(Glasgow, Islay, Edinburgh)
As you explore traditional villages clinging to the sensational Atlantic Coastline and ruined castles looming above beaches that shimmer in the golden end of day light, you’ll feel an energy stirring within you, the same energy that has been at the center of so many Gaelic legends.
Immerse yourself in the land known for its rich farmlands, dramatic Highlands, and of course its famous single malt whisky. Spend your days exploring quaint villages where whitewashed houses line charming coves, and relics of a bygone era whisper tales of Gaelic splendor. In the evenings, enjoy accommodations that offer sophisticated amenities for the discerning traveler.
Enjoy a guided tour of Islay and discover what makes its whiskies so special as you visit the island’s best-known distilleries where you’ll have the opportunity to sample some of their finest spirits. You’ll also tour Kildalton Cross and discover the ancient seat of the Lords of the Isles at Finlaggan. As your journey continues, be sure to keep your eyes out for the stunning wildlife that abounds on the island. You may see golden eagles seals, otters, whales, dolphins, wild geese, red deer and much more. Take a ferryride to the mainland and journey along Loch Fyne and through the lovely village of Inveraray heading for Edinburgh, one of the most beautiful cityscapes in the world. Delight in a guided walking tour of the city and explore world-class museums and galleries, or spend the afternoon pub crawling – the choice is up to you. Your time in Scotland promises to be more than memorable.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Airport transfer with a private vehicle and driver.
A welcome package with a city map, train tickets (if relevant), and any other touristic information that we deem you may find useful will be waiting for you upon your arrival at your first hotel on your trip.
Today you will spend the day travelling to the “Queen of the Hebrides” – Islay. Your first taste of whisky is Auchentoshan Distillery on the outskirts of Glasgow. As you continue your tour, breathtaking views unfold as you turn north along Loch Lomond’s western shore and, if you are lucky, you will see the slopes of Ben Lomond rising above the water. This is Rob Roy Country and, as you leave the loch side and wind your way up into The Highlands, you guide will fill your ears with tales of cattle rustling and ancient Highland Clans. Your tour now follows the stunning coastline before heading to the heart of Kilmartin Glen, where over 5000 years of history are waiting to be discovered. See standing stones, ancient burial mounds and stone carvings before continuing down the Kintyre Peninsula to Kennacraig, to catch the evening ferry to Islay. It is then just a short drive to get to your accommodation for the next 3 nights, and enjoy a well-earned whisky.
Please note: Per Person entrances fees have not been included to allow for maximum flexibility. Please let your Sales Advisor know if you would like all entrances included and this can be added).
With two full days to explore the island, you are spoilt for choice of things to do. The exact itinerary on each day will be dictated by the weather and your guide. This allows for as much flexibility as possible, in order to get the most from your Islay experience.
To find out more about what makes Islay whiskies so special, you will visit a number of the island’s distilleries and take a guided tour. There will, of course, be an opportunity to sample the whisky during these visits, as well as tastings at some distilleries where we don’t have time to take a full tour. Islay is home to some of the world’s most famous whiskies: the smoky and peaty Ardberg, Laphroaig and Lagavulin, on the south coast, the lighter Bruichladdich near Port Charlotte, Bowmore, the oldest working distillery on the island, Kilchoman, the newest and smallest and the biggest producer on the island, Caol Ila. Along the way, you will discover why Islay is famous for so much more than whisky. A visit to the Kildalton Cross will transport you back in time more than 1200 years and you will discover the ancient seat of the Lords of the Isles at Finlaggan. Wildlife abounds on Islay so keep your eyes open for golden eagles, seals, otters, whales, dolphins, wild geese, red deer and much more.
Please note: Per Person entrances fees have not been included to allow for maximum flexibility. Please let your Sales Advisor know if you would like all entrances included and this can be added.
You will discover traditional villages clinging to the rough Atlantic Coastline, ruined castles, golden beaches and a proud Gaelic culture as you explore the most amazing of Hebridean Islands.
Leaving Islay on the morning ferry, you say farewell to paradise as you pass the three distilleries clinging to the rocky south coast. Arriving back on the mainland, the journey begins back to Edinburgh. On the way home, you will drive along Loch Fyne to the beautiful village of Inveraray, the home of the infamous Clan Campbell. Stopping here will give you the chance to enjoy a traditional lunch in a local pub or restaurant or stock up on whisky at the world-famous Loch Fyne Whisky Shop. Leaving the coast, you now turn inland and over the high mountain pass of Rest and Be Thankful. As the road twists and turns through the Trossachs, you will be rewarded with some exceptional scenery. Onwards to Edinburgh for your last night.
You will be met at your central Edinburgh hotel by your guide to commence your walking tour. The buzz of Scotland's capital city sits in perfect contrast to the peaceful tranquility of the surrounding Lothians region. Edinburgh has one of the most beautiful cityscapes in the world, making it the ideal city break destination. From ceilidhs and science to ghost, film and food festivals there's always something going on in the festival city, and that's just for starters. Discover world-class museums and galleries, learn the history of the city or spend an afternoon pub crawling - whatever your fancy! Make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and perhaps take an umbrella!
