1 Welcome To Dublin.
On arrival at Dublin airport, your airport transfer service leaves for your hotel at 08:30, 11:00 and 13:00. Join your Travel Director at 18:30 for a warm and friendly Welcome Dinner, an opportunity to get to know each other over a meal with wine. (DW) Stay: Clayton Cardiff Lane/Clayton Hotel Charlemont, Dublin.
2 In Dublin’s Fair City.
An orientation with your Travel Director will take you past the Custom House and along O'Connell Street. Travel along the River Liffey to see the Guinness Storehouse 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. (B)
3 Waterford And Cork.
Kildare offers a look behind-the-scenes at one of the country's main racehorse breeding centres. You will also visit the finest Japanese Gardens in Europe, for a ‘journey through life' as you wander by the beautiful floral displays. Then head for Waterford to see Reginald's Tower, the ruined city walls and for a guided visit of the House of Waterford Crystal to meet a master craftsman. Continue on to Cork, Ireland's second most populous city, built on the River Lee. (B) Stay: Maldron Hotel South Mall, Cork.
4 Blarney Castle And Killarney.
In the morning, travel along the Grand Parade and see Cork's City Hall and Opera House. Continue on to visit the ruined 15th century Blarney Castle, home of the famous Stone of Eloquence - once kissed, never forgotten! Start your day with Insight Choice. Choose between a memorable ride on a horse-drawn jaunting car with the local jarveys or join a gentle hike with a Local Expert along the lake shore and past the farmlands of the Muckross Estate, admiring the incredible scenery. While there aren't any mountains to climb, walkers should be fit, have good walking shoes or boots, sunscreen and rain gear. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. (B/D) Stay: Killarney Avenue Hotel, Killarney.
5 Ring Of Kerry Experience.
Tour the superb seascapes, towering cliffs and spectacular mountains of the Ring of Kerry. Journey past lush lakelands and through delightful villages like Sneem. Cross the peat bogs of the Black Mountains to Moll's Gap and admire Queen Victoria's Ladies View. Upon returning in the mid-afternoon, the rest of the day is at leisure. (B)
6 The Cliffs Of Moher.
Begin the day with a short ferry ride across the Shannon Estuary. Enjoy magnificent views of the Clare Coast as you journey to the Visitors' Centre at the 700-foot Cliffs of Moher. Continue to your hotel located at the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way. (B) Stay: The Inn at Dromoland.
7 Glorious Galway To Sligo Bay.
Join your Travel 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. (B/D) Stay: Radisson Blu Hotel & Spa/Clayton Hotel, Sligo.
8 Walk In The Giant’s Steps.
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 Londonderry. What better way to experience sightseeing than with one of Northern Ireland's best storytellers, Ronan, as he walks with you 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 to your hotel, overlooking the sea at the head of Ballygally Bay. (B/D) Stay: Ballygally Castle.
9 High Tea At Ardgowan Estate.
Cross the Irish Sea by ferry and journey to Ardgowan, set on a stunning 10,000-acre coastal estate. Meet Sir Ludovic Shaw-Stewart for a tour of the expansive house and learn the history of the area, family, estate and its contents - you may even hear about the ghost! Delight in freshly made, traditional Scottish tea, scones, cakes and a selection of sandwiches. Continue to Glasgow where your Travel Director will show you the city's grand public buildings, including George Square and St. Mungo's Cathedral. (B/AT) Stay: Radisson Blu Hotel, Glasgow.
10 Glencoe And Loch Ness.
A scenic drive takes you 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. Continue on to Loch Ness and embark on a cruise to soak up the scenery, historic monuments and intriguing tales of Nessie in the heart of Scotland's great glen. (B/D) Stay: Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness.
11 A Highlands Experience.
In the morning, see the sights of Inverness before travelling to the Culloden Moor Visitor Centre, where Bonnie Prince Charlie's Jacobite army was finally defeated. Not much more than a cannon shot away lies the prehistoric Clava burial cairns, dating back to around 2,000 B.C. Then have a 'wee dram' during a visit to the Glen Ord Distillery, hear stories of the whisky smugglers as you delve into the fascinating world of the single malt. (B/D)
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. As you arrive, pass the Old Course, the home of golf since its invention in the 15th century. Enjoy free time to explore. Why not wander to St. Andrews University where the love story of Kate Middleton and Prince William began? Alternately, stroll to West Sands Beach where the famous 'Chariots of Fire' scene was filmed. Continue across the majestic Forth Road Bridge to the Scottish capital, Edinburgh. In the evening, select departures attend The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. (B) Stay: Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel/MacDonald Holyrood Hotel, Edinburgh.
13 Scotland’s Capital Of Culture.
In the morning, join your Local Expert for a visit to Edinburgh Castle, housing the Honours of Scotland, its Crown Jewels. See the Stone of Destiny and Mons Meg. At the bottom of the Royal Mile stands the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the official Scottish residence of Her Majesty, the Queen. Turn onto Princes Street, past the Scott Memorial to see Edinburgh's famous Georgian New Town, with its Adam facades. In the afternoon, you are at leisure to continue exploring as you wish, or perhaps go shopping. Join your friends at the stylish Grazing by Mark Greenaway, located in the heart of Edinburgh's West End. Your grand finale Celebration Dinner is a mouthwatering meal of modern Scottish cuisine with a Parisian twist, and is of course served with wine. (B/DW)
14 Farewell Edinburgh.
Your journey comes to an end after breakfast with transfers arriving at Edinburgh airport at 06:15 and 09:00. (B)