Two countries known for their beauty, history and culture, Scotland and Ireland are definitely a package deal. The sister isles are lush and enchanting, calling out for you to come and explore them on this fantastic two-week expedition.
Beginning in Edinburgh you’ll be taking five full days to explore some of the best parts of Scotland. St. Andrews, Loch Ness, Glen Coe and many other must-see attractions are yours for the taking, as well as a constant backdrop of breathtaking scenery.
You’ll travel on then to Belfast and make your way down through the Emerald Isle, touring everything from the Derry Walls to Killarney National Park and Blarney Castle, before heading to Dublin City.
Quench your thirst for rolling green hills and mystic Celtic history with this tour – you won’t regret it.
Day 1: Edinburgh & Royal Yacht Britannia
You kick off your Scottish adventure at 2:00PM when you arrive at your hotel, which is located on two golf-courses a couple of miles from the city center. Then you’ll head for a tour of the Royal Yacht Britannia, the boat that sails Queen Elizabeth II around the world. You can view different areas of the ship including staterooms as well as photographs from previous high-status visits. Then you’ll return to your hotel to have a welcome drink with your tour director and guide. Afterwards, you’re free to grab some dinner and enjoy the rest of the evening.
Day 2: Edinburgh Castle & City Tour
Today will be dedicated to touring the city of Edinburgh. Take a drive down Princes Street, through the 200-year old Georgian New Town before walking along some of the Royal Mile. Afterwards visit Edinburgh Castle, home to the Stone of Scone and the glorious Scottish Crown Jewels. After the Castle tour, the rest of the day is free to pursue your own adventure. That evening, you’ll attend dinner at a Scottish Evening. You can enjoy a traditional Scottish show of Highland dancing, bagpipes and kilts. (From August 6th to 22nd, departures will attend the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle. Your Scottish Evening will be the day before instead.)
Day 3: St Andrews & Highland Scenery
On your third day you’ll drive to St. Andrews, a town famous as the “Home of Golf”. You’ll take a walking tour of the town and learn all about its history, and pass Scotland’s oldest University where Prince William and Princess Catherine first met. Afterwards you’ll pay a visit to St. Andrew’s Cathedral. Then you’ll take a break in the village of Pitlochry before continuing your journey through the beautiful Highlands to arrive at your hotel in Inverness (Sunday departures) or Nairn (Tuesday departures).
Day 4: Isle of Skye & Clan Donald Centre
On your fourth day, travel alongside the famous Loch Ness through the wild scenery of the Highlands, stopping for photos at the Eilean Donan Castle. Then you’ll cross a bridge to the Isle of Skye. Here, you can explore the island and visit the Clan Donald Centre at Armadale Castle to learn more about the Lords of the Isles. Then trip back to the mainland on ferry, before travelling home via the “Road to the Isles” which snakes its way through some impressive Highland scenery. You can take a pitstop for some photos of the Glenfinnan Monument before returning to your hotel.
Day 5: Glen Coe & Rabbie Burns
This morning is your opportunity to say goodbye to Scotland as you journey south through Glen Coe and along the shores of Loch Lomond. In Alloway, you’ll stop momentarily to visit the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum. Here you can learn more about the life and works of the famous poet. Then you’ll travel along the coast to take a ferry to Belfast, your next stop. Once you arrive, check in at your hotel and tuck into some dinner.
Day 6: Titanic Belfast & Ulster Folk Park
Belfast is your oyster today; take a walking guided tour of the city, seeing sights such as City Hall located in Donegall Square and Victorian buildings including the Opera House. Visit Belfast’s most popular visitor destination, the Titanic Belfast exhibit, to learn about the famously ill-fated cruise liner and the people who built it. The afternoon is free for you to explore Belfast. That evening, you’ll attend a fun country-style dinner accompanied by trad music in the Ulster Folk Park.
Day 7: Giant’s Causeway & Derry Walls
Start your day off with a beautiful drive through the Nine Glens of Antrim, taking in miles of mountains, valleys and coastline. The Giant’s Causeway is your destination; the Causeway is famous for its mass of enormous hexagonal basalt columns that spawned the legend of the giant Finn McCool (Fionn Mac Cumhaill). Pause for a photo opportunity at the ruins of Dunluce Castle on your way to Derry. While in Derry, you’ll take a short guided walking tour of the famous City Walls, before travelling to Letterkenny.
Day 8: Glenveagh National Park & Kilronan Castle
This morning you’ll travel to Glenveagh National Park one of Ireland’s six National Parks. Glenveagh Castle, built in 1870 by Captain Adair, lies within the park. You’ll learn the mansion’s history through a guided tour, exploring the massive gardens that are teeming with exotic plants. Afterwards, stop in Donegal Town to visit the Cistercian ruins of Boyle Abbey, before travelling on to Kilronan Castle that evening.
Day 9: Enniskillen Castle & Free Time
Today you’ll travel north to Enniskillen, which sits on the picturesque banks of the River Erne. While there you’ll take a tour of Enniskillen Castle, one the home of the Gaelic Maguire chieftains. You can also explore the town on your own before returning to your castle hotel later on that afternoon.
Day 10: Cliffs of Moher & Medieval Castle Banquet
Travel to Galway City this morning for a guided walking tour of the Cultural Heart of Ireland. Take in Lynch’s Castle and Eyre Square, two of Galway’s biggest attractions, before heading on towards the Cliffs of Moher. The Cliffs are a dramatic wall of rock that hems the Atlantic Ocean. Afterwards, travel to 15th century Bunratty Castle or Knappogue Castle to indulge in a fun-filled medieval banquet, before checking into your Ennis hotel that evening,
Day 11: Dingle Peninsula & Killarney
Take a ferry ride across the River Shannon Estuary today to explore the beautiful Dingle Peninsula, travelling to Slea Head at the westernmost tip to take in the glorious views. After, take a break in Dingle town to have a look around and u#indulge in an Irish coffee at the South Pole Inn. The inn is owned by an Antarctic explorer, so there’ll be plenty of stories to hear! Then undertake the drive to Killarney, arriving just in time for dinner.
Day 12: Killarney & Jaunting Car Ride
Today, take a jaunting car ride through Killarney National Park, viewing Ross Castle which is set on the picturesque Lough Leane. Then take a trip through the wonderful Kenmare town, with its brightly-painted and decorated buildings and houses, where you’ll partake in a light lunch. Afterwards you’ll embark on the Ring of Kerry drive – a winding, hilly route with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and coastline. Stop for a while to watch a sheepdog demonstration before returning to Killarney, where the rest of the evening is free for individual pursuits.
Day 13: Blarney Castle & Abbey Tavern
Cork is on the agenda today, with a visit to the world-famous Blarney Castle first up. Make sure to kiss the Blarney Stone and have a look around their beautiful castle grounds, before heading to the Blarney Woollen Mills to shop for some quality Irish-made items. Then on to Dublin – take a breather on the way to visit the stately Rock of Cashel, another famous Irish landmark. Arrive at the Abbey Tavern for your farewell dinner, where you can enjoy some traditional Irish music and step-dancing.
Day 14: Independent Dublin Touring
Today Dublin is yours to explore. You can redeem your vouchers for an independent open-top bus tour of the city, as well as a visit to an attraction of your choice.