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Welcome to the ultimate Scottish and Irish adventure, where you'll find warm locals, trendy cities and breathtaking scenery everywhere you turn. On this trip you'll see highlands, bagpipes & whisky go head to head with Irish folk songs & Guinness: it's impossible to choose a favourite, which is why you need to do them both. And with heaps of eye-widening travel inclusions like Blarney Castle and a cruise around Loch Ness, there's no better way than this 13-day journey, starting in Edinburgh and finishing off in Dublin.
Start EdinburghRoyal mile, old Castle, home of the brave, Edinburgh is going to turn it on from start to end. With days of good times ahead, go out in search of haggis, a whisky bar and join the jolly locals before meeting up with the crew tonight, in anticipation of the good times that are yet to come.Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express Edinburgh City West (or similar)
EdinburghToday is yours to roam free - but if you want to get the low down on the history of this city why not join our local guide for an optional tour of Edinburgh Castle (which is resting on an extinct volcano!!) to kickstart your love affair with this city. Or maybe you'll do a spot of tartan shopping on Princes Street or indulge in some whisky tasting.Accommodation: Ibis Edinburgh Centre South Bridge (or similar)
Edinburgh to Inverness via St Andrews and StirlingIt's time to blaze a trail out of Edinburgh & head for Inverness. On the way to the main affair of the day we'll stop by St. Andrews, the birthplace of golf, would you believe? As well as Scotland’s oldest university town. We make a stop in Stirling, known for its famous Castle nestled right on a hill, and the town where William Wallace took on the English and yelled "Freeeedom!" Already blown away by the beauty of the rugged mountain scenery en route, we'll arrive in Inverness amped up for mystical tales.Accommodation: Columba Hotel Inverness (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast Dinner
Inverness via Loch Ness and AviemoreWe might be coming down from a high (geographically speaking) this morning, but as we seek out the stunning Loch Ness and Glenfinnan Viaduct, the mood will only be rising. We'll stop to see lovely Loch Ness, the most voluminous lake in the UK - containing more water than all the lakes of England and Wales combined! It's also rumoured to contain something else, something far more legendary which you're sure to have heard of... We'll also check out Aviemore, a picturesque jewel in the Cairngorms' crown - home to lochs, mountains trails and plenty of panoramic views. With breath-taking scenery still in mind, today's sights will leave you more than content with your day's discoveries.Accommodation: Columba Hotel Inverness (or similar)
Inverness to GlasgowAfter a few days of remote and rugged goodness, a change of pace in Scotland's biggest city is sure to fire things up a notch. We make a stop in Stirling, known for its famous Castle nestled right on a hill, and the town where William Wallace took on the English and yelled "Freeeedom!" Get involved with everything great about Glasgow. Live music on every corner, a gothic cathedral & plenty of quirky characters make this city unique.Accommodation: Ibis Glasgow City Centre Sauchiehall Street Hotel (or similar)
Glasgow to DublinScotland, you've been unreal. If Ireland puts on half the show you did, we have many happy days ahead of us. We arrive in the port town of Larne, your first steps on Northern Irish soil, but not for long... So much more than the capital city, Dublin is a place of heritage, character, and more cute pubs than you could crawl in a week. End the day with a lively night of festivities at the cobbled lanes of Temple Bar.Accommodation: Travelodge Plus Dublin City Centre (or similar)
Dublin to County CorkThat's us done with Dublin…for now. But fear not Dub-lovers, we'll get another taste of this fine place before our trip comes to an end. Break up your coach hangs with some bicycle time in a city sure to leave you wanting Irish in your blood. Explore the castle, a cathedral and take in all of the medieval charm that Kilkenny has to offer before we hit the road again for County Cork. Welcome to vibrant County Cork! But not before the chance to sample some of Ireland's famous whiskey at the Jameson's Distillery in Midleton. Yum! Even when the skies are grey, County Cork is covered in colour and good vibes.Accommodation: Travelodge Cork Airport (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast Dinner
