Stride climate

Highlights of Scotland & Ireland

Great Value Vacations
4.3 . Great
93%
Travel Style: A lot of free time, with very few inclusions. Ideal for independent and/or low-key travelers and cruisers. Relaxed
Physical Level: Some walking over short or flat distances. Some trips may include cycling options. Some are wheelchair friendly (check for individual trips). Some cruises. Easy
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
13 days
From: $ 2,058 $ 158 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Take advantage of hop-on/hop-off bus tours of the cities! Feel free to "hop off" and explore whichever sights strike you.
  • Feel like royalty as you come face-to-face with Blarney Castle, Edinburgh Castle, Dublin Castle, and more.
  • See postcard-worthy landscapes when you visit Inverness, Killarney, the Ring of Kerry, and the Cliffs of Moher.
  • Unwind with pints of beer at traditional pubs and listen to live folk music float through the air.
  • Enjoy the freedom of having your own car. Roam far and wide, and discover hidden treasures off the main road.

Short Description

Explore culture-packed cities and become awe-struck as you stand in front of Scotland and Ireland's dramatic natural beauty. Snap tons of photos in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Dublin, then enjoy tours of the breathtaking Ring of Kerry and Cliffs of Moher. Float atop Loch Ness on a guided cruise, discover the magic of Blarney Castle and Urquhart Castle, and relax in luxurious accommodations. Witness your dreams of Scotland and Ireland unfold before your eyes.

A travel company plans your itinerary and arranges all the logistics including lodging, local activities, and transportantion. You have the flexibility of a solo trip while still getting the convience and time savings of expert planning. Get 90% of the benefits of a tour, without a guide.
Trip Type Self-guided / Independent Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Airfare included
Start City Edinburgh
End City Ireland

Trip Includes

  • Round-trip economy class airfare into Edinburgh (EDI), out of Shannon (SNN)
  • Arrival airport transfer in Edinburgh
  • 2 nights in Edinburgh at the Macdonald Holyrood Hotel or similar
  • Edinburgh City Sightseeing Hop-On/Hop-Off Pass (24-hours)
  • Manual, compact rental car for 4 nights, automatic available for upgrade
  • 2 nights in Inverness at the Jurys Inn Inverness or similar
  • Jacobite Temptation Loch Ness Cruise & Urquhart Castle Tour
  • 2 nights in Glasgow at the Jurys Inn Glasgow or similar
  • Glasgow City Sightseeing Hop-On/Hop-Off Bus Tour (1 Day)
  • One-way, economy class airfare from Glasgow (GLA) to Dublin (DUB)
  • Manual, compact car rental for 6 nights, automatic available for upgrade
  • 2 nights in Dublin at the Croke Park Hotel or similar
  • Dublin Hop-On/Hop-Off Pass (48-hours)
  • 1 night in Cork at the Imperial Hotel or similar
  • Blarney Castle admission
  • 2 nights in Killarney at the Cahernane House Hotel or similar
  • Ring of Kerry Guided Tour
  • Cliffs of Moher admission
  • 1 night near Shannon Airport at the Hotel Woodstock or similar
  • Breakfast Daily

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Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Edinburgh!

Arrive in the exciting city of Edinburgh! Enjoy a transfer to your first luxurious accommodation, then take some time to freshen up and relax.

After you're all settled in, start exploring the city! Stroll along bustling Princes Street - who says it's too early for souvenir shopping? End your first evening with a pleasant walk through Princes Street Gardens and get a nice glimpse of Edinburgh Castle!

Transfer from Edinburgh Airport (EDI) to hotel!

Edinburgh City Sightseeing Hop-on/Hop-off Tour

Discover the best of Scotland’s Capital with City Sightseeing Edinburgh, 24-hour tour. Take in the city’s major sites including Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Grassmarket, Scottish Parliament and the Scottish National Gallery.

Visit the city’s Old Town and Georgian New Town - both of which enjoy UNESCO World Heritage status. The full loop takes approximately 60 minutes - however, you can hop on and off wherever and whenever you'd like, along the way.

Day 2: Edinburgh

Recharge with a delicious breakfast, then head to the 16th-century historic Holyrood Palace. Treat yourself to a tour, then walk through Holyrood Park and climb up to Arthur's Seat, an ancient volcano, and enjoy sweeping views of Edinburgh!

Make your way to Edinburgh Castle and explore the spectacular old, hilltop fortress. If time allows, check out St. Giles' Cathedral, the Scott Monument, and the beautiful Royal Botanic Garden of Edinburgh.

Spend the evening strolling through the charming Royal Mile and Old Town, then experience one-of-a-kind nightlife in the New Town.

