Scotland & Ireland
Historic Icons & Hidden Gems
Embark on a journey through the captivating landscapes of Scotland and Ireland, where a tapestry of vibrant culture and fascinating history intertwine. Unveil the grandeur of Edinburgh and Dublin, two magnificent cities that overflow with irresistible charm and unparalleled hospitality. Journey off the beaten path to the hidden gems of lesser-known towns and the mist-veiled castles that stand tall over mystical lakes and lush moors. Indulge in the tranquility of Inverness and traverse the enchanting West Highlands, a fairytale realm of shimmering lochs and the battleground of highlanders. Experience the magic of a Loch Ness cruise and hear tales of the legendary creature that has captivated the world’s imagination. Cross the Irish Sea to the resilient city of Belfast. Witness the awe-inspiring wonder of the Giant’s Causeway and delve into the legends of whisky and the poignant tale of the ill-fated Titanic. Unearth the hidden treasures of Sligo’s coastal splendor and the Wild Atlantic Way. Visit Lissadell House, the stately home that inspired the great W.B. Yeats. Celebrate the precision and skill of Atlantic sheepdogs and unravel the cultural significance of Irish Thoroughbreds. Lastly, behold the ancient Book of Kells, one of the greatest treasures of its kind, ensuring that this unforgettable experience will create cherished memories for a lifetime!
A passport is required to travel to this destination and must be valid for at least six months after your return.
This itinerary includes activities where moderate walking, possibly on uneven terrain, is required. Some of the most unique sightseeing can be restrictive to motorcoaches, especially in historic areas.
Listed Hotels are subject to change with adherence to 4 star properties.
Tue, Oct 15: Board your overnight flight from Indianapolis to Edinburgh, Scotland.
Wed, Oct 16: Upon arrival, meet up with a local guide for a panoramic tour of Edinburgh, the Scottish capital since the 15th century. The character of Edinburgh is defined in two distinct areas: the Old Town, which is dominated by a medieval fortress and home to some of Edinburgh’s most significant landmarks, and the neoclassical New Town. Following this rich introduction, get a taste of the local fare with a 3-course welcome lunch. The afternoon is yours for personal exploration or to rest up at the hotel in preparation for an extraordinary journey! (Meal: Lunch)
Thu, Oct 17: Begin each day with a flavorful breakfast, then jet off for remarkable experiences. Today will launch with the literary heritage, cobbled streets, and striking architecture of Edinburgh on an expert-led tour of Edinburgh Castle, whose imposing presence dominates the skyline from its “throne of stone.” Relive the scores of conquests and traditions through the many relics on display, including the Scottish Crown Jewels. Continue with a stroll down the royal mile to the High Kirk of Edinburgh, St. Giles Cathedral, which, for the better part of 1,000 years, has been the physical and spiritual heart of Scotland’s capital city. Close the first full day with a hearty group dinner of traditional cuisine. (B,D)
Fri, Oct 18: Depart Edinburgh for Stirling, the gateway to the Highlands, where history revolves around Stirling Castle and the William Wallace era. Discover Stirling’s historical and architectural significance to the kingdom of Scotland. Take a short jaunt to the quaint Victorian town of Pitlochry and find another castle steeped in highland history, Blair Castle. As the ancient seat of the Duke of Atholl and home to the only remaining private army in Europe, the Atholl Highlanders, Blair Castle truly is the encapsulation of Scotland’s Medieval Age. Journey to the foothills of the Grampian Mountains and arrive at Blair Athol Distillery for a taste of Blair Athol’s single malt Scotch whisky, then prepare to drink in the breathtaking landscapes and seascapes of Inverness. Relish a delectable meal, then settle in at the stately 1890s Victorian mansion, Inverness Palace Hotel, overlooking the river Ness for the first of a two-night stay. (B,D)
Sat, Oct 19: Discover the hidden gem of Elgin, a historic town in Scotland that was granted Royal Burgh status by King David I in 1136. Take a leisurely stroll through the charming Victorian streets and immerse yourself in the fascinating history that once attracted 14th-century royalty to holiday. Visit Johnston’s of Elgin, a renowned mill with a remarkable 225-year history of exceptional craftsmanship behind their world-famous woolen and cashmere products. Explore their production process, from dyeing to blending, spinning, and teasing, all taking place in one location, showcasing their unparalleled dedication to innovation. From enchanting castles to Scotch whisky and woolen mills, another captivating draw to this Celtic land is the mysterious Loch Ness. Cruise this deep-water loch and be camera-ready to snap the highly coveted shot of the elusive Nessie. Finally, return to Inverness and enjoy an evening of your own to take in the worldwide fascination of this Celtic land. (B)
Sun, Oct 20: Today’s adventure includes the West Highlands and Lochaber, known as the outdoor capital of the United Kingdom. Pay tribute to the selfless bravery of the British Commandos at one of Scotland’s best-known monuments, the poignant Commando Memorial, unveiled in 1952 by the Queen Mother herself. Journey through some of the most jaw-dropping landscapes to have dazzled the silver screen, with a brief stop at Fort William. Before crossing the Irish Sea, cruise the dramatic fjord of Loch Lomond, nestled in the heart of Trossach’s National Park, and celebrated for its scenic landscape offering a striking contrast of lowlands and highlands. Later, ferry to Northern Ireland and arrive at the natural, rugged beauty of Belfast. Check into the hotel for a two-night stay and revel in your first taste of Irish fare with an included dinner. (B,D)
