Best of Ireland & Scotland - Insight Vacations

Best of Ireland & Scotland (Summer 2017)

Duration: 14 days Visiting: Ireland, Scotland

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Reviews
  • Dates & prices

Despite the many regional variations between Ireland and Scotland, they share a natural affinity, tracing back to their Gaelic roots, together with stunning landscapes, and warm-hearted communities.

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Dublin

    On arrival at Dublin Airport, your airport transfer service leaves for your hotel at 08:30, 11:00 & 13:30. At night, join your Tour Director for a warm and friendly Welcome Reception with drinks and the opportunity to mingle and get to know each other over a pleasant evening of dinner and wine.

  2. Day 2

    In Dublin’s Fair City

    Orientation takes you past the Custom House and along O'Connell Street. Travel along the River Liffey to see the Guinness Brewery and Dublin Castle before admiring the historic buildings of the Georgian section of the city. Enjoy your VIP priority entrance to the 9th century Book of Kells and a walk through the cobbled courtyards of Trinity College accompanied by a University insider, gaining their insight into modern life and the establishment's impressive history.

  3. Day 3

    Waterford and Cork

    Kildare offers a look behind the scenes at one of the country's main racehorse breeding centres and visit the finest Japanese Gardens in Europe, for a ‘journey through life'. Then head for Waterford to see Reginald's Tower, the ruined city walls and for a guided visit of the House of Waterford Crystal and meet a master craftsman. Then travel on to Cork, Ireland's second most populous city, built on the River Lee.

  4. Day 4 - Relaxed Start

    Travel to Blarney Castle and Killarney

    (Relaxed Start) In the morning, see Cork’s City Hall and Opera House, before visiting ruined Blarney Castle, the home of the famous Stone of Eloquence, once kissed – never forgotten! Continue on to Killarney where you join a local ‘Jarvey’ on-board one of the jaunting cars. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure.

  5. Day 5 - Relaxed Start

    Ring of Kerry Experience

    (Relaxed Start) Tour the superb seascapes, towering cliffs and spectacular mountains of the Ring of Kerry. Follow the narrow road as it winds through delightful villages like Sneem, cross the peat bogs of the Black Mountains to Moll's Gap and admire Queen Victoria's ‘Ladies View'. Return mid-afternoon for time at leisure.

  6. Day 6

    To Limerick, the Land of Song and Legend

    Begin the day with a delightful ferry ride across the Shannon Estuary. Journey to the Visitors’ Centre at the 700-foot Cliffs of Moher. Enjoy magnificent views of the Clare Coast before continuing to Limerick. See St. Mary’s Cathedral, King John’s Castle and the Treaty Stone.

  7. Day 7 - Relaxed Start

    Glorious Galway to Sligo Bay

    (Relaxed Starts) Join your Tour Director in Galway to see the infamous Lynch Memorial and the Church of St. Nicholas, where Christopher Columbus reputedly prayed before his discovery of America. Also see the aged Spanish Arch and Eyre Square, dedicated to the late US President, John F Kennedy. Tour the wild Connemara region, a scenic wonderland of rivers, lakes and silent hills. In the evening, your perfect country retreat is set on the scenic shores of Sligo Bay.

  8. Day 8

    Walk in the Giant’s Steps on the way to Ballygally

    The day begins in Drumcliffe, with a visit to the final resting place of Ireland's famous poet, William Butler Yeats. Cross into Northern Ireland to visit Derry. What better way to experience sightseeing than with one of Northern Ireland's best storytellers, Ronan, as he takes you on a tour inside the city walls, still topped with cannons. Walk down steep Shipquay Street, with its elegant Georgian houses, to the Gothic Guildhall. Continue around the coast to the amazing Giant's Causeway, then take a spectacular drive along the Antrim coast road to your hotel, that overlooks the sea at the head of Ballygally Bay.

  9. Day 9 - Relaxed Start

    Ayreshire Coast and Burns Country

    (Relaxed Start) Ride the ferry to Scotland and continue along the Ayrshire Coast, taking in views of the Firth of Clyde and the Island of Arran. Pass The Open golf links of Turnberry before arriving in Alloway, where you visit Robert Burns' birthplace and see the Burns' monument Brig 'O Doon'.

