Highlights
  • Explore Galway City's cobble stone streets and feel yourself stepping back in time to Medieval Ireland
  • Awesome Connemara Sightseeing Immersion
  • Massive the Cliffs of Moher rise to a height of 668 feet above the Atlantic and is one of the most impressive coastlines in Ireland
  • See the "Ring of Kerry" - A beautiful drive on the coast
  • Enjoy the sightseeing Blarney Castle
  • Enjoy our guided walking tour of the heart of Dublin
  • Discover Edinburgh

Discover Scotland, Featuring our expert Story Land & Sea® Tour Captain with Expert Local Guides, Perfect-Balance Sightseeing & Leisure Time

12
Story Land & Sea Travel Reviews & Ratings
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
100% Recommend

5.0 out of 5
Excellent 12 Great 0 Average 0 Disappointing 0 Terrible 0
Value
5.0 Guide
5.0 Activities
4.9 Lodging
5.0 Transportation
5.0 Meals
5.0
Spirit of Ireland & Scotland Tour

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Story Land & Sea.

DND

Recommends

We decided to trust Story to deliver one of our bucket list trips. THEY DID NOT DISAPPOINT! June 2018

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 4.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We decided to trust Story to deliver one of our bucket list trips. THEY DID NOT DISAPPOINT! The tour through Venice, Florence, Cortona, and Rome exceeded our expectations. Absolutely everything was FIRST CLASS. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. We gave it 5 stars only because there aren’t 6. The published itinerary was delivered in spades with special additions, sometimes twice a day. We never touched luggage, as it was moved for us from location to location. We never had to deal with tickets for transportation or museums. The local, private guides were super. The included dinners and wine were superb. This is a no driving, hassle free tour. We are planning to take another Story Small Group tour.

AND, as a special treat, the owner of the company was our tour captain. We tried several things that may be included in future itineraries. In the course of 9 days nothing flustered him. Everything was taken in stride, dealt with and resolved quickly. Nothing interfered with his fantastic service to his guests. We were not customers in any sense of the word. There was never a hint that Story was trying to watch the budget.

For those of you reading this and trying to decide, there are some things you need to consider. (When you have questions, call. You'll find that the Story help line is very knowledgeable and helpful.)

Small group - There were 15 people on our tour (16 is maximum). The tour caption had the time to get to know all of us. We saw lots of groups that appeared to be 40-50 people! You get to decide which is best for you. The smaller group = higher cost. We thought that it was easily worth it.

Walking - There is a lot of walking on this tour. There is always the option to use a taxi to get from place to place (extra cost). Some of the people on the tour with us had apps to count steps. Most showed more than 10,000 at noon time! MANY of those steps are on stairs and rough/cobble stone streets. Many of the stairs are inside attractions - not between them – so they can’t be avoided. By the end of our nine days, some tour group members were opting out of some planned activities. Opinion: If you can't complete a three mile walk, over uneven terrain, at a three mph pace (that's faster than most people walk), comfortably; get in shape. You’ll never do a constant three mile walk, on the tour – but it’ll feel like it.

Weather - We had fantastic weather! Temperature in the mid/low 70's and two sprinkles in nine days. Mostly sunshine. A great time to go.

Crowds - On the other hand, it wasn't such a great time to go. The crowds of tourists were overwhelming, everywhere except Cortona. I.E.: Our private, skip-the-line guided tour of the Vatican was especially BAD. We waited in line for about an hour and then once inside, we were literally shoulder to shoulder for the remaining two - three hours. It was nearly impossible to enjoy/understand what we were seeing. We spent more time trying to keep in sync with the group than looking at the art. The Sistine Chapel was NOT worth the time it took to get there. This was not something that Story could control. If the Vatican is important to you, go some other time of the year! If you are there during the busy season, opt out. There are thousands of fantastic things to see in Rome that won't be busy.

Security - We had a tour guide point out a small group of gypsy/pick-pockets as we exited the Vatican and steered us around them. That was the only "issue" in nine days - not a big deal. But, we were reminded to be "vigilant" many times - especially around crowds.

