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Scotland's Highlands, Islands & Cities

Operated by: Trafalgar

13 Days from $2,996 per person
Rugged Scottish Highlands

Countries Visited

Scotland ...more Scotland

Locations Visited

Glascow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Scottish Highlands, Isle of Skye, Orkney Islands ...more Glascow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Scottish Highlands, Isle of Skye, Orkney Islands
  1. Day 1 Arrive Edinburgh (3 Nights)

    Embrace the allure of Auld Reekie and explore its labyrinthine lanes, before joining your fellow travellers and Travel Director for a Welcome Reception to kick-start your turas through an unimaginably beautiful part of the world.

    meals Welcome Reception
    hotel Apex Haymarket
  2. Day 2 Edinburgh Sightseeing and Free Time

    Let your Local Specialist take you on an informative sightseeing tour of Edinburgh, stopping to view the regal Palace of Holyroodhouse. See the new Scottish Parliament Building and the Royal Mile, delving into the heart of the city, before visiting Edinburgh Castle, perched atop Castle Rock. Stroll through the grand New Town with its Gothic façades enjoying the rest of the day at leisure. Tickets to see the Edinburgh Tattoo are included on departures that coincide with performance dates from 2nd to 24th August 2019.

    meals Full Breakfast
  3. Day 3 Excursion to The Borders

    A scenic day's excursion brings us to the ruins of the 12th-century Augustinian Jedburgh Abbey, which we will have an opportunity to view. Continue to nearby Melrose Abbey, said to be the final resting place of the embalmed heart of Robert the Bruce. We take the scenic route back to Edinburgh this afternoon, following the lush green landscapes along the Tweed River.

    meals Full Breakfast
  4. Day 4 Edinburgh – St. Andrews – Glamis Castle – Dundee

    This morning, we cross the Firth of Forth to the celebrated home of golf - St. Andrews, to view its ancient university and famous golf course. Shakespeare's Macbeth takes centre stage as we visit Glamis Castle, once the home of the beloved Queen Mother and birthplace of Princess Margaret. Enjoy a guided tour of the castle and explore its beautiful gardens, before we travel to the waterfront city of Dundee, distinguished for its status as the first UNESCO City of Design, and the original home of marmalade.

    meals Full Breakfast
    hotel Apex City Quay
  5. Day 5 Dundee – Pitlochry – Culloden – Scottish Highlands

    'Dive Into Culture' and learn about the local whisky industry at a famous distillery, including a tasting of Scotland's much-loved golden nectar. Hearts and hands warmed, we wind our way to the tragic battlefield and Visitor Centre at Culloden, past rugged landscapes and the imposing Cairngorm Mountains. Visit the site where Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite army was defeated. Our final stop for the night is in the heart of the Scottish Highlands and gateway to Loch Ness.

    meals Full Breakfast
    hotel Carrbridge
  6. Day 6 Scottish Highlands – Loch Ness – Inverness – Thurso (2 Nights)

    The mystical haunt of Nessie is our first stop today before passing through Inverness en route to Dunrobin Castle. This stately home and its magnificent gardens, inspired by the Palace of Versailles, comes straight from the pages of a fairy tale. Spend your afternoon exploring its château-like structure and surrounds, once home to the Clan Sutherland. Arriving in Thurso, our home for the next two nights, we enjoy dinner at our hotel.

    meals Full Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel Muthu Royal/Norseman
  7. Day 7 Orkney Islands Excursion

    We board a ferry to South Ronaldsay in the Orkney Islands, viewing the stretch of WWII causeways known as the Churchill Barriers. Visit the ornate Italian Chapel, built by Italian prisoners of war. Visit Skara Brae and see the prehistoric free-standing stones of the Ring of Brodgar before delving into the stories of the Neolithic village. We stop at beautiful Kirkwall Cathedral for a photo opportunity before returning to our hotel for dinner.

    meals Full Breakfast, Dinner
  8. Day 8 Thurso – Ullapool – Isle of Skye

    Dramatic landscapes accompany our scenic drive along the rugged north-west coastline of the Scottish Highlands to remote Ullapool on the shores of Loch Broom. We journey to the 13th-century Eilean Donan Castle, perched on a tiny island where three sea lochs meet, then continue to the Isle of Skye where we'll stay overnight and enjoy a delicious dinner in our hotel.

