(Edinburgh, Oban, Inverness, Aberdeen)
Isle of Mull
Spend time in the mythical land of Scotland! From the cosmopolitan city of Edinburgh with its majestic castle, wide boulevards and stately buildings, to the wilds of the Inner Hebrides with sweeping seascapes, historical sites and quaint fishing villages to the northern cities of Aberdeen and Inverness, this private guided itinerary will enable you to see many of the country's highlights. In the company of a knowledgeable Driver-Guide, you'll get to explore this ancient land, experience the rugged beauty of the western islands, learn the secrets of whiskey making as you sip on a wee dram, and relax in luxurious accommodations throughout. Visit some of the more well known castles as well as some lesser known gems that dot the countryside, travel back in time taking an scenic paddle steamer along Loch Katine, explore the historic Abbey on Iona island, and soak in the atmosphere at the historic site of Culloden Battlefield and the garrison fortress of Fort George, dating back to 1746. There are lots of additional options to choose from - one thing is certain, you're sure to come away from your vacation with a greater appreciation and sense of awe of the rich heritage of Scotland.
Meet your driver for your private airport transfer today. Please note that this service includes up to 3 hours of service.
Consider a panoramic city tour of Edinburgh to see all of the main sites of the city. Please speak to your Sales Advisor if you are interested in adding this to your itineray. Places of interest on the panoramic tour include Old Town & New Town, Royal Botanic Gardens, Arthurs Seat, Royal Mile.
You will have a Driver-Guide with you for the duration of your multi-day Scottish adventure. Our Driver-Guides are all experienced drivers, are very personable, and extremely knowledgeable about the general history and culture of Scotland. Our Driver Guides tend to have 10 to 30 years experience conducting tours around Scotland. They are knowledgeable about the country and can provide plenty of suggestions for visits in your programme and including where to stop for lunches etc. Please note that they are not Certifiied Blue Badge Guides - where necessary an additional Guide will be incuded in your program for a specific cultural site. They are exceptionally personable and intuitive and much more than just a driver so you can rest assured that you are in great hands!
Enjoy time at leisure to explore at your own pace, or relax at your hotel.
This evening consider an underground tour of Edinburgh exploring the labyrinth of corridors and chambers beneath the Royal Mile which remain unchanged from two hundred years ago. Please speak to your Sales Advisor if you would like to include this in your itinerary.
The Witchery Restaurant located on the Royal Mile is a great place for dinner. The 16th century building located close to the Castle is lit exclusively by candlelight. The tapestry-draped main dining room is an ode to opulence: the seats are a rich red leather, the ceiling is gilded, and the walls are covered with oak panels salvaged from an old cathedral. The Secret Garden annex, meanwhile, is full of brass candlesticks and stone statues, and displays a series of painted doors that tell the story of Edinburgh's wine trade with France. The menu is equally sumptuous, offering dishes such as melt-in-your-mouth steak tartare, rabbit wrapped in Parma ham with tea-soaked prunes, and loin of roe deer with an earthy black pudding. But be sure to save room for the desserts — from the chocolate torte to the bramble, sherry and mascarpone trifle, they make a wickedly decadent end to the meal. Please speak to your Sales Advisor if you would like to have a reservation made for you.
Hotel du Vin Edinburgh is a luxury, 4 star boutique hotel nestled deep in Edinburgh's Old Town and only a short walk from the historic Royal Mile. Neighbouring the famous Bedlam theatre. This hotel has 47 timelessly furnished rooms and stunning suites featuring monsoon showers, luxurious Egyptian cotton sheets, plasma TVs, DVDs and air conditioning.
After breakfast you will be taken on a private tour of the city in the company of a driver-guide and private vehicle. You’ll have the opportunity to visit some the most outstanding attractions including Edinburgh Castle, at the top of the Royal Mile, Holyrood house, the Queen’s official home when she visits Edinburgh (subject to closure when Her Majesty is in residence). You will also visit one of the National Galleries as well as the beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens. There are optional visits to Hopetoun House, situated just outside Edinburgh, and the Scottish National Archives where you may like to investigate your family history.
Consider an optional visit to Hopetoun House, situated just outside Edinburgh, for a tour of this magnificent house overlooking the Firth of Forth. The Scottish National Archives may be of interest to you if you have Scottish heritage - as you may like to investigate your family history.
Leaving Edinburgh this morning you will drive north to Stirling to visit the magnificent Castle perched majestically above the city. You then travel back in time taking the scenic paddle steamer along Loch Katine, undoutably one of the most picturesque boat journeys in Scotland. After time at leisure for lunch, your journey will continue to the stunning west coast of Scotland.
If you feel like being active this afternoon, why not consider a bike ride along the banks of Loch Katrine. Alternatively, you could take a tour of the Oban Distillery. Please let your Sales Advisor know if you are interested in either of these options.
Take a scenic ferry journey from Oban to the magical Isle of Mull, the second largest of the Inner Hebrides and the fourth largest Scottish island.
Once on Mull you will travel to the pictureque village of Tobermory where you stay in the Highland Cottage.
