Loch Ness
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Loch Ness: Tours & Tickets

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5 Loch Ness Monster Myths and Legends

Scotland's Loch Ness Monster has been the center of myth and tall tales for 1500 years. Though the Highlands are spectacular to see, its famous loch continues to lure visitors in hopes of a chance encounter with this elusive creature of the deep.

What lurks beneath the surface

Some say that Scottish lore about mythological creatures living in its waters, such as kelpies, selkies and "water horses," fuels the fire of a monster prowling Loch Ness.

The saint that saved the day

The first encounter was in 565 AD, when St. Columba drove a water beast away with the power of his voice and prevented it from devouring one of his companions in the water.

A grainy picture paints a thousand words

Road work along the shore in 1933 seemed to rouse Nessie from the deep, and a year later a black-and-white photo revealed a slender neck and small head emerging above the surface.

Jurassic proportions

Nessie's features ironically resemble a plesiosaurus, a sea reptile that looks like a lizard with flippers and lived in the early Jurassic period 200 million years ago.

Let sleeping monsters lie

Extensive use of technology has yet to find the mythical monster. Though if ever caught, ancient legend predicts a catastrophic end of the region--it's food for thought!

Loch Ness: Our Tips

Getting to Loch Ness

If you're renting a car, take the A82 highway to reach the visitors' center in Drumnadrochit, which is on the northwest shore of Loch Ness. If you're relying on bus service, there are daily departures from Inverness (30 minutes) and Fort Williams (1 1/2 hours).

Loch Ness activities

The Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition in Drumnadrochit exhibits the history of the region and the hunt for Nessie. The biggest attraction is, of course, a one-hour cruise on Loch Ness, complete with sonar equipment and underwater cameras just in case. Apart from the monster-mania, Urquhart Castle is nearby and worth a visit. Though blown to bits in 1692 and left in ruins, it provides amazing views of Loch Ness from its elevated location.

When to go

Scotland's weather is variable. You could wake up to grey and rain, but then bask in sunshine by lunchtime. May and June are recommendable months to visit, as the weather is generally fine, and the days are long. Consider September, as well, when the crowds are less and fall is in the air.

Good to Know

  • When to visit
    Hours will depend largely on your means of transportation. Tours of the loch will have limited times.
  • What is the price?
    Prices vary by tour or mode of transportation, as well as the activities you plan to do there.
  • Will I need a guide?
    It's not necessary, but for a short visit, a guide can point out the best locations to see.
  • How to get there
    Loch Ness is reachable by car or bus, with many tours passing through from major cities.
  • Additional tips
    Be prepared for rain while visiting and pack accordingly! Pay attention to transportation times when planning your visit!

What People Are Saying About Loch Ness

Very beautiful with a really nice drive guide

The drive guide was really talkative and told us many interesting things About scotland.
Loch Ness, Glencoe & the Highlands Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 10/06/2016

It was a wonderful experience in just one day.

The vehicle arrived right on time at 7.45am in the morning and started the journey without any delay at all. The driver and guide Tony was an excellent person who was very considerate of all the passengers. He was very clear in his instructions and explanations and also very polite and made all the passengers feel as if they're having a family trip. The vehicle was also very clean and comfortable and there was ample space for the fifteen sightseers. We did not feel that we have travelled for nearly twelve hours at a stretch, thanks to Tony and the Rabbies team. Keep up the good work. Best wishes!

Thoroughly enjoyed it, very professional and friendly crew.

No complaints at all. Crew friendly and very professional. Timetable kept to and went like clockwork.

Great tour guide and fantastic scenery despite the weather

This tour did all it promised under the friendly guidance of our experienced and knowledgable driver, David. His commentary and passenger interactions made the trip enjoyable and provided insights into some of the history of the turbulent times in the highlands. Although it rained and some of the spectacular scenery was shrouded in mist, it gave an ethereal appearance to the glens where great battles and tragedies had occurred in the past. This was a trip we had contemplated driving in a rental car. Very glad we took the tour because we would never have seen the country the way we did from the bus or learned the history.

Good way to see the Loch and tour the castle.

Castle was a highlight of the trip. Could do with more than one hour at the castle as the guided tour took 30 minutes. Did not have time to go to the interpretive centre. Good way to see the Loch and gain more history. Book crew was very friendly.
Loch Ness Freedom Cruise and Urquhart Castle Tour Reviewed by Heather, 08/09/2016

Things To Do Near Loch Ness

Loch Ness
Based on 266 reviews by GetYourGuide customers