodation options, recommended restaurants, and campsites along the route, make sure to check out the "Itinerary" of this stage. Enjoy your road trip!

3 Tongue - Durness

Distance 48 km Driving time 0.8 h Pace: fast 14.3 kWh View map Itinerary
junction of road trips attractive landscape accommodation options
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Start your road trip in Tongue, Scotland and explore the stunning scenery and hidden gems of the North Highlands on your way to Durness. The 30 mile journey will take you less than an hour and you will be rewarded with some of the most beautiful landscapes in Scotland. As you drive, be sure to take in the stunning views of the Kyle of Tongue and the rolling hills of Strathnaver. Keep an eye out for the majestic Ben Hope mountain, the most northerly Munro in Great Britain. You will also pass near Achfary, a small village with a fascinating history. Continue your journey and you will soon reach the beautiful town of Durness, with its white sand beaches and dramatic cliffs. Be sure to take a stroll along the beach and admire the stunning views of the North Atlantic Ocean. This is just one of the stages of a larger tour of Scotland's North Highlands, so be sure to check the "Itinerary" for more information about the attractions, accommodation options, recommended restaurants, and campsites along the route. Enjoy your road trip!

  Durness

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Durness is a small village located in the far northwest of Scotland, on the northern coast of the country. It is the last stop of the Northern Coast Panoramic Road, a spectacular driving route that follows the beautiful coastline of Scotland. The village of Durness is home to a number of attractions that are sure to delight travelers. The most popular attraction is Smoo Cave, a stunning sea cave that is home to a freshwater pool at the far end of the cave. Visitors can also explore the nearby Faraid Head and Balnakiel Beach, two stunning coastal sites with incredible views of the ocean. Durness is also a great place to take a break from the road. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes in the village, as well as a number of shops and galleries. The local people are also very friendly, making it a great place for travelers to relax and get to know the area. For those traveling to Durness by air, the closest international airport is Inverness Airport (INV). From there, it is just a two-hour drive to the village. At the end of the Northern Coast Panoramic Road, travelers will find themselves in the picturesque village of Durness. With its stunning scenery, friendly locals, and plenty of attractions, Durness is sure to be the perfect ending point of your road trip.

Northern Coast Panoramic Road at a glance

We believe that the presented journey idea has become a superb inspiration for your future travels.
The proposed ideas may become useful when behind the wheel or already at the onset of your journey.
If travelling by car is your plan when moving around Scotland, there are a number of important traffic regulations to follow and a bunch of elements to be mindful of to make your road adventure smooth. The following road rules will surely become useful for all travellers who are considering vehicle rental or hiring a camper.
In Scotland, there are a number of road regulations to be remembered while travelling. Alcohol is best to be avoided at all costs while moving in a car around Scotland. Holidayers ought to remember that the amount of alcohol that can be consumed is low and amounts to only 0.8‰. The maximum speed when travelling around the the city streets is 48km/h. If you are aiming for undeveloped areas, you cannot exceed the maximum allowed speed of 96km/h. When travelling on highways, you cannot exceed the speed limit of 112km/h. We recommend driving with your headlights on at daytime and equipping your car with a fire extinguisher and first aid kit for safety reasons.
The majority of drivers wonder about the costs of the whole tour. The budget option that you are interested in determines the total expenses during the whole undertaking. A wide range of budget configurations is showed below.
The cost of gasoline for the budget option to cover the planned 118km across Scotland can equal as much as 13 EUR. Economy accommodation options may cost travellers around 77 EUR. If this option is your target, you will spend roughly 96 EUR on restaurants and food. If your aim is also the budget car rental offer, you will pay about 45 EUR. Thus, the estimated travel expenses amount to around 186 EUR without car hire and 231 EUR with vehicle hire.
Drivers who are interested in greater comfort and the standard option will pay approximately 25 EUR for the gasoline needed to cover the trip. If you are into standard accommodation options, you should keep in mind that the costs may amount up to more or less 154 EUR. Travellers can expect that the standard option in terms of food and restaurants will cost roughly 144 EUR. Travellers who want to cover the trip in a standard rental car should expect a cost of around 72 EUR. Drivers who would like to rent a car will pay about 395 EUR for the whole Northern Coast Panoramic Road, whereas those who are not interested in vehicle rental will spend about 323 EUR.
The highest level of comfort of the premium option will come up to the expectations of the most demanding holidaymakers. The whole estimated cost of the tour in this versions of services is 563 EUR with car rental and 323 EUR without a rental vehicle. Travellers who would like to cover the trip in a premium hire car can expect a cost of about 126 EUR. When it comes to the top standard version of the adventure, you need to spend the maximum of 25 EUR to cover the planned mileage. Tourists who would like to go for top services in all aspects of their adventure should expect to pay about 192 EUR for food and restaurants and roughly 220 EUR for accommodation.
Our trip is also a marvellous opportunity for all camper fans. If you choose this transport option, you will pay up to roughly 225 EUR. If you are wondering about the fuel costs for the whole trip, they will amount to around 38 EUR. Holidayers who are interested in camper rental should expect to pay about 55 EUR for overnight stays and around 96 EUR for expenses connected with food.
All of the details connected with expenses can be checked in the Road Trip Costs section.
If Northern Coast Panoramic Road has inspired you, you should see other exciting adventures that we offer on our website. Hopefully, the great versatility of travel opportunities will definitely measure up to the expectations of the most demanding holidayers.

Facts for safer driving in Scotland

drink drive limit drink drive limit 0.8
max speed urban max speed urban 48 km/h
max speed rural max speed rural 96 km/h
max speed highway max speed highway 112 km/h
headlights at daytime headlights at daytime off
fire extinguisher fire extinguisher no
tolls tolls yes
seat belts seat belts yes

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