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Best of Ireland and Scotland (Premium)

Operated by: Insight Vacations

14 Days from $5,050 per person
APR - OCT 2022
Tourists with cannon at Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Countries Visited

Ireland, United Kingdom ...more Ireland, United Kingdom

Locations Visited

Dublin, Kildare, Waterford, Cork, Blarney Castle, Killarney, Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, Dromoland, Galway, Connemara, Sligo Bay, Drumcliff, Londonderry, Giant's Causeway, Ballygalley, Ardgowan House, Glasgow, Loch Lomond, Glencoe, Loch Ness, Inverness, Culloden, St. Andrews, Edinburgh ...more Dublin, Kildare, Waterford, Cork, Blarney Castle, Killarney, Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, Dromoland, Galway, Connemara, Sligo Bay, Drumcliff, Londonderry, Giant's Causeway, Ballygalley, Ardgowan House, Glasgow, Loch Lomond, Glencoe, Loch Ness, Inverness, Culloden, St. Andrews, Edinburgh
  1. Day 1 Welcome to Dublin

    On arrival at Dublin airport, your airport transfer service leaves for your hotel at 08:30, 11:00 and 13:00. Join your Travel Director at 18:30 for a warm and friendly Welcome Dinner, an opportunity to get to know each other over a meal with wine.

    meals Dinner with Wine
    hotel Clayton Hotel Charlemont, Dublin.
  2. Day 2 In Dublin’s Fair City

    An orientation with your Travel Director will take you past the Custom House and travel along the River Liffey. See the Guinness Brewery, Christchurch Cathedral and St. Patrick's Cathedral. Enjoy entrance to the 9th century Book of Kells and a walk through the cobbled courtyards of Trinity College accompanied by a Local Expert, gaining their insight into modern life and the establishment's impressive history.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Clayton Hotel Charlemont, Dublin.
  3. Day 3 Kildare and Cork

    Witness life behind the scenes of the National Stud Farm, where many legendary racehorses are bred. Then see the finest Japanese gardens in Europe, where the symbolism of life the gardens portray, trace the journey of a soul, designed by master horticulturists, Tassa and Minoru Eida. Continue on to Cork, Ireland's second most populous city, built on the River Lee. Travel along Grand Parade to see Cork's City Hall and Opera House.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Maldron Hotel South Mall Cork City.
  4. Day 4 Blarney Castle and Killarney Relaxed Start

    Visit the ruined 15th century Blarney Castle, home of the famous Stone of Eloquence - once kissed, never forgotten! Or enjoy a sensory walk in the extensive and varied estate gardens. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa.
  5. Day 5 Ring of Kerry Experience Relaxed Start

    Explore Killarney with Insight Choice. Choose a memorable ride on a horse-drawn jaunting car with the local jarveys. Alternatively, join a gentle hike with a Local Expert along the lake shore and past the grounds of Ross Castle, admiring the incredible scenery of the National Park. While there aren't any mountains to climb, walkers should be fit, have good walking shoes or boots, sunscreen and rain gear. Tour the superb seascapes, towering cliffs and spectacular mountains of the Ring of Kerry. Journey past lush lakelands and through delightful villages like Sneem. Cross the peat bogs of the Black Mountains to Moll's Gap and admire Queen Victoria's Ladies View. Upon returning in the mid-afternoon, the rest of the day is at leisure.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Killarney Plaza Hotel and Spa.
  6. Day 6 The Cliffs of Moher

    Begin the day with a short ferry ride across the Shannon estuary. Enjoy magnificent views of the Clare coast, as you journey to the Visitors' Centre at the 700-foot Cliffs of Moher. Continue to your hotel, located at the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel The Galmont Hotel & Spa, Galway.
  7. Day 7 Glorious Galway to Sligo Bay Relaxed Start

    Join your Travel Director in Galway to see the infamous Lynch Memorial and the Church of St. Nicholas, where Christopher Columbus reputedly prayed before his discovery of America. Also see the aged Spanish Arch and Eyre Square, dedicated to the late US President, John F. Kennedy. Tour the wild Connemara region, a scenic wonderland of rivers, lakes and silent hills. Drive along the scenic shores of Sligo Bay.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Clayton Hotel, Sligo Bay. , Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Sligo Bay.
  8. Day 8 Walk in the Giant’s Steps