Navigation - Venice, Florence and Rome are VERY difficult to get around. There are many streets/alleys that run in apparently random directions. The maps available through hotels/tourist agents are not in adequate detail. Consider a hand-held GPS navigation system MANDITORY. Our phone did not have cell connectivity, so we down loaded the Google map. It worked once. Be very careful that you have a navigation device that works! Download a local map and test, test, test in airplane mode (?) before you go.

Driving – If you are going to Italy and renting a car, during the busy season, Venice allows no cars, problem solved. Driving in Florence and ESPECIALLY Rome is crazy. You've been forewarned.

Hotels - As it says, the hotels are in the center of the city/attractions. For example: the hotel in Rome was 200 feet from the Pantheon! This means that some of the buildings are more than 1,500 years old. You'll get used to seeing corners that you'd think should be 90 degrees, but aren't. Be prepared to spend time learning how things work and how to find your room - it'll be different from hotel to hotel and what you are used to! WiFi worked good in each hotel, except Rome. (See review of Grand Hotel de Minirva on TripAdvisor)
Read more

Operator Story Land & Sea

K

Recommends

Truly a memorable experience! July 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Small group travel is the best way to go! This is my first experience with Story Land & Sea and it won't be my last. The attention to detail that this agency provides met all of my expectations and more. There was a wonderful balance between "touring" together and personal time to explore locations on our own. The professional guides that were provided in each location were exceptional and the location of the hotels made it feel like we were locals. Truly a memorable experience!
Read more

Operator Story Land & Sea

G

Recommends

I strongly recommend the extension July 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We absolutely loved our Cities tour of Italy. David Douglas was an incredible captain, making sure everything was perfect. The trip
far surpassed our expectations in every way.
Hotels were in great locations and rooms were excellent. The restaurants chosen were fabulous, as were the tours in each city.
I strongly recommend the extension to the Amalfi Coast! It is breathtaking!
Read more

Operator Story Land & Sea

J

Recommends

Enhance your experience May 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I am a travel agent and have traveled with Story Land & Sea on 3 of their trip offerings. In addition, I have sent countless couples and groups with them to taste the riches of the cultures,and explore the history of destinations only imagined. Story is a first class tour operator that has dedicated English speaking Tour Captains - as well as local guides to enhance your experience. Can't say enough about the service they provide.
Read more

Operator Story Land & Sea

J

Recommends

A Great Value May 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Finished my 1st tour with Story to Italy. They have a great team from office staff to tour captain and there choice of hotels,food, local tour guides. What a Great Value. Thank you!!

Operator Story Land & Sea

Itinerary

Day 1: International Flight Day: Bound for Ireland

Today is your flight date from North America, Canada, Australia or New Zealand - Your flight is not included, however we do have an air department that could provide you a quotation. You will cross the Atlantic Ocean tonight en-route to Europe.

Please Note: "Day 1" is the published tour date and is the date you will arrange your air travel to depart your home airport.

Your Small Group Tour will commence on Itinerary Day 2 upon arrival into Galway, Ireland.

Protect Your Vacation: We very much encourage trip cancellation and interruption insurance.

Arrive Shannon, Ireland airport

Day 2: Welcome to Galway

Accommodation in Galway, 2 Nights; Deluxe: The Salthill Hotel or similar.

Walking Level: Light, Leisurely Pace. Volume: Light

Upon arrival into Galway, check in to your hotel. if you have arrived early, have no fears. You can drop your bags and set off to wander Galway City's cobble stone streets and feel yourself stepping back in time to Medieval Ireland. Known the world over for its friendly people, charming streets, shopping and nightlife, Galway will refresh flagging spirits like no other place.

Our hotel is in the city centre, so the guests who arrive early have lunch options and things to do. We get everyone checked in and plan for a 4:00 orientation walkabout.

Included Orientation Walking Tour

At 4:00 pm, join your Tour Captain for an Orientation Walk on your arrival day in Galway. Learn the major landmarks and the lay of the land in relation to our hotel. We'll introduce you to the best ATM machines and other helpful information for your stay in Galway.

About the Walking on our Tours

We do walk on our small group tours of Scotland & Ireland. We walk a lot, but it's unhurried and there are ample opportunities to sit and relax. You must be physically capable of walking and experiencing the many cobblestone-paths and lanes of Scotland.

