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Best of Scotland

Operated By:
Tour Pace: Comfortable
Scottish Pipers
Tour Style: First Class
8 Days from $1,643 per person

The land of the ancients – cliff-top castles, standing stones and Rob Roy. Travel from Scotland's literary capital, Edinburgh, to feisty Glasgow, the heart and home of golf, St. Andrews, and the battlefields of Culloden and Glencoe, as your quest takes you past the lochs and glens of the Scottish Highlands and Glengoyne Whisky Distillery for a well-deserved wee dram.

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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
  2. Get lost among the enchanting cobbled lanes of Edinburgh – the quirky Scottish capital with a mystical air that combines ancient heritage with the verve of a modern city. On arrival to Edinburgh Airport transfers will operate at 9 am, 11.30 am and 2 pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Spend your day at leisure exploring its rich history and embracing the warm culture of the Scots before joining your travel companions and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception with a light meal and drinks.

    meal(s):WR
    hotel:Novotel Centre
  3. Join your Local Specialist this morning for an intriguing sightseeing tour of the city. Ascend Castle Rock and visit Edinburgh Castle, watching imposingly over the surrounding cityscape. Meander through the picturesque Old Town along the Royal Mile and see the stunning Palace of Holyroodhouse before enjoying time at leisure to soak up the city's charming atmosphere. If your travel dates coincide with the Edinburgh Festival, your visit will include tickets to the magnificent Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.
    meal(s):FB
  4. Tread in the footsteps of the world's golfing greats and head to St. Andrews, the home of golf en route to the glorious Scottish Highlands. A scenic drive brings us north and across the Dundee Firth to the picturesque village of Pitlochry. Spend your afternoon rambling through the village's charming river-side setting, browse its woollen crafts or join an Optional Experience to visit Blair Castle, the ancestral home of the Clan Murray. Our day in beautiful surrounds comes to an end over a cozy dinner at our hotel sharing tales of the day with our fellow travelers.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Laggan Gaskmore Authentic Accommodation/Highlander
  5. Meandering to the coast, we arrive in Mallaig where we'll board our ferry and cross to Armadale on the Isle of Skye. Heather-clad peaks provide a stunning backdrop for our scenic drive around the breathtaking Sleat Peninsula where we will have some free time to enjoy lunch before crossing a road bridge back to the mainland. The rugged beauty of Eilean Donan Castle will leave you speechless before you continue your journey past the lochs and glens of the Highlands to the tragic battlefield of Culloden. Pay tribute to the brave men who lost their lives in the fierce final battle of the Jacobite Uprising before returning to your hotel this evening.
    meal(s):FB, D
  6. Our first stop today sees us commemorate World War II history at the Commando Memorial near Fort William, where we admire spectacular views of Britain's highest peak – Ben Nevis. We journey through the volcanic ruins and precipitous mountains that lie just beyond the quaint village of Glencoe to see the “Glen of the Weeping” and remember the MacDonald clansmen who were massacred in 1692. Continuing towards the River Clyde, we arrive in our final stop for the day – Glasgow.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Crowne Plaza
  7. Madainn mhath! While your Gaelic may be a little rusty, your fascinating orientation tour around this edgy city will be anything but. Begin your day seeing Glasgow's iconic sights. Enjoy views of the People's Palace and Winter Gardens, the regal George Square and River Clyde, for over 200 years the epicenter of shipbuilding. Spend some time at leisure before we travel to visit the hilltop fortress of Stirling Castle. Today a symbol of national pride, the royal residence was once the seat of Scottish kings and queens, including Mary, Queen of Scots. View the Wallace Monument from the castle walls, paying tribute to the Scottish hero who fought for Scotland's independence. Later, we indulge in a Cultural Insight at Glengoyne Whisky Distillery and enjoy a wee dram before we join the Wood family at their 15th century historical farms on the shores of Loch Ard for a home-cooked Be My Guest Farewell Dinner, tales of Rob Roy and a few foot-taping Ceilidh tunes.
    meal(s):FB, BG
  8. The rugged beauty and warmth of Scotland's people forever in your memories, we enjoy one last hearty breakfast with our travel companions before wishing them and your Travel Director a fond farewell. Return transfers will arrive at Glasgow Airport at 7 am and 9 am. Conditions apply.