    The day begins in Drumcliffe, with a visit to the final resting place of Ireland's famous poet, William Butler Yeats. Cross into Northern Ireland to visit Londonderry. What better way to experience sightseeing than with one of Northern Ireland's best storytellers, Ronan, as he walks with you inside the city walls, still topped with cannons. Walk down steep Shipquay Street, with its elegant Georgian houses, to the Gothic Guildhall. Journey to the iconic Giant's Causeway for a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience. This geological masterpiece was created by the cooling of lava which burst through the earth's crust millions of years ago. Learn how the National Trust is enabling farming and biodiversity to work together, supporting both wildlife and quality food production. Next, take a spectacular drive along the Antrim Coast to your hotel, overlooking the sea at the head of Ballygally Bay.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Ballygally Castle Hotel.
  9. Day 9 High Tea at Ardgowan Estate Relaxed Start

    Cross the Irish Sea by ferry and journey to Ardgowan. Sir Ludovic Shaw Stewart welcomes you to his family castle, set on a 10,000-acre coastal estate. Explore the history of the area and learn the Shaw Stewart family's conservation efforts to protect the land on this MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience, followed by delightful traditional Scottish tea and scones. Continue to Glasgow where your Travel Director will show you the city's grand public buildings, including George Square and St. Mungo's Cathedral.

    meals Breakfast, Afternoon Tea
    hotel Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow.
  10. Day 10 Glencoe and Loch Ness

    A scenic drive takes you along the Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond. Absorb the dramatic landscape of Glencoe, still echoing with the cries of massacred clansmen. Pause at the Commando Memorial for a view of Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis before reaching the Great Glen. Continue on to Loch Ness and embark on a cruise to soak up the scenery, historic monuments and intriguing tales of Nessie in the heart of Scotland's great glen.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness.
  11. Day 11 A Highlands Experience Relaxed Start

    In the morning, see the sights of Inverness, before travelling to the Culloden Moor Visitor Centre, where Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite army was finally defeated. Then have a 'wee dram' during a visit to a local distillery, hear stories of the whisky smugglers as you delve into the fascinating world of the single malt.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness.
  12. Day 12 St. Andrews and Edinburgh

    A scenic drive takes you through the Grampian Mountains past the Duke of Atholl's Blair Castle. Drive down and cross the Tay to visit St. Andrews. As you arrive, pass the Old Course, the home of golf since its invention in the 15th century. Enjoy free time to explore. Why not wander to St. Andrews University where the love story of Kate Middleton and Prince William began? Alternately, stroll to West Sands Beach where the famous 'Chariots of Fire' scene was filmed. Continue across the majestic Forth Road Bridge to the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. In the evening, select departures attend The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh., Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel.
  13. Day 13 Scotland’s Capital of Culture

    In the morning, join a Local Expert to see the highlights of the city. Drive along Princes Street to the ornate Scott Memorial, then see the 18th century New Town with its neoclassical Georgian facades. In the Old Town see the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official Scottish residence of the Queen. Venture up the Royal Mile to visit Edinburgh Castle, home of Mons Meg, the Stone of Destiny and Scotland’s Crown Jewels, the Honours of Scotland. In the afternoon, you are at leisure to continue exploring as you wish, or perhaps go shopping. Join your friends at the stylish Grazing by Mark Greenaway, located in the heart of Edinburgh's West End. Your grand finale Celebration Dinner is a mouthwatering meal of modern Scottish cuisine with a Parisian twist, and is of course served with wine.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel., Sheraton Grand Hotel & Spa, Edinburgh.
  14. Day 14 Farewell Edinburgh

    Your journey comes to an end after breakfast with transfers arriving at Edinburgh airport at 06:15 and 09:00.

    meals Breakfast
Best of Ireland & Scotland Guided Tour Map
Price Includes

Additional Included Highlights

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will delight you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • If your arrival and/or departure flights are as per the itinerary start and end dates, then transfers are available at scheduled times. If your flights are outside these times, or you have booked additional nights accommodation with Insight Vacations, you may purchase transfers or make your own way from/to the airport.