  10. Day 10

    Journey through Glencoe and Loch Ness to Inverness

    In the morning, head north for a scenic drive along the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. Absorb the dramatic landscape of Glencoe, still echoing with the cries of massacred clansmen, before reaching Fort William. Pause at the Commando Memorial for a view of Britain's highest mountain, Ben Nevis, then go on a journey of discovery on a Loch Ness cruise.  Soak up the scenery, historic monuments and intriguing tales of 'Nessie' in the heart of Scotland's great glen.

  11. Day 11 - Relaxed Start

    A Highlands Experience

    (Relaxed Start) Participate in an orientation tour of Inverness before driving out to the Culloden Moor Visitor Centre, where Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite army was finally defeated. Not much more than a cannon shot away lie the prehistoric Clava burial cairns, dating back to around 2,000BC. Then have a 'wee dram' at a visit to the Glen Ord Distillery, hear stories of the whisky smugglers and delve into the fascinating world of the single malt.

  12. Day 12

    St. Andrews and Edinburgh

    A scenic drive takes you through the Grampian Mountains past the Duke of Atholl's Blair Castle. Drive down and cross the Tay to visit St. Andrews, the home of golf. Continue across the majestic Forth Road Bridge to the Scottish capital. In the evening, selected departures attend the spectacular Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

  13. Day 13

    Edinburgh, Scotland’s Capital of Culture

    In the morning, join your Local Expert for a visit to Edinburgh Castle, housing the Scottish Crown Jewels. At the bottom of the Royal Mile, stands the Queen's Holyroodhouse Palace. Turn onto Princes Street, past the Scott Memorial to see Edinburgh's famous Georgian New Town. Later, there is still time to shop. In the evening, join your friends at a stylish restaurant for a grand finalé Celebration Dinner. Bon Appetit!

  14. Day 14

    Farewell Edinburgh

    Transfers arrive at Edinburgh Airport at 06:15 & 09:00.

Highlights

 

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Dublin: VIP priority entrance to the Book of Kells and a guided walk though Trinity college with a University insider.
  • Kildare: Join an equine professional for a behind-the-scenes look at the Irish National Stud and Japanese Gardens.
  • Ballygally: Ballygally Castle is a stunning 17th century castle which overlooks the golden sands of the bay and offers excellent facilities.
  • Londonderry: What better way to experience sightseeing than with one of Northern Ireland's best storytellers, Ronan, as he takes you on a tour inside the city walls. Walk down steep Shipquay Street, with its elegant Georgian houses, to the gothic Guildhall.
  • Alloway: Explore the famous site in Alloway where Burns was born and learn about the inspiration behind his greatest works.
  • Blarney: It is said that those who kiss the Blarney Stone are bestowed with the power to persuade, flatter and coax. But to do so, you must dangle from the ramparts!
  • Killarney: A local 'Jarvey' informs you of the history, legend and folklore of Killarney aboard a famous jaunting car ride.
  • Killarney: Venture into a world of towering cliffs, lush lakelands and villages, as you tour the magical Ring of Kerry.
  • Cliffs of Moher: Look out over the Wild Atlantic Way from these majestic cliffs.
  • Giant's Causeway: Steeped in legend, the awe-inspiring coastal scenery is a spectacle to behold.
  • Loch Ness: Soak up the scenery and hear intriguing tales of 'Nessie' during a cruise.
  • Highlands: Find out why the battle changed the Highland way of life forever at the Culloden Moor Visitor Centre.
  • Edinburgh:For a limited time in August, witness the astonishing spectacle of the Military Tattoo.
  • Edinburgh: Walk within the walls of the Castle to view the Scottish Jewels, Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Dublin: See the Custom House and elegant Georgian Squares.
  • Waterford: See Reginald's Tower, the ruined city walls and enjoy a guided visit to the Waterford Crystal Factory and Showrooms.
  • Cork: Enjoy an orientation tour.
  • Limerick: See King John's Castle and St Mary's Cathedral.
  • Galway: See the Cathedral, Spanish Arch and Eyre Square. Drumcliffe: Visit the final resting place of Irish poet Willain Butler Yeats.
  • Londonderry: See ‘Derry's Walls' and Georgian houses.
  • Great Glen: View the Commando memorial and Ben Nevis.
  • Highlands: Drive along Loch Ness. Visit the prehistoric burial cairns of Clava.
  • St Andrews: Visit the university town and see the golf course.
  • Edinburgh: Enjoy a guided city tour down the Royal Mile past Holyroodhouse and over to the 18C ‘New Town'.
  • Scenic drives: Connemara, Ring of Kerry, Antrim & Ayrshire Coasts, Glencoe, Grampian Mountains, Loch Ness, Loch Lomond

