Explore the Celtic cultures, ancient castles, and lively pubs of beautiful Ireland and Scotland. Begin in Dublin, where you will enjoy a jovial evening of traditional Irish cuisine and music and see the world-famous St. Patrick's Cathedral, O'Connell Street, Grafton Street, Phoenix Park and the city's trademark rows of Georgian town homes. Traveling through central Ireland, visit Belleek Pottery, internationally known for its highly decorative Parian China. Continue on to Donegal Town, where you can browse the many craft and woolen shops of the town square. A short journey brings you to the spectacular Glenveagh National Park, where Glenveagh Castle sits within 40,000 acres of mountains, lakes, and woodland. In historic Derry, a walking tour features the magnificent medieval city walls, St. Augustine's Cathedral, and the Guildhall. En route to Belfast, see Northern Ireland's magnificent Giant's Causeway which resembles a cobbled road leading into the sea. And of course, you can't leave Ireland without visiting the oldest distillery in the world to learn the art of making Irish whiskey and participate in a tasting! A ferry carries you across the sparkling sea to Scotland, the land of kilts and bagpipes. Explore the regal capital of Edinburgh, where you'll see the 11th century Edinburgh Castle, home of the Scottish crown jewels. On the mystical Isle of Iona, you will see Iona Abbey, the birthplace of Scottish Christianity and burial place of early Scottish Kings. You'll also enjoy a delightful sheep dog demonstration and learn about the country's agricultural industry. Finally, visit the magnificent Stirling Castle, where Mary, Queen of Scots, was crowned in 1543.
Day #1 Overnight Flight -
Day #2 Edinburgh, Scotland - Tour Begins - Your tour begins in Scotland’s regal capital city, Edinburgh. Tonight, meet your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner.
Day #3 Edinburgh - A locally guided tour of the city includes visits to majestic Edinburgh Castle - home of the Scottish crown jewels, and the famous Palace of Holyroodhouse (except when the Queen is in residence), once the home of Mary, Queen of Scots. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore Edinburgh’s beauty and charm independently.
Day #4 Edinburgh - Stirling - Oban - Depart Edinburgh for a guided tour of Stirling Castle. 900 years old, the castle was the royal residence for the House of Stewart where Mary, Queen of Scots, was crowned in 1543. Travel through the Scottish countryside where the famous Scotsman, Rob Roy, came of age in the 16th century. Enjoy a sheep dog demonstration (weather permitting). Continue to Oban, a charming port town and the “Gateway to the Western Isles.”
Day #5 Oban - Isle of Mull - Iona - Oban - A ferry crossing brings you to the Isle of Mull. Behold spectacular landscapes as you travel toward Fionnphort, where a ferry takes you to the mystical Isle of Iona. Enjoy a visit to Iona Abbey*, the birthplace of Scottish Christianity. Return to Mull for a guided visit to the 400-year-old Duart Castle**, perched on a cliff overlooking the Sound. Return by ferry to Oban this evening.
Day #6 Oban - Inverary - Loch Lomond - Irvine - Begin with a stop in the beautiful town of Inveraray, known for its Georgian architecture, white painted walls and “chocolate-box” castle. Travel through the beautiful Trossachs National Park before enjoying a delightful scenic cruise on Loch Lomond. Continue to the coastal town of Irvine. Tonight, say goodbye to Scotland during a Scottish evening of traditional entertainment complete with a Robbie Burns impressionist, dancing, pipes and a wee dram.
Day #7 Irvine - Ferry Crossing - Belfast, Northern Ireland - Depart Irvine and journey by ferry from Stranraer for Northern Ireland’s capital city of Belfast. Enjoy a visit to the Cultúrlann McAdam O’Fiaich - an Irish language arts and community center supported by the efforts of the tour group Foundation whose groundbreaking program enriches the lives of Ireland’s underprivileged children and helps to revitalize Northern Ireland culture.
Day #8 Belfast - Antrim Coast - Giant's Causeway - Glens of Antrim - Belfast - This morning, enjoy a locally guided tour of Belfast's many sights. Next, venture along the stunning Antrim Coastal Route, stopping at the wondrous Giant’s Causeway. Formed by volcanic activity millions of years ago, the causeway resembles an old cobbled road leading mystically into the sea. Travel along the scenic back roads of the Antrim Glens to Belfast.
Day #9 Belfast - Derry - Inishowen Peninsula - Derry - Travel to Derry for a walking tour of the “Maiden City” featuring the medieval city walls, St. Augustine's Cathedral and the Guildhall. This afternoon, enjoy an excursion to the Inishowen Peninsula. Continue through Malin village to Malin Head, Ireland's northernmost point for stunning views of the North Atlantic Ocean. Return to Derry via the Slieve Snaght hills.
Day #10 Derry - Donegal County - Bundoran, Republic of Ireland - Today’s journey showcases the rugged beauty of County Donegal. Visit spectacular Glenveagh National Park, a natural wonderland of 40,000 acres of mountains, lakes and woodland. Enjoy a guided visit to stately Glenveagh Castle, set amidst the colorful splendor of one of the finest gardens in Ireland. Next, visit Belleek Pottery, internationally known for its highly decorative Parian China. Return to the Republic of Ireland en route to the beautiful coastal resort town of Bundoran.
Day #11 Bundoran - Dublin - Travel to Strokestown Park to visit the Famine Museum which documents the hardships experienced during the Great Irish Famine. An afternoon guided tour of Dublin, the “Fair City,” highlights the world-renowned St. Patrick’s Cathedral, O’Connell Street, Grafton Street, Phoenix Park and the magnificent rows of lovely Georgian town homes.
Day #12 Dublin - Today is at leisure for you to further explore Dublin's cultural treasures. This evening, partake in an Irish Night, a memorable experience featuring great local cuisine and traditional Irish entertainment.
Day #13 Dublin - Tour Ends -