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CIE Tours 2017 - 12 Day Scottish Isles & Glens

3 Star Vacation - 11 Nights - 21 Meals
Overnights: 2 Glasgow, 2 Near Kyle of Lochalsh, 1 Ullapool, 2 Kirkwall, 2 Inverness, 2 Edinburgh
From Glasgow to Edinburgh
Tour Code #: GB-SIA-17-12D   CIE Tours Retail Price From: $2,798

CIE Tour Highlights:

  • Scottish Evening in Edinburgh: Scottish Evening in Edinburgh This fun evening starts with a 4-course dinner where you can sample the traditional Scottish dish of haggis, neaps and tatties. Then the music, dance and storytelling begins and offers you an insight into many aspects of Scottish life.
  • Eilean Donan Castle: Eilean Donan Castle This iconic castle is surrounded by majestic scenery. The first fortified castle was built in the mid 13th century and re-built through the centuries. Partially destroyed in a Jacobite uprising in 1719, Eilean Donan lay in ruins for the best part of 200 years. It took 20 years to restore from 1912 until its opening to the public in 1932.
  • Two-Night Stay on Isle of Orkney: Two-Night Stay on Isle of Orkney Experience island life on the largest island of the Orkneys and enjoy the majestic and historic sights throughout the island. Stay in the capital, Kirkwall, where you will have free time to browse around on your own and dine independently.
  • 5,000-Year-Old Village of Skara Brae: 5,000-Year-Old Village of Skara Brae These 5,000-year-old ruins are of an incredibly well preserved stone settlement containing an intricate maze of dwellings. The site was revealed in 1850 by a violent storm and is now one of the most famous Neolithic sites in Northern Europe. Mount Stuart House on Isle of Bute
  • Magnificent Highland Scenic Drives: Magnificent Highland Scenic Drives The northern part of Scotland is called the Highlands and provides wonderful scenic views as you travel through the high mountains, many of them covered in heather, or along rugged coastal routes.

Hotels:

First Class & Highland

The Winnock Hotel: Drymen, near Glasgow (2 nights)
Balmacara Hotel: near Kyle of Lochalsh (2 nights)
The Royal Hotel: Ullapool (1 night)
Kirkwall Hotel:  orGB-KIO-AYRKirkwall (2 nights)
Columba Hotel: Inverness (2 nights)
Apex Grassmarket Hotel: Edinburgh (2 nights)

CIE Tour Includes

  • Sightseeing by luxury coach
  • Professional tour director
  • 11 nights in hotels listed
  • Full breakfast daily (B) except on day 1
  • 9 dinners (D) including
    • Scottish Evening in Edinburgh
    • 8 table d'hote dinners
  • Welcome get-together drink
  • Tour of Edinburgh
  • Loch Katrine steamboat cruise and cruise on Loch Ness
  • Ferry rides to Isles of Arran and Orkney
  • Sheepdog trials at Leault Farm
  • Blair Athol Distillery whisky tasting and tour
  • Reserved seats for Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo on July 29 to August 14 departures
  • Visits and admissions to Mount Stuart House, Eilean Donan Castle, Dunvegan Castle, Kilt Rock, Inverewe Gardens, John o’Groats, Skara Brae, Ring of Brodgar, St Magnus Cathedral, Italian Chapel, Dunrobin Castle, Urquhart Castle, Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre and Edinburgh Castle
  • Audio headsets and group photo
  • Deluxe carry-on backpack, ticket wallet, luggage tags & strap
  • All local taxes, hotel service charges & porterage for one suitcase per person
  • Free Wi-Fi on coaches and in hotel lobbies
  •  

CIE International Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Glasgow Arrival & Loch Katrine Cruise
Your Scottish trip starts at 3:00 pm when you meet your tour director at your hotel, located in the village of Drymen, 20 miles north of Glasgow. Set out from your hotel and take a short drive through part of the Trossachs, often called “The Highlands in Miniature”. Embark on the steamboat “Sir Walter Scott” for a short cruise on Loch Katrine to admire lovely scenery. Return to your hotel and relax for a time before joining your tour director and travel companions for a welcome drink before dinner. (D)

Day 2: Isle of Bute & Mount Stuart House
Journey across a scenic Highland route and over the mountain pass of “Rest & Be Thankful.” A short ferry ride will bring you to the Isle of Bute where a drive around the coast will reveal stunning sea and island scenery. Take a guided tour of the highly-decorated chambers of Mount Stuart House, built in the late 1870s for the 3rd Marquess of Bute. See the many Victorian comforts that were highly innovative for the era. Spend some time in Rothesay, the main town on the island. Return to your hotel for free time to relax before dining in your hotel once more. (B, D)

