18 Days | Explore Ireland and Scotland 2019

About Escorted or Guided Tour

18 Days | Explore Ireland and Scotland 2019

About Escorted or Guided Tour
Please join Owner Anita on this amazing adventure exploring Ireland and Scotland’s countryside.

Travel dates May 31 to June 17, 2019

Limited Space Available – Tour Maximum is 30 passengers

Included in this package

  • 16 nights at 3 to 4 ★★★★ hotels, all rooms with private bath/shower
  • Round trip flights from Calgary
  • Breakfast at hotels each day
  • Welcome dinner at your hotel
  • Dinner at a local restaurant (three courses, coffee/tea)
  • Medieval banquet dinner at Bunratty Castle
  • Celtic Steps Show
  • Jaunting car ride in Killarney National Park
  • Shannon Car Ferry
  • Corrib River Cruise included scones & Irish coffee
  • Ferry from Belfast to Cairnryan
  • Cruise on Loch Lomond
  • Jacobite steam train ride with West Coast Railways
  • Ferry to the Isle of Skye
  • Loch Ness Cruise
  • Modern motor coach with driver x 2 airport transfers
  • Modern motor coach with driver/guide in Ireland x 10 full days,
  • Modern motor coach with a driver in Scotland x 6 full days,
  • Modern motor coach with driver x 3 evening return transfer
  • English speaking guide in Ireland x 2 half days
  • English speaking guide in Scotland x 7 full days
  • Porterage of 1 piece of luggage in/out of hotels
  • Service charges and taxes at existing rates

VISITS:

Trinity College - Blarney Castle - Galway Cathedral - Belleek Pottery - Urquhart Castle - St Andrews castle - Glengoyne Distillery - St Patricks Cathedral - Blarney Woollen Mills - Kylemore Abbey - Giants Causeway - Culloden Battlefield - St Andrews Cathedral - Guinness Storehouse - Cliffs of Moher - Carrowmore Cemetery - Titanic Belfast - Edradour Distillery - Stirling Castle

Pricing:

Double Occupancy – $5995 pp
Deposit of $500 pp is due at the time of booking
Final payment is due March 15, 2019

Itinerary

Day 1: Friday, May 31st, 2019

Depart Calgary

Day 2: Saturday, June 1st, 2019 - Welcome to Ireland

Arrival at Dublin Airport meet with your driver and transfer to your hotel. Enjoy dinner a welcome dinner at the hotel.
Overnight, dinner, bed, and breakfast.

Day 3: Sunday, June 2nd, 2019 - Dublin

  • This morning we will visit Trinity College Trinity which was founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth 1st on grounds confiscated from an Augustinian priory and is the oldest university in Ireland. The Campanile, erected in 1852, was built on what is believed to be the centre of the monastery. Built to further the education of the ruling Anglo-Irish families, restrictions were imposed to prevent Catholic from attending courses. These restrictions were not fully lifted until the 1970’s. Trinity however admitted women in 1902, earlier than most British universities. Most of the main buildings off the main square were built during the Georgian period, some of which replaced older buildings. Within its walls, visitors will be able to admire Parliament Square and its 18th Century edifices. Trinity College has had many famous students such as Jonathan Swift and Samuel Beckett who later became a lecturer in French at the university. The interdenominational Church is very much worth a visit.
  • Next visit St. Patrick's Cathedral. Built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral stands adjacent to the famous well where tradition has it Saint Patrick baptized converts during his visit to Dublin. The parish church of Saint Patrick on this site was granted collegiate status in 1191, and raised to cathedral status in 1224. The present building dates from 1220. The Cathedral is today the National Cathedral of the Church of Ireland (a church of the Anglican communion). St Patrick’s is Gothic in style and its splendid interior is adorned with funeral monuments, such as The Boyle Family Memorial and the grave of Dean Jonathan Swift (author of Gulliver’s Travels). Swift was dean here until his death in 1745. The Chancel has ornate stained-glass windows, and spectacular choir stalls, once used by the knights of St Patrick, adjoin the Altar. The massive west towers, houses a large peal of bells whose ringing tones are so much part of the character of Dublin.
  • Finally today, visit the Guinness Storehouse. The Guinness Brewery in Dublin is Europe's largest stout producing brewery and home to the Guinness Storehouse. Opened in 1904, the Storehouse was an operational plant for fermenting and storing Guinness. Today it houses a very fine exhibition dedicated to the Guinness story. Visitors will discover what goes into the making a pint of Guinness - the ingredients, the brewing process, the time, the craft and the passion. The exhibition shows how the brew has been marketed and how it is today sold in over 150 countries. Once the tour has finished, the guest is invited to the Gravity Bar to enjoy their pint of Guinness.
Return back to your hotel.
Overnight, bed and breakfast.