Choice Highlights

  • Choose between two carefully selected activities
  • Killarney: Enjoy a memorable ride on a horse-drawn jaunting car with the local jarveys as you explore the lush scenery of Killarney National Park.
  • Killarney: Join a gentle hike with a nature guide in Killarney National Park and admire stunning mountains, lakes, woods and waterfalls. Stroll along the lake shore and past the impressive 15th Century Ross Castle and the famous Muckross Estate, a charming 19th Century mansion and grounds. Alternatively, enjoy a memorable ride on a horse-drawn jaunting car with the local jarveys.

Well-being

  • : Our Well-Being Directors take a proactive approach to your welfare ensuring all well-being regulations are met (available on tours with 21 or more guests).
  • : Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxurious, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with double the standard legroom and onboard washroom. Our customized luxury coaches are sanitized before the start of your tour and are maintained to very high standards. Physical distancing measures have been implemented on our customized luxury coaches.
  • : Experience enhanced hygiene protocols to align with the latest guidance following COVID-19.All Travel Directors, Well-Being Directors and Drivers have completed training in enhanced well-being and hygiene protocols.
  • : We only work with establishments we are confident will consistently adhere to our high well-being standards, which include hotels, restaurants and sight-seeing venues.
  • : Hand sanitizer is freely available on board for you to use throughout the day.

Travel Director

  • : "Towering mountains, glittering lochs, beautiful forests, crumbling toothy ancient castles, rushing rivers, grand vistas, clear air... there's nowhere else like the Highlands, in how it looks but also how it feels: strong, bright, impressive and light."
  • : "One person my guests love to meet is a real musician because they love Irish music and love to experience it in its own land."
  • : "The trick to really connecting with Ireland is not taking the Irish weather too seriously. If you don't like it, give it a few minutes and it's bound to change."

Authentic Dining

  • Dublin: Join your Travel Director for a warm and friendly Welcome Dinner, an opportunity to get to know each other over a meal with wine.
  • Muir of Ord: Sample a 'wee dram' and learn the fascinating process of whisky production at a local distillery.
  • Edinburgh: An unforgettable Celebration Dinner sees you dining at the stylish Galvin Brasserie de Luxe, located in the heart of Edinburgh's West End. Your grand finale Celebration Dinner is a mouthwatering meal of modern-Scottish cuisine with a Parisian twist, and is of course served with wine.
  • Dining Summary: 1 Afternoon Tea (AT), 13 Breakfast (B), and 7 Dinner with Wine (DW)

