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Country Roads of Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle
10 Days from $2,308 per person

From the great capital of Edinburgh to the Orkney Islands and Skye, you'll travel through 8,000 years of history and a rich cultural heritage, while the drama and variety of Scotland's natural features never fails to impress.

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Tour Pace: Active
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  1. Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).

  2. 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 09:00, 11:00 & 13:00. Then the rest of the day is yours to relax before joining your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception - a pleasant evening of dinner and wine. On selected departures, you will also attend the spectacular Military Tattoo - a colourful mix of pipes and drums, dance and display, set against the floodlit backdrop of Edinburgh Castle.
    meal(s):WD
    hotel:The Roxburghe/Holyrood Hotel, Edinburgh (2 nights).
  3. Join a Local Expert to see the highlights of the city. Drive along Princes Street to the ornate Scott Memorial, then tour the 18th century New Town with its classical Adam façades. Over in the Old Town, visit the castle, home of Mons Meg, the Stone of Destiny and Scotland's crown jewels. 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?

    meal(s):FB
    hotel:The Roxburghe/Holyrood Hotel, Edinburgh.
  4. Cross the Firth of Forth into Fife and make your way to St. Andrews, where golf was born on the Old Course in the 15th century. After some time to explore, cross the Tay and drive to the charming Victorian resort town of Pitlochry, famous for its salmon leap. Continue via Blair Atholl and over the Grampian Mountains to the sparkling Spey Valley. The Scottish Border Collie is world-renowned for its herding abilities. Visit a working Highland farm for a personal insight into the daily life of a shepherd and his dogs. Continue to stately Inverness, where your luxury signature hotel is set within four acres of manicured grounds, offering the very best in Highland hospitality.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness.
  5. See Culloden Moor in the morning, where Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite army was finally crushed in 1746. Visit the Culloden Visitor Centre before continuing along the shores of Loch Ness. Keep your eyes peeled for the 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. Stay in the town of Thurso, which looks out over the Pentland Firth towards the ‘Old Man of Hoy'.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Pentland Hotel, Thurso (2 nights).
  6. Start the day by driving to the most northerly town on the British mainland, John O'Groats. Board the ferry to the beautiful Orkney Islands - where the hardy locals live ‘below the wind and above the water'. Sightseeing with a Local Expert includes visits to the 5,000-year-old village of Skara Brae, the mysterious Ring of Brodgar, Kirkwall and the small chapel built by Italian prisoners of war during WWII. Return to your Thurso hotel for dinner.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Pentland Hotel, Thurso.
  7. Travel through stunning and 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.
    meal(s):FB, D
    hotel:Dunollie Hotel, Broadford.
  8. A chance to explore this wild and beautiful island, 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 WWII Commando Memorial where there is a fine view of Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain. We enjoy more spectacular scenery en route to the Valley of Glencoe, its dramatic peaks still echoing with the ghastly cries of massacred clansmen. At night, get together with your friends at a sumptuous grand finalé Celebration meal. Don't be surprised if, by the end of the evening, you're 'Toasting to the Lassies.'

    meal(s):FB, CD
    hotel:Isles of Glencoe/Ballachulish Caledonian, Oban.
  9. Spend time on peaceful Loch Lomond, ‘Queen of Scottish Lochs' 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 shows you the city's grand public buildings, including George Square and St. Mungo's Cathedral. Then the rest of the afternoon is at leisure.
    meal(s):FB
    hotel:Holiday Inn Theatreland/Hallmark Hotel, Glasgow.
  10. Your tour comes to an end after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Glasgow Airport at 07:00 & 09:00.
    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.

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
  • Cultural Enrichment Cultural Enrichment
  • Expertly Selected Hotels Expertly Selected Hotels
  • Hotel Tips Hotel Tips
  • Most Meals Most Meals
  • Personal Flight Options Personal Flight Options

INCLUDED QUALITY DINING

8 Full Breakfasts (FB), 4 three-course Dinners (D); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) both with wine, plus tea or coffee.

Signature Experiences

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.
  • Walk with a Local Expert within the walls of the majestic castle perched on its rock, to view the Scottish Crown Jewels, Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg.

Highlands:

  • Amid the stunning scenery of a real working Highland farm, watch as Neil Ross' sheepdogs are put through their paces and meet the collie pups.
  • At the exciting Culloden Visitor Centre, discover why the Battle of Culloden lasted only an hour yet changed the Highland way of life forever.

Orkney Isles:

