Highlights of Ireland and Scotland
12 Day Tour - September 3 -15, 2020
Escorted by Lois Ashby
Discover the treasures of Ireland and Scotland from Dublin to Edinburgh. In Dublin’s fair city, you’ll drive along the statue-lined O’Connell Street, see the elegant Georgian squares with their red-brick townhouses. You’ll also see Trinity College and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. En route from Dublin to the seaside resort of Tramore, take a stroll through the pretty lanes of Kilkenny, and see the city famous for its Irish crystal—Waterford. In Blarney, home of the fabled Stone of Eloquence, time to browse or buy irresistible Irish handicrafts and crystal. On your way to Killarney, stop for spectacular photo opportunities along the Ring of Kerry. You’ll travel to Limerick, the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, and the cosmopolitan seaside city of Galway. Drive along Donegal Bay, with its small fishing ports and hidden beaches to Derry. Continue to the north coast’s awe-inspiring Giant’s Causeway—40,000 interlocking basalt columns that were formed by volcanic eruptions some 60 million years ago. An amazing sight!
Next, to Belfast, where the Titanic was built. You’ll board a ferry for an Irish Sea crossing to Cairnryan, then on to Glasgow. Your budget-minded travel through Ireland and Scotland delves into the lush and rugged country of Scotland with magical scenes such as the “Bonnie Banks” of Loch Lomond, wild landscapes of Rannoch Moor, Loch Ness, the Highland capital of Inverness, and Scotland’s famed whisky region. From the spectacular Cairngorms National Park to the beautiful Victorian resort of Pitlochry, and home of golf at St. Andrews, you’ll cross the elegant Forth Road Bridge to Edinburgh for royal Scottish history, and home to historic scientists, inventors, and novelists. Your exciting tour of Ireland and Scotland is chock-full of priceless experiences, sights, and memories brave and true!
$1983 per person
*Based on double occupancy
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Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.
DAY 1 ARRIVE IN DUBLIN, IRELAND
Check into your hotel. In the afternoon, there’s time to rest or discover the vibrant Irish capital. Maybe join an optional Irish cabaret evening including dinner, dance, song, and laughter.
DAY 2 DUBLIN
Meet your Tour Director and traveling companions and start your day in the “Fair City” with an orientation drive along statue-lined O’Connell Street; elegant Georgian squares with their tall red brick townhouses, colorful doors, and wrought-iron decorated windows; Oscar Wilde’s Trinity College; and St. Patrick’s Cathedral. The afternoon is free for you to explore at your leisure. Why not end the day with an optional dinner evening at the Guinness Storehouse?
DAY 3 DUBLIN–KILKENNY–WATERFORD–TRAMORE
Kilkenny with its medieval cobblestone streets and Old-World charm, is your first destination today. There is time to stroll through pretty lanes with colorful painted houses and enjoy a morning coffee. Continue on to Waterford, famous for its exquisite crystal, before arriving at the seaside resort of Tramore. Before dinner, an optional pub tour might be fun.
DAY 4 TRAMORE–BLARNEY–RING OF KERRY–KILLARNEY
The first of today’s highlights is Blarney, famous for its Stone of Eloquence, with time at leisure to see the castle and shop for Irish handicrafts and handmade crystal. At Kenmare, join part of the RING OF KERRY and stop for spectacular photos of the Lakes of Killarney from Ladies View before arriving in the popular resort town of Killarney.
DAY 5 KILLARNEY–ADARE–LIMERICK
In Killarney this morning, there is time for an optional horse-drawn jaunting car ride along the National Park lakeshore for pictures of Ross Castle. Then to Adare, renowned as one of Ireland’s prettiest towns. Its main street is punctuated with beautiful stone buildings and thatched cottages, medieval monasteries, ruins and a picturesque village park. On to Limerick and this evening, consider joining an optional medieval banquet.
DAY 6 LIMERICK–CLIFFS OF MOHER–GALWAY–SLIGO
Some breathtaking scenery awaits you today. Start with a visit to the spectacular 668-foot CLIFFS OF MOHER and fantastic views over the Atlantic and Clare coast. Then, cross the limestone plateau of The Burren and stop in Galway, a popular seaside destination and a buzzing cosmopolitan center with colorful shops, and a busy café and bar culture. Your destination for tonight is Sligo.
DAY 7 SLIGO-DERRY, NORTHERN IRELAND–GIANT’S CAUSEWAY–BELFAST
Drive along Donegal Bay with its small fishing ports and hidden beaches to Derry, the walled city on the banks of the Foyle River. Continue on to awe-inspiring GIANT’S CAUSEWAY, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and hear how millions of years ago the more than 40,000 interlocking basalt columns were formed. Overnight in the vibrant city of Belfast, where the Titanic was built.
DAY 8 BELFAST–ALLOWAY, SCOTLAND–GLASGOW
Enjoy a leisurely morning in the capital city of Northern Ireland before boarding the FERRY for the Irish Sea crossing to Cairnryan. On your way to Glasgow, stop in Alloway, the birthplace of Robert Burns.
DAY 9 GLASGOW–FORT WILLIAM– INVERNESS–CULLODEN MOOR–ELGIN
Follow the “Bonnie Banks” of Loch Lomond and proceed via wild Rannoch Moor, Glen Coe, and Fort William, beneath Ben Nevis. In the afternoon, look out for signs of the mysterious Loch Ness monster, then pause in the Highland capital of Inverness. Cross Culloden Moor where the Jacobite Rising, with Bonnie Prince Charlie at its helm, came to a tragic end at the hands of the Hanoverians. Your overnight destination is Elgin, nestled in the world-famous whisky region.
DAY 10 ELGIN–PITLOCHRY–ST. ANDREWS–EDINBURGH
Travel through the spectacular Cairngorms National Park to Pitlochry, the Victorian mountain resort set amongst a beautiful scenery. Then, head to St. Andrews, whose Royal and Ancient Golf Club has given us the rules of golfing. Finally, cross the elegant Forth Road Bridge to Edinburgh. A suggestion for this evening: a traditional Scottish night out, with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and, of course, the Ceremony of the Haggis.
DAY 11 EDINBURGH
A full day to enjoy the Scottish capital. Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town,” home to famous scientists, inventors, and novelists. In the “Old Town,” visit EDINBURGH CASTLE to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels. Afternoon at leisure. Later, a unique optional experience: board the former Royal Yacht Britannia, which was once the perfect royal residence for glittering state visits and family holidays. Tour five decks and see how the Royal Family and crew of 240 lived and worked on board. Dinner rounds off this optional evening. For departure numbers July 26, August 2, and August 9, tickets are included for tonight’s performance of the world-renowned MILITARY TATTOO.
DAY 12 EDINBURGH
Your vacation ends with breakfast this mornin