    meal(s):FB
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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.
  • Definite Departure
  • Edinburgh Tattoo
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount Availability Price
21 Apr 18 28 Apr 18 checkmark $1,825$1,643pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
28 Apr 18 5 May 18 checkmark $1,825$1,643pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
5 May 18 12 May 18 checkmark $1,850$1,665pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
12 May 18 19 May 18 checkmark $1,850$1,665pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
19 May 18 26 May 18 checkmark $1,875$1,688pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
19 May 18 26 May 18 checkmark $1,875$1,688pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
26 May 18 2 Jun 18 checkmark $1,875$1,688pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
2 Jun 18 9 Jun 18 checkmark $1,875pp Request Quote Book Now
9 Jun 18 16 Jun 18 checkmark $1,875$1,688pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Call 1-877-622-9109
9 Jun 18 16 Jun 18 checkmark $1,875$1,688pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
16 Jun 18 23 Jun 18 checkmark $1,875$1,688pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
23 Jun 18 30 Jun 18 checkmark $1,875$1,688pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
30 Jun 18 7 Jul 18 checkmark $1,875$1,688pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
7 Jul 18 14 Jul 18 checkmark $1,875$1,688pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
14 Jul 18 21 Jul 18 checkmark $1,875$1,688pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
21 Jul 18 28 Jul 18 checkmark $1,875$1,688pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
28 Jul 18 4 Aug 18 checkmark $1,925$1,733pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
Edinburgh Tattoo
1 Aug 18 8 Aug 18 checkmark $2,095pp Call 1-877-622-9109
Edinburgh Tattoo
4 Aug 18 11 Aug 18 checkmark $2,095pp Call 1-877-622-9109
Edinburgh Tattoo
8 Aug 18 15 Aug 18 checkmark $2,095pp Call 1-877-622-9109
Edinburgh Tattoo
11 Aug 18 18 Aug 18 checkmark $2,095pp Call 1-877-622-9109
Edinburgh Tattoo
15 Aug 18 22 Aug 18 checkmark $2,095pp Request Quote Book Now
Edinburgh Tattoo
18 Aug 18 25 Aug 18 checkmark $2,095pp Call 1-877-622-9109
Edinburgh Tattoo
18 Aug 18 25 Aug 18 checkmark $2,095pp Request Quote Book Now
25 Aug 18 1 Sep 18 checkmark $1,995$1,796pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
1 Sep 18 8 Sep 18 checkmark $1,850$1,665pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
1 Sep 18 8 Sep 18 checkmark $1,850$1,665pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
8 Sep 18 15 Sep 18 checkmark $1,850$1,665pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
8 Sep 18 15 Sep 18 checkmark $1,850$1,665pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
15 Sep 18 22 Sep 18 checkmark $1,850$1,665pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
15 Sep 18 22 Sep 18 checkmark $1,850$1,665pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
22 Sep 18 29 Sep 18 checkmark $1,850$1,665pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
22 Sep 18 29 Sep 18 checkmark $1,850$1,665pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
29 Sep 18 6 Oct 18 $1,825$1,643pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
6 Oct 18 13 Oct 18 $1,825$1,643pp Early PaymentPay by Jan 11 Request Quote Book Now
  • Edinburgh Tattoo: This departure includes the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo event.

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 $300 p.p.

Triple Room Discount: $10 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $67 per person.