County Cork to GalwayHopefully you exhausted all of your cork puns yesterday, as today we are moving on, sightseeing our way to 2-nights in Galway. Irish folklore tells us there's a chunk of limestone built into a castle that grants its kissers the gift of the gab. Pucker up kids, we're paying her a visit! Whether heights are your cup of Irish Breakfast or not, these impressive cliff faces are not to be missed! From the moment we arrive in Galway, you'll understand why 2 nights were needed here. Everything you've dreamed Ireland to be is tucked into this small, atmospheric city. Step into a local pub and down Irish stew over live music and chats with locals. Outside will be just as lively, with buskers & colourful buildings lining the streets.Accommodation: Travelodge Galway City Hotel (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast Dinner
GalwayTry your tongue at some Gaelic and carry on exploring gorgeous Galway. Head up to Dún Aonghasa (the ruins of a prehistoric fortress) - make sure you take photos, this area is not for the faint-hearted! Irish life, you so sweet.Accommodation: Travelodge Galway City Hotel (or similar)
Galway to Derry/LondonderryGoodbye Galway, hello more Irish eye-candy. Here the 17th century walls stand at 8 metres high speaking of times gone by when this area was in battle. Times may have changed, but we're still keen to soak up the history and learn a thing or two from our wise Local Guide.Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express Derry (or similar)
Meals: Breakfast Dinner
Derry/Londonderry to BelfastToday we've got a one way ticket to Belfast and a whole lot more exploration to do. UNESCO World Heritage site of the Giant’s Causeway - also known as those giant rock columns you've probably drooled over on Pinterest, needs to be seen to be believed. Get those hashtags ready, a snap with the group is essential on the mind-blowing natural formation. Next up - we'll arrive in Belfast. Concluding the day will be a driving tour and a trip to the Titanic museum where the world's most famous ship was built.Accommodation: Travelodge Belfast Central (or similar)
Belfast to DublinWith one night left in Ireland and on tour, we're on the fast track to Dublin where our Irish fairytale first began. A promise is a promise. Here we are back in the city that started our Ireland infatuations. Use this second stint to do your missed critical activities such as visiting the Guinness Storehouse where you can learn how to pull a pint the Irish way.Accommodation: Travelodge Plus Dublin City Centre (or similar)
End DublinWe leave Ireland today with leprechauns in our hearts and memories in our souls. Say goodbye at breakfast as it will be the last bite our crew has together.
- 12 Breakfast (B)
- 4 Dinner (D)
- St. Andrews: If you like golf, you’ll love St Andrews. But if you think it spoils a nice walk in the park, there’s also Swilcan Bridge.
- Loch Ness: Sit back, relax and cruise along the loch with your Contiki crew. But keep your eyes peeled and camera ready for mythical ‘Nessie’.
- Stirling: Explore the sights of Stirling and get a selfie with the memorial to the iconic Scottish knight.
- Fort William: Heads up ‘Potterheads’. Keep your eyes peeled for the Hogwarts Express.
- Blarney Castle: Your chance to kiss the Blarney Stone and get the ‘gift of the gab’. And to visit the medieval Irish castle.
- Cliffs of Moher: These rugged, photogenic cliffs have been the star of many films, including a Harry Potter one.
- Galway: Tread the cobbles of this well-loved Irish city with your new Contiki crew. See Lynch’s Castle, Eyre Square and all the best pubs.
- Derry/Londonderry: One for the history fans. Take a look around Ireland’s only walled city, built in the 17th Century.
- Giant's Causeway: Sure, rock formations may sound a bit dull on paper, but this quirky natural wonder has to be seen to be believed.
- Belfast: Hang with a local guide to see all the landmarks and learn about the city’s checkered history.
Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?
Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?
Prepare to spend more than usual on a Contiki tour.
We were lucky that the group of people with were good, but it was a large group tour and did have some of the downfalls of a trip of that nature, like frequent breaks for the bathroom, difficulty when eating out together, and getting things on and off the coach. The trip was still great and a good value for the money.
It was a good value and the experiences included were worth it. The only part that wasn't the best were the accommodations as it was hit and miss. Half of the hotels on the trip were okay, and the other half were really nice.
I had an amazing trip!
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