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The Fairy Pools Isle of Skye ©VisitScotland / Kenny Lam

Express Scotland & Ireland – Private

(12 days / 11 nights)

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Get a taste of Scotland & Ireland

Experience both Celtic nations in one trip with this express combination tour. This way you’ll get a taste of Scotland and Ireland with local guides who will share their insider knowledge with you. First, you’ll travel around the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye, seeing top sights like Loch Ness and Glen Coe. Then you’ll fly to Dublin to kick off an Irish tour taking you to Galway, the Cliffs of Moher and Kerry.

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12 days / 11 nights

Price p.p. from

The amount will be charged in GBP

Approx 7086 GBP

— Why book with Nordic Visitor

  • Seamless travel experience
  • Comprehensive itinerary, personalised map & travel guide
  • Quality & value for your money
  • 24/7 helpline during your tour
  • Service from local travel experts
  • Great customer reviews
  • Carbon offsetting included

Read more

— Cancellation Protection

  • Rebook your tour on one occasion, or
  • Cancel for any reason and receive a partial refund and travel credit

Terms and conditions apply

Tour Highlights

  • Experience the vibrant Irish capital Dublin and Scotland’s historic capital Edinburgh
  • See the striking natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands
  • Explore some of Scotland’s top sights on the famous and breathtaking Isle of Skye
  • Walk along the shores of the mysterious Loch Ness
  • Marvel at the sweeping views of Glen Coe, Scotland’s most famous valley
  • Journey around the Ring of Kerry, Ireland’s most iconic driving route
  • Admire the coastal scenery of the renowned Cliffs of Moher
  • Immerse yourself in traditional Irish culture and music in Galway
  • Discover ancient castles and medieval sites such as Eilean Donan Castle and Blarney Castle
  • Learn about the sights from trusted, knowledgeable private guides

Travel style

Privately Guided i

Interest

Castles and Royalty i, Countryside and natural scenery i, Culture and History i

Season

Apr - Oct

Departure

Daily

Driving distance

1833/1139 km/mi

Itinerary

A day-by-day plan to guide your journey.

  • Day 1: Arrival in Edinburgh

    Upon your arrival in Edinburgh, you will be greeted by a private driver who will take you to your accommodation in the city centre. If you arrive early in the day, we recommend spending the day walking through the city, strolling along the Royal Mile and exploring the Old Town and New Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are also plenty of museums and landmarks to visit within the city centre, including the beautiful St Giles Cathedral and the majestic Edinburgh Castle.

    Spend the night in Edinburgh.

    Included:
    • Private airport transfer from Edinburgh Airport

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 2: Into the Highlands

    Your private tour around Scotland starts today! Your guide will pick you up from your accommodation in a comfortable vehicle and set off. On the way north, you’ll pass through the Cairngorms National Park. On the way you can discuss possible stops with your guide, including the picturesque village of Dunkeld or the 13th-century Blair Castle.

    Arriving near Inverness, your guide will take you to explore a few more intriguing sights. You could wander around the Battlefield of Culloden Moor, to see where the last battle on British soil occurred in 1746, marking “the beginning of the end for the Highlands”. Nearby you can also visit Clava Cairns, a series of tombs and standing stones dating back roughly 4,000 years.

    Spend the night in the Inverness area.

    Average driving distance: 251 km / 156 miles

    Average travel & exploration time: 8-9 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 3: Loch Ness & Castles

    Take in some of the most famous sights in Scotland today. Your guide will first drive you to the shores of Loch Ness where you can visit the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition. You could also visit the Urquhart Castle ruins. Or take a boat tour onto the loch to admire the views and try to catch a glimpse of the Loch Ness monster.

    From here, you’ll continue west towards the breathtaking Isle of Skye. On the way, if you wish, you can ask your guide to stop at the iconic Eilean Donan Castle for a good photo opportunity. On Skye, spend some time exploring Portree, a scenic village with colourful houses and cute shops.

    Spend the night on the Isle of Skye or nearby.

