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Best of Ireland and Scotland (Premium)

Operated by: Insight Vacations

14 Days from $4,253 per person
APR - OCT 2023
Tours of Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Countries Visited

Ireland, Northern Ireland ...more Ireland, Northern Ireland

Locations Visited

Dublin, Kildare, Waterford, Cork, Blarney Castle, Killarney, Ring of Kerry, Cliffs of Moher, Galway, Connemara, Sligo Bay, 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, Galway, Connemara, Sligo Bay, Londonderry, Giant's Causeway, Ballygalley, Ardgowan House, Glasgow, Loch Lomond, Glencoe, Loch Ness, Inverness, Culloden, St. Andrews, Edinburgh
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Industry leading 3-step protocols

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Industry leading 3-step protocols

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Entry Guide

Entry Requirements

Entry Guide

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FAQ’s on traveling now

COVID-19 Requirements

FAQ’s on traveling now

  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 to gain insight into 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 gardens portray the symbolism of life and 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 on to your hotel, located at the heart of the Wild Atlantic Way. 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.

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

    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. , Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa, Sligo.
  8. Day 8 Walk in the Giant’s Steps

    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, Co. Antrim.
  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.
  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 King. 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 in the heart of Edinburgh at a Celebration Dinner of modern Scottish cuisine 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

  • : 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: 7 Dinner with Wine (DW), 13 Breakfast (B), and 1 Afternoon Tea (AT)

Insight Experiences

  • Dublin: A stunning combination of cobblestone walkways, emerald-green lawns and 18th-century architectural gems, Trinity College is one of Europe’s elite universities and counts poet Oscar Wilde among its alumni. See the enchanting college campus and discover insights into its impressive history. Enjoy access to view the famous Book of Kells, an exquisite manuscript of the four gospels of the Christian New Testament, renowned for the intricacy, detail and majesty of the illustrations.
  • 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.
  • 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 King, 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.

Online Booking Process

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Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
Trusted Customer
Wednesday, September 21, 2022
Service
Arrangements and booking went very smoothly
Vacation
We had a great time. Everyone was very accommodating. We would have liked to have been able to visit some of the distillery’s in Dublin. We’re very disappointed we couldn’t.
Trusted Customer
Saturday, July 23, 2022
Service
The customer service we received was personal and excellent. Our contact person, Skyler, was great at answering our questions and making all of our arrangements.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are so happy you enjoyed working with Skyler. She certainly is a gem! It sounds like your trip to Ireland and Scotland will provide lasting memories for you. Thank you for leaving a review. We appreciate your kind words.
Monday, July 25, 2022
Vacation
We had a wonderful time exploring the countries and learning of the history and culture of the people while enjoying the beautiful scenery around us. Our accommodations were very good and all of the workers in our hotels were very friendly and helpful.
Pamela Carter
Wednesday, July 20, 2022
Service
They answered all my questions and they made booking the trip easy. One suggestion would be to have a dedicated travel consultant. I prefer to deal with one person when working thru the details of my trip. But they were all knowledgeable.
Vacation
Very good vacation which included the major sights of Ireland and Scotland. Hotels were great but difficult to move from hotel to hotel each night. Would have enjoyed more time in some of the cities. Also wine with dinners should include 2 glasses of wine if requested without additional cost.
Trusted Customer
Thursday, July 14, 2022
Service
This trip was rescheduled twice due to Covid and changed to an entirely different itinerary. Every agent I had help me over the phone during the course of two plus years was very helpful and pleasant to work with.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are thrilled you were finally able to take your trip to Ireland and Scotland. It sounds like you had a wonderful time and the trip was worth the wait! Thank you for leaving your feedback. We appreciate it!
Friday, July 15, 2022
Vacation
Tour director and coach driver both excellent. Loved the countries. Great immersion experience.
Richard Owens
Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Service
they were very clear and complete with explanations and in answering questions.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are thrilled that your trip to Ireland and Scotland went so well. We are also glad we were able to help you plan it. It sounds like you had a wonderful time. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review. Happy Travels!
Friday, June 24, 2022
Vacation
it was well planned and well led.
Victor Hett
Wednesday, May 18, 2022
Service
Booking was an OK experience.
Vacation
We got the covid four days into our fourteen day trip. At this point, we received no help from Insite tours and it cost us $5,000 out of pocket to get back to Dublin for eight days in quaranteen before going back home to Alaska. Why we had no financial help from In site Travel for our eight days lodging expense that they did not have to pay. I do not understand? I feel that In site Travel had our payment that was not used for eight nights lodging on the tour, should have helped with our eight days out of pocket. lodging expenses while we were quarantined. . This being our second trip with Insite Travels, we do not feel this was a justifiable.treatment.from a situation that was an unfortunate beyond our control..
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are very sorry to hear about your Covid diagnosis and missing the better part of your trip. Your Travel Insurance will cover your quarantine expenses as well as reimbursement for the days you missed of the tour itself. We understand it was a scary and stressful time and having to pay out of pocket for these items was upsetting. However, once you begin the claim process it won't be long before you should be reimbursed. We are glad you are home safely and recovered.
Tuesday, May 24, 2022
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.
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