Day 4: Monday, June 3rd , 2019 - Dublin to Killarney

Monday, June 3rd , 2019 - Dublin to Killarney
Meet your driver/guide and depart Ireland's capital travelling to County Kerry via County Cork.
  • En-route visit Blarney Castle. Attracting visitors from all over the world, Blarney Castle is situated in Blarney village, 8 km from Cork city. An ancient stronghold of the McCarthy's, Lords of Muskerry, it is one of Ireland's oldest and most historic castles as well as being one of the strongest fortresses in Munster. Built in 1446, Blarney Castle is famous for its Blarney stone, the Stone of Eloquence, which is traditionally believed to have the power to bestow the gift of eloquence on all those who kiss it. Many legends tell the story of the Stone, but why not kiss it and find out the truth behind the legend. The Castle gardens covering 60 acres of land are under constant change and over the past few years, a water garden, fern garden and poison garden have been developed and are all open to visitors.
  • Also visit Blarney Woollen Mills. Originally established in 1823, Blarney Woollen Mills now houses a large selection of Irish products ranging from sweaters and woollens to crystal and china. This famous store has something for everyone, you are sure to find gifts or souvenirs for all the family.
  • On arrival in Killarney (or area) check in to your hotel.
  • This evening enjoy the Celtic Steps Show. Celtic Steps was born from an idea to showcase Ireland's traditional music, song and dance and to portray the music of Kerry and beyond, the songs of Ireland's history. The show exhibits Irish dancing, from the Hornpipe danced on the old thatched cottage half-door and the polka set at the crossroads, to the phenomenon that is Irish dancing worldwide today. Rather than produce this in a story, in chronological order down through years, Celtic Steps has mixed music, songs and dance in a unique blend to let guests experience the spectacular that is an Irish tradition.
Return back to your hotel.
Overnight, bed and breakfast.

Day 5: Tuesday, June 4th, 2019 Ring of Kerry

Today enjoy a day tour of the Ring of Kerry.
  • The Ring of Kerry (166 km) is the most famous and panoramic route in Ireland. The astonishing beauty of this large peninsula, Iveragh, comes from the great diversity of its scenery, which offers incessant contrasts. En route around the Ring, take in spectacular scenery - mountains, peat bogs, lakes and magnificent views of the Atlantic Ocean as one travels along the coast road. Leaving Killarney pass through Killorglin, famous for its Puck Fair, then to Glenbeigh where the cliff road affords panoramic views of the Dingle Peninsula and Dingle Bay. Continuing to Cahirciveen, you’ll pass the birthplace of our National hero, Daniel O’Connell. Next, continue on through peat bogs to the town of Waterville. Continue to Sneem Village, famous for its brightly coloured houses. The road then continues through the mountains to Molls Gap and Ladies View with superb views of the famous Lakes of Killarney. Molls’ Gap is a spectacular photographic viewing point on the famous Ring of Kerry Tour. The visitor is presented with a magnificent view of Black Valley. Close by is the famous Ladies View viewing point with gives a different perspective of this magnificent countryside, with the 3 Lakes of Killarney all surrounded by the Kerry Mountains. Ladies View received its name from Queen Victoria, who was so impressed with the view that she insisted that her ladies-in-waiting should also visit here.
  • Killarney Jaunting Cars. Step aboard a jaunting car and discover areas of the National Park that you might not otherwise visit. Relax aboard a jaunting car as your Jarvey [driver] takes you through the magnificent scenery of Killarney National Park. The scenery is stunning and the trap will stop as often as you wish to facilitate you taking photographs.
Return to your hotel. Enjoy dinner under own arrangements tonight.
Overnight, bed and breakfast.