Our approach to dining is truly unique: We've collected our favorites dishes from the incredible restaurants we visit for each included dinner. No buffets here! Your Tour Captain is there to make sure your dining experience goes smoothly. For the 5 total included dinners, your Tour Captain will select a variety of appetizers, featuring regional cuisine, and will select your wine for the evening ~ a variety of red and white wine from the region you're traveling ~ and yes, there is always a Irish or Scottish Pint available.

Day 3: Connemara Drive

After a wonderful Irish breakfast at the hotel, meet our driver and guide in the lobby as we set out to explore the Connemara area of Ireland.

Connemara Sightseeing Immersion

Now we are entering the wild beauty of Connemara: Mountains start to rise and there are vast, open, breath-taking spaces in the Maam Valley, a spectacular region that divides up the Maamturk mountains of Connemara.

Dropping down into the village of Leenane where the film The Field directed by John B. Keane was filmed, Killary Fjord (Ireland’s only fjord) unfolds.

Here you can see the salmon and mussel pots floating on the surface of the water where the fish are farmed here. Arriving now at the highlight of the tour, Kylemore Abbey & Gardens, one can absorb the tranquil atmosphere while walking in one of Ireland’s most peaceful scenic areas.

We enjoy a panoramic journey and return to Galway.

Enjoy sightseeing including:

Connemara - The drive is on the Wild Atlantic Way driving route and winds its way in spectacular fashion along the northern side of Killary Fjord, through a series of valleys between the peaks of Ben Creggan and Ben Gorm.

Leenane Village - The picturesque village of Leenane is our destination and the way there provides an unforgettable driving experience through the Connemara wilderness.

Consider an optional dinner tonight with the Tour Captain or explore at leisure.

Day 4: The Cliffs Of Moher

Accommodation in Killarney, 2 Nights; Deluxe: Killarney Plaza Hotel or Similar

Cliffs of Moher

We depart Galway for Killarney and experience the Cliffs of Moher, a sheer precipice that stretches for 5 miles along the Wild Atlantic Way.

After check in we offer the jaunting carts to Ross Lake where we will do a Story exclusive at Ross Castle Ruins.

Note: The jaunting carts may be on the following day depending on weather and schedule.

Sightseeing includes:

The Cliffs of Moher - The Cliffs of Moher rise to a height of 668 feet above the Atlantic and is one of the most impressive coastlines in Ireland. In nesting season the cliffs are home to a variety of seabirds.

Ross Lake & Ross Castle Ruins - An exclusive experience from Story (dependent upon weather conditions).

Day 5: Enjoying the Kingdom of Kerry

Optional Dining: Join your Tour Captain for dinner.

Jaunting Kart

This morning we’re off to explore some of the highlights of the Ring of Kerry from the town of Kenmare.

We'll take in a sheep dog demonstration which is quite fascinating. This afternoon enjoy the balance of the afternoon at leisure.

Sightseeing includes:

The "Ring of Kerry" - A beautiful drive on the coast.

Sheep Dog Demonstration

Join the Tour Captain for an optional dinner in this town known for its traditional Irish music and pubs.

Day 6: Exploring Blarney Castle & Gardens

Meals: Dinner in Dublin

Accommodation in Dublin, 2 Nights; Deluxe:  Radisson Blu Hotel Dublin

Today we head to Dublin with a stop at Blarney Castle, where you will have the chance to kiss the famous Stone of Eloquence (some call the gift of Gab) and time to pillage the adjacent woolen mills.

Situated 8km from Cork City, this historic castle is most famous for its stone, which has the traditional power of conferring eloquence on all who kiss it.

In the grounds of the castle, the Rock Close, and its surroundings, is a curious place of ancient trees and far more ancient stones, by legend a garden of druidic origin and a center of worship in pre-Christian days. The place has an aura of magic and mystique with Wishing Steps, Witch's Kitchen, Druid's Cave and many other delights, telling a story of centuries past. Blarney Castle Estate offers visitors the chance to stroll in one of the country's most spectacular gardens. Blarney Castle & House are set in acres of parkland filled with rare and unusual trees and plants. There will be time for lunch and shopping at the nearby Blarney Woolen Mill's, the largest in Ireland.