    meals Full Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel Kings Arms
  9. Day 9 Isle of Skye – Ballachulish (2 Nights)

    We return to the mainland following a beautiful route that takes us past the Glenfinnan Viaduct, along which Harry Potter's Hogwarts Express once crossed to his beloved school of magic. We pass Fort William on the shores of Loch Linnhe, renowned as the gateway to Ben Nevis, before continuing to Ballachulish, our Highland home for the next two nights.

    meals Full Breakfast
    hotel Ballachulish/Isles of Glencoe
  10. Day 10 Mull and Iona Excursion

    Set sail from Oban to the Isle of Mull, disembarking at Craignure. Cross the pretty island countryside to catch a ferry from Fionnphort to the island of Iona, which was once the home of a Gaelic monastic community which lived in Iona Abbey. Before our journey back to Ballachulish, we'll have the chance to view Rèilig Odhrain, the final resting place of many of Scottish kings.

    meals Full Breakfast, Dinner
  11. Day 11 Ballachulish – Glasgow (2 Nights)

    A solemn reminder of the MacDonald clansmen, who were massacred at the Glen of the Weeping, marks our morning journey south to Glasgow. We follow the banks of Loch Lomond, then enjoy an orientation tour that will see you view St. Mungo's Cathedral and George Square with its statues of Britain's famous sons and daughters.

    meals Full Breakfast
    hotel Holiday Inn Theatreland
  12. Day 12 Stirling Castle and Bannockburn Excursion

    Mary Queen of Scots and several Scottish kings and queens have made Stirling Castle their home over the centuries. Enjoy a visit to its grounds and delve into the history of this royal residence and fortress, besieged by Bonnie Prince Charlie in the 18th century. We'll visit the splendidly decorated Royal Palace of King James V and view the renowned Stirling Heads, before venturing to Bannockburn, where King Robert Bruce of Scotland defeated Edward II of England during the First War of Scottish Independence. Later, we 'Connect With Locals', joining the Wood family this afternoon for a memorable Be My Guest lunch at their 15th-century farm on the shores of Loch Ard, amidst tales of Rob Roy. This evening, we return to Glasgow for time at leisure to enjoy true Scottish hospitality.

    meals Full Breakfast, Lunch
  13. Day 13 Depart Glasgow

    Our epic journey across Scotland's highlands, islands and cities has come to an end. It's time to say a fond farewell to our travel companions and Travel Director as our memorable holiday comes to an end. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply.

    meals Full Breakfast
Price Includes

Dining Highlights

  • 12 full breakfasts
  • 1 lunch (Be My Guest)
  • 5 dinners

First class travel Highlights

  • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Daily breakfast and an average of 50% of evening meals
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)
  • Ferry to the Orkney Isles and return
  • Ferry to the Isle of Mull and Iona
  • Ferry from Skye to Mallaig
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • Hand-picked Trip Highlights
  • Optional Experiences and free time
  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • An expert Travel Director and a professional Driver
  • Tickets are included for the world-famous Tattoo during the Edinburgh Festival
  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • VIP entry to many sights

Sightseeing Highlights

  • CITY TOUR in Edinburgh
  • ORIENTATION of Dundee, Orkney Islands, Stirling and Glasgow
  • VISIT Edinburgh Castle, Glamis Castle, the battlefield and Visitor Centre of Culloden, Dunrobin Castle, John O'Groats, The Italian Chapel in Orkney Islands, Skara Brae, Ullapool, Isle of Skye, Isle of Mull, Isle of Iona, St. Mungo's Cathedral in Glasgow and Stirling Castle
  • VIEW Jedburgh Abbey, the 18th green at St. Andrews, Inverness Castle, Eilean Donan Castle and Glencoe
  • SEE Loch Ness, Loch Lomond and the Battlefield at Bannockburn

Dates & Prices
Airfare is not included, but can be added to quote upon request
  • Definite Departure
Price Discount Availability Price
Edinburgh Military Tattoo

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 Add-Ons

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.