Day 6: Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 - Burren & Cliffs of Moher

Wednesday, June 5th, 2019 - Burren & Cliffs of Moher
Depart Killarney and travel to County Limerick via County Clare. Take the Shannon Car Ferry.
  • Visit the Cliffs of Moher; situated on the Atlantic Ocean and bordering the Burren region, the Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland's most spectacular sights. Standing 230 metres above the ground at their highest point and 8 km long, the Cliffs boast one of the most amazing views in Ireland. On a clear day, the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay as well as the valleys and hills of Connemara. The cliffs reach their highest point just north of O'Brien's Tower built by Cornelius O’Brien, a descendant of Brian Boru, to entertain his lady friends. A visit of the tower is also possible. The sweeping view across the Atlantic has recently been ranked the best 'cliff-view' on the planet by Conde Nast Traveler. The respected travel publication has voted the world-famous landmark at the top of a new chart of ' Nine Gorgeous Cliff Views That Rival The Grand Canyon'. Atlantic Edge is the exciting new interpretive centre at the Cliffs of Moher and is built into the natural landscape. The centre is a huge domed cave that contains images, exhibits, displays & experiences exploring different elements of the mighty Cliffs of Moher: Ocean, Rock, Nature and Man. The visitor centre has a restaurant, shop facilities and ample coach and car parking. A spectacular upgraded 13 km of scenic coastal pathway along the Cliffs of Moher links Doolin to Hags Head.
  • This evening, enjoy Bunratty Mediaeval Banquet. Bunratty Castle, was built on the banks of the Rathy River and for over 40 years the ladies of the Castle, aided and abetted by the Earl's Butler, have welcomed guests from all over the world to join them at The Earl's Banquet. The evening begins with a welcome drink of Carolans Irish Cream Liqueur or a glass of mead. Guests are then invited to dine in this homely traditional venue, where a traditional 4 course meal is served with musical accompaniment. This is followed by entertainment by the world renowned Bunratty Castle Entertainers accompanied by harp and violin.
Return to your hotel.
Overnight, bed and breakfast.

Day 7: Thursday, June 6th, 2019 - Limerick to Galway

This morning depart Limerick for Galway.
  • On arrival visit Galway Cathedral; The largest catholic church in Galway, the cathedral is located on Nun’s Island, on the west bank of the River Corrib near Salmon Weir Bridge. It was the last large church in Ireland to be made from stone, and features a huge octagonal dome that complements the skyline of the City of Galway. The cathedral combines many features from different styles and periods of architecture. There are many treasures of art inside and outside. Erected on the site of an old jail, the parking lot of the cathedral contains a white cross in the pavement. It marks the site of the prison graveyard.
  • Afterwards enjoy a cruise on the River Corrib with scones and Irish coffee. The Corrib Princess sails from Woodquay in the heart of Galway city, along the famous Steamers Line, which is the lakes traditional trade route. The journey takes passengers along the majestic River Corrib and onto the lake providing visitors with a guided commentary in a number of languages on the historic monuments and natural amenities on this waterway that leads to the largest lake in the Republic of Ireland. There is an abundance of wildlife and the Corrib has a peace and tranquillity all of its own. The normal sightseeing tour is 90 minutes in duration with indoor seating for guests and tea/coffee plus traditional scones are included during the cruise. Irish coffee demonstrations can be organised during the cruise.
Check in to your hotel.
Overnight, bed and breakfast.

