Discover Scotland & Ireland in 15 days
15 DAYS, 14 NIGHTS | Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Highlands, Skye, Dublin, Killarney, Dingle, Cliffs of Moher & Aran Islands
PRIVATE TOUR ITINERARY
Discover Scotland & Ireland — see the best of both countries in 15 days on this beautifully guided journey. You'll enjoy a private-guided walking tours of Edinburgh, St. Andrews and Dublin. You’ll learn about the long history of Edinburgh. You'll visit the Old Library, Trinity College, Dublin for an illuminating look at the remarkable Book of Kells. You'll experience Scotland and Ireland’s must-see historical sites, and spectacular scenery. You’ll tour the powerfully moving site of the final Jacobite Rising — the Culloden Battlefield. You'll enjoy Gaelic tunes in the music filled bars of Dingle and gourmet dinners at hand-picked restaurants. You’ll cruise Loch Ness and stay on the Isle of Skye. You'll tour the Slea Head Drive along the Dingle Peninsula, lean into the wind on the very edge of Europe at the Cliffs of Moher, and fortify yourself with a wee dram at the venerable Glenlivet Distillery. Discover Scotland & Ireland!
Day 1: Edinburgh & Royal Yacht Britannia
Arrive Edinburgh airport where you will be met by your chauffeur-guide. On your way into Edinburgh you’ll visit the Royal Yacht Britannia, the former yacht of the Royal family. From the elegant State Apartments to the gleaming Engine Room. See where Prince William and Prince Harry spent their summer holidays. Discover where kings and queens, world leaders and celebrities were wined and dined; from Frank Sinatra and Liz Taylor to Nelson Mandela and Sir Winston Churchill. Next, arrive at your hotel in central Edinburgh for a 2-night stay. Enjoy some time to relax, and settle into your accommodation before a welcome dinner with some whisky tastings at a local restaurant.
Day 2: Edinburgh
Today, you'll enjoy a private-guided tour learning about Edinburgh’s long history. You’ll see how the medieval townhouses along the Royal Mile contrast with the fine Georgian architecture of the 200-year old New Town and learn about many prominent Scottish inventors, doctors and writers for whom Edinburgh is famous. You'll visit the imposing Edinburgh Castle, to tour this historic military stronghold, the birthplace of the city, and soak up the dramatic views. You'll wind your way through the medieval streets, ending with a visit to the impressive Palace of Holyrood, the Scottish residence of the Royal family.
Day 3: Blackness Castle & St. Andrews
This morning, depart Edinburgh for a visit to Blackness Castle, on the south shores of the Firth of Forth. Mighty fortifications make this 15th-century castle look like a ‘ship that never sailed.’ Blackness was never just a peaceful lordly residence, its enduring roles were as a garrison fortress. You'll then cross the Firth of Forth estuary for the beautiful medieval city of St. Andrews, set on the stunning north coast of the Kingdom of Fife. You’ll enjoy a private-guided walking tour visiting Scotland’s oldest university (founded in 1413), the ruins of the 12th century cathedral and castle, the historic town, packed with history and charm, and the oldest golf course in the world. Next, continue your journey to the Scottish Highlands for a two-night stay in Culloden – a 10-minute drive from Inverness.
Day 4: Whisky Tasting & The Scottish Highlands
Today, tour the powerfully moving site of the final Jacobite Rising — the Culloden Battlefield, where, in 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie's defeat ended decades of Scottish rebellion against the British government. Continue to the nearby turreted Cawdor Castle for lunch. Tour the castle and enjoy the gardens. This afternoon, enjoy a scenic journey through the Cairngorms National Park for a visit to the Glenlivet Distillery to learn about how whisky is made and sample a “wee dram”. Next, visit to the Neolithic Clava Cairn Stones, said to have inspired Outlander. Tonight dinner is included in Inverness.
