Combined private tour of Scotland and Ireland
10 Day Tour
Scotland and Ireland Tour with a driver. Here, there are no strangers - only friends you have not yet met. The lilting accents and wit of the locals will enchant you.
Day 1- EDINBURGH Take a hop on hop off panoramic sightseeing tour of Edinburgh. Tour highlights include Edinburgh Castle, St. Gile's Cathedral, Burns Monument, National Gallery, and the Palace of Holyrood House. Learn the tale of Greyfriar's Bobby, who reportedly spent 14 years guarding the grave of his owner. (CB) OPTIONAL: Tattoo tickets on August departures.
Day 2 - ALNWICK CASTLE & GARDENS All-day excursion to the family home of the Duke and Duchess of Northumberland. Set in a stunning Capability Brown landscape, Alnwick (annick)) Castle is the second largest inhabited castle in England (after Windsor Castle) and was extensively used for the broomstick flying and Quiddich games in the Harry Potter films. Return to Edinburgh for a traditional Scottish Music Show. (CB)
Day 3 - INVERNESS/LOCH NESS MONSTER Drive alongside Loch Ness, where we enjoy monster hunting at the ruined Urquhart Castle. Nearby, the native Caledonian Pine Forest landscape will take you back in time to how Scotland would have looked 500 years ago. Overnight in a bed and breakfast. (B)
Day 4 - RIDE THE HARRY POTTER TRAIN/ISLE OF SKYE Ride the Jacobite "Hogwarts Express" steam locomotives. We head by ferry to Skye, and up to Portree, where pastel houses line the harbor. Skye has ruined castles, awesome scenery, Viking fortresses and is home to legendary clans, immersed in Celtic myths & legends. We stop to visit the famous Eilean Donan Castle, used in the film "Highlander" and a James Bond movie. (B)
Day 5 - GLEN COE/EDINBURGH Enjoy the mystical mountains of Glencoe. In the 1692 battle here, 40 members of the MacDonald clan were massacred in cold blood by the Campbells for not forswearing the Jacobite cause. They say you can still hear their cries! Our hotel is an authentic 13th century Scottish castle hotel set within acres of wooded parkland on the picturesque banks of the River Esk. (B)
Day 6- EDINBURGH/DUBLIN Arrive in Dublin, Ireland's capital, which has retained its Georgian elegance, and transfer to your hotel. Drive through the main streets to see historic buildings such as Trinity College, where the Book of Kells is housed; the evocative figures of the Famine Memorial; and rows of Georgian houses with gaily-painted doorways. Stop at Dublin Castle for a guided tour through the elegant State Apartments, which are filled with elaborate Waterford Crystal chandeliers and portraits of prominent Irish leaders. In the evening we suggest you head for a great dinner of Irish specialties and a lively show with popular Irish songs and intricate step-dancing. (B)
Day 7 - BLARNEY/KILLARNEY Depart Dublin and travel through the center of Ireland, which has many farms and historic sites. Stop to view the stately church ruins atop the Rock of Cashel, rising high above the surrounding plain. Continue your drive south and, just a few miles outside Cork, visit Blarney Castle to kiss the famous Stone of Eloquence. Also visit the Blarney Woollen Mills where you can find quality Irish-made goods of all types, conveniently displayed under one roof. Drive through Macroom, built around a fine castle, and into County Kerry where the scenery becomes more mountainous. Arrive in Killarney, picturesquely set beside lakes with Ireland's highest mountains, the Macgillycuddy's Reeks, forming a backdrop. Check in to your hotel and relax before dinner. After your meal you may like to take a stroll through the compact town center and explore Killarney's famous singing pubs. (B)
Day 8 - RING OF KERRY Today embark on Ireland's most popular scenic drive of 100 miles - the Ring of Kerry. This winding route reveals breathtaking sights of the Macgillycuddy's Reeks as well as coastal views of beaches and cliffs. As you travel along, there will be plenty of stops for photos at the best vantage points. Stop at Kells to meet a local farmer, Brendan Ferris, for a taste of farm life with a sheepdog demonstration of herding flocks and see different breeds of sheep. Drive through the village of Cahirciveen and cross to Valencia Island by bridge. Visit the Skellig Experience to learn about the nearby rocky islands where early Christian monks lived in austere conditions and today they form a thriving bird sanctuary. Stop to walk around Sneem, where brightly-painted houses are grouped around a central green. Pause at Moll's Gap for a view of the Three Lakes of Killarney with the town in the distance. Return to Killarney. (B)
Day 9- CLIFFS OF MOHER/DROMOLAND CASTLE Leave Killarney and drive north to Tarbert for a 20-minute ferry ride across the wide River Shannon Estuary. Your tour continues along the Clare coast to the Cliffs of Moher, a spectacular wall of limestone that reaches to almost 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. Drive past Lahinch golf links, one of Ireland's most famous, and through the marketing town of Ennis to Bunratty. Check in to Drooland Castle. In the evening head to Bunratty Castle for a memorable experience in a wonderful setting with good food and entertainment. Take your place in the Great Hall for a medieval-style feast of excellent dishes and plenty of wine. During and after the meal the lords and ladies will serenade you with song and harp music, evocative of the Middle Ages. (B)
Day 10- SHANNON DEPARTURE Transfer to nearby Shannon Airport. (B)
Airport transfers .
Deluxe car/minicoach transportation, including airport transfers.
Driver/professional guide throughout
First-class accommodations for 9 nights; room with private bath
9 hearty breakfasts (B) Dinners are suggestions only Edinburgh - hop on hop off tour voucher
Passport Case with "What You Need To Know Before You Go"
All taxes and service charges
Sightseeing and entrance fees are suggestions only and not included in the cost. Some highlights: Borders - Alnwick Castle Highlands - Ride the Hogwarts Express, Eilean Donan Castle, Urquhart Castle Skye - Ferry to the Isle of Skye Scenic Drives - Royal Mile, Princes Street, magnificent Glen Coe, the road to Skye, Braveheart Country, searching for the Loch Ness Monster, Scottish Highlands. Dublin Castle, Blarney Castle, Blarney Woollen Mills, Skellig Experience and Cliffs of Moher. Flight Scotlland/Ireland is at added cost.
Your 4* & 5*B&B's/hotels/castles:
Edinburgh Mercure Princes Street Hotel 2 nights
Fort William/Skye/Inverness Glenspean 2 nights
Edinburgh Dalhousie Castle1 night
Dublin Ashling 1 night
Killarney Killarney Plaza 2 nights
Shannon Dromoland Castle 1 night
The cost for the arrangements for your tour will be: Rates per person sharing a room
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Child under 12 discount -$140 person sharing a room with 2 adults
This is a sample tour. Other Ireland and Scotland itineraries are available, at varying costs.