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • Highlands: Sample a ‘wee dram' and learn the fascinating process of whisky production at the Glenlivet Distillery.
  • Edinburgh:An unforgettable Celebration event sees you dining on a sunny evening, watching the occasional estuary traffic, and toasting to new-found friends!
  • 13 Full Breakfasts (FB), 5 three-course Dinners (D); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) both with wine, plus tea or coffee.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Ballygally: Ballygally Castle is a stunning 17th century castle which overlooks the golden sands of the bay and offers excellent facilities.
  • Inverness: The signature Kingsmills Hotel comprises of an extended 17th century residence, presenting a seamless blend of style and substance.

ADDITIONAL FIVE STAR SERVICES

  • An expert Insight Tour Director, at the pinnacle of their career, will guide you on your journey. Serving as your 'travelling concierge', this skilled guide will act as consummate organiser and be your 'friend in a foreign land'.
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It's business class comfort.
  • A personal radio headset gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
  • Baggage handling everywhere, with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi.
  • Insight Flourishes - from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Included airport transfers at scheduled times on arrival and departure days.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.

Port Of Cobh Excursion

Drive to the pretty riverside village of Cobh (pronounced "Cove") which was the last port of call for the Titanic. Explore the Heritage Centre and relive the story of the emigration of Irish people and the life of this once great passenger port.

Adult Price: EUR 22.00

Code: COR0001

Cork Dinner

Lively and fun loving, Cork city is justly celebrated for fine local produce and great restaurants. Tonight, take the opportunity to dine out and enjoy the great atmosphere and vibrant heart of Ireland's 'rebel' city. Three course dinner with a drink.

Adult Price: EUR 45.00

Code: COR0002

Irish Countryside & Glendalough

An afternoon drive takes you through the rural countryside of County Wicklow - the garden of Ireland. With our Local Expert, we'll pass through the pretty Wicklow Mountains to the picturesque setting of St. Kevin’s great 6th Century monastic site at Glendalough. Afterwards, we'll explore the monastic remains before returning to Dublin via the Great Sugar Loaf Mountain.

Adult Price: EUR 24.00

Code: DUB0006

Dinner & Irish Cabaret

Over an excellent dinner of quality Irish food, enjoy a nonstop show of comedy, dance, song and music. Ireland’s musical history unfolds in a cabaret that will delight you long after the night has ended. The cast will have you tapping your toes and joining in the fun, and it’s all wrapped up in the spirit of Irish humour. At the end of your meal, cap off one of Ireland’s best nights out with an Irish Coffee.

Adult Price: EUR 71.00

Code: DUB0008

An Epic Voyage

Stroll with your Travel Director along the Banks of the Liffey to view the historic architecture of Custom House Quay, including the Triumphal Arch of 1813 and the ever poignant Famine Memorial statues. Enter the two-century-old Vaults, for an exclusive reception of canapés and drinks, before touring "Epic". Here, walk with your ancestors to hear how the emigrating Irish influenced the four corners of the world and modern life as we know it.

Adult Price: EUR 43.00

Code: DUB0014

Scottish Dinner & Cabaret

Join us for a lively and memorable evening of traditional Scottish song, dance, tartan and bagpipes. In addition to wine and dinner, your kilted hosts will lead you through some of the best-loved Scottish music and songs. You'll learn a Highland dance or two and sample Scotland’s national dish - haggis. An exceptional Scottish experience!

