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Best of Ireland & Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland
16 Days from $3,006 per person

Pretty pink heather hues and a perfect emerald green landscape define the rugged beauty of Scotland and Ireland – home to enduring myths and legends, grand castles, bloody battles and the perfect swing. 

Visit their charismatic capitals of Dublin, Belfast, Glasgow and Edinburgh, trace the history of the Jacobites in the Scottish Highlands and follow the footsteps of a giant.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Welcome to the Emerald Isle. Spend your day relaxing and enjoying the sights. This evening meet your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception at a traditional Irish pub - the perfect introduction to Dublin.
  3. See St. Patrick's Cathedral, Phoenix Park and the stately Georgian Squares with your Local Specialist. Spend the rest of the day as you please. Why not explore Temple Bar or Grafton Street, famous for its street performers? This evening consider joining an Optional Experience to an Irish cabaret.
  4. Visit the Irish National Stud Farm dedicated to rearing world-class thoroughbreds since 1946 for a Cultural Insight on the breeding of these horses. After a guided walk through the farm take some time to stroll through the tranquil Japanese Gardens. This afternoon visit the House of Waterford Crystal. Watch the master craftsmen at work during your Cultural Insight demonstration and tour of the workshop.
  5. At Blarney Castle kiss the Blarney Stone and acquire the ‘gift of the gab'. Cross the Kerry Mountains to Killarney, your home for the next two nights. Join your companions for a Be My Guest dinner on a traditional Irish farm in Killarney.
    meal(s):FB, BG
    hotel:Killarney Towers
  6. Today we experience Ireland's most scenic coastal drive around the Iveragh Peninsula, better known as the ‘Ring of Kerry'. See Daniel O'Connell's Cahirciveen, the fishing village of Waterville, the Black Valley and Moll's Gap. Here mountains, valleys, lakes and sea blend into a landscape that is often breathtaking beyond words.
  7. Drive through Adare one of Ireland's prettiest villages. See King John's Castle and St. Mary's Cathedral and the Treaty Stone as you pass through Limerick. In Galway view the Cathedral, built on the site of an old prison, and stroll around Eyre Square during your free time. Dine tonight at your hotel.
    meal(s):FB, D
  8. Head north through Sligo to Donegal where you view the castle which was once the stronghold of the O'Donnell clan. In Londonderry walk along the 17th century walls with your Local Specialist and see the streets and murals of the Bogside. Known as the People's Gallery, the murals depict the history of the ‘troubles'.
  9. Visit the Giant's Causeway, an area of about 40,000 interlocking basalt columns, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in an area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, and one of the most iconic natural wonders in all of Ireland. Later arrive in Belfast and visit the Titanic Belfast Visitor Center for a Cultural Insight into the history of the world's most famous ship.
  10. This morning enjoy an included city tour with your Local Specialist which takes in Queen's University and City Hall. Board your ferry at Larne and cross to Cairnryan in Scotland. Drive through spectacular Ayrshire countryside on the way to Glasgow.
    hotel:Novotel Center
  11. Your morning orientation tour of Glasgow includes views of the magnificent George Square and the River Clyde, former heart of the shipbuilding industry. Enjoy free time to explore the city at your own pace. This afternoon enjoy a Cultural Insight into whisky making by visiting the beautiful Glengoyne whisky distillery to sample a ‘wee dram'.
  12. Journey along the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond, immortalized in the well-known Scottish song, towards the site of the 1692 massacre, Glencoe - ‘Glen of the Weeping'. Pass Fort William at the foot of Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis. At Glenfinnan see the monument to the final Jacobite Rising, as well as the famous viaduct which has featured in the Harry Potter films. Cross by ferry to the breathtaking Isle of Skye where you dine tonight in your hotel.
    meal(s):FB, D
  13. View Eilean Donan Castle before traveling along the banks of Loch Ness, keeping an eye out for the elusive monster. Stop and view Culloden battlefield, where Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated by the Redcoats, ending his aspirations to the throne. Dine tonight at your hotel.
    meal(s):FB, D
  14. Stop in the picturesque village of Pitlochry before heading to the historic town of St. Andrews, the home of golf. Cross the Firth of Forth to the Scottish capital Edinburgh, your home for the next two nights. Tonight why not enjoy an optional night out including traditional song, dance and Scottish fare?
    hotel:Novotel City Center
  15. This morning, your Local Specialist takes you on a sightseeing tour of this wonderful city, including a visit to Edinburgh Castle. See the Royal Mile, the elegant Palace of Holyroodhouse in the shadow of Arthur's Seat and the new Scottish Parliament building. During the Edinburgh Festival in August, your visit includes tickets to the spectacular Edinburgh Tattoo. Join your Travel Director and fellow travelers this evening for a memorable Farewell Dinner.
    meal(s):FB, FD
  16. Say goodbye to your Travel Director and companions at the end of an unforgettable Celtic vacation. Transfers are available. Conditions apply.

