Scotland is a beautiful and sparsely populated country with rolling lowland, dramatic mountains, lochs and many offshore islands. These days, Scotland's cities - which have always been considered a bit, well, gloomy - have become as popular as the pastoral countryside. The annual Edinburgh International Festival, which gets bigger and zanier every year, is one of the hottest arts tickets in Europe. With the opening in 1999 of its Parliament, Scottish politics is abloom as well.
Even with all that activity, Scotland has plenty of places to get away from it all. In the Highlands, you can walk for hours across misty moors and clamber up and down rocky slopes without seeing a soul, and only a shaggy Highland cow or a thread of smoke curling from a cottage chimney will dispel the feeling of blissful solitude. And when you're ready for company, you'll find it at friendly pubs and inns: For all its air of wildness, reinforced by its rebellious history and its moody weather, Scotland has a wonderfully cozy and warm side. The Scots (not Scotch - that's what you drink) have a strong hospitable streak and a great sense of humor.
Scotland's geography is characterized by the fabled Highlands, the lowlands and its coastline, which is cut by firths (similar to fjords). The national symbol, the thistle, combines with evergreens and heather to enhance the countryside. And while the land can be bleak or even barren in places, the nation has many lush, dramatic and heart-stopping scenes of beauty in others. Industry is concentrated in the central valley of Scotland and around the main cities, especially Glasgow.
Day 1: Edinburgh
Upon arrival at the Edinburgh airport you will be met by your local representative, welcomed to Scotland and privately transferred to your hotel, where you will be assisted with check-in.
Your local representative is part of a unique network of one of over 75 on the ground representatives throughout Europe to ensure your vacation operates smoothly and to your absolute satisfaction. Your representative is there on the ground to ensure that your travel arrangements run perfectly. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.
You will be confirmed for two nights at the Balmoral in a classic room, including a Scottish breakfast. The official check-in time is 2.00 pm. If your arrival is earlier, we will request early check-in on your behalf however this cannot be guaranteed.
Day 2: Edinburgh
This morning your local guide will meet you at your hotel for a half day tour of Edinburgh (4 hours). You will head up to Edinburgh Castle, where you will see the "Honours of Scotland," or the Scottish Crown Jewels, and stunning views of the city.
Day 3: Edinburgh – St. Andrews – Inverness
Enjoy a full day journey (up to 8 hours) with your driver-guide and private vehicle to the North of Scotland. Stop en-route in the “kingdom” of Fife and the town of St. Andrews on the North Sea coast. Known throughout the world as the home of golf, St. Andrews was originally the ecclesiastical and educational capital of Scotland. Visit the ruins of the cathedral, destroyed during the Reformation and St. Andrews Castle. Continue on to Inverness where the remainder of the day will be at your leisure.
You will be confirmed for two nights at the Glenmoriston Town House Hotel in a standard double, including a Scottish breakfast.
Glenmoriston Town House Hotel (B)
Day 4: Inverness
Spend the day (8 hours) in the company of your driver-guide exploring the region. The first stop will be Culloden Moor, where the Jacobite army of Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated in 1746. You can visit the site, as well as the Culloden Visitor Center. We continue on to Cawdor Castle, which is set on wooded grounds with buildings dating back to the early 14th century. From there, enter the central square tower over the drawbridge. The interior of the castle is full of eclectic collections of paintings, tapestries, furniture and books. The gardens of Cawdor are also stunning. You will be transferred back to your hotel in Inverness.
Glenmoriston Town House Hotel (B)
Day 5: Inverness – Auchterarder
Spend the day with your driver-guide, traveling towards Perthshire. Drive along the River Ness until you reach Loch Ness, home of the fabled monster. You will also see the ruins of Urquhart Castle that dominate the deepest part of the lake and have time for photo stops. Continue along the Great Glen past Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Scotland, to Fort William that stands at the head of Loch Linnhe. Your driver-guide will take you to Auchterarder where the remainder of the day is at your leisure.
You will be confirmed for two nights at the Gleneagles Hotel in a classic room, including a Scottish breakfast.
Gleneagles Hotel (B)
Day 6: Auchterarder
Today will be at your leisure to enjoy the many facilities and activities available at your hotel (extra activities are not included in tour cost).
Gleneagles Hotel (B)
Day 7: Auchterarder – Edinburgh Airport
You will be privately transferred to Edinburgh Airport for your departure flight. Bon Voyage!
*** THIS IS A PROPOSAL ONLY AND IS SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY AT THE TIME OF CONFIRMATION. WE ARE NOT HOLDING ANY SPACES FOR THIS ITINERARY AT THIS TIME. ***
Depart any day! Contact iExplore for details.
|2013 Prices||High Season||Low Season|
|One person traveling alone||6544||3572|
|Two people sharing one double/twin room||5860||3333|
High Season: May 1 - October 31, 2013
Low Season: January 1 - April 30, 2013, November 1 - December 31, 2013
- Scottish breakfast
- Accommodation in Classic Room(s) at the Balmoral, Edinburgh
- Accommodation in Standard Room(s) at the Glenmoriston Town House Hotel, Inverness
- Accommodation in Classic Room(s) at the Gleneagles Hotel, Auchterarder
- Private transport where stated by VW Caravelle / Mercedes Viano (or similar). Please note that the vehicle allows two pieces of luggage per person. For additional luggage, larger vehicles can be provided for a supplementary cost
- Blue Badge qualified guide for tour of Edinburgh on day two
- Driver-guide for services on days three, four and five
- Entrance fees to all statedsights and museums in the itinerary
- The services of a local representative to meet clients at the airport upon arrival and reconfirmation in advanc of guests
- Welcome pack (one per room)
- All taxes
- 24 hour emergency contact service of local agent.
- All air travel and associated costs
- All meals EXCEPT breakfast
- Visas and related costs
- Entrance fees not stated in the itinerary
- All items of a personal nature (e.g. beverages, telephone calls, laundry, personal insurance)
All prices are in US dollars and do not include international airfare, unless otherwise noted.
Prices displayed are based on the lowest season base price and assume double occupancy. Prices are shown in U.S. dollars and may or may not include administrative fees, taxes, meals, airfare (where applicable) and Single Supplements. Cancellation penalties, blackout dates and other restrictions may apply.