    Average driving distance: 185 km / 115 miles

    Average travel & exploration time: 7-8 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 4: The Isle of Skye

    Today your guide takes you around some of the best-known spots on Skye. This island is a haven for nature lovers so prepare for enchanting and majestic landscapes.

    You’ll travel around the northern part of the island, the striking Trotternish Peninsula. Here you’ll have the option to enjoy scenery such as the Fairy Glen and the Old Man of Storr rock pinnacle. You could also see the beautiful Kilt Rock Waterfall, the intriguing Quiraing and the An Corran Beach at Staffin, where you may spot ancient dinosaur footprints.

    Spend another night on the Isle of Skye or nearby.

    Average driving distance: 70 km / 45 miles

    Average travel & exploration time: 6-7 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 5: Sleat Peninsula & Glenfinnan

    Heading south to the Sleat Peninsula, you’ll be able to admire the beautiful beaches, lochs, and glens of the region. Before heading south, you could talk to your guide about visiting Talisker Distillery or taking a walk to the crystal-clear Fairy Pools at the foot of the Black Cuillin Hills.

    In the afternoon, catch a ferry from Armadale to Mallaig on the mainland. Your guide will then drive you to Fort William. On the way, you could stop at Camusdarach Beach and at Glenfinnan. Here you can visit the Glenfinnan Monument, overlooking Loch Shiel, and admire the viaduct, featured in films such as Harry Potter.

    Spend the night in the Fort William area.

    Ferry duration: 30 minutes

    Average driving distance: 135 km / 85 miles

    Average travel & exploration time: 7-8 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 6: Journey Along Dramatic Glens

    Travel down from Fort William, passing by Scotland’s most famous valley, Glen Coe, which offers world-famous scenery.

    On the way to Glasgow, you’ll have many possible stops. For a fun photo opportunity, don't miss Doune Castle, featured in Monty Python & the Holy Grail and Outlander. You could also visit the grand Stirling Castle, one of Scotland’s top attractions. And if time allows, ask to take a short detour via the impressive Kelpies, two giant horse-head sculptures.

    Spend the night in the Glasgow area.

    Average driving distance: 261 km / 162 miles

    Average travel & exploration time: 8-9 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 7: Travel to Dublin, Ireland

    Today a private car will pick you up from your accommodation to drive you to Glasgow Airport for your flight to Dublin, Ireland for the second portion of your tour. Upon your arrival in Dublin, a car will take you to your accommodation.

    Then start exploring this amazing city, with its eclectic mixture of heritage sites, museums and historic pubs. You can take a stroll along the cobbled streets of the Temple Bar district or visit the historic Trinity College to see the ancient Book of Kells. Alternatively, you could enjoy an afternoon tea sightseeing tour of the city on a vintage bus or grab a pint at the Guinness Storehouse for a taste of the world-famous beer.

    Spend the night in Dublin.

    Included:
    • Private airport transfer to Glasgow airport
    • Flight from Glasgow to Dublin
    • Private airport transfer from Dublin airport

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 8: Towards the Irish West Coast

    Your private guide for the Ireland portion of your tour will pick you up to start your adventure around the Emerald Isle. You’ll first pass through the beautiful midlands and you can decide where to stop along the way with your guide. You could learn about Irish history at Trim Castle or roam atmospheric ruins at Clonmacnoise.

    Later, you’ll arrive in lively Galway. This colourful city is the perfect place to taste some Irish delicacies with its famous food scene and numerous pubs.

    Spend the night in the Galway area.

    Average driving distance: 229 km / 142 miles

    Average travel & exploration time: 8 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 9: Cliffs of Moher & Limestone Landscapes

    Start the day with a visit to Dunguaire Castle. Sitting on a rocky outcrop overlooking Galway Bay, it is one of the most photographed castles in Ireland. Further ahead, your guide will take you to a beautiful spot to experience the surreal landscape of The Burren.

    Then you will arrive at the jewel of Ireland, the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher. This is the top attraction in the country, showcasing some of the most iconic coastal scenery of the island. On a sunny day the views are expansive, but even a stormy day can be exhilarating with the powerful Atlantic below.