Insight Experiences

  • Dublin: Tour Trinity College with a Local Expert, before marvelling at the ancient Book of Kells, created by monks and dating from A.D. 800.
  • Kildare: Join a working member of the famous Irish Stud Farm for a private, behind-the-scenes visit of the stud where many legendary racehorses were bred. After, stroll through the finest Japanese gardens in Europe, designed by master horticulturalists, Tassa and Minoru Eida.
  • Killarney: Join a gentle hike with a nature guide in Killarney National Park and admire stunning mountains, lakes, woods and waterfalls. Stroll along the lake shore and past the impressive 15th Century Ross Castle and the famous Muckross Estate, a charming 19th Century mansion and grounds. Alternatively, enjoy a memorable ride on a horse-drawn jaunting car with the local jarveys.
  • Londonderry: There's no better way to experience sightseeing than with one of Northern Ireland's best storytellers, Ronan, as he takes you on a tour inside the city walls. See the Gothic Guildhall and the Georgian houses of Shipquay Street.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Dublin: During your orientation with your Travel Director, see Custom House and travel along the River Liffey. See the Guinness Brewery, Christchurch Cathedral and St. Patrick's Cathedral.
  • Cork: Your Travel Director will show you the Grand Parade and South Mall, along with City Hall and the Opera House.
  • Blarney: It is said that those who kiss the Blarney Stone are bestowed with the power to persuade, flatter and coax. But to do so, you must dangle from the ramparts! Visit Blarney Castle and see the famous Stone of Eloquence.
  • Killarney: Enjoy hearing of the history of Killarney during your city orientation.
  • Killarney: Enjoy a memorable ride on a horse-drawn jaunting car with the local jarveys as you explore the lush scenery of Killarney National Park.
  • Ring of Kerry: Venture into a world of towering cliffs, lush lakelands and remote villages, as you journey the magical Ring of Kerry.
  • Cliffs of Moher: Stop by the Exhibition Centre and look out over the Wild Atlantic Way from these majestic cliffs.
  • Galway: Enjoy an orientation tour of the many landmarks in Galway such as the Lynch Memorial, Church of St. Nicholas, Spanish Arch and Eyre Square.
  • Sligo Bay: Explore this scenic town during an orientation with your Travel Director.
  • Drumcliff: Visit the final resting place of Irish poet William Butler Yeats.
  • Ballygalley: Explore this seaside town with your Travel Director.
  • Larne: Board your ferry to cross the Irish Sea to Cairnryan.
  • Glasgow: See the grand public buildings, including George Square and St. Mungo's Cathedral.
  • Loch Ness: Soak up the scenery and hear intriguing tales of Nessie during a cruise.
  • Fort William: Enjoy an excellent view of Ben Nevis from the World War II Commando Memorial.
  • Inverness: See the River Ness, Inverness Castle and beautiful scenery as you explore the history of this Highland city.
  • Inverness: At the exciting Culloden Visitor Centre, discover why the Battle of Culloden lasted only an hour yet changed the Highland way of life forever.
  • St. Andrews: Visit the university town where the famous beach scene from 'Chariots of Fire' was filmed and see the golf course where the sport was created.
  • Edinburgh: A hush descends and eyes turn to the castle. The skirl of the pipes rises and drums crack the night air as a tide of tunics and tartan flood from the drawbridge. For a limited time in August, witness the incredible spectacle of the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
  • Edinburgh: Your Local Expert walks with you inside the walls of the Edinburgh Castle to view the Scottish Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg.
  • Edinburgh: Explore the city with your Local Expert as you travel along Princes Street to see the Scott Memorial, the neoclassical Adam facades of New Town and the official Scottish residence of the Queen, Palace of Holyroodhouse.

Make Travel Matter

  • Giant's Causeway: Visit the legendary Giant's Causeway, site of wonders. At the visitor centre, learn about the efforts to protect biodiversity and ecosystems, participating in habitat restoration. The National Trust charity has been undertaking replanting activities in Innisfree Farm, adjacent to the Causeway. By sowing a field of Herbal Ley seed mixes containing up to 17 different species, they have prioritized biodiversity and quality food production leaving a low carbon footprint. This experience advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 15: Life on Land.
  • Ardgowan House: Join Sir Ludovic for a tour of his family home, Ardgowan Estate, and savour a traditional Scottish tea made from local ingredients. Hear more about centuries of history onthe beautiful grounds during the Make Travel Matter experience. Your visit helps support the estate, helping keep Scottish history alive. The Estate educates its visitors and the local rural community about their sustainability initiatives, reducing food waste and sourcing all ingredients locally to support the local economy. Ardgowan Estate invests in renewable projects including a wood bio mass boiler, a gas plant and wind turbines, to create a greener, more sustainable future. Ardgowan Estate advances UN Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible Consumption & Production and UN Sustainable Development Goal 7: Affordable and clean energy.

Dates & Prices

Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.

