Small Group Tour Of Scotland and Ireland Snapshot
Come with us on our small group tour of Scotland and Ireland! Striking green hills dotted with sheep, megalithic Celtic stones, friendly locals speaking Gaelic, small villages with cobblestone streets, cozy “singing” pubs, ancient churches, the Scottish Highlands, picturesque castles, mountains and lochs.
2018 Tour Price: $6,690 Land Only
Tour price includes:
- Full-time tour leader
- 14 nights in charming, elegant historic country houses and inns: 7 nights in Scotland; 7 nights in Ireland
- All breakfasts and 11 dinners
- Transportation by comfortable, air-conditioned mini-coach or mini-van
- Flight from Glasgow (Scotland) to Dublin (Ireland)
- Local expert guides
- Whisky-tasting class in Scotland and visit to Oban distillery
- Highlights in Scotland: Edinburgh, Loch Ness, Inverness, Isle of Skye, Portree, Fort William, Glencoe, Oban, Stirling Castle, Loch Lomond, Glasgow
- Highlights in Ireland: Dublin, Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle, Kenmare, Beara Peninsula, Bantry Bay, Ring of Kerry, Killarney, Doolin, Burren region, Cliffs of Moher, Galway
- All tour guides, museum and entrance fees, tips and taxes
Our adventure begins in Edinburgh, Scotland. We meet in the lobby of our hotel in the city center for a guided walking tour of this beautiful city. The stunning architecture in the center of the city classifies it as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This evening we enjoy a Scottish whisky-tasting lesson before a wonderful dinner.
Overnight: Edinburgh | Meals: D
Edinburgh, Perth, Pitlochry, Inverness
After a full Scottish breakfast, we head north toward Inverness. We stop on the way in Perth and Pitlochry. Then we continue our journey north and arrive near Inverness, where we check into our beautiful hotel, a 17th century Scottish mansion, majestically situated on the shore of Beauly Firth. This evening we enjoy a wonderful dinner at our hotel.
Overnight: Inverness | Meals: B, D
Inverness, Fort Augustus, Eilean Donan, Isle of Skye
This morning we take a boat ride (weather permitting) on Loch Ness to search for the monster. We visit Urquhart Castle, then drive along the beautiful lake to the village of Fort Augustus for lunch. Continuing west, we stop for some photos at (arguably) the most beautiful castle in Scotland, Eilean Donan. Crossing the Skye Bridge, we drive onto the Isle of Skye and check into our charming country inn. Our hosts give us a warm welcome and serve us a delicious home-cooked dinner.
Overnight: Isle of Skye | Meals: B, D
Isle of Skye
We spend a full day exploring the Isle of Skye, with its ruined castles and amazing scenery. There are many choices today for photogenic walks and vistas: the Cuillin Hills, Trotternish Ridge, spectacular cliffs and rock formations such as the Old Man of Storr, the scenic island capital of Portree, the “fairy pools”, or the tiny seaport of Uig. Or you may say, “I can’t decide! I’m playing golf!”
Overnight: Isle of Skye | Meals: B, D
Isle of Skye, Oban
In the morning we leave the Isle of Skye, driving through the stunningly beautiful Highlands region to Fort William and on to the Glenfinnan Viaduct: the famous “Harry Potter bridge” that you may recognize from the movie. After enjoying the beauty of Glencoe Gorge, we head to Oban, where we spend the night at a charming inn and have another delicious dinner.
Overnight: Oban | Meals: B, D
After breakfast, we take a tour of the famous Oban whisky distillery. We enjoy some free time in Oban and then we say good bye to the Highlands and head south, driving along the beautiful Loch Lomand toward Glasgow. Get orientated with a tour of the city center before checking in to our centrally situated four-star hotel. Dinner is at a special restaurant a short walk from our hotel.
Overnight: Glasgow | Meals: B, D
Today we take an excursion to historic Stirling Castle. We enjoy a tour of this famous castle, hear the true story about Scotland’s most famous son, Sir William Wallace, and the King of Scots, Robert the Bruce. We have free time this afternoon, and tonight is a free evening in Glasgow.