Special sightseeing today includes:

Blarney Castle - The word “Blarney” was introduced into the English language by Queen Elizabeth I and is described as pleasant talk, intended to deceive without offending. The stone is set in the wall below the battlements, and to kiss it, one has to lean backwards (grasping an iron railing) from the parapet walk.

Stone of Eloquence - The gift of 'gab' is just a castle's stairwell away from you if you dare!

Our destination this afternoon is Dublin. Upon arrival we will check in, freshen up and join the Tour Captain for a guided orientation walkabout of your Dublin surroundings.

Welcome to Dublin.

Day 7: Trinity College, The Book of Kells, St. Patrick's Cathedral

Optional Dinner Tonight: Pub Crawl with Tour Captain through Dublin. Visit Brazen Head, Dublin's oldest Pub.

After your full Irish breakfast this morning meet the Tour Captain and our expert local guide in the lobby to commence our walking tour exploring the city center. Enjoy an informed and fun perspective of life and history in Ireland’s capital.

The walking tour will begin at Trinity College Library where we include entrance fees to see the famous Book of Kells.

In the afternoon you may choose to visit Kilmainham Gaol, The Guinness Storehouse, The Dublin Writers Museum or any of the great museums and galleries.

Experience in Dublin today:

Trinity College Library - Inspiration for movies and more.

Book of Kells

St. Patrick's Cathedral - Included admission and tour with our guide.

Enjoy our guided walking tour of the heart of Dublin.

Brazen Head Pub

Optional dining tonight with your Tour Captain or explore at leisure.

Day 8: Arrive Edinburgh

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation in Edinburgh, 2 Nights; Deluxe: Radisson Blu Royal Mile Hotel, Edinburgh,

Exclusive: Tonight, experience with our Reception and Welcome from the Tour Captain from one of our classic perspectives ~ unique vantage point to survey Edinburgh in the company of your fellow travelers.

Welcome Orientation Walkabout: Join your Tour Captain Host for a Welcome Orientation Walk on your arrival day in Edinburgh. You will learn where the major landmarks are located in relation to our hotel, the best ATM machines for exchange rates, and other helpful information for your stay.

There will be time to for independent exploration of the Royal Mile or the Georgian New Town before our 7:00 pm welcome reception.

Walking Level: Light, Leisurely Pace; Volume: Light

Your Small Group Tour Vacation to Scotland & Ireland is underway! After our reception, we'll walk to our Welcome Dinner in Edinburgh, where you'll taste the finest cuisine from the region.

Day 9: Edinburgh

Optional Dining: You may opt to join your Tour Captain tonight for dinner (departs from lobby usually about 7:45pm) or opt to explore on your own throughout Edinburgh.

After a full Scottish breakfast we will meet our Blue Badge guide and driver for our driving/walking tour of Edinburgh's highlights, culminating with the tour of the Edinburgh Castle. Afterwards you will have the rest of the day to explore the many areas of Edinburgh such as the Grass Market area with it many famous pubs and eateries. You can take in the National Museum or the National Galleries or simply take a walk in the beautiful Princes Park.

Our tour of Edinburgh includes:

Edinburgh Castle - Included admission and tour.

Walking Tour of the City - Enjoy our guided walking tour of the heart of Edinburgh.

You are invited to join the Tour Captain for an optional dinner tonight, or explore on your own.

Day 10: The Scottish Highlands

Accommodation in Oban, 2 Nights; Deluxe: The Queens Oban or similar

Cliffs of Moher

Included Dining: Join your Tour Captain tonight for dinner at the fantastic Manor House restaurant.

After breakfast, meet your Tour Captain in the lobby and then board our very comfortable small-group motor coach and greet again our expert driver-guide as we are bound for the Highlands.

An amazing day awaits us as we depart this morning at 8:30. We make our way from the city, crossing the Firth of Forth into the Kingdom of Fife, entering Perthshire where we will make a stop in the picturesque Scottish town of Pitlochry for a little coffee and shopping.

