Julie Scotland 12 Comments

If you are taking a road trip through Scotland, Glencoe should be on your list of places to visit. This gorgeous valley is a great place for families, hikers, and those that love the great outdoors. You can either drive through it, spending just an hour here, or you could easily spend an entire day hiking and exploring.

We heard that Glencoe is beautiful. Even so, it blew away our expectations. And we love it when that happens.

Take our photo tour through Glencoe Valley and Glen Etive and then read about the things to do in the area.

Loch Leven

Loch Leven Scotland

Loch Leven


Glencoe Valley

Driving Glencoe Valley

Glencoe Valley

Scotland Landscape

Three Sisters Glencoe

Glencoe from the Sky

Here are Tyler’s photos from our drone.

Three Sisters Drone

Scotland Drone Photo

Glencoe Drone

Drone Glencoe Valley

River Coe and Glencoe

Flying Over Glencoe Valley

Driving through Glen Etive

Just down the road from Glencoe is Glen Etive. This is where you go to leave the other tourists behind. It’s not quite as scenic as Glencoe Valley, but it is still a beautiful place to visit.

To get here, take the turn off from A82 onto the single track road to Glen Etive. This road is 11 miles east of Glencoe on A82. There will be a sign pointing towards Glen Etive.

Road to Glen Etive


It is a single track road through the valley along River Etive. It takes about a half an hour to drive all of the way to Glen Etive. This valley is the filming location for the final scene of the movie Skyfall. Yup, this is where James Bond grew up.

Glen Etive Drive

Driving in Scotland

River Etive

Scotland Deer

Getting Here

Glencoe is 120 miles (3 hours of driving) from Edinburgh. From Glasgow, Glencoe is 92 miles away, just over two hours of driving. If you are driving to the Isle of Skye from either Edinburgh or Glasgow, Glencoe will be on the way. You could leave Edinburgh or Glasgow in the morning, arrive here by midday, spend four hours exploring or hiking in the area, and then continue onto the Isle of Skye.

Scotland Travel Guide

Best Things to Do in Glencoe

You could simply drive on A82 through the valley, ending in the small town of Glencoe Village. If you want to explore more, the drive around Loch Leven is also very nice.

Glencoe Visitors Centre. From the Visitor Centre you can get your maps for the local hikes, do a little shopping, enjoy the viewpoint (it’s just OK, the views are better when you are in the valley), and learn about the Glencoe Massacre.

Hiking in Glencoe

Whatever your hiking experience and activity level, there is something here for everyone. If you want to do any of these hikes, I would advise that you go to the Visitor Centre first to get a map. It can be difficult to find the designated car parks for these hikes. Having this map will take the guesswork out of where to go.

Glencoe Lochan. This is the easiest hike to do in the area. You can drive up to Glencoe Lochan and then take your pick of several one-mile loops around the lake.

The Study. This easy, flat hike follows the Glencoe Valley. At the end there will be a nice view of the valley and the Three Sisters.

Hidden Valley. This hike cuts across the valley and then ascends over 1,000 feet between the Three Sisters. Allow at least three hours for this hike.

The Devil’s Staircase. Here is your chance to hike a portion of the West Highland Way. It’s a strenuous climb to the top. Allow one to two hours for round trip hike.

Aonach Eagach. This is by far the most strenuous hike of the day. Only very experienced hikers should attempt this! This is at the top of our list when we return to Scotland. Aonach Eagach is six miles of hiking along a knifelike ridge, the narrowest ridge in the UK. This hike involves a lot of rock scrambling and rock climbing experience is ideal. This is not a hike for kids. Some sections are very challenging and dangerous. If you want a hike that is challenging with a lot of exposure, check this one out! Visit the Walk Highlands website for full details.

Looking up at the Aonach Eagach Ridge.

Aonach Eagach

Does this look like a place you would like to visit in Scotland?

More Information about Scotland

DRIVING IN SCOTLAND: If your visit to Scotland includes a visit to the Isle of Skye, there are two different routes to get from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye.

PLACES TO GO IN SCOTLAND: Edinburgh and Glasgow are two wonderful cities to add to your Scotland itinerary. Spend a few days on the Isle of Skye, hike the Kintail Saddle, and visit Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle.

SCOTLAND ITINERARY: With 10 days in Scotland, visit the highlights, including Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Isle of Skye, and Glencoe.

TRAVEL INSPIRATION: Here are 15 fairytale destinations to visit around the world. And if you are considering a trip to Europe, check out our article 30 Beautiful Places to Visit in Europe.


Planning a trip to Scotland? Read all of our articles in our Scotland Travel Guide.

Glencoe Scotland Drone Photos


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Comments 12

  1. Avatar for Penny Beasley
    Penny Beasley

    Me and a friend ( Americans) wish to fly into Edinburgh, spend 2 nights on foot here, train up to Inverness one day tour of Skye, return to Inverness and somehow get to Ft. William, rent a car here and drive to Glencoe, hike lost valley, drive Glen Etive, return to Ft Wm,, do the Ben Nevis rope bridge and falls hike, return the rental car, train to Glasgow, then on to Edinburg and fly home to states. I’m not comfy driving major cities there. Is this a doable itenerary?
    We would have 7 nights and fly home 8th morning.