Meet your driver for a private train station transfer.
The Carlton George (4*) hotel is located in the heart of Glasgow next to George Square and adjacent to Queen's Street mainline station which offers a direct line to Edinburgh in less than 40 minutes. At this boutique hotel you’ll find contemporary yet cozy rooms with complimentary drinks, free WiFi and free local calls as well as a unique rooftop restaurant and Executive Lounge. A beautiful building redeveloped as a hotel in 1999, it has an elegant entrance and is prominent within the city as one of the best hotels.
Located at the "Heart of Islay", Bridgend Hotel offers excellent facilities for the more discerning traveller. Opened a century and a half ago the hotel aims to provide the original Islay experience to all customers, offering a warm, friendly and personal service to all, in the restaurant or enjoying a drink in one of the bars. The Hotel is an ideal base for touring. A stay at the Hotel comes with access to complimentary bank fishing and preferential rates for boats on Islay Estates' famously fertile trout fishing lochs, with boats on several lochs including the renowned Loch Gorm and the historic Loch Finlaggan, once the seat of power of the Lords of the Isles.
Visit the Apex City Hotel (4*), a contemporary hotel in central Edinburgh, located in the heart of Grassmarket, steps away from Edinburgh Castle in the Old Town. The Apex City is situated next door to its sister hotel, the Apex International. One of the best hotels in Edinburgh, the Yu Spa leisure facilities are based at the Apex International Hotel next door, and are available to residents free of charge and open daily. Facilities include ozone pool, tropicarium, plunge shower and gym with state-of-the-art technogym equipment.
Vanessa Oquendo ,
April 21, 2014
"Melissa Field was extremely helpful! She was courteous, professional, knowledgeable, and friendly! She kept me updated on the status of everything and provided timely correspondence. She took ownership for any problems I had and remedied them. I had the most amazing time of my life in Iceland and Paris! I would not have experienced everything without the help of Kensington Tours."
Marilynn Weaver ,
April 21, 2014
"All of our guides were beyond fabulous! Our time in Dublin was much too short, would have loved to stay there at least one more full day. Would recommend extending this package to 15 days for any future visits. The train to Edinburgh was super! Beautiful scenery and great steak pies!"
Ann Saxon ,
November 06, 2013
"Our trip was fantastic!!! I cannot say enough good things. Lianne worked with our exact dates and time frame beautifully.Our drivers were prompt and friendly. The private guides were so knowledgeable. We left with an appreciation of the history, the culture, and the beauty of Andulasia. We were very pleased and will certainly recommend your company to friends and family."
Coby Scherr ,
November 05, 2013
"Everyone involved in our Portugal trip made it terrific. Exactly as advertised. Every event on time and most pleasant. Guides were well-informed, courteous and friendly. Really made for a great journey every time. Each hotel was clean, upgraded and staffed with knowledgeable and friendly folks. Breakfasts were complete -- almost too much to eat. It will always be a wonderful memory thanks to Kensington Tours."
Couples Dellinger & Hubbell ,
November 06, 2013
"We've been raving to everyone about the food, the friendliness of the people and the amazing history and sites in Turkey. Yes, we want to go back."
John Edstrom ,
October 22, 2013
"Overall, our tour in Spain was very enjoyable, and well planned and executed. Our private tour of the Alhambra was excellent. Virginia, tour guide for royal palace ruins outside of Cordoba, was also excellent. In Seville, we went to the Flamenco Show/dinner, and the Flamenco was outstanding!"
Kevin Wilshere ,
October 19, 2013
"Great trip to Spain! Thanks again for all your help, Lianne. The destinations, hotels, guides and everything were all top notch."
Chery Westlund ,
November 07, 2013
"My husband and I took a 3 week vacation to southern Europe and North Africa and had a great time. All the guides were very knowledgeable and bent over backwards to accommodate us. The arrangements made by Kensington went off without a hitch. This is our second trip with Kensington (we went to Peru in 2009) and we will certainly book with them again."
Randy Gramlich ,
October 07, 2013
"Thank you for your follow up, we both loved our time in Croatia. It’s really a beautiful place, especially the coast. Your choice of hotels was great. It was an incredible view from the Bellevue hotel in Dubrovnik and the Vestibule in Split was in the best possible location. We were able to relax in our room listening to the wonderful singers in the courtyard and its central location made it so easy to walk anywhere we wanted to see with ease. "
Jay Steffan ,
September 24, 2013
"We just returned from a 10 day trip to Paris and Normandy. We spent three nights in Paris and then enjoyed a seven night cruise on the Seine to Normandy with AMA Waterways. The time in Paris was well spent and has piqued our interest to return for a more thorough visit. Guide Wafaa Lankey was superb in our visit to Versailles. The Seine cruise was relaxing and beautiful. So many wonderful little towns and we wished we had more time in each one to explore and enjoy.
We traveled to Croatia and Slovenia using Kensington earlier this year which was a fantastic trip."
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