Day 8: Friday, June 7th , 2019 - Galway & Connemara to Sligo

Today depart Galway to Sligo.
  • This morning journey the Connemara Region. Today you will explore the Connemara Region. Connemara is a land of lakes and rivers, bogs and mountains. A land of small villages where Gaelic is still the spoken language and where little has changed since the beginning of time. It is without a doubt the wildest and the most romantic part of Ireland. Connemara is a vast peninsula bordered by the arid and rocky coastline of Galway Bay in the south ~ a land characteristic for its stone walls and thatched cottages. On its northern shore the land is harsher and more secret, with spectacular views of the Ocean and the beautiful fjord of Killary Harbour, as well as the steep mountains overlooking numerous lakes and large bog areas. Connemara is a real paradise for Nature lovers and those in search of strong emotions. In 1951, John Ford's great movie The Quiet Man starring John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara and Barry Fitzgerald was made, and filming was centred in the village of Cong on the Mayo-Galway border.
  • Visit Kylemore Abbey. Kylemore Abbey is stunningly located in the Kylemore Pass in Connemara. Mitchell Henry built the House in 1868, after having spent his honeymoon in the area. The architecture is best described as neo-gothic and the house still displays all the characteristics of that period. One of Kylemore Abbey's most famous features is its miniature cathedral, built in 1870 and known locally as the Gothic church. Today, the abbey is home to the Irish order of Benedictine nuns. They established a private school for young girls, which was the renowned Kylemore Abbey International School. The school eventually closed in 2010. Facilities at Kylemore include a visitor centre, an exhibition housed in the main reception rooms of the house and a video which takes the visitor through the history of the house and its occupants. The Gothic church is available to visit and as a venue for choir groups to sing in. If time allows guests can also visit the Kylemore Abbey Victorian Walled Garden was laid out in 1867 and took three years to complete. A bus service provided from the front door of the Abbey directly to the garden and is the only permitted means of access.
Continue to Sligo and check into your hotel. Enjoy dinner under your own arrangements tonight.
Overnight, bed and breakfast.

Day 9: Saturday, June 8th, 2019 – Sligo to Donegal

This morning before departure visit Carrowmore Cemetery.
  • Carrowmore Cemetery has over 60 stone circle and passage tombs making it one of the largest Stone Age cemeteries in Europe. It is also among Ireland’s oldest cemetery of megalithic tombs, with monuments ranging from an amazing 5,500 to 6,500 years old. Archaeologists have recorded over 60 tombs of which 30 are visible. A restored cottage houses an exhibition relating to the site.
  • Also visit Belleek Pottery. The world famous brand of Belleek pottery has its home in an imposing Victorian building in the village of Bellek on the river Erne. Awarded a 4 star visitor attraction grading in 2013 and 'Best Visitor Experience Of The Year 2014' at the Northern Ireland Tourism Awards, it features a museum, tearoom, video theatre and a showroom. The guided tour covers all of the production areas offering guests the possibility of meeting with the craftspeople, observing their craftsmanship working on the different handmade pieces (no production on Sundays). As you walk through the museum you will experience the journey through the life of the Pottery from the early earthenware days to the present day fine translucent Parian China.
Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant tonight. Your evening return transfer will take you back to your hotel.
Overnight, bed and breakfast.

Day 10: Sunday, June 9th, 2019 - Donegal to Belfast

Sunday, June 9th, 2019 - Donegal to Belfast
This morning depart Belfast for Derry and enjoy a Derry Walls walking tour with a local guide.
  • Based in the heart of the historic city, the award-winning Martin McCrossan Derry city tours showcase the only remaining completely walled city in Ireland. These famous walls which date back to the early part of the seventeenth century have been a place of several sieges. There are fine views from the top of the walls, which encircle the old city, a circuit of one mile. By walking on Derry’s Walls, you have splendid views of cathedrals and churches, you will learn about the historical events that shaped the city and explore attractions such as The Bogside, The People’s Gallery: The Murals, The Diamond, the Tower Museum and the Guildhall.
  • Visit Giant’s Causeway. Encounter Northern Ireland’s favourite giant Finn McCool at the new Giants Causeway Visitor centre on the North Antrim coast which opened in the summer of 2012. According to legend Finn McCool created the Giants Causeway by building stepping stones to Scotland to challenge the Scottish giant Benandonner! The new Visitor centre explores the major themes of mythology, geology, landscape, ecology, culture and social history based on the UNESCO World Heritage site that consists of 40,000 basalt polygonal columns formed 60 million years ago after a volcanic eruption. There are various interactive exhibits and short video presentations within five designated interpretive exhibition areas and the self-guided visit will culminate with a spectacular two minutes audio-visual projection of a volcanic eruption flowing over the walls and onto the floor. Other services and facilities include a large craft and souvenir shop, Tourist Information and restaurant. To enhance the wider visitor experience around the site, a hand held audio guide is available in a range of languages which will bring the wider World Heritage Site to life and inform visitors of unique features to look out for across this amazing landscape. Guided tours of the site are also available. The walks and trails around the World Heritage Site have been upgraded, with the addition of a new accessible cliff top walk for families and people with disabilities. In 2015, Conde Nast Traveler magazine included hopping the stones of the Giant's Causeway as one of the '50 things to do in Europe before you die'.
On arrival in Belfast (or area) check in to your hotel. Enjoy dinner under own arrangements tonight.
Overnight, bed and breakfast.