Mon, Oct 21: Today is welcomed with a visit to one of the most amazing places on the planet, the Giant’s Causeway, a natural wonder and UNESCO World Heritage Site. As you explore the 40,000 interlocking columns, forming what looks like stepping stones from the foot of the cliff to the sea, cherish tales of the infamous folklore surrounding the mysterious formation of the causeway stones. Was it a geological manifestation, or could it be the act of a giant named Fin McCool? Savor a hearty lunch in Ballintoy, sure to delight any “Game of Thrones” fans, before setting sights on the history and heritage of a man-made legend, Bushmills Irish Whisky! Experience first hand the legendary craft of Bushmills Whisky, then taste for yourself why Bushmills has become the oldest licensed whisky distillery in the world. (B,L)
Tue, Oct 22: Prepare for both a fascinating and solemn day of discovery on a guided tour of Belfast, featuring the award-winning Titanic Experience Museum. More than a tourist attraction, Titanic Belfast is a memorial to Belfast’s maritime heritage on the very site of the shipyard responsible for building the unsinkable ship, which unfortunately proved to be sinkable in 1912. Depart Belfast and press on to stunning Sligo, the highly underrated, hidden gem of Ireland. Check into the hotel and enjoy dinner together in this up-and-coming foodie destination. (B,D)
Wed, Oct 23: Embark on an adventure proving why Sligo is one of the best-kept secrets of the Wild Atlantic Way. This majestic Irish county is like stepping into a postcard with its striking allure of dramatic wonder nestled away in a quiet corner of Ireland. Visit Lissadell House, a residential legacy featuring Georgian-style architecture that will forever be immortalized by the famous William Butler Yeats, an inspired poet and frequent visitor of the Lissadell House. Take a moment to pay homage to W.B. Yeats in his final resting place, Drumcliffe, then become better acquainted with some of the world’s smartest sheep dogs and the pioneering art of Atlantic Sheepdog herding before returning to Sligo for a free evening on your own. (B)
Thu, Oct 24: Journey to our final city, Dublin, known to be the friendliest city in the world, and commence with a historical city tour spotlighting the greatest treasure of its kind and the bedrock of Irish history, the ninth-century Book of Kells. Commemorating the story of Jesus Christ as depicted in the four gospels, the Book of Kells is the most famous of all illuminated manuscripts in the world. Enjoy free time this afternoon to take in the plethora of historical sites, among them, the heart and soul of the world’s most iconic brewed beer at the Guinness Storehouse. Come together this evening for a lovely dinner at the hotel. (B,D)
Fri, Oct 25: This morning begins at the Curragh in County Kildare. The Curragh’s rich pastureland is known as the breeding ground of thoroughbred champions, the birthplace of legends, and home to the annual Irish Derby. Visit the training yard of JP Murtagh Racing for an early morning session, then depart for Kildare and the Irish National Stud & Gardens, known as the beating heart of the Irish horse racing industry and for producing some of the finest racehorses in Europe. The Irish National Stud is the only breeding farm open to the public, and coupled with an elaborate Japanese garden, it truly is an extraordinary escape to a world of woodlands, waterways, and tranquility. Tonight will be yours to enjoy a meal on your own in one of Dublin’s authentic pubs or restaurants. (B)
Sat, Oct 26: The last day is all yours to explore this grand and welcoming city! This evening, regroup to celebrate the end of an amazing journey with Irish music, dancing, and dinner as we bid farewell to the remarkable people and land. (B,D)
Sun, Oct 27: Depart hotel for return flights home. (B)
Inverness Palace Hotel, Inverness. With picture-perfect river & castle view dating back to the 1890’s, the Inverness Palace Hotel combines the best of the past with the contemporary style of the present with elegant interiors, lovely rooms and luxury Leisure Club & Spa. Just a few minutes’ walk to the town center. Highlights: Complimentary Wi-Fi • In-room tea/coffee maker • restaurant and bar • full-service laundry • fitness center • pool, sauna, and steam room • spa.
Holyrood Hotel, Edinburgh. Situated in the heart of Edinburgh’s old town adjacent to the Scottish Parliament, Holyrood Hotel is one of the city’s leading hotels. This historic 4-star property is the perfect stay for those who wish to experience Edinburgh to the fullest, located within walking distance of Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile and Princes Street Gardens. Highlights: Complimentary Wi-Fi • in-room refrigerator, tea/coffee maker • bar/lounge • dry cleaning service • pool • fitness center.
Europa Hotel, Belfast. A world-famous hotel in the heart of Belfast, often referred to as the heartbeat of the city. It is the perfect base for visiting Titanic Belfast and the Game of Throne attractions. Highlights: Complimentary Wi-Fi • In-room air conditioning, tea/coffee maker • restaurant • full-service laundry • fitness center.
Clayton Hotel, Sligo. Set on beautiful grounds overlooked by the spectacular Benbulben Mountain, Clayton Hotel Sligo is within walking distance of the town center and offers the perfect base to explore the Wild Atlantic Way and breathtaking coastal views. Highlights: Complimentary Wi-Fi • In-room: tea/coffee maker • restaurant and bar • full-service laundry • fitness center • pool.
Trinity City Hotel, Dublin. A stylish hotel in the heart of Dublin City Centre with the world-famous Trinity College on its doorstep and Grafton Street, Temple Bar, St Stephens Green, and Dublin Castle just a short stroll away. Highlights: Complimentary Wi-Fi • In-room: air conditioning, tea/coffee maker • restaurant and bar/lounge • laundry service • fitness center.
*Subject to change due to increase in exchange rate or fuel surcharge
Triple accommodation, call for availability
Documents Required: Valid Passport