Day 3: Edinburgh - Inverness

Enjoy an energizing breakfast, pick up your rental car, then head up to breathtaking Inverness. On the way, you may want to stop at historic Stirling Castle and the extraordinary Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park. Experience postcard-worthy views and make everyone back home jealous with tons of photos!

Upon arrival in Inverness, check-in to your hotel, then stroll through the city's charming streets. The area is filled with amazing architecture, so you may want to check out Inverness Cathedral and Inverness Castle.

Day 4: Inverness

Today, get ready to experience the legend of Loch Ness in real life! Embark on your Jacobite Temptation Loch Ness Cruise & Urquhart Castle Tour and listen to intriguing stories while taking in the gorgeous scenery.

If you have time after the tour, check out Macbeth-linked Cawdor Castle!

Jacobite Temptation Cruise: Loch Ness Cruise & Urquhart Castle Tour

Soak in the breathtaking scenery and revel in the mystery as you tour the most iconic loch in the Scottish Highlands: Loch Ness! Overflowing with fascinating myths, wild tall tales, and colorful history, no trip through the Highlands is complete without a visit to this famous landmark. Take two and a half house to cruise along on the loch and drive its banks as you learn about the history, legends, and exciting tales surrounding not only the loch, but the archaic Urquhart Castle perched on its banks and the Caledonian Canal running through the heart of Scotland's Great Glen. You'll also get to relax with a guided coach tour as you make your way through the ruins of the castle.

Day 5: Inverness - Glasgow

As you say goodbye to Inverness and drive south toward Glasgow, you may want to travel through lush, green Glencoe or make a pit-stop in breathtaking Cairngorms National Park.

Once you reach Glasgow, settle into your hotel, then get to know this vibrant city. Grab your camera, activate your 24-hour hop-on/hop-off bus pass, and see the sights you've been dreaming about.

Glasgow City Sightseeing Hop-on/Hop-off Bus Tour (1 Day)

Experience vibrant Glasgow from the top deck of a tour bus! Explore famous art galleries and museums, hop off at picturesque parks, or enjoy the full-loop on the bus and enjoy the audio tours, including a special Ghoulish Glasgow channel for children! The hop-on/hop-off bus tours provide entertaining and colorful insight into Glasgow’s past and present. The full loop takes approximately 105 minutes - however you can hop on and off wherever and whenever you'd like, along the way.

Day 6: Glasgow

Enjoy breakfast, then continue using your sightseeing bus pass today! Be sure to "hop off" at University of Glasgow, Kelvingrove Park and Art Gallery, Glasgow Cathedral, and the Necropolis. Spend the afternoon shopping on charming Buchanan Street, then stroll through the greenery that fills Pollok Country Park.

Day 7: Glasgow - Dublin

Wake up early and drive to Glasgow Airport to drop off your rental car and board your flight to Dublin. Before you know it, you'll be in the land of luck and lush greenery - Ireland!

Why waste a minute? As soon as you pick up your car and settle into your Dublin hotel, activate your sightseeing pass! Gawk at Christ Church Cathedral, explore Dublin Castle, then unwind with a pint at a traditional pub on Grafton Street.

Fly from Glasgow Airport (GLA) to Dublin Airport (DUB)

Dublin Big Bus Premium Hop-on/Hop-off - 48-hour

Visit Ireland’s capital and discover the city from the top of an open-top double-decker bus. Let City Sightseeing entertain, inform and highlight all the things to do and see in Dublin to help you make the most of your stay. The 48-hour ticket is the perfect hassle-free way to get around town and visit all of Dublin’s major sights.

Includes:

  • Unlimited travel ticket for 48 hours
  • Live tour guides
  • Discounts on attractions throughout the city
  • Free walking tour
  • Wheelchair accessibility
  • Covered buses for inclement weather
  • Dublin Night Tour

Day 8: Dublin

After breakfast, continue exploring the city with your sightseeing bus pass! Visit St. Patrick's Cathedral, admire the amazing architecture of Trinity College, and stroll through its awe-inspiring library.

In the afternoon, take a relaxing walk through St. Stephen's Green, then head to the lively Temple Bar area. Go ahead and treat yourself to a delicious dinner, accompanied by pints of beer and live music, of course.

Day 9: Dublin - Cork

Take a scenic drive from Dublin to Cork, and along the way, stop at the famous Blarney Castle! Pucker up and peck the legendary Blarney Stone, which promises the gift of gab to those who kiss it!

After settling into your Cork hotel, make your way to the colorful coastal town of Cobh Harbor. Walk through charming shops, treat yourself to a seaside dinner, and watch the sunset as fishing boats float by.