We will travel deep into the Highlands today passing the village of Dalwhinnie, across the Cairngorm mountains to Ft William, along Loch Linne through Glencoe and on to Oban our home for the next two nights. Arriving in the late afternoon we will check in and time at leisure until the orientation walkabout with the Tour Captain.

Join the Tour Captain for a welcome dinner tonight in lovely Oban.

Mull & Iona Day Trip Queen Elizabeth Forest Park, Trossachs, Stirlingshire, Scotland, UK

Day 11: The Islands of Mull & Iona

Optional Dining: Join the Tour Captain for an optional dinner tonight or explore on your own.

This morning we are off by Ferry to the Islands of Mull and Iona.

The Isle of Mull is the second largest island of the Inner Hebrides, off the west coast of Scotland in the council area of Argyll and Bute. Mull is the fourth largest Scottish island and has an area of 338 square miles. The coastline of Mull is almost 300 miles long. The population of Mull, Iona and Ulva is around 1,800 people which is probably doubled in the summer because of the many tourists that visit Mull each year. Much of the population lives in Tobermory, the only burgh on Mull until 1973, and its capital.

Traveling through Mull our destination is the small Island of Iona. In 563 Saint Columba, exiled from his native Ireland, founded a monastery on Iona with 12 companions. From Iona they set about the conversion of pagan Scotland and much of northern England to Christianity. Iona’s fame as a place of learning and Christian mission spread throughout Europe.

Iona itself is three miles long and a mile and a half long. Iona can be reached by ferry from Fionnphort on Mull and will bring the visitor to Baile Mor which means Big Town. Iona differs much from Mull, there are no tall mountains but instead there are some lovely white beaches. Interesting sites on Iona are Iona Abbey which is home to the St John’s Cross in the Abbey museum, Iona Nunnery, St. Martin's Cross and several other Celtic Crosses. We ferry back to Oban later in the afternoon and then you are invited to our optional dinner in town before traveling back to our accommodations for the night.

Tonight, join your Tour Captain for an optional dinner in town before traveling back to our accommodation for the night.

Day 12: To Stirling & all things Braveheart

Accommodation in Stirling, 1 Night; Deluxe: Hotel Colessio or similar

City of Stirling

Included Dining: Join your Tour Captain for a farewell to Scotland dinner

This morning we depart this beautiful part of Scotland only to experience more amazing scenery as we travel along the fabled Loch Lomond in route to Stirling. We will make our way to the home of Sir William Wallace and Robert the Bruce to tour the Castle. In the distance you will see the monument erected to Sir William, The Wallace Monument. We spend our last night in Scotland in the fabled city. Tonight is our special gathering and farewell to Scotland dinner.

A great symbol of Scottish national pride, Stirling Castle has been named one of Europe's iconic sights. Enter the world of Scotland's Renaissance, with many castle highlights, museums, and characters of the palace dressed in the roles of kings and queens. The guide experience at Stirling is strictly controlled, but we've worked it out so that you have the very best available.

Of William Wallace, Robert the Bruce and Scotland's Freedom Heroes

What a oratorical experience you are about to have at Stirling: an adventure in history presented by the best of Scotland's guides takes us through the high points of Scotland's dramatic quest for independence.

Enjoy a farewell to Scotland dinner tonight with the Tour Captain.

Departure Day 13: Good Travels!

Opt for our Edinburgh Airport Departure.

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 3,579

Price Per Day:

$ 275 per day
 
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 2,140
Details
Trip Includes
  • Hotels feature private bathrooms with showers, typical European-sized rooms, small lobbies
  • Air-Conditioned Guest Rooms based on season and culture
  • Daily Continental Breakfast
  • Professional Local Guides
  • Walking Tours with Guides & Tour Captain
  • Special Access
  • Exclusives per itinerary
  • Your professional, fully trained Tour Captain/Driver is with you throughout the tour
Trip Excludes
  • Pre-Cruise Quito Experience
  • Air ticket to/from Galapagos from mainland Ecuador
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance fee currently $100 per person, paid in cash at the Baltra airport.
  • Transit Control Card, $20 per person
  • Personal Expenses
  • Gratuities for ship staff
  • Gratuities for Story Cruise Director
Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Small Group - 24 max
Start City
Galway
End City
Edinburgh

Trip ID#: SpeIreSto

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