Ireland and Scotland Discovery Tour

Day 1: Arrive Dublin

After arriving at Dublin Airport meet with your professional driver/guide who will transport you into the city for a short orientation tour by DUKWs, World War 2 amphibious vehicles. You will tour the Georgian area of the city, seeing sights such as St Patricks and Christ Church cathedrals, Trinity College, Government Buildings and Georgian Dublin. The climax of the tour sees the Viking DUKWs splash into the water at the newly developed Grand Canal Docklands where the recording studio of U2 and much more are located. Following the tour, visit Trinity College Library, where the priceless 8th century Book of Kells is housed.  After lunch (not included) visit one of Irelands most popular attractions, Guinness Storehouse. Here you will discover how this world famous drink has been produced for over 250 years and sample a pint in their 7th floor Gravity Bar whilst enjoying 360 degree panoramic views of the city. The remainder of the day will be free for further sightseeing and shopping. There are several museums, including the Leprechaun Museum, in Dublin.  Dinner will be at the hotel.  Overnight Dublin DBB

Day 2: Dublin - Bunratty

After breakfast, depart the hotel and travel to the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens. Established in 1946, the Irish National Stud combines an active role in the development and promotion of Irish bloodstock with its role as one of the country's major tourist attractions and it is the only Stud farm in Ireland open to the public. Having celebrated its centenary year in 2010, the Japanese Gardens are recognised as the finest of its kind in Europe. Then enjoy the magnificent scenery as you journey to one of Irelands most complete and authentic medieval castles, Bunratty. Built in 1425, and plundered on many occasions, Bunratty Castle was authentically restored in 1954 to its former medieval splendor, with furnishings and tapestries capturing the mood and style of the times. Within its grounds is Bunratty Folk Park where a 19th century village and rural life are recreated. Traditional crafts are carried out in their natural setting, which includes a church, shops, post office and the mandatory pub. This evening, enjoy a Bunratty Medieval Banquet at the castle. Overnight Bunratty BB

Day 3: Bunratty - Galway

This morning travel to one of the natural wonders of Ireland, the Cliffs of Moher. The cliffs rise to over 200 meters over 8 kilometers of the Clare/Atlantic coastline. The Atlantic Edge exhibition at the visitors centre brings to life the story of the cliffs. Onwards then to the Burren, an area formed thousands of years ago during the ice age. Here visit Aillwee Caves and the Bird of Prey Centre. The cave was formed by the glacial melt waters of an early ice age. The erosive power of the waters carved out a subterranean river deep underneath Aillwee Mountain. This river has subsided since the last ice age, leaving behind one of Ireland's most stunning caves. The Bird of Prey Centre is home to birds from all around the globe including falcons, hawks, owls, eagles and vultures. Each enclosure offers an opportunity to see, hear, and interact with these majestic creatures and learn about the ancient sport of falconry. Finally travel to Galway, one of Irelands most vibrant citys. Overnight Galway DBB

Day 4: Connemara

Take a drive around the stunning Connemara region today with its unspoilt scenery. Along the way visit Kylemore Abbey with its lovely walled gardens, the oldest of the Irish Benedictine Abbeys. The Community of nuns, who have resided here since 1920, have a long history stretching back almost three hundred and forty years.Then onwards to Ashford Castle to join the Isle of Innisfree for a lake cruise which includes a 45 minute stop on the lakes most famous island, Inchagoill. Whilst on the island, visit the 5th century St. Patricks Church, the stone of Lugna (470AD), The Church of the Saints (Built in 1180AD by the Augustinian Monks of Cong) and the burial tomb of Muirgeas O'Nioc (Archbishop of Tuam in 1128AD). Return to Galway arriving in time for dinner and then visit one or more of the many bars & pubs in the area, many of which have live entertainment. Overnight in Galway DBB

Day 5: Galway - Dublin

Leave Galway and head back to Dublin stopping at Clonmacnoise and Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre. Clonmacnoise is an Early Christian site founded by St. Ciarán in the mid-6th century on the eastern bank of the River Shannon. The site includes the ruins of a cathedral, seven churches (10th  -13th century), two round towers, three high crosses and the largest collection of Early Christian graveslabs in Western Europe. Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre, housed in the 1897 Bonded Warehouse, relates the story of Tullamore Dew Whiskey/Irish Mist Liqueur and the development of the town of Tullamore. Wander through the various recreated working stations, such as malting, bottling or cooperage areas and learn how the whiskey was made before sampling the finished goods. Onwards to Dublin and after checking into the hotel, depart for the Merry Ploughboy Pub for a typical Irish dinner followed by a traditional show of Irish music and dance. Overnight Dublin BB

Day 6: Ireland - Scotland

Check out of your hotel and transfer to Dublin Airport for your flight to Scotland (Glasgow or Edinburgh). Upon arrival, meet your guide and motor coach and transfer to your Edinburgh hotel for check in. Overnight Edinburgh DBB

Day 7: Edinburgh

Depart the hotel with your local guide and motor coach for a full day sightseeing in Edinburgh. Firstly you will enjoy a panoramic tour around Edinburgh including the Old Town Quarter, the intricate Scott Monument, the Royal Mile and the brand new Scottish Parliament building. Next you will visit Edinburgh Castle, perched on an extinct volcano, the instantly recognizable fortress is a powerful national symbol and a huge part of the heritage for the old and New Towns of Edinburgh. Enjoy some free time for lunch and time to wander through the cobbled streets and along Princes Street to check out the tartan, whisky and shortbreads that have made Scotland famous. Finally you will visit the fabulous Holyrood Palace. Overnight Edinburgh DBB

Day 8: The Trossachs

Today you will tour the Trossachs region, a romantic landscape which inspired the poem of Walter Scott, the Lady of the Lake. Visit Stirling Castle, which for many years was used as a Scottish royal palace. The current building dates back to the 15th century, but the original palace dated back to the 11th century. Free time in Stirling for lunch. In the afternoon continue your tour of the Trossachs region, which remains one of the best preserved areas of the country. You will also visit a whisky distillery which will include a tasting. Overnight Edinburgh DBB

Day 9: Edinburgh - Inverness

Today you depart Edinburgh and head north towards Inverness. En route you will visit the tourist town of Pitlochry, followed by a visit to the Salmon Hydro Electric dam and Fish pass. Transfer to Inverness where you will have some free time for lunch before enjoying a cruise on the Loch Ness, to see if you can spot the legendary Nessie! Then visit the ruins of Urquhart castle. Finally you will visit the Loch Ness museum before transferring to your Inverness hotel for dinner. Overnight Inverness DBB

Day 10: Inverness - Glasgow

This morning depart Inverness and head towards Fort William and Spean Bridge where you will see the Royal Marines Commando monument. Continue along Loch Lomond and enjoy the beautiful scenery with its islands and gigantic mountains. Arrive into the city of Glasgow and enjoy some free time for lunch. In the afternoon you will have a panoramic tour of the city including a visit to Glasgow cathedral. Overnight Glasgow DBB

Day 11: Depart for home

After your final Scottish breakfast transfer to Glasgow or Edinburgh Airport arriving in good time to check in & that last minute duty free shopping.

BB = Bed and Irish or Scottish Breakfast DBB = Dinner, Bed and Irish or Scottish Breakfast