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Travel through 8,000 years of Scottish history from Medieval Edinburgh to the majestic Orkney Islands and Skye.
Travel to Europe often requires an overnight flight. Please arrange for flights to arrive on or before Day 1.
Welcome to Scotland—land of legends and romance, from the great cultural cities in the south, to the dramatic mountains and misty lochs of the Highlands. On arrival at Edinburgh airport, transfers depart for your hotel at 9 am, 11 am and 1 pm. Then the rest of the day is yours to relax before joining your Travel Director for a Welcome Dinner with wine. On select departures, you will also attend the spectacular Military Tattoo—colorful mix of pipes and drums, dance and display, set against the floodlit backdrop of Edinburgh Castle
Join a Local Expert to see the highlights of the city. Drive along Princes Street to the ornate Scott Memorial, then wander the 18th-century New Town with its neoclassical Georgian façades. In the Old Town, visit Edinburgh Castle, home of Mons Meg, the Stone of Destiny and Scotland’s Crown Jewels, the Honors of Scotland. At the bottom of the Royal Mile stands the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official Scottish residence of the Queen. The rest of the day is at leisure; why not visit the art treasures in the National Gallery?
Cross the Firth of Forth into Fife and journey to St. Andrews, passing the Old Course, home of golf since its creation in the 15th century. Enjoy free time to explore. Perhaps stroll to West Sands Beach where the famous 'Chariots of Fire' scene was filmed. Alternately, wander to St. Andrews University where the love story of Kate Middleton meeting her Prince Charming began. Cross the Tay and journey to the charming Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, famous for its salmon run. Continue via Blair Atholl and pass the Grampian Mountains on the way to the sparkling Spey Valley. Stop at Ballindalloch Castle and Gardens, one of the only occupied castles in Scotland, inhabited by the same family since the 16th century. As guests of the castle, you will be treated to an authentic Farm-to-Table experience, in the tradition of a Scottish Tea and Scones. Continue to Inverness, where your luxury hotel is set within four acres of manicured grounds offering the very best in Highland hospitality
See Culloden Moor in the morning, where Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army was crushed in 1746. Visit the Culloden Visitor Center before continuing along the shores of Loch Ness. Keep your eyes peeled for the legendary monster! Next, follow the rugged coast north to the fishing port of Wick. Pause at the Old Pulteney Distillery to taste a wee dram of whisky and learn about the production of this national drink.
Start the day by driving to the most northern point of the British mainland, John O’Groats. Board the ferry to the beautiful Orkney Islands where the countryside is breathtakingly majestic and the tranquility supports a quieter pace of life. Here the hardy locals say they live 'below the wind and above the water.' Your Local Expert accompanies you as you visit the 5,000-year-old village of Skara Brae, the mysterious Ring of Brodgar, Kirkwall and the small chapel built by Italian prisoners during World War II. Return to your Thurso hotel for dinner.
Travel through stunning, pristine landscapes along the northern coast with its white sandy beaches, and further inland to misty valleys and glens, lochs and rushing waters. Then it’s 'Over the Sea to Skye,' the largest and most beautiful island of the Inner Hebrides. On the way to Broadford, hear romantic tales of how young Flora MacDonald helped rescue Bonnie Prince Charlie to see the dramatic Cuillin Hills.
Explore this wild and beautiful island on your own, before crossing to the Kyle of Lochalsh. Stop for a photo at remote Eilean Donan Castle, which under a clear sky offers a perfect reflection in its loch. Move on to the World War II Commando Memorial where there is a fine view of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain. You’ll enjoy more spectacular scenery en route to the Valley of Glencoe, its dramatic peaks still echoing with the ghastly cries of massacred clansmen. In the evening, enjoy market-fresh Scottish ingredients and wine as you get together with your newfound friends for a sumptuous Celebration Dinner. Don’t be surprised if, by the end of the evening, you’re 'Toasting to the Lassies' or singing 'Auld Lang Syne.'
