Taste of Scotland & Ireland Tour

B= Breakfast; L= Lunch; D= Dinner

Day 1: Glasgow Highlights

Your Scottish trip starts at 2:30 pm when you meet your tour director at your Glasgow hotel and set out on an introductory tour of central Glasgow. This is a city that flourished in Victorian times due to the shipbuilding industry and international trade. Drive around George Square with its ornate City Chambers and visit Provand’s Lordship, Glasgow’s oldest house built in 1471. The house was originally part of a hospital and has been extensively restored and furnished. Join your tour director, guide and travel companions for a welcome drink before dinner. (D)

Day 2: Loch Lomond & Loch Ness Cruise

Travel alongside the famous Loch Lomond, renowned for its unsurpassed beauty and through the deep valley of Glen Coe, notorious for the Campbell massacre of the Clan Macdonald in 1692. Drive through Fort William and stop at the Spean Bridge Woollen Mill, which offers a good selection of quality Scottish goods. At Fort Augustus embark on a short cruise on Loch Ness to keep an eye out for “Nessie.” Continue your journey north to Nairn for your next overnight stay. (B, D) 

Day 3: Whisky Tasting & St Andrews

Drive to Blair Athol Distillery in Pitlochry to see how whisky is distilled and sample some. Continue south to St Andrews, renowned as the “Home of Golf” and for its university, Scotland’s oldest. Spend some time to explore on your own. Drive south to Edinburgh and to your gracious manor house hotel, set on 1,000 acres with two golf courses and spa facilities a few miles from the city. Dine at a Scottish Evening on some excellent Scottish cuisine followed by a lively show with songs, stories and traditional dancing. (B, D)

Day 4: Edinburgh Castle & City Tour

This morning tour the principal sights of Edinburgh with a local guide. Drive along the bustling Princes Street and through the gracious, wide streets of the 200-year-old Georgian New Town. Walk along part of the Royal Mile where compact medieval houses reach 11 floors tall. Visit Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the city and contains the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Scone. The balance of the day is free. On Aug 02 to 23 departures, seats are reserved for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. (B)

Day 5: Ferry to Ireland & Titanic Belfast

Depart Edinburgh early this morning and drive south through Ayrshire and along the coast. At Cairnryan take a ferry ride to Belfast and enjoy a casual lunch on board. Visit Titanic Belfast to learn about this famous liner which was built in the adjacent docks. State-of-the-art displays describe working conditions in the shipbuilding industry and the construction of the Titanic. Drive south to Dublin and check in to your hotel, located overlooking Dublin Bay. The evening is free. (B, L)

Day 6: Dublin Sightseeing & Canal Dinner Cruise

Tour central Dublin today to see fashionable shopping areas around Grafton and Nassau Streets, view elegant Georgian squares and pass the General Post Office, where the 1916 Uprising started. Walk through the campus of Trinity College with a student guide to view the illuminated manuscript of the 8th century Book of Kells and learn how monks created this and other masterpieces. In the evening enjoy a canal dinner cruise with traditional Irish music aboard a former Guinness barge through central Dublin. (B, D)

Day 7: Farmhouse Tea & Blarney Castle

Travel through the midlands of Ireland, stopping for photos at the stately Rock of Cashel. Visit a farmhouse for tea with scones and watch skilled sheep dogs herd sheep. Continue south to visit Blarney Castle and kiss the famous “Stone of Eloquence.” Also visit the Blarney Woollen Mills where you can find quality Irish-made goods. Drive to Killarney, picturesquely set beside lakes and mountains. Check in to your hotel and relax before dinner. Afterwards you may like to explore some of Killarney’s famous "singing pubs." (B, D)

Day 8: Ring of Kerry & Skellig Experience

Take a jaunting car ride to view Ross Castle set on Lough Leane. Then embark on the Ring of Kerry drive – a winding route with breathtaking sights of mountains and coastal views. Cross to Valentia Island by bridge to visit the Skellig Experience which describes the austere lives of early Christian monks on the nearby islands. Enjoy a casual lunch and stop in Sneem to admire brightly painted houses. Pause at Moll’s Gap for stunning views before returning to Killarney where you have an evening free for independent dining and activities. (B, L)

Day 9: Cliffs of Moher & Bunratty Castle Banquet

Take a ferry ride across the River Shannon to reach the Cliffs of Moher, a spectacular wall of sandstone that reaches 700 feet above the Atlantic Ocean. Check in to Bunratty Castle Hotel, close to Bunratty Castle and Folk Park. If you wish, you may visit the Folk Park, have a drink in the 200- year-old Durty Nelly’s Pub or shop at the Bunratty Mills. In the evening head to Bunratty Castle for a memorable medieval-style feast where the lords and ladies will serenade you with song and harp music, evocative of the Middle Ages. (B, D)

Day 10: Shannon Airport or Dublin Extension via Galway

If you are on a 10-day tour, your program ends after breakfast today. Those on an 11-day tour will drive to Galway for a walking tour around the central part of the city. Visit Clonmacnoise Monastic Site, founded in 546 AD by Saint Ciaran. View elaborate Celtic crosses, round towers and ruins of medieval churches. Drive to Dublin and check into a different hotel and you are free for independent activities and dining. (B)

Day 11: Depart Dublin for Home

Your tour ends after breakfast. (B)