    1. Avatar for Julie

      Yes, this all sounds doable. It might be easier to pick up the car in Inverness and drop it in Glasgow, as they are bigger cities than Fort William and then you wouldn’t have the public transportation logistics in getting to and from Fort William. The downside of this would be driving in Glasgow. To avoid this, you could pick the car up in Inverness and drop it in Fort William, if the company allows you to do that. But other than figuring out where and when to rent the car, your itinerary looks good. Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Sony

    Hi Julie,

    I love reading your blogs, write up is amazing and informative. We are travelling to Scotland from 17th to 23rd September. We are planning to take train from London to Edinburgh and follow below itinerary. Please if you could let us know this is feasible/comfortable during rainy season. We are worried about driving in narrow lanes during rains.

    Portree- Isle of skye
    Portree – Isle of skye
    Ferry to Mallaig – Fort Willams/Glencoe

    Thanks much!

    1. Avatar for Julie

      Hello Sony. Your itinerary looks great. There will be some narrow roads on the Isle of Skye but the rest of the drives will be on wider roads. The speed limits are low on the Isle of Skye so just take your time and you should be fine. Hopefully it won’t rain too much on your trip! Cheers, Julie

  3. Avatar for Jenny Koeppen
    Jenny Koeppen

    We are planning 20 days in Scotland in September 2022 and will be staying either in Fort William or Glencoe. Do you prefer one over the other? We were thinking of staying in Fort William, but now I am second guessing myself. Would appreciate your thoughts. We LOVE to hike!

    1. Avatar for Julie

      Both are great and only 30 minutes away from each other. Glencoe is beautiful but you might have more restaurants and amenities by staying in Fort William. I think if you already have plans to stay in Fort William, keep them, because it should also be very nice. Cheers, Julie

  4. Avatar for Deana Rasberry
    Deana Rasberry

    Thank you for your detailed trip and advisory ideas. In November and December my German exchange student girl from 8 years ago and I are doing a 8 day in Scotland. This would include Edinburgh for one or two days, travel to Iverness passing pitlochry, ivergarry and Urquhart castle. Staying one night in Iverness then following down to Isle of Skye to do Eilean Donan Castle and skybridge. Staying in Portree and seeing much as possible that day and staying another night to do Trotternish Loop the next day. Leaving to the Glenfinnar Viaduct to continue on through to Clen Coe Valley and Fort William and Loch Lomond then ending in Glasgow for that night and leave on the 8th Dec.
    1. Glasgow for night and arrive
    2. Edinburgh
    3. Edinburgh
    4. Drive to Inverness day and stay night
    5. Drive to Skye day
    6. Drive sites in Skye
    7. Drive to Glasgow seeing Glen Coe Valley
    8. Glasgow for a play in evening.

    9. Depart to Germany
    Does that sound like too much? I obviously have sites you have suggested to see. I have never been to Scotland and either has my exchange student from Germany. Just wondered if this was an average time line?
    I would appreciate any tips you can share. I tried already booking a place your site suggested and they are booked. It was in Portree. Lease they got back to me quickly and therefore looking for another place. This is booked in winter season so some places your site seeing places are closed for winter. (Dunvegan Castle is closed in Oct to March)

    Loved your blog and continue to read about your travels.

    Deana Rasberry

    1. Avatar for Tim

      You’re welcome! It is exciting the hear that you are planning a trip to Scotland 🙂 Your itinerary seems doable to me. Just keep in mind that the Day Length that time of year will be between 7 and 7.5 hours. Happy Travels! Tim

  5. Avatar for deepa

    hi i love your site..it gives so much info that other sites do not offer ,Also being a family travelling around, your tips are useful for us too..
    My husband and i are travelling from May-19- MAy 23.
    We plan to drive through
    Day 1:Drive through Glenco to spend the night at “The HighlandClub” ( for next three nights)
    Day 2 : Highland club to isle of Skye and back to hotel
    Day 3: Highland club to inverness and back to hotel
    Day 4 : Highland club back to Edinburgh .

    Please do advice what we can plan to see on the way..

    1. Avatar for Julie

      Hello Deepa. As for the Isle of Skye, you can see Eilean Donan Castle on the way, and then spend the rest of your day exploring Skye. We have not been to Inverness, but you can visit Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle on the way. If you haven’t seen it, here’s a line to our Isle of Skye Guide. Our post about driving in Scotland may help you too. Have fun in Scotland! Cheers, Julie

  6. Avatar for Erin

    Hello, where were the photos under the header “Glencoe Valley” taken? Was it from a specific hike or a viewpoint from a certain road? Thank you!

    1. Avatar for Julie

      All of those photos are taken right from the side of the road, A82. We either pulled over on the shoulder or parked in one of the viewpoint parking lots. No hiking necessary, at least to get these photos. 🙂 Cheers, Julie

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