Spend time around peaceful Loch Lomond, 'Queen of Scottish Lochs' according to Sir Walter Scott and the largest in Great Britain. Perhaps experience the beauty and tranquillity of the loch with an optional cruise before continuing to Glasgow. An orientation drive through the city will show you the grand public buildings, including George Square and St. Mungo’s Cathedral. Then the rest of the afternoon is at your leisure to explore as you wish.
Your travels come to an end after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Glasgow Airport at 7 am and 9 am.
|Depart Date||Return Date||Price||Discount||Availability||Price|
|20 Apr 19||28 Apr 19||$2,825pp||Request Quote|
|27 Apr 19||5 May 19||$2,875pp||Request Quote|
|4 May 19||12 May 19||$2,875pp||Request Quote|
|17 Jun 19||25 Jun 19||$2,895pp||Request Quote|
|22 Jun 19||30 Jun 19||$2,895pp||Request Quote|
|13 Jul 19||21 Jul 19||$2,950pp||Request Quote|
|15 Jul 19||23 Jul 19||$2,950pp||Request Quote|
|27 Jul 19||4 Aug 19||$2,950pp||Request Quote|
|29 Jul 19||6 Aug 19||$2,950pp||Request Quote|
|26 Aug 19||3 Sep 19||$2,975pp||Request Quote|
|9 Sep 19||17 Sep 19||$2,895pp||Request Quote|
|14 Sep 19||22 Sep 19||$2,895pp||Request Quote|
|28 Sep 19||6 Oct 19||$2,850pp||Request Quote|
|5 Oct 19||13 Oct 19||$2,795pp||Request Quote|
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 per person
Triple Room Supplement: $110 per person
Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $98 per person.
Airport transfers: On arrival at Edinburgh airport transfers will operate at 9 am, 11 am and 1 pm. Return transfers will arrive at Glasgow airport at 7 am and 9 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.
8 Breakfasts, 1 Afternoon Tea, 4 Dinners, 2 Dinners with Wine, all with tea or coffee.
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 24 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.
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 2019 it will take place in Edinburgh from August 2nd to August 24th, 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!
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.
Join our Ghouls and Ghosts to embark upon a scary and mirth-filled tour of Edinburgh's old town as never seen before! We'll enjoy a drink afterwards to calm our nerves before returning to the land of the living.
Adult Price: £27
Join us for a lively and memorable evening of traditional Scottish song, dance, tartan and bagpipes. In addition to wine and dinner, your kilted hosts will lead you through some of the best-loved Scottish music and songs. You'll learn a Highland dance or two and sample Scotland’s national dish - haggis. An exceptional Scottish experience!
Adult Price: £60
A rare opportunity to enjoy an introduction to the Gaelic culture that is so unique to the Highlands. Stories, song, music and Highland history await you in the warm atmosphere of a centuries-old Highland hostelry
Adult Price: £25
A wonderful opportunity to experience the spectacular scenery of the Trotternish Peninsula with a local expert. Hear about the way of life on this remote inner Hebridean island, steeped in myth and legend. While touring the 'Isle of Mist' see the Old Man of Storr, the red and black Cuillin Mountains and picturesque Portree, the largest town on the Island. This is an opportunity not to be missed.
Adult Price: £15
Enjoy a relaxing cruise around picturesque Loch Lomond - the largest stretch of inland water to be found in the British Isles. Settle with a complimentary cup of tea or coffee and enjoy the flawless natural beauty, while all the history and legend is brought to life by on-board commentary.
Adult Price: £15
In recent years, Glasgow has developed a fearsome culinary reputation. With its elegant and chic atmosphere, this restaurant is very much at the forefront. In the hub of Glasgow's vibrant cosmopolitan capital, enjoy an evening of Scottish fayre and experience the unique atmosphere of the city at night.
Adult Price: £40
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