Day 5: Loch Ness & Fort Augustus
This morning, enjoy a panoramic cruise of Loch Ness before the boat drops you at the shore to explore the dramatic ruins of Urquhart Castle. Next, to Fort Augustus for lunch, where Loch Ness meets the Caledonian Canal. This afternoon, continue your journey, through magnificent mountain scenery, to one of Scotland’s most iconic images, Eilean Donan Castle. You’ll visit the castle prior to crossing to the Isle of Skye for a 2-night stay.
Day 6: Isle of Skye
Today, explore the Isle of Skye. You’ll first have an opportunity to climb to the Old Man of Storr, a large pinnacle of towering rock with views over the Islands of Raasay and Rona, and beyond to the mainland. Then continue to Kilt Rock, a sea cliff with huge, vertical basalt columns, and to the top of the spectacular Quiraing mountain pass. Enjoy lunch in Flodigarry, where Flora MacDonald (who aided Bonnie Prince Charlie's escape) once lived. This afternoon, step back in time at the Skye Museum of Island Life, and visit the ruins of Dun Beag iron-age broch, a circular dry-stone tower, large enough to serve as a fortified home.
Day 7: Glenfinnan & Glencoe
Say goodbye to the Isle of Skye and leave by ferry from Armadale to Mallaig. Follow the coast south, by the silver sands of Morar, stopping at the Arisaig Land Sea & Island Center and the Glenfinnan Tower Monument, where Bonnie Prince Charles rallied support for the Jacobite Rising of 1746. Continue your journey to Glencoe, site of Scotland's most infamous massacre. Arrive at your accommodation by the shores of Loch Linnhe for an overnight stay.
Day 8: Rannoch Moor & Stirling Castle
This morning, you'll experience the beautiful and mountainous landscape of Glencoe and Rannoch Moor. Next, visit Stirling Castle, including the newly restored Renaissance Palace (last stronghold of Scotland, besieged by William Wallace and Robert the Bruce, and residence of the Stewart monarchs including Mary Queen of Scots and King James). Continue to Edinburgh airport for your 90-minute flight to Dublin where you'll be greeted by your Irish chauffeur-guide. Arrive at your hotel in central Dublin for a 2-night stay.
Day 9: Dublin
This morning, enjoy a private-guided walking tour of Dublin, learning about it's often calamitous history, from the days of Viking raids to the hard centuries of British occupation, to its remarkable literary legacy, to the modern city of today. You'll visit the stunning Old Library, Trinity College, for an illuminating look at the remarkable Book of Kells, a jolt of Irish creativity that helped pull Europe out of the Dark Ages. You'll have the afternoon on your own to take in some of Dublin's other world-class sights, such as the National Museum, Guinness Storehouse or Dublin Castle.
Day 10: Kilmainham Gaol & Rock of Cashel
This morning, visit Kilmainham Gaol and learn about its place in Ireland's stirring struggle for independence almost a century ago. Next, continue to tour one of Ireland's most historic and evocative sights: The Rock of Cashel. St. Patrick himself was here more than 1,500 years ago, and ever since, the Rock has been the spiritual heart of Ireland. Continue your journey to quaint Kenmare, with rows of vividly painted shop fronts and a go-for-a-stroll atmosphere, for an overnight stay.
Day 11: Killarney National Park
Today, depart Kenmare for the spectacular wild scenery of Killarney National Park. View Molls Gap, Ladies View and Torc Waterfall, and visit the evocative Ross Castle and the beautiful Muckross House & Gardens, all set against stunning beauty. Enjoy a jaunting car ride (horse carriage ride) in the National Park. You'll arrive this evening in the pastel-painted Irish harbor town of Dingle for a 2-night stay.
Day 12: Dingle Peninsula
Today, experience some of Europe's wildest natural beauty and most ancient Christian sites. Follow the famous Slea Head Drive, arguably the most beautiful drive in Ireland. You’ll experience a sheepdog demonstration by a local farmer, stops at Dunbeg Fort and Coumeenole Beach, and visit the strikingly situated Great Blasket Centre for a close-up look at the language, literature, and daily life of a traditional Gaelic Blasket community. The rest of your day will be free to soak up more of Dingle's charms and enjoy Gaelic tunes in the music filled pubs.