Rosslyn Chapel

We’ll drive out of Edinburgh to the tiny village of Rosslyn, where you’ll hear the inside story on the famous Rosslyn Chapel. One of Scotland's most unusual 15th-century buildings, Rossyln is famed for its associations with the Knights Templar, the Masonic movement, and now 'The Da Vinci Code'.
Adult Price: £21

Royal Yacht Britannia

You’ll explore this magnificent ship, which has played host to some of the most famous people in the world. Now berthed in Leith, you’ll be welcomed on board to discover the heart and soul of this most special of royal residences – the former honeymoon sanctuary for four royal couples.
Adult Price: £23

Dinner And Ghost Walk

Work up an appetite discovering some of Edinburgh's most haunted places with your Local Specialist, who’ll share ghoulish tales before you enjoy a three course meal in a local restaurant.
Adult Price: £40

Dinner And Drive To Historic Torphichen

Enjoy a scenic drive to the ancient village of Torphichen, associated with Scottish kings and Knights Hospitaller. At the haunted Torphichen Inn your arrival will be toasted by our convivial host before enjoying an excellent dinner of local specialties and entertainment.
Adult Price: £46

Scottish Show With Dinner

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.
Adult Price: £60

Scottish Highlands

Cawdor Dinner Evening

Join us for dinner at a traditional country pub in the charming village of Cawdor, home to Shakespeare's Macbeth.
Adult Price: £38

Highland Farm Experience

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 lambs and discover his training techniques. Weather permitting.
Adult Price: £14

Loch Ness Cruise

Sailing from Clansman Hotel, we'll experience a scenic cruise on Scotland's most famous waterway, Loch Ness. We'll also see beautiful Urquhart Castle, founded in the 13th-century, from the lake. The management regrets to inform you that Nessie sightings are not guaranteed!
Adult Price: £24

Isle Of Skye Drive

An opportunity to travel around the Isle of Skye with your Local Specialist. You’ll hear about the way of life on this remote inner Hebridean Island and discover its stories and legends.
Adult Price: £13.50

Ballachulish Dinner and Drive

Enjoy a scenic drive on Loch Linnhe for dinner.
Adult Price: £37


Doune Castle

Enjoy a visit to this famous castle, featured in film and television shows such as Monty Python, Outlander, and Game of Thrones.
Adult Price: £24

