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Sights of Scotland and Best of Ireland Tour

From $2899 (was $2999)

20 Days

Includes 28 meals on tour

Passport Required

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Sights of Scotland and Best of Ireland Tour

Tour Starts: Edinburgh, Scotland

Tour Ends: Dublin, Ireland

Day 1

Depart for Edinburgh, Scotland:

Your Scotland and Ireland vacation begins as you depart on your transatlantic flight. Overnight in flight.

Day 2

Arrive in Scotland:

If you purchased airline tickets from YMT Vacations, a YMT representative will welcome you and transfer you to your hotel where the balance of the day is at leisure. This evening you’ll get a chance to meet all your fellow travelers and your YMT Tour Director at a welcome dinner. (D)

✦ Best Western Plus Keavil House, Dunfermline or similar

Day 3

Edinburgh:

This morning we take the short drive to Edinburgh for an included panoramic tour of Scotland’s capital city which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sights will include the Royal Scottish Academy, The Georgian House, St. Giles Cathedral, The Scottish Parliament, Palace of Holyroodhouse and Greyfriars Bobby. The highlight and finale of this morning’s tour is the included entrance to Edinburgh Castle where you will see the Scottish Crown Jewels, the Stone of Destiny as well as Edinburgh’s oldest building, St. Margaret’s Chapel. Once the tour ends around lunch time, you are free to remain in the city and explore on your own or you may wish to join our afternoon optional tour to visit the Royal Yacht Britannia docked at Leith, Edinburgh’s official port. (B)

✦ Best Western Plus Keavil House, Dunfermline or similar

Day 4

Edinburgh to The Highlands:

First stop at the iconic Scone Palace in the city of Perth. Scone Palace is the home of the Earl of Mansfield and it has been the seat of parliaments and the crowning place of the Kings of Scots. Robert the Bruce was crowned here in 1306 and the last coronation was of Charles II in 1651. Continue to the Victorian spa town of Pitlochry, known as a gateway to the Highlands where you’ll enjoy some free time. Before you reach your hotel, the scenic drive will take you into and through Cairngorms National Park, home to Britain’s highest and most massive mountain range. (B, D)

✦ Hotel Nethybridge or similar

Day 5

The Highlands:

In the morning you will visit the historic site of the Battle of Culloden Moor. Here the scene was set for the big defeat of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Scottish Clans in the spring of 1746. At the Visitor Center enjoy an innovative and interactive exhibit about the battle and the area’s history. No trip to Scotland would be complete without learning about Scotch Whiskey - enjoy an informative tour of a distillery, and taste the whiskey. (B, D) 

✦ Hotel Nethybridge or similar

Day 6

Loch Ness and Inverness:

Enjoy stunning views of Inverness and the Moray Firth as you make your way into the Great Glen, world famous as the setting for Loch Ness. At up to 755 feet, the lake has plenty of hiding space for the mythical Loch Ness Monster, or “Nessie” as she is referred to locally. You’ll take a short scenic cruise on the loch which finishes at Urquhart Castle, where you will have time to explore the ruins dating back to the 13th century. In the afternoon, you will have time to explore the capital of the Highlands, Inverness. (B)

✦ Hotel Nethybridge or similar

Day 7

Isle of Skye & Western Highlands:

Your tour takes you to the Isle of Skye, one of the Inner Hebrides islands. You will visit the Clan Donald Centre, a heritage center for what used to be the biggest clan in Scotland, ruling the western part of the country and the islands. A short ferry crossing will then take you back to the mainland and you continue to Fort William, near the UK’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis (4,409 feet). (B)

✦ Hotel Ben Nevis or similar

Day 8

Argyll and Glasgow:

The itinerary takes you farther south along the rugged shoreline and into Argyll. First, you will visit Inveraray Castle, home to the Duke of Argyll, the head of Clan Campbell. An Inveraray Castle has been standing on the shores of Loch Fyne since the 1400’s, although the buildings we see today were rebuilt after a fire in 1877. En route, there will be a short break on the banks of Loch Lomond (the largest loch in Scotland). After leaving the tranquility of the Loch Lomond area, your trip takes you into Glasgow, the biggest city in Scotland. (B)

✦ Holiday Inn Express Riverside or similar

Day 9

(Glasgow:

During a panoramic morning city tour, you will see the remnants of the monastery at Glasgow Cathedral and the Necropolis, an ancient cemetery in the middle of the city. The tour will also take you to the most popular park in town, the Glasgow Green. You will also visit George Square, named after King George III and the de facto center of Glasgow. Enjoy a free afternoon in this city. This evening there is an included dinner. (B, D)

✦ Holiday Inn Express Riverside or similar

Day 10

Glasgow to Dublin:

Today, bid farewell to Scotland, as you fly to Dublin for the next stage of your tour. A YMT representative will welcome you at Dublin Airport and transfer you to the hotel while the rest of the day is at your leisure. Dublin is usually the first port of call for most visitors and this vibrant, colorful city offers a compelling mix of history, culture, traditional pubs, elegant architecture, great shopping and dining. The great thing about Dublin is that the city is compact, so the shops and restaurants, the River Liffey and many of the highlights are all within walking distance of each other and easy to explore on foot. This evening learn about the exciting days ahead, then relax over dinner. (B,D)