Day 11: Monday, June 10th, 2019 - Belfast

This morning enjoy a panoramic tour of Belfast with a local guide.
  • A guided city tour is an excellent way to discover Belfast City. The tour will take in the leaning Albert Memorial Clock tower (Ireland's answer to the Tower of Pisa) and the Opera House, which is one of Belfast’s great landmarks. Your tour will pass by the City Hall, the Opera house, The Crown Bar (dates from 1885), Queens University and the Botanic Gardens. Some tours will take in a visit to the Harland and Wolfe Shipyard, where the Titanic was built and launched in 1912. A visit to the Shankill and Falls road will be of interest as it will give the visitor an indication of how life was in Belfast during the troubles.
  • Visit Titanic Belfast. Located in the heart of Belfast, the Titanic Belfast recreates the story of the world’s most famous ship in an iconic, six floor building right beside the historic site of the original ship’s construction. Opened in April 2012 to coincide with the centenary of its launch, the self-guided journey begins on entering the building's giant atrium, where the visitor is surrounded by the four ‘ship’s hull’ shaped wings which house the Titanic Experience. As you journey through the nine large galleries of the interactive exhibition, you will uncover the true story of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900's, through her construction and launch, to her famous maiden voyage and subsequent place in history.
Enjoy dinner under own arrangements tonight.
Overnight, bed and breakfast.

Day 12: Tuesday, June 11th, 2019 - Belfast to Glasgow

After breakfast we will transfer to the port to catch a ferry to Glasgow.
Upon arrival at Cairnryan we will meet with our new driver and guide before transferring to Glasgow. Check in to your hotel.
Overnight, bed and breakfast.
*Please note that this is a long transfer day. The group will catch the 11.30am ferry and arrive in Glasgow around 5.00pm

Day 13: Wednesday, June 12th, 2019 - Glasgow to Oban

Wednesday, June 12th, 2019 - Glasgow to Oban
This morning journey to Trossachs National Park.
  • Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park is a national park in Scotland centred on Loch Lomond, and includes several ranges of hills, the Trossachs being the most famous. Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park was created in July 2002 under the National Parks (Scotland) Act 2000 to safeguard an area of outstanding and diverse landscapes, habitats and communities, parts of which were coming under severe visitor and recreational pressures.
  • Enjoy a cruise of Loch Lomond. Cruise around the island gems in the Loch Lomond crown where passengers are likely to see fallow deer and osprey, as well as wallabies! As you are aware a live commentary is given on board every cruise by the skipper and this is complimented by additional interpretation points on the vessel.
Continue to Oban and check into your hotel.
Overnight, bed and breakfast.

Day 14: Thursday, June 13th, 2019 - Oban to Fort William

This morning we will transfer to Fort William to catch the Steam Train.
  • Described as one of the great railway journeys of the world this 84 mile round trip takes you past a list of impressive extremes. Starting near the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis, it visits Britain’s most westerly mainland railway station, Arisaig; passes close by the deepest freshwater loch in Britain, Loch Morar and the shortest river in Britain, River Morar, finally arriving next to the deepest seawater loch in Europe, Loch Nevis. The train stops en route to Mallaig at the village of Glenfinnan. Beyond Glenfinnan are the beautiful villages of Lochailort, Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig. You may alight at Arisaig by request to the guard. From here, on a clear summer’s day, you can see the “Small Isles” of Rum, Eigg, Muck, Canna and the southern tip of Skye.
Arrive into Mallaig and catch a ferry to the Isle of Skye.Check into your hotel.
Overnight, bed and breakfast.