Blarney Castle

Blarney Castle was built nearly six hundred years ago by one of Ireland's greatest chieftains, Cormac MacCarthy, and has been attracting attention beyond Munster ever since.

Over the last few hundred years, millions have flocked to Blarney, making it a world landmark and one of Ireland's greatest treasures. Now that might have something to do with the Blarney Stone, the legendary Stone of Eloquence, found at the top of the Tower. Kiss it and you'll never again be lost for words.

Day 10: Cork - Killarney

Enjoy a scenic drive through southern Ireland and head to picture-perfect Killarney! Settle into your hotel, then lace up your hiking shoes and head to Killarney National Park.

Walk through vast, vibrant greenery and explore historic Ross Castle and Muckross Abbey. Take photos in front of Torc Waterfall, see your reflection in the crystal-clear lakes, and feel tiny in the shadow of the larger-than-life Gap of Dunloe.

Day 11: Killarney

Enjoy breakfast, then get ready for jaw-dropping views and sparkling seascapes on your included Ring of Kerry tour. Make sure your camera is charged - you won't be able to stop taking photos!

After the tour, you may want to check out Ireland's tallest peak at the mountain of Carrauntoohil. At 1,038 meters high, it may not be the easiest hike, but its easily accessible surroundings are worth a visit. And my, is it a splendid sight, even from afar.

Ring of Kerry Guided Bus Tour

The Iveragh Peninsula - which contains Ireland’s most spectacular mountain road - the Ring of Kerry - is situated in the southwest corner of Ireland. Over the centuries it has been the inspiration of poets and writers because of its magnificent coastal scenery and rugged countryside.

This motorcoach tour allows travelers to share in the history, geography, culture, stories and folklore of the enchanting Ring of Kerry. This is an ideal opportunity for you to forget about the left-hand side of the road for a day and relax in worry-free comfort.

The Ring of Kerry is usually done in a counter-clockwise direction along the banks of the River Laune to Killorglin, via Glenbeigh, Kells, Caherciveen and the southern shores of Dingle Bay. The tour continues to Waterville and along the coast via Coomakista Pass and Derrynane and on to Sneem. From Sneem you travel up the mountain road to Molls Gap, then via Ladies’ View and back to Killarney. In addition to stopping at all points of interest en route you also stop for an hour at lunchtime. In the afternoon a stop will be made for tea/coffee/Guinness/refreshments.

Day 12: Killarney - Clare

Today, you're traveling between two of Ireland's most beautiful, raved-about areas. How could your last day in Ireland be anything but memorable? From the Kerry-green countryside of Killarney to the bright blue coasts of Clare, you won't be able to take your eyes off the spectacular scenery.

Upon arrival in Clare, enjoy your included admission to the one and only Cliffs of Moher! Gaze out at this massive, majestic landmark, and be sure to snag the perfect selfie.

Cliffs Of Moher

See Ireland's most visited sea cliffs; these dramatic cliffs rise over 700 ft above sea level and offer some of the most breathtaking coastal views.

On a clear day, see as far as the Aran Islands! Take a leisurely stroll along the guided path, climb the castle at the top of the hill, or see how many different species of birds you can spot - you may even see a puffin or two!

Day 13: Depart Ireland

Drive to Shannon Airport (SNN), drop off your car, and board your plane. Spend the relaxing flight home scrolling through priceless photos and dreaming about your next adventure.

Fly home!

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Price From $ 2,058
Price Per Day: $ 158 per day
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6,665 Great Value Vacations Travel Reviews & Ratings

93%
4.3 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 3,962
Great 1,549
Average 688
Disappointing 255
Terrible 210
Value
4.3
Guide
4.3
Activities
4.3
Lodging
4.3
Transportation
4.3
Meals
4.3

Highlights of Scotland & Ireland

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Company Reviews

The customer service was excellent

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
When I booked with Great Value I was nervous because it seemed too good to be true. Nope, just a really great deal. I was able to take my dream trip to Ireland and Scotland and it was within my budget. Everything was covered, my lodging, flights, and rental car. There was no hidden fees, or fine print that would nickel and dime me later on, as "good deals" usually have. I also had to change the date of my trip and the customer service was excellent and this change was simple. Thank you Great Value, I'll be using you every time I travel from now on
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Everything on the trip was excellent.