Glasgow City Evening

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.
Adult Price: £37

Independent Reviews
Jerry Havens
Saturday, June 29, 2019
We have booked with Grand European twice now and had good experiences with them both times.
We loved Scotland, the tour was wonderful and our guide was knowledgeable and organized, everything flowed along nicely.
Trusted Customer
Monday, September 24, 2018
Would definitely recommend for people who enjoy group travel. Easy web site, good communication and documentation.
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you! We love hearing that we made it even easier for you to enjoy planning your vacation to Scotland.
Monday, September 24, 2018
Good overview of most of Scotland with hidden gems and island trips.
Pierre Giani
Thursday, September 6, 2018
GET provided great service especially when bad weather caused a change in plans at te very last minute.Your air department saved the day!
Response from Grand European Travel:
That's so great to hear! Our team loves knowing that we helped make your trip that much better! We hope that you had a wonderful time in Scotland. Thanks for sharing.
Friday, September 7, 2018
I think that some of the optional tours should have been included in the base price
Kerilyn Sheppard
Friday, October 13, 2017
I would buy from Grand European Travel and highly recommend them to others. Their service is excellent.
There is no way in hell anybody from the US should be allowed to drive in all of the United Kingdom! A professional driver and coach is the only way to go. We were safe and very comfortable.
Response from Grand European Travel:
We could not agree more! Thank you for taking the time to write.  We're so happy you enjoyed Scotland.
Friday, October 13, 2017
Trusted Customer
Thursday, October 5, 2017
I found Michelle very helpful and responsive. We have worked with her for three vacations now. I am not always sure she remembers but she is responsive and when different issues came up she found out the information we needed quickly.
We loved the trip. We knew that it would involve alot of bus time since we were going so far north. We expected the time in the bus, but the bus itself was not well taken care of and the seats were broken backed and hard to travel in. The guide was extraordinarily well informed, organized and careful. He gave a powerful and lucid historical context to everything as we travelled the high lands and islands areas. The "specialists" especially the one in Edinborough were buffoons over dressed in "romantic" Scottish style, mossbacked conservatives and not all that historically accurate. If you are going to get specialists, make sure they know their stuff and are not simply buffoons dressed for a part. At times we would have enjoyed more time especially at the older and neolithic ruins. We had enough time at places like Culloden but at other places like Brodga and even Skara Brae we felt really rushed even though no other folks were around. The time allocation was uneven with lots of time for some places but hurried at others. For historical folks, it felt very rushed. We loved the Okneys and wish we could have spent more time and even a night or two there. So beautiful and so unique but rushed. We knew that going to the far north the accommodations would be limited and we expected that and the guide did a good job preparing but I must admit even being generous the Thurso place was awful. No real service ethic, pretty bad food and almost dismissive personnel. The beauty and many homes and abbeys and for me the neoltithic ruins and sheer majesty of the north was fantastic. Loved ending in Glasgow which is a fantastic city.
Trusted Customer
Friday, September 8, 2017
This was the first time that I took a guided tour and they were very helpful in helping me choose the best package for me. Whenever I had questions they were available to answer, and they called with updated info when there were some changes with the hotel accommodations. Will definitely use their services again.
This was the best tour/vacation/experience that I have ever had. This was the first time that I took a guided tour, and I don't think I could have had a better experience. The tour guide and driver, Simone and Pat, were awesome. Simone was very knowledgeable about the country and history, and if she didn't know something she would look it up and make sure she got the question answered. I went in August, specifically to see the Tattoo and I was not disappointed, it was wonderful! I chose this itinerary because I wanted to get a taste of what Scotland has to offer, and I did. The scenery, the people, the history, the castles, just amazing. I looked at this trip as an adventure, up to and including the food and hotels, and had the best time imaginable. If you want 5 star rooms and are expecting high end foodie type food, then I do not recommend this tour, you will be disappointed, the hotels in the Highlands are older and could use some "sprucing up", and while the food was perfectly delicious and I enjoyed it is not what I would call high end. However, if you want to see what Scotland has to offer, and enjoy castles, beautiful scenery, good simple food, and meeting friendly people, then I highly recommend this tour/experience. I hope that I will be able to return to Scotland and make more memories in the future!
Response from Grand European Travel:
Thank you for taking the time to write this helpful review.  Comments like this really help other travelers who are choosing a trip.  We're very glad to hear your vacation to Scotland was memorable, though not surprised...it's a truly wonderful destination!
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Monica Cherrix
Saturday, September 2, 2017
actually I thought I was going with Grand European, and it turned out to be Trafalgar
I liked the schedule but not the crowded bus and several of the hotels in the Highlands were not up to my standards; there was mold in the bathrooms and the rooms were very difficult to get to due to the age of the facility. I don't object to old and charming, but the staircases taking one to the rooms were difficult to navigate as one would have to climb up and then climb downstairs to reach the room.
Carolyn Baker
Saturday, September 2, 2017
Have program director tell us why driver didn't show up at scheduled time after "Welcome dinner. Tell us why an excursion was cancelled. Why the bus could not drop us off closer to the airport departure gate. Not Happy.
Didn't buy much. Mosty post cards.
David Dobson
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Itinerary and tour director
driver too - every thing finr
Marta Hurst
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Not good. Would not do again.
Not what expected. Once GET had my money they didn't care. Never heard from Randy after I paid. Discriminated as a single traveler. Given the WORST rooms even after paying a premium of $540! Next to the elevator, on third floor (with no elevator), at one point fellow travelers went down to request a better room for me. Will do my own next time. Treated as second class on bus and spent most of the tour in the back where it was cramped and my knees were jammed by the person in front of me reclining their seat when I only had 1/2 inch clearance and I am only 5'8"!
Response from Grand European Travel:
We are terribly sorry to hear about your experience.  We do strive to provide a positive and enjoyable trip for all our guests. We will be reviewing all of your comments thoroughly for immediate improvement and thank you for taking the time to bring this to our attention.
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
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