30 Day Refund Guarantee

We promise you’ll enjoy a stress-free travel experience from the minute you start your vacation planning or we’ll refund your deposit. Make your reservation with a $350 deposit. If you change your mind for any reason within 30 days of booking, we’ll offer you a full refund.

Add air to your reservation

Let our Air Specialists handle your air reservations. We have direct access to the most current airfare routes and prices, so you’ll get the best value available when we book your flights. We never charge a booking fee and you’ll enjoy the flexibility to pay for air 60-90 days prior to departure.

  • Professional Travel Director Professional Travel Director
  • Sightseeing with Local Experts Sightseeing with Local Experts
  • VIP Access VIP Access
  • WIFI on Coach and in Hotels WIFI on Coach and in Hotels
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options

Meal Summary

14 nights, 14 full breakfasts, 6 dinners, On-trip transport.

Included Highlights

Be My Guest

  • It's 1930s Ireland revisited. Visit the working farms of Muckross taking you back to a time of traditional farming where you'll meet the families who plough the land, learn how to churn butter and dine in the Quilles Farmhouse against the backdrop of the lakes of Killarney

Cultural Insight

  • Admire Ireland's finest thoroughbreds at the Irish National Stud Farm. Discover the full story of the Titanic at the Titanic Belfast visitor attraction and monument in Belfast. Learn how Irish crystal is crafted at the House of Waterford Crystal during a workshop tour. And visit Glengoyne, known as Scotland's most beautiful whisky distillery, for a tour and a tasting of their unique Highland single malt whisky

Local Specialist

  • For included sightseeing in Dublin, Londonderry/Derry, Belfast and Edinburgh

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Dublin, Londonderry/Derry, Belfast, Edinburgh
  • Orientation of Waterford, Limerick, Galway, Glasgow
  • Visit the Irish National Stud the Waterford Crystal showroom, Blarney Castle, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Giant's Causeway, Titanic Museum, Pitlochry, Edinburgh Castle
  • View Galway Cathedral, Eilean Donan Castle, the battlefield of Culloden, the 18th green at St. Andrews
  • See St. Patrick's Cathedral, Phoenix Park in Dublin, King John's castle in Limerick, Loch Lomond
  • Scenic drive around the Ring of Kerry

Optional Add-Ons

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.


Belfast Walk with Fish and Chips

Adult Price: £38

What better way to soak up the atmosphere of this lively city than to join a local specialist for a stroll through its hidden side streets? We'll have an included drink in a historic pub and continue to a local restaurant for a quintessentially traditional meal; fish and chips.


Experience the Ancient Monastic Site of Glendalough

Adult Price: € 20

Enjoy a visit to one of the most important monastic sites in Europe, which dates back to the 6th century. Your Local Specialist will tell tales and show you around this sacred area, famous for its tranquil beauty amidst the rolling countryside of County Wicklow, the garden of Ireland.

Dublin Dinner and Cabaret

Adult Price: € 71

Enjoy an evening of fine food and non-stop fun as Ireland’s history unfolds in a cabaret of comedy, song and dance. The cast will have you tapping your toes and joining in the show, all in the spirit of Irish humour. And you’ll even be served an Irish coffee to round off your dinner.


Scottish Show With Dinner

Adult Price: £58

Tonight is your chance to put on that tartan and join us for an evening of singing, dancing and bagpipe playing at an internationally famous venue. You’ll enjoy delicious food and wine, join in the singing and watch a Highland dance or two. There's even a chance to sample Scotland’s national dish – haggis.

Rosslyn Chapel

Adult Price: £18

We’ll drive out of Edinburgh to the tiny village of Rosslyn, where you’ll hear the inside story on the famous Rosslyn Chapel. You’ll also visit one of Scotland's most unusual 15th century buildings, famed for its associations with the Knights Templar, the Masonic movement, and now 'The Da Vinci Code'.


A Stirling Evening

Adult Price: £44

See Stirling Castle and the Wallace Memorial by night. A truly local experience, you'll be piped in to your evening meal in the historic Scottish city and enjoy an evening of Scottish delights.


Experience a Jaunting Cart Ride

Adult Price: € 21

Enjoy a traditional pony and trap ride through the beautiful Bourn-Vincent National Park. During your journey, your Local Specialist will share fascinating anecdotes about the area and Ireland.