    If time allows, your guide might also stop by the 15th-century Bunratty Castle. Here you could visit the Bunratty Folk Park, where you can experience Irish rural life from the 1800s.

    Spend the night in the Killarney area.

    Average driving distance: 269 km / 167 miles

    Average travel & exploration time: 8 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 10: Ring of Kerry

    The Ring of Kerry is a highlight in Ireland and today your private guide takes you around this must-do scenic drive. Your first stop will be at Kells Bay House, to see its primeval forest of planted giant ferns. You’ll also pass by the ancient stone forts of Caherdaniel and Staigue, and Derrynane Bay with its beautiful white sand.

    When you complete the circle, you’ll have a chance to see the picturesque Torc Waterfall. If you prefer, today you could also take an optional boat tour from the coast to see the Skellig Islands from up close.

    Spend another night in the Killarney area.

    Average driving distance: 198 km / 123 miles

    Average travel & exploration time: 8 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 11: Step Into Ireland Famous History

    Today your guide takes you back to Dublin. First, you’ll stop by Blarney Castle, a legendary medieval stronghold that houses the Blarney Stone, surrounded by many myths and tales. Then you might decide with your guide to go explore the spectacular Rock of Cashel, a historic site containing a collection of medieval buildings that span over 1000 years of history. Back in Dublin, enjoy the rest of the evening at your leisure, perhaps with a fine Irish dinner to top off your memorable journey.

    Spend the night in Dublin.

    Average driving distance: 343 km / 213 miles

    Average travel & exploration time: 8 hours

    Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 12: Departure from Ireland

    On your day of departure, a private driver will pick you up from your accommodation to take you directly to Dublin Airport in time for your flight home.

    If your flight is in the afternoon, you can spend the morning enjoying some last-minute shopping or sightseeing in the city.

    Included:
    • Private airport transfer to Dublin Airport

Optional extras

Customise your adventure with these Optional Extras.

We recommend adding your extra activities to the tour now for the best booking experience and to secure your spot, as activities are likely to sell out.

Map

Here’s a map of your travel route, to help put things in perspective.

Essential information

We recommend that you read carefully through the following information before booking this private tour in Scotland and Ireland. We’ve answered the most frequently asked questions here so you know what to expect. You’ll also find more practical advice and attraction recommendations in our online Scotland Travel Guide and Ireland Travel Guide.

On a private tour with Nordic Visitor, you can sit back and enjoy a curated itinerary, led by two personal driver-guides. One guide will take you around Scotland and one Ireland.

Your guides will be experts in Scottish and Irish history and culture. They’ll share their local knowledge and stories with you, and take you to hidden gems across each country. They will also be happy to tailor your journey to your unique needs and interests along the way.

Your experience will also begin and end with private airport transfers.

Depending on availability and on the size of your travelling party, we can offer a range of vehicles, such as premium executive cars, 4-wheel drives and touring vans.

During the booking process, you'll be able to book a group up to 7 people. Should you have 8 people in your travelling group, please contact us.

Your Scottish experience begins the moment you land at Edinburgh Airport. Make your way to the arrivals hall, where a driver will be waiting to greet you. From there, you’ll enjoy a comfortable ride in a private vehicle to your accommodation in the city.

You’ll also have a private transfer to Edinburgh Airport when you travel to Ireland and from Dublin Airport to your accommodation upon arrival in Ireland.

On the day of your departure from Ireland, a private car will pick you up from your accommodation in Dublin. Your driver will then take you straight to the airport in time to catch your flight home.

You will travel between Scotland and Ireland by plane. Your flight is included in the price of the tour package.

The direct flight takes approximately 1 hour. We’ll pre-book you a standard seat. Please note that baggage allowance per person is one 25kg checked bag and one 7kg carry-on bag.

We will aim to book your flight for around midday, but in some cases you may be booked onto a morning or evening flight. Your personal travel consultant will choose the best time possible in line with your travel plans.

A private transfer to Glasgow Airport and to your hotel in Dublin in line with your flight times are also included. These drivers will be different from your private guides.