The Western Isles Hotel (3*) offers you the perfect base for your West Coast holiday, giving you the opportunity to sample the unspoilt nature of the island. Overlooking the harbour of Tobermory and facing out to Calve Island and the Sound of Mull, you’ll be treated to picturesque views from their harbour- and sea-facing rooms, as well as from the Conservatory Bar. And as well as comfortable accommodation, you’ll enjoy fine cuisine in our restaurant, prepared from the best locally sourced ingredients to make your stay even more memorable.
Your Driver-Guide will accompany you today and provide necessary transportation as you explore the island and hinterlands.
Sightseeing today begins with a drive to the far South West point of the island where you take the short ferry trip across to the Isle of Iona to explore the historic Abbey. After time for lunch at leisure, take a boat ride out to the dramatic island of Staffa with it's famous cave composed entirely of basaltic pillars as high as the roof of a cathedral, which runs deep into the rock.
After this morning's activity, you'll take a ferry back to the mainland and continue on to your next hotel.
An optional activity while you are on the Isle of Mull is a Private Tour at Duart Castle.
The Eriska Hotel, Spa and Golf (5*) offers luxurious accommodation with a view to match. Enjoy a traditional Scottish breakfast, while taking in 300 acres of lush landscapes all from the comfort of your own bed. Carefully blending the old with the new their designer rooms & luxury suites offer the finest bed linen, rich fabrics, and warm, contemporary décor. They’ll anticipate your every need with a wide range of in-room facilities and guest services. Guests can also relax and enjoy a quiet reprieve with their favourite tipple next to the fireplace in the Hotel Lounge. Since 1997 the Restaurant at Eriska has held the award of 3 AA Rosettes and a mark in the Good Food Guide. In March this year they were delighted to be awarded the "Hotel Restaurant of The Year” at the Scottish Restaurant Awards and in 2010 they won the "Taste of Scotland Award" at the Scottish Thistle Awards. Their award-winning chef serves an impressively diverse selection of fresh and seasonal produce. As well as their AA wine list they are renowned for their famous Farmhouse Cheese Trolley which is a favourite with their guests.
Take the return ferry back to the mainland and continue your adventure as you leave the west coast of Scotland this morning and travel eastwards towards Loch Ness, possibly Scotland's most famous Loch, known for it's elusive monster. Visit the ruins of Urqhuart Castle in their dramatic position overlooking the Loch.
Following time for lunch at leisure, you will visit the historic site of Culloden Battlefield and the garrison fortress of Fort George, begun in the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden in 1746.
Optional activites today include visiting the small town of Beauly and the art galleries in the area, or enjoying a private boat ride on Loch Ness. Please speak to your Sales Advisor if you are interested in either option.
Glenmoriston Town House Hotel is an award winning 4 star hotel situated on the banks of the River Ness in the Scottish Highlands. The decor is warm, welcoming and elegant while the rooms are dedicated to comfort and relaxation. Guests can indulge in a delicious meal from the award winning restaurant, and take in all the sights that are situated nearby.
Please note that this hotel does not have an elevator. Please let your Sales Advisor know if you would like to arrange porterage service prior to your arrival.
Enjoy a full day guided touring travelling in the stunning countryside between Inverness and Aberdeen. You will visit Cawdor castle, romantically linked by Shakespeare with Macbeth and a fantastic example of a fairy-tale Scottish castle steeped in history, as well as the famous Johnston's cashmere store in Elgin which boasts an incredible choice of luxurious cashmere goods - an ideal stop for a little holiday shopping. As you head into the famous whisky producing area of Speyside enjoy a tour of the Cardhu Distillery.
Take a scenic helicopter flight over Inverness and the Moray Firth. Engraved bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue Whisky at Cardhu Distillery
Mercure Aberdeen Ardoe House Hotel and Spa (4*) is a 19th century mansion house set in 30 acres of tranquil countryside. Located 3 miles outside the city centre, the hotel has 109 traditionally decorated guest rooms with satellite TV and internet access throughout. Enjoy sophisticated dining in Blairs Restaurant or a nightcap in Soapie's Lounge Bar. The spa has luxurious treatment rooms as well as an indoor heated pool and fitness room.
Transfer to Aberdeen Airport this morning for your onward journey.
VISA/PASSPORTThere are no border controls when travelling within the United Kingdom including the land border with England. Scotland has the same immigration and visa requirements as the rest of the United Kingdom.
United Kingdom is a party to the Schengen Agreement. As such, U.S. citizens may enter for up to 90 days for tourist or business purposes without a visa. The passport should be valid for at least three months beyond the period of stay.
HEALTHHealth insurance is recommended. Medical facilities are good quality. We recommend that you see a health-care provider who specializes in Travel Medicine. The doctor or health-care provider will determine what vaccinations and medication you will need, depending on factors such as your health and immunization history, areas of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. For more information on travel requirements, visit the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website: http://wwwn.cdc.gov/travel/destinations/united-kingdom.aspx COUNTRY INFOCapital: Edinburgh Language: English & Gaelic in parts of Scotland Religion: Predominantly Christian, with sizeable Muslim, Sikh, Jewish and Hindu minorities. Time: GMT (GMT + 1 from last Sunday in March to last Sunday in October). Electricity: 240 volts AC, 50Hz. Square three-pin plugs are standard. Telephone: Country code +44. Mobile Telephone: Roaming agreements exist with most international mobile phone operators. Coverage is mostly good, but can be patchy in rural areas. Internet: There are Internet cafes and centers in most urban areas.
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