Visit Muckross House and its Gardens

Adult Price: € 21

Come with us to Muckross House and its beautiful gardens. With a backdrop of oak-clad mountains, enjoy taking in the towering azaleas and rhododendrons as you meander along the shores of the lakes. The 18th century house contains some wonderful examples of furniture and paintings, including a portrait of King James VI, for whom Shakespeare wrote Macbeth.

Irish Ceilidh Evening

Adult Price: € 65

The Irish Ceilidh epitomises how music and dance were enjoyed in rural Ireland, especially on festive occasions. The craic - welcoming, jolly, fun and informal - is accompanied with plenty of food and drink. There's no more enjoyable way to understand Irish culture.

Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond Boat Trip

Adult Price: £15

Discover the wild beauty of the 'Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond'. As we cruise across the loch, the skipper will share stories of the area and point out Rob Roy's cave as you relax and savour the stunning scenery.


Dinner and Drinks in Derry

Adult Price: £42

Join us and the the rest of the group for a cosy and relaxing evening of dinner and a drink in a locally-loved restaurant.

Scottish Highlands

Isle Of Skye Drive

Adult Price: £14

An opportunity to travel around the Isle of Skye with your Local Specialist. You’ll hear about the way of life on this remote inner Hebridean Island and discover its stories and legends.

Highland Farm Experience

Adult Price: £14

Visit a real Highland sheep farm and meet Neil the Shepherd and his border collies. He’ll show you how he uses different whistles to command each dog to carry out different tasks. You’ll also have the opportunity to try your hand at sheep shearing, feeding the pups and discover his training techniques. Weather permitting.

Pitlochry. Visit Of Blair Castle

Adult Price: £20

Set in its own grounds against a backdrop of glorious scenery, you’ll visit the castle and find out more about the home of the Duke of Atholl – the only man in Britain to have a private army.


Irish Folk Fun

Adult Price: € 27

During this evening of entertainment, you'll get the chance to experience Irish hospitality in the best folk tradition. Enjoy a drink while locals sing and play music for you.

Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount AvailabilityPrice
14 Apr 17 29 Apr 17 checkmark $3,150pp
$3,150 pp
21 Apr 17 6 May 17 checkmark $3,250$3,006pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$3,250 $3,006 pp
28 Apr 17 13 May 17 checkmark $3,295$3,048pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$3,295 $3,048 pp
5 May 17 20 May 17 checkmark $3,295pp
12 May 17 27 May 17 checkmark $3,295$3,048pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$3,295 $3,048 pp
12 May 17 27 May 17 checkmark $3,295$3,048pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$3,295 $3,048 pp
19 May 17 3 Jun 17 checkmark $3,295pp
26 May 17 10 Jun 17 checkmark $3,295pp
26 May 17 10 Jun 17 checkmark $3,295pp
2 Jun 17 17 Jun 17 checkmark $3,295pp
2 Jun 17 17 Jun 17 checkmark $3,295pp
9 Jun 17 24 Jun 17 checkmark $3,295pp
16 Jun 17 1 Jul 17 checkmark $3,295pp
16 Jun 17 1 Jul 17 checkmark $3,295pp
23 Jun 17 8 Jul 17 checkmark $3,325pp
30 Jun 17 15 Jul 17 checkmark $3,395pp
$3,395 pp
7 Jul 17 22 Jul 17 checkmark $3,395pp
$3,395 pp
14 Jul 17 29 Jul 17 checkmark $3,395pp
21 Jul 17 5 Aug 17 checkmark $3,575pp
asterisk 21 Jul 17 5 Aug 17 checkmark $3,575pp
asterisk 23 Jul 17 7 Aug 17 checkmark $3,575pp
$3,575 pp
asterisk 28 Jul 17 12 Aug 17 checkmark $3,575$3,307pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$3,575 $3,307 pp
asterisk 28 Jul 17 12 Aug 17 checkmark $3,575$3,307pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$3,575 $3,307 pp
asterisk 30 Jul 17 14 Aug 17 checkmark $3,575pp
$3,575 pp
asterisk 4 Aug 17 19 Aug 17 checkmark $3,575$3,307pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
asterisk 4 Aug 17 19 Aug 17 checkmark $3,575$3,307pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
asterisk 6 Aug 17 21 Aug 17 checkmark $3,575pp
asterisk 11 Aug 17 26 Aug 17 checkmark $3,575pp
18 Aug 17 2 Sep 17 checkmark $3,425$3,168pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$3,425 $3,168 pp
25 Aug 17 9 Sep 17 checkmark $3,350$3,099pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$3,350 $3,099 pp
25 Aug 17 9 Sep 17 checkmark $3,350$3,099pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$3,350 $3,099 pp
1 Sep 17 16 Sep 17 checkmark $3,295pp
1 Sep 17 16 Sep 17 checkmark $3,295pp
8 Sep 17 23 Sep 17 checkmark $3,295pp
8 Sep 17 23 Sep 17 checkmark $3,295pp
15 Sep 17 30 Sep 17 checkmark $3,295pp
22 Sep 17 7 Oct 17 checkmark $3,295pp
29 Sep 17 14 Oct 17 checkmark $3,250$3,006pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$3,250 $3,006 pp
6 Oct 17 21 Oct 17 checkmark $3,250$3,006pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$3,250 $3,006 pp

Edinburgh Military Tattoo, August 4-26, 2017: Tattoo tickets are included for tours that visit Edinburgh during these dates.