Adult Price: GBP 58.00

Code: EDI0002

Royal Yacht Britannia

This magnificent ship has hosted some of the most famous people in the world. But, above all, Britannia was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family. For four royal couples, Britannia was to provide a honeymoon sanctuary before the onset of married life in the world's most photographed family. Now berthed in Leith, you are welcomed on board to discover the heart and soul of this most special of Royal residences.

Adult Price: GBP 23.00

Code: EDI0003

Edinburgh's Most Haunted

Join our Ghouls and Ghosts to embark upon a scary and mirth-filled tour of Edinburgh's old town as never seen before! We'll enjoy a drink afterwards to calm our nerves before returning to the land of the living.

Adult Price: GBP 27.00

Code: EDI0005

Glasgow Dinner

In recent years, Glasgow has developed a fearsome culinary reputation. With its elegant and chic atmosphere, this restaurant is very much at the forefront. In the hub of Glasgow's vibrant cosmopolitan capital, enjoy an evening of Scottish fayre and experience the unique atmosphere of the city at night. This meal may be offered as a lunch.

Adult Price: GBP 37.00

Code: GLA0001

An Evening with Nessie

Join us at the only pub on the shores of Loch Ness, overlooking Dores beach. Enjoy a drink whislt listening to the tales of Steve, a man who has devoted over twenty-five years of his life to hunting for the elusive Loch Ness Monster. A unique evening, following the journey of the ultimate "Nessie Hunter"!

Adult Price: GBP 20.00

Code: INV0001

Gaelic Roots

A tour de force of traditional Irish song, music and dance, Gaelic roots showcases Ireland at its best. Using traditional instruments, Irish dance and time-honoured folk songs, this energetic show will have you tapping your feet and singing along in no time.

Adult Price: EUR 33.00

Code: KIL0008

Shannon Castle Banquet

Calling all Lords and Ladies! Please be seated for a delicious banquet in the great hall of the castle. In the splendour of a bygone age, entertainment is provided by the court jester, castle musicians and attendants of the medieval court. It won’t be long before you're making merry with the fine music, singing, dancing, good food and laughter. You'll be sure to take home warm memories of this delightful evening.

Adult Price: EUR 69.00

Code: LIM0001

Doune Castle and the Trossachs Drive

We enjoy a drive through the beautiful Trossachs to visit Doune Castle, overlooking the beautiful village of Doune. Famous for its association with Monty Python, Doune Castle is now used as a film location for Game of Thrones. Doune is also the main Castle in the new hit show, Outlander.

Adult Price: GBP 26.00

Code: LOC0003

Blair Castle

Journey into the fascinating past with a visit to the ancestral home of the Dukes of Atholl. Brimming with treasures inside and out, magnificent Blair Castle is set in its own grounds against a backdrop of glorious scenery. During your informative tour, see how the castle has been transformed through the ages and learn how Queen Victoria's famous stay led to the creation of Europe's only private army.

Adult Price: GBP 20.00

Code: SCO0002

Accommodation

 

Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane Dublin

Dublin (Traditional) - Ireland

Located in the heart of the docklands, the Clayton Hotel Cardiff Lane is walking distance from Dublin city centre shopping and iconic venues.

Oriel House Maldron Hotel Cork

Cork (Central) - Ireland

Oriel House/Maldron Hotel, Cork

Killarney Avenue Killarney

Killarney (Central) - Ireland

Castle Oaks House Hotel Limerick

Limerick (Scenic) - Ireland

Radisson Blu Hotel and Spa Sligo

Sligo (Contemporary) - Ireland

Ballygally Castle

Ballygally (Historic) - Northern Ireland

Ballygally Castle is a stunning 17th century castle which overlooks the golden sands of the bay and offers excellent facilities.

The Winnock Hotel Loch Lomond

Loch Lomond (Scenic) - Ireland

Kingsmills Hotel Inverness

Inverness (Traditional) - Scotland

Originally the mansion of a prominent local family, today the Kingsmill Hotel is a luxury accommodation in the heart of the Highlands. Renovated with contemporary rooms, the hotel is well-known for it's impeccable hospitality.