Day 13: Conor Pass & Cliffs of Moher
This morning, you will drive across Ireland’s highest mountain pass, the Conor Pass, cross the Shannon estuary by ferry, and drive through County Clare to the sensational Cliffs of Moher, where you'll find yourself leaning into the wind on the very edge of Europe, more than 600 feet above the waters of the North Atlantic. Tonight, you will enjoy a gourmet dinner at Ballinalacken Castle & Country House Hotel, your base for the next two nights. The hotel is strikingly situated with magnificent views of the Atlantic and the Aran Islands.
Day 14: The Aran Islands & Burren
This morning, you'll hop aboard a ferry bound for the stark beauty of Inis Oírr, the smallest of the Aran Islands. There you can join your guide for a horse and trap (cart) tour of the island. On your return to the mainland, experience the Cliffs of Moher in the most dramatic way, the view from the sea. In the afternoon, explore the intriguing rocky landscape of the Burren and its hardy prehistoric residents. This evening, enjoy a second gourmet dinner at the Ballinalacken Castle & Country House Hotel
Day 15: Transfer to Shannon Airport
Today, leave with your chauffeur-guide to Shannon Airport, from where there are both direct and connecting flights to North America.
Included with this private tour:
14 nights of hotel accommodation
7 three-course gourmet dinners
Your very own professional
Airfare Edinburgh to Dublin
All entrance fees
Private-guided walking tours of Edinburgh, St. Andrews & Dublin
Horse & trap ride in the Killarney National Park
Visit to Inis Oírr, the smallest of the Aran Islands
Glenlivet Distillery tour
Loch Ness cruise
Choose your Accommodation
In this category we have hand-picked five-star guest houses or smaller luxury hotels. These lodgings are often family owned and offer a truly unique, authentic and welcome atmosphere where you are more likely to engage with local people than in a higher-end hotel. Some tours involve a mixture of both Superior and Luxury Boutique.
Through years of experience we have hand-picked luxury boutique hotels which are not only very comfortable in the traditional sense, but as importantly offer gourmet food, and an ambience of lasting memory. All our hotel choices are of unique character, range from 4-star to 5-star, and are either downtown, or enjoy a spectacular rural or village setting. Our detailed offer to you will specify the hotels recommended.
Scotland & Ireland
Such a great trip! Loved that we were able to see the best of Scotland and also Ireland. I can't thank you enough for taking such great care of our group. All the little extras and details could not have happened on one of those cookie-cutter tour groups. You were the best guide ever and we loved our trip. Can't wait to plan next year with you!
Terri. W - Virginia
Choose your dates. Price is determined by season, accommodation, and the number of people in your group. Prices below are a guideline, and may change in accordance with your individual preferences.
$5890 per person (group of 6 people)
$6890 per person (group of 4 people)
$8890 per person (group of 2 people)
All prices are in US dollars and based on sharing a room for double occupancy, and may vary at peak periods.
This tour can be customized to your wishes. Simply call, or email us with your specifics and we'll plan a program that's right for you.
For me, our trip to Scotland and Ireland couldn't have been better. Your careful research and planning made for a full, yet relaxing and absolutely delightful trip. We saw so many sights and beautiful natural landscape. I felt like we had all the time we wanted at each stop, were able to leave when we were done, and had flexibility to make extra stops. How refreshing compared to large group tours! And I felt safe at all times with your driving and with Noel in Ireland. Both of you made wonderful company without feeling at all intrusive.
The accommodations were just beautiful! Elegant, comfortable and relaxing, great service. The excellent food, choices, presentation and sevice were all just amazing. Looking back, I realize that, while we were busy and active all day, we weren't too exhausted to enjoy those fantastic dinners. I'm sure your traveling experience and planning, along with us being able to relax while we were driven, made that possible.
Thank you so much! I enthusiastically recommend Wanderlust tours.
Cynthia H. - Wisconsin