You're in for a lyrical love affair with Ireland's whimsical capital, your launch pad to an enchanting encounter with the Emerald Isle and Scotland. On arrival, transfer to your hotel then spend the rest of the day exploring the city's effervescence on your own. This evening, you'll join your Travel Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Reception on Dublin's 200-year-old Grand Canal. Resist the urge to retire early and head to the Temple Bar to soak up the craic and a pint or two of the 'Black Stuff' in one of the many colourful pubs for which Dublin is justifiably famous.
Dublin Sightseeing – County Galway (2 Nights)
Poetry and politics, music and literature - Dublin is famous for all this and more as you'll come to discover when you join a 'Local Specialist' to delve into the city's iconic sights, tumultuous history and even a few hidden gems. Tread in the footsteps of Arthur Guinness, James Joyce and Bono as you pound the cobbled pavements in search of Dublin's many stories. Then, leave the capital behind bound for the harbour city of Galway, known as the 'County of the Tribes'.
Connemara's 'savage beauty' takes centre stage today on your full-day excursion through the endless shades of green which once captured the heart of Oscar Wilde. Visit Kylemore Abbey, a magnificent castellated structure built as a family home and now inhabited by a group of Benedictine nuns. Travel to Westport on Ireland's West Coast for a memorable 'Be My Guest' experience filled with tales of the Pirate Queen and Banoffee and Baileys flavours. You'll 'Connect With Locals' over lunch in the drawing room of Grace O'Malley's stately 16th-century home. Visit the Connemara Marble artisan workshop where you'll 'Dive Into Culture' and witness first-hand how their famous jade-like marble is carved.
County Galway – Cong – Drumcliff – Donegal
See firsthand why the rugged beauty of Cong was chosen as the backdrop of John Wayne's award winning 'The Quiet Man'. Stop in Drumcliff, where acclaimed poet and playwright, William B. Yeats was laid to rest. Then, continue to Donegal the gateway to the Wild Atlantic Way.
Donegal – Londonderry – Belfast (2 Nights)
Start your day with a visit to Londonderry where a 'Local Specialist' will take you on a stroll along the ancient walls that surround the Renaissance-style old city. Follow the scenic Causeway Coastal Route through rolling countryside and past rugged cliffs to Giant's Causeway. Your visit will 'Make A Difference' by helping to conserve this iconic landmark. You'll have some free time to tiptoe in the giant geometric steps of Finn McCool and enjoy lunch before continuing to Belfast, your home for the next two nights.
Belfast Sightseeing and Free Time
Explore Northern Ireland's trendy capital today, starting with a visit to the Titanic Belfast Visitor Centre, where you'll 'Dive Into Culture' and gain insights into the tragic story of the famous ship that met its end in the Atlantic. Your 'Local Specialist' will join you for a sightseeing tour through the city with views of the Belfast City Hall, Castle and Botanic Gardens. Take the rest of the afternoon to explore at your leisure, perhaps enjoying a pint in Belfast's oldest traditional pub or visit St. George's Market for some shopping.
Belfast – Glasgow
Bid Ireland farewell as you board your ferry to Scotland. Follow the rugged Ayrshire coast past Ailsa Craig, the continue to gritty Glasgow, where you'll enjoy an orientation of a city that exudes edginess. Take to the streets on your own exploration and see George Square, Glasgow Cathedral and the Clyde River before finding a cosy pub to warm your heart with a little local whisky and a night on the toon.
Glasgow – Glencoe – Scottish Highlands
Sensational scenery follows your journey through the Scottish Highlands from Glasgow to Carrbridge. Loch Lomond sets the tone with views over the water to craggy Ben Lomond. Continue to Glencoe where the tragic 17th-century massacre of the MacDonalds turned the wild beauty of this valley into a 'Glen of Weeping'. Then, on to Fort William, the self-proclaimed 'Outdoor Capital of the UK' before arriving in Loch Ness, where you'll keep a keen eye out for the beloved monster that lurks beneath its surface. Tonight, you'll enjoy dinner at your hotel.
Scottish Highlands – Pitlochry – St. Andrews – Edinburgh (2 Nights)
It's never too early for a wee dram when you travel the wilds of Scotland. Your day begins with a visit to Blair Athol whisky distillery where you'll 'Dive Into Culture' and learn how Scotland's golden goodness is made. Continue via Pitlochry on the banks of the Tummel to the home of the golfing gods, St. Andrews. You'll view its famous 18th hole before continuing to Edinburgh, your home for the next two nights.
Edinburgh Sightseeing and Free Time
Surrender to the charms of Edinburgh, one of the world's most enchanting cities. Your 'Local Specialist' will guide your sightseeing tour through its medieval Old Town to the elegant Georgian façades across the Leith. See the Royal Mile and the Palace of Holyroodhouse before visiting Edinburgh Castle, perched atop Castle Rock. This afternoon, you'll have some free time to explore on your own or get stuck into some last-minute souvenir shopping before joining your travel companions for a rousing Farewell Dinner to toast your memorable journey together.
Imbued with Gaelic spirit, your holiday has come to an end. Bid your new friends a fond farewell as you prepare for your return journey home. Airport transfers are available. Conditions apply.