Day 01, Monday: U.S. to Edinburgh
Overnight flight from the U.S. to Edinburgh, Scotland. (Flights booked separately and not included in package price).
Day 02, Tuesday: Edinburgh
Arrive in Edinburgh and transfer (included) to your pre-booked accommodations (Note: check-in time is generally from 2:00 pm). Spend your day independently exploring Edinburgh on your own. Overnight in Edinburgh.
Day 03, Wednesday: Edinburgh - Touring Begins - Isle of Skye
Departure point at 6 Waterloo Pl, guests are requested to check in at least 15 minutes before departure. Depart Edinburgh at 8:30 am, depart Edinburgh and travel west, passing Linlithgow Palace and Stirling with its imposing castle and views of the Wallace Monument. We pass Doune Castle, set of Monty Python’s “Holy Grail” before stopping in Callander for refreshments. Crossing into the Highlands we head north towards the glorious scenery surrounding Loch Lubnaig then through Breadalbane (meaning the ‘high country of Scotland’) and up to the wild desolation of Rannoch Moor. We continue through the spectacular mountain pass of Glencoe, scene of the great massacre of the Clan MacDonald in 1692. Leaving Fort William after lunch you drive past Britain’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis, and into the Great Glen. Traveling west on the “Road to the Isles” we head through the splendor of the Five Sisters of Kintail, the mountains guarding the pass on the way to the Isle of Skye. We stop to visit the famous Eilean Donan Castle, one of Scotland’s most photographed castles, set at the junction of three lochs and completely surrounded by water. Crossing over the bridge to Skye, we follow the dramatic coastline north towards the island’s capital, Portree. We are dropped off at our accommodation in the early evening where we are free to go out and explore the town.
Day 04, Thursday: A Flexible Day on Skye
There are many possibilities depending on the weather and our driver/guide's knowledge will come to the fore in developing the best day out. North of Portree is the Trotternish ridge with its spectacular cliffs and rock formations, such as the famous landmark – the Old Man of Storr, the impressive sea cliff, Kilt Rock and the stunning mountain pass of the Quiraing. Amazing natural scenery, which is best enjoyed away from the bus by taking a walk through this unique landscape. Further west the scenery changes again with the emerald green valley of Glendale, the dramatic sea-cliffs of Neist Point (the most westerly point on the island, where we might get lucky and spot some whales or sharks!), and the 13th-century home of the Clan MacLeod, Dunvegan Castle. We return you to your accommodation in Portree in the early evening. Overnight Isle of Skye.
Day 05, Friday: Touring - End in Edinburgh
We are collected from our accommodation and travel south through the Cuillin Hillsand back over to the mainland for stunning views over Loch Duich and the 5 Sisters of Kintail. Onto Loch Ness for lunch and the possibility of spotting “Nessie”. Heading south now through the Grampian mountains along Loch Laggan, famous now as “Monarch of the Glen Country” before passing Dalwhinnie, home to Scotland’s highest whiskey distillery. We pass Blair Castle and continue through Highland Perthshire as we head back to Edinburgh and over the Forth Road Bridge. Arriving at approximately 7:00 pm in Edinburgh. Your tour ends at Rabbies Cafe at 6 Waterloo Place in Edinburgh, where you will make your own way back to your pre-booked hotel.
Day 06, Saturday: Edinburgh - Dublin
Transfer included to Edinburgh Airport hotel, to catch a flight from Edinburgh to Dublin (flight purchased separately). From Dublin Airport we depart and travel the short journey north via Dundalk to Belfast. Check in at our hotel with free time to relax. (From Belfast airport, it is a leisurely start to the day with time to rest). This afternoon, take in a panoramic city tour of Belfast. We return to the hotel for dinner. Your evening is free to explore the city on your own before a relaxing overnight stay in Belfast.
Day 07, Sunday: Belfast - Giant's Causeway - Titanic Museum
Today we enjoy a scenic tour of the Antrim Coast and visit the Giant's Causeway and Museum. Marvel at the volcanic columns formed over 60 million years ago and hear the ancient fables of the Causeway. We return to Belfast where we visit Titanic Belfast. Extending over nine galleries, this multi-dimensional exhibit draws together special effects, full-scale reconstructions and innovative interactive features to explore the Titanic Story in a fresh and insightful way. Learn of her conception in Belfast in the early 1900's, through her construction and launch, to her infamous maiden voyage and catastrophic demise. Return to our hotel where the evening is free to experience more of Belfast. Enjoy your overnight stay in Belfast.
Day 08, Monday: Belfast - Derry - Glenveagh - Donegal
This morning, we depart Belfast and travel west via Dungiven and the Sperrin Mountains to Derry City. Enjoy a panoramic city tour of Derry, including free time to explore independently. Departing Derry, we travel via Bridgend to Glenveagh for a visit to Glenveagh Castle & Gardens in the National Park. Continue on to our nearby Donegal hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 09, Tuesday: Atlantic Coast - Dungloe - Glenties
Today we travel along the scenic Atlantic drive via Brinlack, Derrbeg, and Bunbeg, voyaging south to Dungloe and Glenties. Crossing by the Blue Stack Mountains, we return to our hotel for dinner and overnight stay in County Donegal.
Day 10, Wednesday: Donegal - Killybegs - Slieve League -Belleek - Sligo - Galway
We travel south along Donegal Bay to Killybegs and the Slieve League Cliffs. Here we enjoy a minibus transfer to the cliffs, where we delight in the scenic views of Malin Bay and the Slieve League Cliffs that look out across the Atlantic Ocean. Our tour continues south to Belleek, where we pause a while to visit the famed Belleek China showroom. Continue south via Sligo, the final resting place of William Butler Yeats, to Galway, for dinner and overnight.
Day 11, Thursday: Galway - Cruise - Connemara
This morning we enjoy a 90-minute scenic cruise. Travel via the majestic River Corrib on to Lough Corrib, Ireland's second largest lake. This vantage point offers unsurpassed views that make this the most spectacular waterway in Ireland. Our cruise takes us past castles and sites of historical and cultural interest. Next, we travel to scenic Connemara. Enjoy the spectacular vistas before turning inland at Spiddal and on to Moycullan. We return to our Galway Hotel where we have the remainder of the day and evening free to explore on our own before a relaxing overnight stay in Galway.
Day 12, Friday: Galway - Shannon Airport
Morning departure from Galway for Shannon Airport for our return flight back to the U.S.