Experience the best of Scotland and Ireland on this majestic two-week tour. In Scotland you will discover stunning landscapes, breathtaking coastal villages, rich history of royal connections and world famous distillers. In Ireland, you will be amazed by the awe-inspiring vistas, lively cities, colorful old-time pubs, Irish folk music and picturesque little villages. This adventure has been created for MAC members, family and friends.
About our trip guide: Louise Maciejewski
Born in Great Britain, Louise grew up in Oxford, England. She attended St. Clare’s Hall in Oxford, and then earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in archaeology from the Institute of Archaeology London, England.
She later applied her artistic skills in an apprenticeship at a renowned fine art conservation studio in Milan. Louise has worked as a Canvas and Panel Painting conservator and Restorer for various auction houses as well as for the Italian Soprintendenza ai Beni Culturali. On-site conservation projects include work on various churches in Turin, Archaeological digs in Spain and a Roman site in Tuscany.
Having travelled widely throughout Europe, she settled in Tuscany where she runs an Organic Olive farm . She also works as a certified tour guide all over Europe.
*Please click on each day to view daily itinerary.
Fly from the US to Edinburgh, Scotland.
Upon arrival, you will be picked up at the airport and transferred to your centrally located hotel in Edinburgh. You will have time to rest and get settled before a welcome talk and dinner this evening. Overnight in Edinburgh.
Today we will spend the day exploring Edinburgh, its castle, the Royal Mile, and the National Museum of Scotland. We will enjoy either lunch or tea/pastries at the Elephant House. This is one of the most beloved tea and coffee houses in Edinburgh. Made famous as the place of inspiration to writers such as J.K. Rowling, who sat writing much of her early Harry Potters novels in the back room overlooking Edinburgh Castle. Overnight in Edinburgh.
Today we will say goodbye to Edinburgh and head to the lovely village of Stirling. Along the way, we will visit Dunfermline Abbey and mysterious Rosslyn Chapel. This privately owned medieval building has been at the center of legends, novels and theories concerning a connection to Freemasonry, the Knights Templar, and the Holy Grail. As such, it was prominently featured in the novel the Da Vinci Code. Upon arrival in Stirling, we will visit its small center and its famous castle, one of the largest and most important in Scotland. Before the union with England, Stirling Castel was one of the most used of the many Scottish royalresidences, so much that several Scottish Kings and Queens were crowned there, including Mary, Queen of Scots. Overnight in Stirling.
Today we will take a day trip to St. Andrews Links to visit the famous golf course, one of the oldest in the world, and shop at the golf house. Along the way, we will stop in the picturesque village of Falkland, used as a filming location for 1940s Inverness in the Outlander TV series, before heading back to Stirling for the afternoon. Overnight in Stirling.
Today we will have an early morning departure to Ft. Williams to catch the Jacobite Express train, perhaps better known as Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express, which will take us to the seaside village of Mallaig. After lunch in this port town, we will take a quick ferry ride over to the Isle of Skye, known for its breathtaking scenery and rich history, where you will have the afternoon to relax. Overnight in Armadale.
After exploring the island in the morning, we will transfer to Inverness via the Skye Bridge with stops at the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle on the way. This 13th century castle, one of the most iconic in Scotland, is located on an island where three lochs meet. It is the most recognized and photographed castle in all of Scotland. . Overnight in Inverness.
Today we will further explore Scottish lore with a boat cruise of the famous Loch Ness. This relaxing cruise will provide you with incredible visits of this lake and maybe a chance to spot the elusive Nessie. Afterwards, we will enjoy lunch at a quaint nearby restaurant before visiting Urquhart Castle. We will head over to Glen Ord distillery for a tasting before returning to Inverness Overnight in Inverness.
This morning will be the end of our Scottish journey as we transfer to the Inverness airport for a short morning flight to the Republic of Ireland. Upon arrival, we will transfer to our centrally located hotel in Dublin. This afternoon, we will start our Irish journey with a visit the world- famous Guinness storehouse. In the evening, you will have the option to enjoy some of Dublin’s famous pubs including, Temple Bar. Overnight in Dublin.
This morning we will become further acquainted with Dublin, as we enjoy a tour of Ireland’s capital city, including its winding and narrow streets in the city center, Trinity College and the Old Library, which is the permanent home of the Book of Kells. This evening enjoy a performance of traditional Irish Music to cap off our last evening in this lively city. Overnight in Dublin.
This morning we will depart from Dublin to Galway, stopping along the way to visit the beautiful Athlone castle and the Drum Heritage Center. Upon arrival in Galway, we will spend the afternoon and evening exploring the historic city center, dine at one of Galway’s excellent seafood restaurants and enjoy live music and Tigh Neachtain - Galway’s best traditional Irish bar since 1894, also renowned for its collection of whiskeys. Overnight in Galway.
Today we will start our journey with the visit to the fishing village of Kinvara to see Dunguaire Castle. Then we are off to the Burren, home to 75% of Ireland’s native flora and the location of numerous monuments such as the Gleninsheen Wedge Tomb and the 5,800 year old Poulnabrone Dolmen. We will make another stop at the coastal village of Doolin. After lunch, we will visit the highlight for the day, the Cliffs of Moher, before returning to Galway for the evening. Overnight in Galway.
This morning we will depart for Cork, while enjoying the panoramic Ring of Kerry, a scenic loop encompassing the Iveragh Peninsula. You will see breathtaking coastal scenery, rolling hills, rugged peatlands and stunning mountain terrain. Along the way, we will stop in Ballinskelligs where famous Irish Skelligs chocolate is made. Overnight in Cork.
Today we will start our day with a visit to the nearby Blarney Castle with its famous stone. In the afternoon, we will enjoy a walking tour of Cork, including a stop at its famous English market and butter museum, where we will learn the secrets of making traditional Irish butter. This evening we will enjoy our farewell dinner. Overnight in Cork.
Today you will be transferred to Cork airport where you can fly to London, Amsterdam or Munich to catch a flight back to Portland. We will also arrange for a transfer to Shannon Airport on September 14th if you find better flight departure options from Shannon. If you plan to leave from Shannon on the 14th, please book your flight no earlier than 11am.
13 nights and 14 days
Price: $5,135 per person in double room
Single room supplement: 845 USD
(Prices based on a minimum of 12 and a maximum of 18 paying travelers.)