Day 15: Friday, June 14th, 2019 - Isle of Skye to Inverness

Friday, June 14th, 2019 - Isle of Skye to Inverness
This morning we will depart from the Isle of Skye to Inverness.
  • Enjoy a cruise on Loch Ness from Urquhart Castle. Loch Ness is a freshwater loch (lake) which is most famously known for its fabled Loch Ness Monster. Aside from its monstrous connection, there are many interesting facts about this area of stunning beauty. Although it isn’t the biggest or deepest loch in Scotland, it holds more water than Wales’ and England's lakes combined! The very dark colour of the water is due to the peat washed into the loch from the surrounding hills. As well as exploring Loch Ness from above by cruise, you can explore under the water via Google Earth. A safe and dry way to find Nessie!
Continue to your hotel in Inverness.
Overnight, bed and breakfast.

Day 16: Saturday, June 15th, 2019 – Inverness to Perth

This morning we will depart from Inverness to Perth.
  • En-route, we will visit Culloden Battlefield. Scene of the 1746 Battle of Culloden between the Jacobite and the British armies. As the last battle being fought on British soil, Culloden marks the beginning of the dismantlement of the structures of Highland society. In the aftermath of the battle, kilts and tartans were banned. It was here that the Jacobite army fought for a Stuart king in order to reclaim the throne of Britain from the Hanoverians. Today, 250 years on, Culloden is still a site that connects us intimately with Britain's past. Find out why this battle lasted only one hour but still changed the course of Scotland's history. Listen to accounts from genuine characters who were involved in the Battle, experience the battle in a 360 degrees theatre, get a bird's eye view of the forces and tactics at play.
  • Visit the Edradour Distillery. Dating back to 1825, Edradour, stands alone as the last stronghold of handmade single malt whisky from a farm distillery still in production today. Hidden in the very heart of Perthshire, this picturesque ‘little Model Village’ of Edradour is steeped in a history of intrigue to inspire the imagination. And, with matchless commitment to retaining authentic small scale production, Edradour uniquely boasts over 25 distinctive expressions of Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky with their wonderful characters and flavours.
Continue to your hotels.
Overnight, bed and breakfast.

Day 17: Sunday, June 16th, 2019 – Perth to Glasgow

This morning we will depart for Glasgow.
  • En-route, visit Stirling Castle. One of Scotland’s grandest castles due to its imposing position and impressive architecture, Stirling Castle commands the countryside for many miles around. It towers over some of the most important battlefields of Scotland’s past including Stirling Bridge, the site of William Wallace’s victory over the English in 1297, and Bannockburn where Robert the Bruce defeated the same foe in the summer of 1314. Situated on a volcanic outcrop guarding the lowest crossing point of the River Forth, Stirling Castle is a great symbol of Scottish Independence and a source of enduring national pride. The castle’s long, turbulent history is associated with great figures from Scotland’s past, such as William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and Mary Queen of Scots. It has seen many royal dramas and witnessed the lives and deaths of almost every Scottish monarch up to the Union of the Crowns in 1603.
  • Continue to visit Glengoyne. Glengoyne is a distillery like no other. It’s as pretty as a picture, with its whitewashed walls and pagoda roof nestling into the bottom of Dumgoyne Hill, the famous volcanic plug that shimmers like a far-off mirage to the good folk of Glasgow. It is a happy, thriving community, home to tenth-generation distillers who cut no corners and never waver from the methods passed to them by their forefathers. It is also the trailblazer in offering seriously entertaining, in-depth visits to whisky experts and beginners alike. There is something for everyone here and, in the words of Richard Grindall in The Spirit Of Whisky “there can be no better place on earth to sit and take a glass of malt whisky”.
Check in to your hotel in Glasgow.
Overnight, bed and breakfast.

Day 18: Monday, June 17th, 2019 – Farewell

After breakfast your Airport transfer coach will take you to Glasgow Airport for your return flight home.
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