Price is per person and is based on two people sharing a twin bedded room. Single rooms are available at a supplement.

Single Room Supplement: from $700 p.p.

Triple Discount: $10 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $107 per person.

Airport transfers: On arrival at Dublin Airport transfers will operate at 8:30 am, 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Edinburgh Airport at 7:00 am and 9:00 am.

Early Payment Discount: Pay in full to save the amount listed above. For details, click here.

AARP Members are entitled to an exclusive Member Benefit Discount on all Grand European Travel vacations. Plus receive a free travel gift!  Call Toll Free: 1-866-847-3858 for details.

Frequent Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the price of the vacation.

  • U.S. citizens traveling to Ireland and Scotland must have a current passport that is valid for six months beyond the conclusion of their trip. You can find information on how to apply for a passport here, and how to renew a passport here. No visa is required for U.S. citizens entering either country.

  • The currency in the Republic of Ireland is the Euro (€).  Northern Ireland and Scotland use the Pound (£). While it’s a good idea to bring some cash with you, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate when you arrive at your destination.  The most convenient way to obtain cash is to use your ATM card at local banks. We recommend you also bring a valid credit card for purchases while you are traveling.  It is important that you inform your financial institutions of your travel plans before you leave home so they don’t flag your purchases as potentially fraudulent charges.

  • One of the most enjoyable parts of traveling is sampling the local cuisine.  Culinary experiences to try in Ireland include a full Irish breakfast, a visit to a chip shop, and hearty lunch at a good local pub.  And be sure to sample Irish national specialties including Irish stew, coddle, potato bread, corned beef and whiskey cake.

    Scottish cuisine goes beyond traditional haggis, porridge, and whiskey.  Other specialties s to try include kippers, fish and chips, Scotch broth, smoked salmon, sausages, shortbread, and Dundee cake.  For a meal that’s inexpensive and authentic, try a local pub meal with a pint of Scottish ale.

  • The weather in Ireland and Scotland is mild,damp, and quickly changeable. We suggest packing a variety of lightweight clothing items that can be layered to save space in your suitcase and give you more options for how to dress. Important items to bring include sturdy walking shoes and a waterproof jacket with a hood. For more helpful information please refer to our Packing Tips & Packing List.

  • Tipping in Ireland and Scotland is less common than in the U.S. When dining in a restaurant, it’s appropriate to leave a tip of up to 5-10 percent of the bill. 

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend €3.00 per person/per day for your driver and €5.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 euros per person, paid at the conclusion of each guided visit.  A convenient option is to prepay your tips before your departure.

  • Baggage on our trips is restricted to one large suitcase per person with dimensions not exceeding 30x19x10 inches and a maximum weight of 50 pounds. You are also permitted one piece of hand luggage, which should be small enough to fit under your coach seat or on the small overhead shelf compartment. Please note that luggage with an adjustable handle and wheels will not fit in the overhead compartment of the coach. Hotel porterage is included in your vacation.

  • You will need to be comfortable on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours in various weather conditions.  All of our vacations involve walking, often on cobblestone and uneven surfaces in historic city centers.  In order to get the most out of your vacation you need to be able to comfortably walk 1-3 miles unassisted in one day, be in good condition and be able to keep pace with the group. 

    If you need any medications, it is important that you bring enough to last you the whole trip and keep them in your carry-on bag while you travel.

  • We highly recommend our optional Travel Protection Plan, which allows you to cancel for any reason up to 48 hours before departure. The plan also includes trip interruption, baggage loss or delay, and medical and emergency assistance. Click here for a summary of coverage details, terms and conditions.


Trip not yet reviewed

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo takes place every year in August and is included on seven departures in 2017:

July 21, July 23, July 28, July 30,  August 4, August 6, and August 11.

The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, often referred to as "the most spectacular show on earth," is an exciting celebration showcasing the best of Scottish music, dance, and military pageantry.  In 2017 it will take place in Edinburgh from August 4th to August 26th, and is sure to draw entertainers and spectators from around the world. 

Tickets and arrangements have been included on these select departures. Book early as they will sell out quickly!

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