The Olsen-O'leary Scotland-Ireland Tour: July 15-28, 2018
Trip Highlights: Authentic local music and ceremony experiences, Blarney Castle, Inverness, Cliffs of Moher, Loch Ness, a festive medieval castle banquet, traditional Irish dinner and show, and leisurely sightseeing in Dublin.
Read the full 15-day itinerary below!
Day 1: EDINBURGH & ROYAL YACHT BRITANNIA Tour begins 2:00 pm, Edinburgh Hotel. Tour the Royal Yacht Britannia, the floating home of The Queen on many of her travels around the world. Explore various parts of the ship, including staterooms and public spaces, together with photos of important visits. Enjoy a welcome drink with your group before dinner.
Day 2: EDINBURGH CASTLE & CITY TOUR Head out to see the highlights of central Edinburgh including the bustling Princes Street and the 200-year-old Georgian New Town. Walk along part of the Royal Mile and visit Edinburgh Castle, which contains the Scottish Crown Jewels and the Stone of Scone. The remainder of the day is free for you to relax or explore on your own. Dine at a Scottish Evening and enjoy a lively show with bagpipes, kilts and Highland dancing. On August 05 to 21 departures attend the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle, and your Scottish Evening will be the day before.
Day 3: BLAIR CASTLE & HIGHLAND SCENERY Head through the rolling green countryside of Perthshire to visit Blair Castle, home of the Duke of Atholl. Enjoy a tour of Blair Athol Distillery where you can see the process of whisky production and sample the finished product. Take a break in Pitlochry for some free time to explore and have lunch independently. Continue through majestic Highland scenery to Inverness (Sun departures) or Nairn (Tue departures).
Day 4: ISLE OF SKYE & CLAN DONALD CENTRE Travel alongside Loch Ness and through wild Highland scenery, pausing for photos at the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle. Cross to the Isle of Skye by bridge and visit the Clan Donald Centre at Armadale Castle to understand the history of the powerful Lords of the Isles. Return to the mainland by ferry and take the “Road to the Isles” through some majestic Highland scenery, stopping for photos at the Glenfinnan Monument.
Day 5: GLEN COE & RABBIE BURNS Enjoy views of the magnificent Highlands as you travel through Glen Coe and alongside the lovely shores of Loch Lomond. Stop in Alloway to visit the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum to learn about the famous poet’s life and poetry. Embark on a short ferry ride to Belfast.
Day 6: TITANIC BELFAST & ULSTER FOLK MUSEUM At Titanic Belfast delve into the history of the famous liner through state-of-the-art displays. Take a walk with a local Belfast guide to see the imposing City Hall in Donegall Square and Victorian buildings, including the Opera House and the Crown Liquor Saloon. Browse around the city on your own in the afternoon and in the evening visit the Ulster Folk Museum for a fun country-style dinner and traditional music.
Day 7: GIANT’S CAUSEWAY & DERRY’S WALLS Enjoy the scenic route of the Nine Glens of Antrim, known for views of mountains, valleys and coastline. Discover the Giant’s Causeway, enormous hexagonal columns which have spawned legends about the mythical giant, Finn McCool. Pause for photos at ruined Dunluce Castle. Head to Derry and enjoy a walking tour with a local guide to see the 17th century city walls, which are some of the best-preserved in Europe, and the Diamond, the main central square.
Day 8: GLENVEAGH NATIONAL PARK & KILRONAN CASTLE Visit Glenveagh National Park where Captain Adair built Glenveagh Castle in 1870. Enjoy a guided tour and stroll through the extensive gardens filled with exotic plants. Spend some free time in Donegal and have lunch independently before heading to the Belleek China Factory. Watch skilled craftspeople mould and decorate clay to form delicate and highly decorative pieces. Travel to the luxurious Kilronan Castle with time to relax before enjoying dinner in the castle’s fine restaurant.
Day 9: ARIGNA MINING EXPERIENCE & CARRICK ON SHANNON Visit the Arigna Mining Centre to experience what life was like for a coal miner in the Arigna Valley before the mines closed down. Browse through the exhibition area which outlines 400 years of mining history in the area. Then enjoy some free time in the historic town of Carrick on Shannon, situated on the River Shannon. In the afternoon relax in your lovely castle hotel before dinner.
Day 10: CLIFFS OF MOHER & MEDIEVAL CASTLE BANQUET Head to Galway city and join a local guide for a gentle walking tour. See the medieval city walls, Lynch’s Castle and the narrow streets. Travel through the Burren, an area of limestone hills which supports a wide range of flora. View the Cliffs of Moher, soaring 200m above the Atlantic Ocean. In the evening head to either Bunratty or Knappogue Castle for a fun medieval-style banquet.
Day 11: DINGLE PENINSULA & KILLARNEY Embark on a ferry ride across the River Shannon Estuary to discover the glorious Dingle Peninsula. Take in wonderful views from Slea Head at the westernmost tip. Stop in the town of Dingle for a look around and sip a creamy Irish coffee at the South Pole Inn, owned by an Antarctic explorer. Head to Killarney, a town settled beside three lakes in the shadow of Ireland's highest mountains.
Day 12: KILLARNEY & JAUNTING CAR RIDE Enjoy a horse-drawn jaunting car ride to Ross Castle for views of Lough Leane, Killarney’s largest lake. Head to the delightful town of Kenmare and sit down to a light lunch. Travel along part of the Ring of Kerry to admire breathtaking vistas of mountains, cliffs and beaches. Immerse yourself in farm life at the Kissane Sheep Farm and see how the farmer herds his flocks with sheepdogs. Return to Killarney for a free evening.
Day 13: BLARNEY CASTLE & ABBEY TAVERN Head to Blarney Castle to kiss the famous stone or stroll through the lovely gardens. Treat yourself to Irish goods at the Blarney Woollen Mills. Travel through the rich dairy country of Cork and Tipperary, past the gentle slopes of the Galtee Mountains stopping for photos at the majestic Rock of Cashel. Arrive in Dublin for an evening at the popular Abbey Tavern for dinner and lively Irish entertainment.
Day 14: DUBLIN SIGHTSEEING Explore Dublin at your own pace today. You may use your vouchers for an independent open-top bus tour around the city and a visit to one attraction.
Day 15: TOUR ENDS IN DUBLIN Your tour ends after breakfast.
Land from: $3650 per person
2 flight options are now available, call for pricing:
1) Depart Pittsburgh July 13th, spend pre-night in Dublin, tour starts July 15th.
2) Depart Pittsburgh July 14th, tour starts July 15th.
Both options return to Pittsburgh July 29th.
Itinerary & Hotels Subject to change without notice for Operational Reasons or Guest Safety
Package Pricing Based on Double Occupancy. Terms and Conditions Apply.