The Roxburghe Holyrood Hotel Edinburgh

Edinburgh (Central) - Scotland

The Roxburghe/Holyrood Hotel, Edinburgh

GUEST REVIEWS & EXPERIENCES

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on 7784 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 28 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Loved the variety of optional tour choices and the shopping time allotted at many of the tour destinations.

    Service: Shawn, our tour guide, was so knowledgeable about Ireland and Scotland. He was the best for making sure all accommodations were perfect, right up to our return taxi trip to the airport. This was one of our best trips. Lots of variety for destination tour options.

  • 25 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Great itinerary and tour director, Robbie

    Service: The itineraries and very knowledgable tour directors keep me booking more Insight tours.

  • 24 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: I left a trail of money at every stop. Little gifts for everyone on my list and lots of wonderful candy for me. The whisky tour was wonderful and when asked for a recommendation the tour guide did not sell me the "most expensive"!

    Service: The tour guide, Kristina and bus driver, Gerry made this tour the best ever! So informative and interesting - I did not want to miss a word.

  • 23 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We thought the Itinerary was very comprehensive, we would have liked a more inclusive (in the holiday price) for all excursions so that the holiday price was complete. Overall we thought the choice of add on excursions was very good but would have preferred some of them to be added onto the tour cost.

    Service: Very well organized, guides very knowledgeable , everyone happy to help..

  • 23 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Tour guide had outstanding knowledge of the countries & their history.

    Service: Tour guide had outstanding knowledge of the countries & their history. His quick wit & inside stories made for an enjoyable experience.

  • 23 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: would like to spend more time in Glasgow. At least one night. Also, country inn had no shopping. I see you have changed the hotel for future trips......I did like the room, but not too much to do in town if you don't go on the optional trip

    Service: guide was great! Was able to give the group alot of information on the history, area, and customs

  • 21 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Some of the days on the bus were very long. up to 7 hours. but did get to see a lot

    Service: Yes I would reccomend insight. I already have.

  • 21 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: See my feed back sheet you are now waiting my time.

    Service: I don’t know why you are asking me again as I did a feed back sheet / questionnaire sealed it and handed it in before we finished the tour. This is annoying. How ever we were asked to comment on the final Scottish dinner and farewell dinner before it had even happened. Up until these all experiences were excellent. The last two were poor and average. The Scottish dinner was below par. The M.c. Was over acting all night, The servings of food were small and the tables were cleared with much disruption during the singing and dancing. There were way too many people and tables in the room so that the waiters couldn’t move between the tables and chairs with out bumping into everything. It was clearly a safety issue if fire had of broken out. This was of great concern to me and others and clearly needs to be addressed.

  • 21 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Very good tour - I would just like to spend more time in Scotland to see more.

    Service: I would recommend Insight Vacations to any travellers. Hotels were fantastic and top notch. Very well organized and our tour director was excellent as well as the bus driver. Always there to help out with great direction and always on top of everything. Would definitely travel with Insight again.

  • 19 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We thought that there was a good mix of things chosen for us to see and do as well as extra things to choose from on the tour.

    Service: Our tour director and bus driver really took great care of us!!! We saw so many wonderful sights and met local people along the way who enriched our experience and knowledg of the areas that we visited. Our luggage was taken care of on arrival and departure, making it easy for us. Great food and fun along with the people we met on our tour made this a wonderful experience that we will not forget!

  • 18 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Very complete and comprehensive. Left with an appreciation of the countries and their people.

    Service: Our tour director, John Gillespie, was superb in customer service. Logistics were handled completely; we could concentrate on having fun.

  • 18 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: All the shows and specail shows were greatl I really like the castle dinner and the dinners with the plays the best in both Scotland and Ireland.

    Service: Yes, I would tell people to go with you. The bus drivers were both great and very careing. The speakers at the different places were very good and the scenery was beautiful. I would do it again.

NB: Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Note prices displayed reflect available discounted rates (i.e. Early Payment Discount, Last Minute Deals). All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.
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