  • Join a fascinating excursion of discovery with a Local Expert. Strewn across the windswept Orkneys are relics that span human history; from pagan stone circles to reminders of wartime tragedy.
Definite Departure
Depart Date Return Date Price Discount AvailabilityPrice
28 Apr 17 7 May 17 checkmark $2,495pp
$2,495 pp
5 May 17 14 May 17 checkmark $2,495$2,308pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,495 $2,308 pp
12 May 17 21 May 17 checkmark $2,495pp
19 May 17 28 May 17 checkmark $2,495pp
$2,495 pp
26 May 17 4 Jun 17 checkmark $2,495pp
2 Jun 17 11 Jun 17 checkmark $2,495pp
$2,495 pp
4 Jun 17 13 Jun 17 checkmark $2,495pp
$2,495 pp
9 Jun 17 18 Jun 17 checkmark $2,495pp
$2,495 pp
16 Jun 17 25 Jun 17 checkmark $2,495pp
$2,495 pp
18 Jun 17 27 Jun 17 checkmark $2,495pp
$2,495 pp
23 Jun 17 2 Jul 17 checkmark $2,495pp
$2,495 pp
30 Jun 17 9 Jul 17 checkmark $2,595$2,400pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,595 $2,400 pp
2 Jul 17 11 Jul 17 checkmark $2,595$2,400pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
7 Jul 17 16 Jul 17 checkmark $2,595pp
$2,595 pp
14 Jul 17 23 Jul 17 checkmark $2,595$2,400pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,595 $2,400 pp
16 Jul 17 25 Jul 17 checkmark $2,595pp
21 Jul 17 30 Jul 17 checkmark $2,595$2,400pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,595 $2,400 pp
28 Jul 17 6 Aug 17 checkmark $2,595pp
$2,595 pp
30 Jul 17 8 Aug 17 $2,595$2,400pp Early PaymentPay by Feb 28
$2,595 $2,400 pp
asterisk 4 Aug 17 13 Aug 17 checkmark $2,795pp
asterisk 6 Aug 17 15 Aug 17 checkmark $2,795pp
asterisk 11 Aug 17 20 Aug 17 checkmark $2,795pp
asterisk 18 Aug 17 27 Aug 17 checkmark $2,795pp
asterisk 20 Aug 17 29 Aug 17 checkmark $2,795pp
asterisk 25 Aug 17 3 Sep 17 checkmark $2,795pp
27 Aug 17 5 Sep 17 checkmark $2,550pp
$2,550 pp
1 Sep 17 10 Sep 17 checkmark $2,495pp
$2,495 pp
8 Sep 17 17 Sep 17 checkmark $2,495pp
10 Sep 17 19 Sep 17 $2,495pp
$2,495 pp
15 Sep 17 24 Sep 17 checkmark $2,495pp
22 Sep 17 1 Oct 17 checkmark $2,495pp
$2,495 pp
24 Sep 17 3 Oct 17 $2,450pp
$2,450 pp
29 Sep 17 8 Oct 17 $2,450pp
$2,450 pp
1 Oct 17 10 Oct 17 checkmark $2,450pp
$2,450 pp
6 Oct 17 15 Oct 17 $2,450pp
$2,450 pp

These departures include the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

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 $520 p.p.

Gratuities: Option to pre-pay gratuities for Travel Director and Driver $77 per person.

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.

Past Travelers: Save an additional 5% off the Land Only price of the vacation.

  • 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.

Reviews

Friday, September 23, 2016
Country Roads of Scotland
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : The driver and the tour director were fantastic!
Vacation : Loved Orkney!
Monday, August 22, 2016
Country Roads of Scotland
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Excellent says it all.
Vacation : The only thing we all thought was lacking was variety in group dinner meals provided by hotels, excluding Glasgow and Edinburgh. Three or four nights in a row we were offered nearly identical ho-hum food choices. As only one example, surely there are soup choices beyond potato and leek. This is the only exception that prevents me from giving the trip a stellar rating. This lack doesn't match the excellence of Grant European Travel.
Sunday, August 21, 2016
Country Roads of Scotland
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : We loved our tours of Irish Elegance and Country Roads of Scotland. The high points were staying at the Ashford Castle in Ireland and the Military Tattoo in Scotland. Our tour directors Aine in Ireland and Ronnie in Scotland were excellent, well organized and humorous. A very delightful trip.
Vacation : Excellent
Friday, August 19, 2016
Country Roads of Scotland
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Good variety of tours to choose from. Staff members were very helpful when I called for information and help wit my booking.
Vacation : Trip destinations were very good. I felt more could have been done to facilitate the group getting to know each other sooner. The setting for the Welcome dinner was less than ideal in that we were ushered to the tables to sit rather than have time to mingle and meet others in the tour. Also name tags were not provided until day 4 of the tour and the print was tiny so the names were not easily seen. Our Guide, Robbie Joyce was very knowledgable and had great stories. He did not give us any advanced information and was prone to tell us to look on the sheet in the hotel rather than just answer the question. I enjoyed his humor and he ALWAYS went above and beyond in helping any of us find something we wanted to buy or see. I truly had never seen a tour guide go out of the way as much Robbi in helping his tour members!
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for your feedback and suggestions regarding the Welcome Dinner. We will share these with our Quality Control team and have them review. We hope to welcome you on another trip very soon.

Grand European Travel
Friday, August 19, 2016
Friday, June 10, 2016
Country Roads of Scotland
Service:
Vacation:
Service rating : Good responsiveness by agent who booked us; good to excellent tour guide and driver.
Vacation : Poor to midland hotels; poor quality of meals; too much travelling and time spent in the coach and too little time to explore the areas we went to see. Bottom line from our perspective is we will never take another bus tour again. A bus tour like this doesn't justify the money we spent because we did not get any satisfaction from it due to too much travelling and not experiencing the country itself; i.e. the people and their culture.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We're very sorry to see that this trip was not a good fit for you, but we appreciate your honesty and the opportunity to provide a memorable vacation.

Grand European Travel
Tuesday, June 14, 2016

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

August 4, August 6, August 11, August 13, August 18, August 20, and August 25.

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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