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Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
Trusted Customer
Saturday, September 7, 2019
Service
Would have much preferred a direct flight from Edinburgh to Boston rather than Edinburgh to Amsterdam to Boston. We were the only ones on our tour to take this circuitous route home.
Vacation
Exhausting schedule. Very little rest time. Not a trip for older folks.
Trusted Customer
Monday, September 2, 2019
Service
Timely, clear, thoughtful and professional service.
Vacation
Very well-spoken tour guides and careful bus driver.
Vivian Sposobiec
Saturday, August 24, 2019
Service
I actually was with Insight Vacations for the tour to Ireland & Scotland. The customer service at GET kept me on top of everything from making my first payment to receiving my e-tickets. Very helpful to be able to pay over a time period.
Vacation
All of my Tour Director's plans were excellent, however, he couldn't help the fact that Edinburgh had the crazy Freak Festival at the same time as the Military Tatoo. All the roads to the top of the castle entrance were closed to car traffic for the Freak Festival & it made it difficult for someone who needs a cane to walk to climb up to the top, but I made it & the Tatoo was amazing. Very surprised to learn 4 star hotels in cities like Dublin & Edinburgh do not have air conditioning. Had to call for a fan in both cities. The countryside was cooler. Do NOT book The Inn at Dromoland for your tours when there's going to be a bank holiday weekend. What a nightmare. Rooms not ready, luggage not delivered- just made our dinner reservation & show at the Bunratty Medieval Castle Banquet @ 7 pm. Children were running amok till after midnight in the game room & up & down the hallways. Thank goodness this was a one night stand. Reservation desk employee snotty when I said something the next day in am. Take the extra tours, well worth the extra money. I had High Tea with Sir Ludovic & even got to tour the Royal Yacht Britannia.
Larry Simmons
Tuesday, August 13, 2019
Service
Easy to book. We were quickly contacted by Josh, who was our Travel Specialist. He stayed in contact and was aware of our needs throughout the process.
Vacation
Awesome trip with beautiful countryside. Our tour director Mike D. was very informative and humorous. He was a delight to be with. His passion for Ireland and Scotland was evident throughout the trip. I would definitely recommend this journey. Oh yes, and our bus driver, Sean, was the best we’ve had.
Trusted Customer
Monday, August 12, 2019
Service
My husband took care of the booking but he was happy with the experience.
Vacation
Michael Doughty is an excellent guide. The scenery was unbelievably beautiful and all the sites we visited were terrific. The service at the restaurant in the Macdonald Hotel in Edinburgh was terrible. At one of the other hotels (our guide knows which one) it took 2 hours for the dinner service.
Geeta Reddy
Saturday, June 29, 2019
Service
she was friendly, polite and explained clearly.
Vacation
i could see what exactly i needed. i could not have done more due to my physical incapabilities.
Trusted Customer
Monday, June 24, 2019
Service
Guide was very knowledgeable. Driver was an expert
Vacation
We hit most of the top sites. Restaurant food should have been more local. Menus were same as we can get at home. Some of the entertainment was great, some was poor
Laura Aiken
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Service
Quickly responded to emails. Would recommend
Vacation
Comprehensive trip of Ireland & Scotland landmarks. Needed more time in more popular stops (ie Blarney Castle). Some meals only mediocre.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We appreciate your feedback and will be sure to share your comments with Insight Vacations.
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Jeanna Roush
Thursday, October 11, 2018
Service
Our tour guide, Robbie was wonderful. The Itinerary was perfect, we saw so much of Ireland, North Ireland, and Scotland. Weather altered our trip a bit as gale force winds hit the area and we were not able to visit Connemara. Sad, but totally understandable!! Robbie did a great job of adjusting our schedule to other options. Yes, we would book again with GET.
Vacation
Robbie, the tour guide was awesome, the itinerary was perfect, visiting so many beautiful places in Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland
Trusted Customer
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Service
If I could, I would rate Insight a 20 star group! Our AWESOME Tour Director, Michael Doughty, and our driver, Keith, were professional, courteous, caring, as well as a minute by minute focus of WORLD CLASS customer service/care! Do NOT use any other group except Grand European Travel! Second to none!
Response from Grand European Travel:
20 stars! That's amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your kind words. We hope to see you again very soon.
Friday, September 28, 2018
Vacation
FANTASTIC tour; loved that it was tailored to local sights and experiences; we saw the major cities as well, but tours with local experts were superb!
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