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Scotland's Highlands, Islands and Cities

Operated by: Trafalgar

13 Days from $3,128 per person
Highlands cow, Scotland

Countries Visited

United Kingdom ...more United Kingdom

Locations Visited

Edinburgh, Melrose, Jedburgh, Kirriemuir, Dundee, Pitlochry, Carrbridge, Inverness, Golspie, Thurso, Caithness, St Margaret's Hope, Orkney, Lambholm, Gills Bay, Skara Brae, Kyleakin, Armadale, Mallaig, Oban, Ross of Mull, Lochaline, Fionnphort, Iona, Craignure, Fishnish, Glasgow, Stirling, Kinlochard ...more Edinburgh, Melrose, Jedburgh, Kirriemuir, Dundee, Pitlochry, Carrbridge, Inverness, Golspie, Thurso, Caithness, St Margaret's Hope, Orkney, Lambholm, Gills Bay, Skara Brae, Kyleakin, Armadale, Mallaig, Oban, Ross of Mull, Lochaline, Fionnphort, Iona, Craignure, Fishnish, Glasgow, Stirling, Kinlochard
  1. Day 1 Welcome to Edinburgh

    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 Discover Enchanting Edinburgh

    Let your Local Specialist take you on an informative sightseeing tour of Edinburgh. See the regal Palace of Holyroodhouse, 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.

    meals Breakfast
  3. Day 3 A Day of Abbeys, Landscapes and History

    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 Breakfast
  4. Day 4 Explore Glamis Castle and on to Creative 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 Breakfast
    hotel Apex City Quay
  5. Day 5 Venture to Culloden and the 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 Cairngorms 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 Breakfast
    hotel Carrbridge
  6. Day 6 Journey to Loch Ness, Inverness and Thurso

    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 Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel Pentland
  7. Day 7 A Day on the Orkney Islands

    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. See the prehistoric free-standing stones of the Ring of Brodgar before visiting Skara Brae and 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 Breakfast, Dinner
  8. Day 8 Over the Sea to 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 in our hotel.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner
    hotel Kings Arms
  9. Day 9 Onwards to Oban

    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 Oban, our Highland home for the next two nights.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel The Royal
  10. Day 10 Sail to the Isles of Mull and Iona

    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 in Iona Abbey. Before our journey back to Oban, we'll have the chance to view Rèilig Odhrain, the final resting place of many Scottish kings.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner
  11. Day 11 Off to Glasgow

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

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Holiday Inn Theatreland
  12. Day 12 Uncover Stirling Castle’s Secrets

    Venture to Bannockburn, where King Robert Bruce of Scotland defeated Edward II of England during the First War of Scottish Independence. 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. Later, we Connect With Locals, joining the Wood family this afternoon for a memorable Be My Guest experience 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 Breakfast, Be My Guest
  13. Day 13 Farewell 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. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.

    meals Breakfast
Scotland's Highlands Islands and Cities
Price Includes

Dining Highlights

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

First class travel Highlights

  • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing
  • Daily breakfast and up to half your evening meals
  • Luxury air-conditioned coach with Wi-Fi 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 the Isle of Skye to Mallaig
  • Cherry-picked hotels, all tried and trusted
  • Optional Experiences and free time
  • All porterage and restaurant gratuities
  • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras
  • An expert Travel Director and professional Driver
  • Tickets are included for the world-famous Tattoo during the Edinburgh Festival
  • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes
  • Handcrafted Highlights

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Explore in Edinburgh with a Local Specialist
  • Discover Dundee, Orkney Islands, Stirling and Glasgow
  • Visit Edinburgh Castle, Glamis Castle, Blair Athol Whisky Distillery, 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

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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May 2021
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May 17 Mon
May 29 Sat
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June 2021
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Jun 7 Mon
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$3,595
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Jun 14 Mon
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Jun 28 Mon
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July 2021
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September 2021
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Sep 4 Sat
Sep 16 Thu
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Sep 11 Sat
Sep 23 Thu
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Sep 25 Sat
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October 2021
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Reviews
Service
Vacation
Independent Reviews
Jerry Havens
Saturday, June 29, 2019
Service
We have booked with Grand European twice now and had good experiences with them both times.
Vacation
We loved Scotland, the tour was wonderful and our guide was knowledgeable and organized, everything flowed along nicely.
Trusted Customer
Monday, September 24, 2018
Service
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
Vacation
Good overview of most of Scotland with hidden gems and island trips.
Pierre Giani
Thursday, September 6, 2018
Service
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
Vacation
I think that some of the optional tours should have been included in the base price
Kerilyn Sheppard
Friday, October 13, 2017
Service
I would buy from Grand European Travel and highly recommend them to others. Their service is excellent.
Vacation
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
Service
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.
Vacation
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
Service
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.
Vacation
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
Service
actually I thought I was going with Grand European, and it turned out to be Trafalgar
Vacation
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
Service
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.
Vacation
Didn't buy much. Mosty post cards.
David Dobson
Thursday, July 13, 2017
Service
Itinerary and tour director
Vacation
driver too - every thing finr
Marta Hurst
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
Service
Not good. Would not do again.
Vacation
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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