Day 3: Loch Lomond & Eilean Donan Castle
Travel alongside the famous Loch Lomond, renowned for its unsurpassed beauty. Journey through Glen Coe, often considered one of Scotland’s most spectacular and beautiful places. Drive through Fort William and stop at a woolen mill for some refreshment and shop for Scottish goods. Continue your journey north to visit the romantic Eilean Donan Castle. The first fortified castle was built in the 13th century, rebuilt several times and partially ruined in 1719. Check in to your charming family-owned hotel near Kyle of Lochalsh. (B, D)

Day 4: Isle of Skye & Dunvegan Castle
Today explore the Isle of Skye and its Bonnie Prince Charlie associations. He fled to the island after his defeat at Culloden Moor. Travel to Dunvegan Castle, stronghold of the Chiefs of MacLeod for nearly 800 years, making it the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland. View priceless family heirlooms and stroll through formal gardens. Stop in Portree for a look at brightly-painted houses that cluster around the bay. Return to your hotel for free time before dinner. (B, D)

Day 5: Inverewe Gardens & Ullapool
Enjoy Highland scenery as you drive north along the west coast to visit Inverewe Gardens, where a haven of trees and shrubs was created from 50 acres of bleak headland in 1862. The varied plantings thrive due to the warmth of the Gulf Stream. Continue to Ullapool, an active fishing and ferry port that was built in 1788 to provide a living for the people in this region. Take a brief drive around the town and check in to your hotel. (B, D)

Day 6: Highland Scenery & Isle of Orkney
Today explore the northernmost section of the Highlands which is sparsely populated with remote hamlets. See huge tracts of bogland, rugged mountains, coastline and vast areas of open land. Learn about the Highland Clearances, a tragic period of history when many peasants were forced off the land and emigrated to the United States, Australia and other countries. Continue to John O’Groats, the most northern place on the British mainland and take a nearby ferry to the Isles of Orkney, enjoying dinner on board. Check in to your hotel in central Kirkwall. (B, D)

Day 7: Orkney Sights & Skara Brae
Today explore the Isles of Orkney. Drive across the Churchill Barriers, created during World War II to deter German submarines. Discover the charm of the tiny Italian Chapel, built from two Nissen huts with elaborate paintings. View the Ring of Brodgar, a group of prehistoric standing stones. Visit Skara Brae, a 5,000-year-old village with remains of dwellings and then return to Kirkwall to see 12th century St Magnus Cathedral. Enjoy leisure time in the afternoon and evening to browse around the town and dine independently. (B)

Day 8: Dunrobin Castle & Inverness
Return by ferry to the mainland and drive down the east coast to visit Dunrobin Castle, dating to 1275 but renovated in the mid-1800s. With 189 rooms this is the largest mansion in northern Scotland. Visit chambers containing priceless artifacts, including the dining room, music room and library with over 10,000 volumes. Take a walk through the well-tended castle gardens. Continue south to your hotel in the center of Inverness, the principal town in the Highlands. (B, D)

Day 9: Urquhart Castle & Culloden Battlefield
Cruise into Loch Ness to visit the picturesque ruins of Urquhart Castle, once Scotland’s largest castle which was destroyed in Jacobite wars. Stop at the Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre to learn about the conflict where Bonnie Prince Charlie was defeated in 1746, which ended the clan system in Scotland. Walk around the moor and see monuments to the various regiments who lost men. Stop for photos at Clava Cairns, a prehistoric burial place with a circle of standing stones that inspired the “Outlander” books. Return to Inverness in time to relax, shop or walk alongside the River Ness in front of your hotel. (B, D)

Day 10: Sheepdog Trials & Whisky Tasting
Drive past the majestic scenery of the Cairngorm Mountains to visit Leault Farm where skilled dogs obey commands to round up sheep. Continue south to Pitlochry to visit Blair Athol Distillery, Scotland’s smallest, which is set in a picturesque location outside the town. See how whisky is distilled and enjoy a tasting at the end of the tour. Drive to your hotel in Edinburgh and then head to a Scottish Evening where you’ll dine on excellent Scottish cuisine followed by a lively show. (B, D)

Day 11: Edinburgh Castle & City Tour
This morning discover Edinburgh on a sightseeing tour. See the wide streets and elegant mansions of the 200-year-old Georgian “New Town” and walk along a section of the Royal Mile, the oldest part of the city where some houses reach 11 stories tall. Tour the imposing Edinburgh Castle to see historic buildings, the Stone of Scone and the Scottish Crown Jewels. Also appreciate great panoramic views over the city from the ramparts. The afternoon and evening are free. On July 29 to August 14 departures enjoy the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle. (B)

Day 12: Tour Ends in Edinburgh
Your tour ends after breakfast. (B)  >

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