Airport transfers: On arrival at Edinburgh Airport transfers will operate at 9:00 am. 11:30 am and 2:00 pm. Guests arriving later should make their own way to the hotel. Return transfers on the last travel day will arrive at Glasgow Airport at 7:00 am and 9:00 am.

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.

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

Meal Summary

6 nights, 6 full breakfasts, 4 dinners, On-trip transport, .

Included Highlights

Be My Guest

  • Join the Wood family at their 15th century historical farm on the shores of Loch Ard for a home-cooked Scottish dinner, tales of Rob Roy and a few foot-tapping Ceilidh tunes

Authentic Accommodations

  • Enjoy Highland hospitality at Laggan Gaskmore Hotel located within Cairngorm National Park in the Scottish Highlands

Cultural Insight

  • 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 Edinburgh

Hidden Treasure

  • Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure

Sightseeing Highlights

  • City tour in Edinburgh
  • Orientation of Glasgow, Stirling
  • Visit Edinburgh Castle, Pitlochry, the Isle of Skye, Culloden Battlefield, Stirling Castle
  • View the 18th green at St Andrews, the Glenfinnan Monument, Eilean Donan Castle, Loch Ness, Glencoe, People's Palace and Winter Gardens and George Square in Glasgow

Reviews

Saturday, October 14, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : James Thompson our tour director was excellent!
Vacation : James Thompson our tour director was excellent!
Saturday, September 23, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : This was our first ever guided bus tour so we didn't know what to expect. We enjoyed the sights, the special little amenities, but most importantly we believe we were extremely fortunate to travel with a great group of people.
Vacation : The price seemed on par with other travel groups, but going through AARP provided a sense of quality and the discounts were helpful.
Monday, September 18, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Tour Guide and bus driver were excellent - well organized and ready to provide assistance. Tour Guide had to step in the last minute as the scheduled guide had a family emergency and he was up to the task.
Vacation : Only did one but thoroughly enjoyed the meal and entertainment.
Sunday, September 17, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : We had a wonderful time, beyond all expectation. The itinerary was a well planned experience of history, culture, and beauty. Aryan the guide was very knowledgable and attentive and the driver Katrina was a a master at maneuvering our big bus. We are already planning another Grand European tour for next year. The US support people beforehand could have been more helpful when I had questions.
Vacation : The optional experiences that we bought enhanced our immersion in the Scottish culture
Sunday, September 3, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Good driver, clean bus, well versed and pleasant tour director, plenty rest stops, not too fast lunch breaks giving time to shop, good lodgings, interesting itinerary. I especially liked the final diinner at a local citizen's sheep farm who also entertained us with stories and music.
Vacation : I'm assuming you mean the optional trips.
Saturday, September 2, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Guide was excellent and food good. Probably won't travel again due to our ages.
Vacation : Saw all the highlights of Scotland. Highlands were beautiful!
Saturday, September 2, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Too many optionals that could have been included. Inexperienced, disorganized tour director.
Vacation : I expected more for the money. Too little substance.
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Tour director attention to detail, in keeping guests happy and tour running smoothly
Vacation : Was able to show my wife most of the places that I went to while stationed in the Navy in Scotland, and with the extra days booked was able to do the rest.
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and personable. Sights seen and ground covered excellent for the money spent.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for your feedback. We are delighted to hear you enjoyed your Best of Scotland vacation and the service of your Travel Director. The Edinburgh Tattoo is indeed a fantastic experience, and the Scottish Highlands should be on everyone's bucket list! 
Friday, September 1, 2017
Vacation : The military tattoo in Edinburgh was wonderful, but my favorite part was the drive through the Highlands and the stay at the picturesque Laggan Hotel. The Laggan needed just a few touches to be absolutely perfect...small things, for example a decent size mirror in the room, a hook on the bathroom door for clothes and a small table in the bathroom for toiletries. Food and drink service at the Laggan was excellent.
Wednesday, August 30, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Josh was always available to answer any questions, etc.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for your review. We're glad you enjoyed your trip to Scotland and the service Josh provided.
Friday, September 1, 2017
Vacation : Excellent trip, tour guide, and bus driver. Would have liked more time at Loch Ness, and in Glasgow on our own.
Sunday, August 27, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Everything went very smoothly from the time I booked the trip up to and receiving all my documents.
Vacation : Although the trip was very interesting I was very disappointed in the hotels.
Saturday, August 26, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Trip was hectic but a lot of fun. Seen a great deal of Scotland in a single week.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thanks for taking the time to write.  Glad to hear that, despite (or perhaps due to) the packed schedule, you enjoyed your Best of Scotland trip!
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Vacation : Fun, interesting, busy, many excursions should be avoided. Dinner and best served with the locals, not the tour.
Saturday, August 26, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Met us at the airport when we arrived. Excellent guide. Excellent hotels. Loved Scotland!
Response from Grand European Travel:
Scotland is a truly wonderful destination.  Glad to hear your trip was a success!
Thursday, August 31, 2017
Vacation : I'm not sure what you mean by purchases? We didn't have a lot of shopping time. If you are referring to the purchase of the trip, it was fine.
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Initial service via website and phone was good. The design of the trip was not. I don't know if that relates to European Travel or Trafalgar, but advertising the trip as "comfortable" was definitely a misnomer. I do not think that walking a half mile each way, then climbing 93 stairs up and then down is comfortable! Especially when the vast majority of travelers were retiree age.
Vacation : I am unsure if this refers to the tour itself or purchases made while there.
Monday, July 17, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : A great experience booking my travel plans. Michelle G was a fabulous resource, great help, and made the booking experience an ease. She was there with me both before, during and after! I would recommend this company to friends and book again. Thank you
Vacation : See above. A great company
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : I had the best time. The tour director thought of everything and even made arrangements for a birthday cake and gift for my sister for her birthday. I loved the fact that he gave us the history of each stop before we got there. I thoroughly I genjoyed this and have been recommending theism to everyone. The only thing I wasn't crazy about was the Scottish show we saw on Tuesday. Too Las Vegas. Other than that it was a great experience.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are so glad you celebrated your sister's birthday with us!  Sorry to hear that you didn't care for the Scottish show, but we are very glad the rest of the trip was a success.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Vacation : Not crazy about this. Too Las Vegas.
  • U.S. citizens traveling to 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 Scotland.