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Everything on the trip was excellent. The only concern with any services from GVV was initial communications ahead of the trip regarding when and how we'd receive all our travel vouchers, as some were available online, and some were to be picked up in country upon arrival. It took no less than 5 phone calls to learn some vouchers would be picked up in country. The trip was outstanding, exhausting, but gloriously beautiful. It was exhausting from the perspective of moving around the country and only a few places were 2 nights. But, we knew that going in, and we wanted to see ALL of Switzerland and this certainly checked those boxes. We saw majestic mountains, we saw countless waterfalls and glaciers. The trains in Switzerland were all clean and we felt safe. The hotels were good with delicious breakfasts each morning. Overall, I would recommend GVV to a friend or family member and I would personally book another vacation with GVV.
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Our trip was amazing!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This was my first time planning a trip out of the country. I read previous reviews who had a good experience with Great Value Vacation. Our trip was amazing! The booking and reservations were easy to use with the vouchers provided. The staff was helpful. The only downside was I upgraded to have an automatic vehicle and they gave me a stick shift. It took a while to get sorted out but other than that I loved my trip! I will definitely use great value vacations again when I book my next trip. I opted for the additional wine tasting package and I did not regret it! I recommend adding those additional tours to get a more complete experience.
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Great customer service

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
My wife and I recently booked our vacation through Great Value Vacations. We were a bit nervous to travel to Europe for the first time, but we are glad we did. Great Value Vacations took care of us. Great customer service. Seamless transactions. They booked the hotels and flights for us. All we had to worry about were the daily activities! I would highly recommended them. The hotels offered through the package were as advertised: nice and in great locations. The flights times were also convenient. The best part was the price. I am thankful for the experiences Great Value Vacation was able to provide for us!
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Really enjoyed both of my trips

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Really enjoyed both of my trips through Great Value Vacations. I went on one family trip to Ireland (Adare villa, rental car with trips out to Dublin, Cliffs of Moher and more) . The villa was very comfortable with a kitchen, three bedrooms, and proximity to the local shops /restaurants. We were able to upgrade to an automatic car and had fun navigating to each location on our itinerary. The trip as planned by the agency still leaves time for exploring on your own and since we picked a trip with our own transportation, we had flexibility on which tours we wanted to do and when.

My second trip was a solo trip to Scotland. I like to go on vacation by myself sometimes, but it can be hard to find ones where you aren’t penalized for being on your own. This train trip to Edinburgh, Inverness, and Glasgow worked out really well for me. The hotels were all near the train stations and in safe areas (good lighting, plenty of people, etc.). I got a good mix of options for sightseeing in each city. The hop-on, hop-off bus circuit was especially useful for getting around Edinburgh. I also added an extra tour on in Glasgow to see nearby castles and a distillery and was very glad to have done so as the views of the countryside were amazing!

Summary: Have enjoyed my previous experiences and would definitely use again
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Above and beyond our expectations

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Just got back from our trip to Italy booked through Great Value Vacations & was our dream come true! We could not have gone if it were not for their unbelievable rates. Each 4 Star Villa we stayed at was above and beyond our expectations...I cried after leaving each part of our journey. I am so glad I took a leap of faith and would HIGHLY RECOMMEND booking with them. Besides the Villas being beautiful, great locations, clean, and great staff; each place we arrived at actually said, "They said to give you a very nice room." (with a rate of just under $1,900 a piece for 9 nights not counting travel days at 4 stars Villas in Rome, Tuscany, & Venice including airfare and rent a car... a few friends told us to expect the worst rooms at the places we were staying ~ NOT the case! Our rooms had the best views...I could go on and on. Every step of the way was smooth with no worries whatsoever. Thanks again GVV! LOVED IT!
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Details

Flights & Transport

Airfare included

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Accomodations

  • Macdonald Holyrood Hotel
  • Hilton Edinburgh Carlton
  • Mercure Edinburgh Princes Street Hotel
  • Jurys Inn Edinburgh
  • Grassmarket Hotel
  • Stay Central Hotel
  • Murrayfield Hotel
  • Jurys Inn Inverness
  • Mercure Inverness Hotel
  • Best Western Inverness Palace Hotel & Spa                                                           
  • Macdonald Drumossie Hotel
  • Jurys Inn Glasgow
  • Millennium Hotel Glasgow
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Glasgow Central
  • Hilton Garden Inn Glasgow City Center
  • Mercure Glasgow City Hotel
  • The Croke Park
  • Ashling Hotel
  • Hilton Garden Inn Dublin Custom House
  • Jurys Inn Christchurch Dublin
  • Imperial Hotel Cork
  • River Lee Hotel-Cork
  • The Ambassador Hotel
  • Cahernane House Hotel
  • Great Southern Killarney
  • Muckross Park Hotel & Spa
  • Hotel Woodstock
  • Bunratty Castle Hotel
  • The Inn at Dromoland (formerly Clare Inn)

Trip ID#:

greatvaluevacations-PK-GC4P-SH-HSI-EDI

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