Scotland and Ireland are beautiful all year long. That said, it’s good to be aware that the summer is the high travelling season, with July and August being peak months.

This means many of the highlights, such as Edinburgh, Dublin, the Isle of Skye and the Ring of Kerry will be extremely popular and might have limited availability. This could impact your booking of attractions, accommodation, restaurants, excursions and more.

For a more relaxing experience, we recommend booking your tour, plus any extra excursions, activities or entrance tickets, well in advance. You also might prefer to arrive during the shoulder season, which is during April–June and September–October.

If you do wish to travel in July or August, we will be happy to help you plan your trip to make it as smooth as possible.

During your Scotland and Ireland tour, you’ll stay in accommodation hand-picked by our local travel experts. We’ve partnered with local businesses and selected hotels, B&Bs and guesthouses based on excellent ratings, comfort and our personal experience.

For this package, you can choose from single or double rooms. Twin, triple and family rooms are not commonly available in Scotland and Ireland. Please also note that local room types are based on European standard sizes, which means they are smaller than in North America.

For example, a double room often consists of 2 single beds pushed together. And single rooms are often smaller than the standard double.

Due to the historic nature of the properties we usually select, most of the rooms are only accessible by stairs. Lifts are not common in Scottish and Irish hotels. Please let us know as soon as possible if you are not able to walk up stairs.

By booking with Nordic Visitor, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that there’s always someone there for you throughout your trip.

For support and advice during the day, you can ask your guide or call our office. And if anything unexpected happens outside working hours, you can reach us on our 24/7 helpline.

The Edinburgh-based travel expert on call will handle any unforeseen situations for you, such as unusual weather or events.

If you’re arriving from Canada, the United States, Australia or the European Union, you won’t need a visa to visit Scotland. The same is true for Ireland, which you can also enter visa-free if you are a citizen of the UK.

Visiting from another country? You can find the complete list of countries whose nationals require a visa to enter each country on the website of the UK government and the website of Ireland’s Citizens Information Board.

Your passport must also be valid for at least 6 months after the date of your departure (the end of your tour). It’s a good idea to check your passport expiry date early in case you need to renew it.

Summer in Scotland and Ireland might be warmer than you expect! While temperatures are unlikely to reach higher than 20°C (68 °F), heatwaves can be humid. This means it can feel hotter than it is, especially in cities like Dublin and Edinburgh.

That said, the weather is also very changeable, so you’ll want to come prepared for anything. Rain is always a possibility, and when the sun sets a warm jumper or jacket is a must. We’ve prepared a useful packing guide for Scotland and Ireland to help you decide what to bring with you.

Please note that sightseeing is dependent on weather and road conditions. This means that your itinerary might need to be altered if these conditions are not favourable during your visit. If something unexpected occurs, you can call our 24/7 helpline to speak directly with a Nordic Visitor staff member.

Whatever time of year you’re in Ireland and Scotland, you’re likely to see lots of different types of weather. As you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors it’s a good idea to come prepared for a combination of weather conditions.

Here is a recommended packing list for a summer trip:

  • A warm jumper or fleece
  • A waterproof jacket
  • Good walking shoes or boots (especially if you intend to hike and go on nature walks)
  • Light scarf or thin sweater
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and a sunhat

In some areas of Scotland, such as the Highlands and islands, you might notice small, pesky insects called midges. They’re most active on summer evenings and tend to swarm near still water. You can avoid bites by wearing long-sleeves and trousers and by packing an insect repellent.

For more information, check this packing list suggestion.

There are limited laundry facilities in Ireland and Scotland’s countryside. You will find some laundrettes in the cities like Dublin and Edinburgh. Some hotels do offer dry cleaning for an additional cost.

Your breakfast is included at all your accommodation in Scotland and Ireland. For the rest of your food, your spending money will depend on the standard of restaurants you decide to go to.

In Scotland, we recommend budgeting between £15–£20 per person for each day’s lunch. Dinners at casual restaurants might cost between £20–£25 in Scotland. You can expect to pay a similar range in Euros for Ireland.