✦ Hotel Best Western Academy Plaza or similar

Day 11

Dublin:

This morning enjoy a sightseeing tour of the highlights of this rich historical city. See the Bank of Ireland, built in the 18th century to house the Parliament; and Leinster House, where the government convenes today. Stop to see famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Originally built in 450 AD, then rebuilt in 1191, it is still the largest church in Ireland. This afternoon is at leisure and leaves you plenty of time to visit Trinity College to see the Book of Kells, a 9th century version of the Christian gospels (extra charge). This evening, why not enjoy an optional Irish Night with a 4-course dinner and a lively show of Irish music and a full cast of dancers? (B)

✦ Best Western Academy Plaza or similar

Day 12

Dublin to Waterford:

Today, we begin our motor coach tour of Ireland heading south to our first destination, the Rock of Cashel – a cluster of historic ruins that sits on a towering hilltop rising 200 feet above the surrounding plains. This afternoon we arrive in Waterford, the oldest city in Ireland and home to the famous crystal where we take an included factory tour. (B)

✦ Hotel Dooley’s, Waterford or similar

Day 13

Waterford to Killarney:

This morning we continue on to Cobh, the Titanic’s last port of call in 1912. Learn the history of the town when we visit the Cobh Heritage Centre. Next we visit Blarney Castle, one of Ireland’s oldest and most historic castles. Explore the castle, and if you want to climb the 125 steps of the spiral staircase, perhaps kiss the Blarney Stone, so you can, as tradition says, acquire the “Gift of the Gab.” Our tour ends today in Killarney where you spend the next two nights. (B, D)

✦ Killarney Oaks or similar

Day 14

Full Day Ring of Kerry:

This morning we take one of Europe’s most famous drives, the Ring of Kerry, offering spectacular scenery of lakes and rivers on the Iveragh Peninsula. Back in Killarney this evening, perhaps you’ll want to relax at the hotel or explore the village at your leisure. (B)

✦ Killarney Oaks or similar

Day 15

Killarney to County Galway:

Today stop at Bunratty Castle & Folk Park, to see one of the most complete and authentic medieval fortresses in Ireland. Next, we drive through the scenic Burren area, stopping to view the picturesque Cliffs of Moher, with incredible views of the Atlantic. We arrive in the Galway area by late afternoon. (B, D)

✦ Clare Galway Hotel or similar

Day 16

Galway to Sligo:

Today, we travel through the beautiful and rugged landscape of the Connemara region, then, on through the quiet hills and maze of gentle lakes and rivers. Next we visit the palatial Kylemore Abbey, majestically nestled at the base of Druchruach Mountain. Our drive continues through Westport, and today’s journey ends late this afternoon when we arrive in the Sligo area. (B, D)

✦ Hotel Radisson Blu Sligo or similar

Day 17

Sligo to Belfast:

This morning we enjoy a delightful 30-minute visit to Belleek Pottery and a visit to the Ulster and American Folk Park, a living history settlement showing Ireland in the mid-1800s. Our tour continues east to Belfast for the next two nights. (B, D)

✦ Park Inn Belfast or similar

Day 18

Giant’s Causeway:

Today enjoy a scenic excursion all the way to the North Channel of the Irish Sea. We drive along the beautiful coastal road and take in stunning scenery. We spend time exploring “The Giant’s Causeway,” a UNESCO World Heritage Site with remarkable rock formations made up of over 40,000 hexagonal stacks. (B)

✦ Park Inn Belfast or similar

Day 19

Belfast and Dublin:

Enjoy a sightseeing tour of Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland. It was in this Victorian city that the ill-fated Titanic was built in 1911 and we include a visit to Titanic Belfast, the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience. In the afternoon, we drive back to Dublin. (B, D)

✦ Best Western Academy Plaza or similar

Day 20

Depart Dublin for Home:

Today, bid farewell to Ireland, taking home a suitcase full of memories and stories to share about your YMT Scotland and Ireland vacation! (B) 

Note: This tour is not suitable for those who have difficulty walking. The included sightseeing and optional tours will involve walking and standing, steps, stairs and uneven ground at ancient sites and other locations. Accommodations used throughout this tour are commonly situated in rural, scenic areas and local amenities may be limited.

 

Please note that this is a proposed itinerary; the actual itinerary may vary due to season, special events, or weather. Because our tour arrangements are often made a year or more in advance, YMT Vacations reserves the right to alter the itinerary. Itinerary changes are made to improve your vacation experience, as well as respond to any unforeseen circumstances that mandate alterations. By their nature, all tour vacations involve a certain level of physical activity. While YMT tours have been designed with our guests in mind and are not physically demanding, this tour does include walking and periods of standing during the sightseeing visits. You will also encounter steps and some uneven ground along the way, particularly at older, historical sights.