  • The currency in Scotland is the Pound (£). While it’s a good idea to bring some pounds for when you first arrive in Scotland, you’ll usually find a better exchange rate in 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.

  • Scotland’s culture is based on the country’s rich and colorful past, with a long-standing passion for festivals, myths, bagpipes, art, castles, and literature.  Highlights to explore include the city of Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Glasgow, and Stirling Castle.

  • Food and drink in Scotland goes far beyond haggis, porridge, and whiskey.  Other specialties 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 pub meal with a pint of Scottish ale.

  • The weather in Scotland is mild, moist, 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 is less common in Scotland than in the U.S. When dining in a restaurant, it’s appropriate, although not required, to leave a tip of 5-10 percent.  Leave your gratuity on the table rather than adding it to your credit card receipt to ensure that your waiter receives it.

    At the end of your guided vacation, it’s customary to offer your motor coach driver and Travel Director a gratuity. We recommend £2.50 per person/per day for your driver and £4.00 per person/per day for your Travel Director.  Recommended gratuity for a Local Host and Local Specialist is 1-2 pounds 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.

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.

Edinburgh

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'.

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.

Glasgow

Glasgow City Evening

Adult Price: £ 36

You'll enjoy a chance to experience a night out in the city of Glasgow. Your Travel Director will take you for an evening of good food, a drink, and undoubtedly interesting conversation.

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.

Scottish Highlands

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.

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.

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo takes place every year in August.

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 2018 it will take place in Edinburgh from August 3rd to August 25th, 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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