Meanwhile at upscale restaurants, you can expect to pay £40–£50 (€40–€50) or more. This does not include the cost of alcoholic beverages.

This tour includes the service of a personal guide who will be happy to help you customise your experience along the way. They will get to know your interests, and you can tell them about any places where you would like to stop on the drive.

You can also customise this tour online during the booking process. You’ll be able to add extra nights to your itinerary as well as optional day trips, excursions and upgrades.

If you enjoy your experience with your guide, it’s a nice idea to give them a tip.

It’s best to book as soon as you can to secure your preferred travel dates. Once you have picked your tour, check the availability calendar to see which months are open for booking. Then, select the date you want and complete your booking. 

Nordic Visitor offers 10–20% deposits so you can reserve your trip as early as it’s convenient for you. The remaining balance is due 30 days before you travel. 

Many tours are also open for the following year if you like to plan well ahead. And if you have any questions or need advice, you can always contact us

After booking your tour package online, you will be contacted within 2 business days by your own dedicated travel consultant. They will be your point of contact for all your travel needs before, during and even after your trip. 

At that time, they’ll confirm the availability of your tour. Then the booking process starts, which may take a few weeks. Once this is done, your travel consultant will provide you with all the details of your trip. You will also receive more information about what to expect during your trip.

No need! Nordic Visitor is already working on offsetting the estimated carbon footprint of your package. We’ve partnered with an environmental fund in Iceland to carbon offset all our tours.

Carbon offsetting your international flights is not included, but we highly recommend you look into possibilities with your airline or directly through a local environment fund. 

You can get in touch with our Scotland and Ireland travel experts ahead of your trip if you have any questions. The live chat option is useful for getting a quick reply as someone answers live every day during office opening hours.

Once you’ve booked, we’ll provide you with travel guides packed full of local tips and top attractions for your visit. You can also check out our online Scotland Travel Guide and Ireland Travel Guide where we’ve compiled useful information about topics, including:

After you have booked your tour, it will only take a few days to confirm its availability. But it may take a few weeks to create your itinerary and book everything. Once your trip details are finalised, we’ll send you e-copies of your travel documents.

Upon your arrival in Scotland, you’ll receive a welcome bag with hard copies of your itinerary, attraction and tour vouchers, the Nordic Visitor Scotland and Ireland Travel Guides and more.

So when do you check in? And what can you expect upon landing in Scotland?

After picking up your luggage, make your way to the arrivals hall, where the driver of your private transfer will be waiting for you. They’ll welcome you to the country and take you straight to your accommodation in Edinburgh.

Check-in times vary between hotels and guesthouses, but it normally starts between 2–4 PM.

You are welcome to request an early check-in for an additional fee. Although this isn’t always available, you’ll be able to store your luggage at the hotel if you have to wait. Please contact your travel consultant well in advance of your arrival if you’d like an early check-in.

When you depart may depend on the time of your return flight. Check out early if you’re heading to the airport for a morning flight. On the other hand, if you’re flying home later in the day, you might like to enjoy a leisurely day or visit one more attraction.

You will need to check out from your room, but will be able to store your luggage at the hotel reception. Simply return later to collect your bags before catching public transport or a taxi to the airport.

All packages starting in Scotland are billed in British Pounds (GBP), the local currency.

Prices displayed in other currencies are indicative only and based on the daily exchange rate. This means conversions from GBP to other currencies will fluctuate from day to day.

Accommodation

Sleep soundly, in the accommodation type of your choice, and wake up ready to enjoy another day of exploration.

Comfort Plus

In this category, you can expect standard rooms in good quality 3-star guesthouses or country hotels.

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Superior

In this category, you can expect standard rooms in 4-star hotels or boutique guesthouses.

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Vehicle

Be comfortable and enjoy the journey as a passenger in the vehicle of your choosing.

Private car

  • x7
  • x5
  • x5
  • A

Private car

  • Comfortable vehicle depending on the size of your travel group.
Free upgrade

Price per person from

The amount will be charged in GBP

Approx 7086 GBP

Monthly price comparison

Our best price per person when booking for two.

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