Overnight: Glasgow | Meals: B
This morning, we say our goodbyes to Scotland (Haste ye back!) and transfer to Glasgow airport for the short flight to Dublin. After checking into our hotel in the city’s center, the afternoon is yours to explore the many sights of Ireland’s capital city. This evening we enjoy dinner at one of Dublin’s best restaurants.
Overnight: Dublin | Meals: B, D
Today we explore the city with an expert local guide. Our tour includes a visit to the Trinity College Library to see the famous Book of Kells, written in the 4th century AD. The afternoon and evening are free to enjoy dinner in the city, go to a show, or try the pubs.
Overnight: Dublin | Meals: B
Dublin, Rock of Cashel, Blarney Castle, Kenmare
We leave Dublin behind and drive southwest, stopping at an ancient abbey, the Rock of Cashel. This historic site, perched high above the plains surrounding the River Suir, includes many extraordinary examples of Celtic art and medieval architecture. Our next stop is Blarney Castle. Those who don’t want to climb the steep steps to the castle roof to kiss the famous Blarney stone can wander through the beautiful park grounds around the castle walls. Our next destination is the lively town of Kenmare, where our charming inn in the town’s center is our home for the next three nights.
Overnight: Kenmare | Meals: B, D
Kenmare, Glengariff, Ilnacullin, Beara peninsula
Our day begins with a walk through Kenmare to see the prehistoric Celtic stone circle. We then take a short drive to Glengariff and board a boat that takes us into beautiful Bantry Bay, where we glide by a family of seals basking on an island. We get off the boat at Ilnacullin to walk through the island’s magnificent gardens. We spend the afternoon on a scenic drive onto the Beara peninsula, a photographer’s paradise. Tonight, after a wonderful dinner, we may venture out to a singing pub for a nightcap.
Overnight: Kenmare | Meals: B, D
Kenmare, Ring of Kerry, Killarney
Today is an unforgettable immersion into the spectacular natural beauty of Ireland’s southwest coast. We drive onto the Ring of Kerry, stopping for short walks to capture the coastal views with our cameras. We drive through Killarney National Park with its mountains and lakes and stop in Killarney for a pint. We return to Kenmare for free time and dinner on our own.
Overnight: Kenmare | Meals: B
Kenmare, Limerick, Cliffs of Moher, Doolin
This morning, we depart Kenmare and cross from County Kerry into County Limerick, where we stop for a look at the city of Limerick. We continue into County Clare to the coast and visit the majestic 700-foot Cliffs of Moher, whose beauty will leave you breathless. After a stop in the tiny village of Doolin, famous for its singing pubs, we check into our elegant historic country house hotel. Located on the grounds of an ancient castle, it has fabulous views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Aran Islands. We enjoy a wonderful dinner at the hotel before a chance to visit one of the singing pubs in the village.
Overnight: Doolin | Meals: B, D
This morning we take a scenic drive along the rugged Black Coast to the lively city of Galway. We check into our final hotel of the trip in the town’s center. We enjoy a walking tour with an expert local guide and then have free time until our farewell dinner. This is our last chance to try a singing pub in Ireland!
Overnight: Galway | Meals: B, D
In the morning we head to the Shannon Airport for our return flights home.
Getting close to local life: Sheep herding in Kells, Ireland
Our walking tour of Edinburgh, Scotland
Situated 5 miles from the spa town of Lisdoonvarna and within easy reach of the Cliffs of Moher, the Aran Islands, Connemara and Galway, it would be difficult to find a more beautiful place on the West Coast of Ireland in which to wake up. The Ballinalacken has been described in the press as one of the finest located houses in Europe. A reglar stop on on all our small group tours of Ireland and Scotland, our guest rooms offer spectacular panoramic views of the Aran Islands, the Cliffs of Moher and Galway Bay.
The 15th Century Castle is a ruin of the O’Brien Clan. It stands imposingly beside the Ballinalacken House which was built by Lord O’Brien in 1840 as his family home. In 1939 Daniel O’Callaghan purchased the home from the O’Briens. Today it remains in the O’Callaghan family and is currently owned by Denis O’Callaghan (Daniel’s son).
More details and photos can be found on the Ballinalacken Castle website.