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Express Scotland & Ireland

(10 days / 9 nights)

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Have a taste of both Celtic countries

Take in the famous sights of Ireland and Scotland with this fast-paced version of our tours around both countries. During these 10 days, you’ll drive through the rugged Scottish Highlands and along the stunning Irish coastline. Walk the streets of both capitals, Edinburgh and Dublin, discover the best of what these countries have to offer and immerse yourself in their history and culture.

Contact us for availability

— Why book this tour

  • Handpicked hotels by local travel experts with breakfast included
  • Reliable rental cars from our trusted car rental agents
  • Comprehensive itinerary, personalised map and travel guide
  • 24/7 helpline throughout tour
  • Local travel experts with first-hand experience
  • Quality & value for your money

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Tour Highlights

  • Explore some of Scotland’s top sights and learn about its fascinating history
  • Walk along the mysterious Loch Ness and visit the castle on its shores
  • Stroll up the Royal Mile and discover the capital city Edinburgh
  • See the striking natural beauty of the Scottish Highlands
  • Discover historic sites around the country with the Scottish Heritage Pass
  • Explore the vibrant Irish capital Dublin
  • See the gems of Ireland’s most iconic driving route, the Ring of Kerry
  • Walk along gigantic sea cliffs to take in the beauty of the renowned Cliffs of Moher
  • Visit the oldest Irish university, Trinity College Dublin and see the Book of Kells
  • Discover ancient castles and medieval sites such as The Rock of Cashel

Travel style

Self-Drive i

Interest

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

Season

Apr - Oct

Departure

Daily

Driving distance

1624/1009 km/mi

Itinerary

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

Download PDF
  • Day 1: ARRIVAL IN EDINBURGH

    Make your way into Edinburgh city centre where your hotel will be located. Many travellers opt to take a taxi or use public transport, but for a more direct and comfortable ride, we will be happy to organise a private airport transfer for you. For those arriving early in the day, we recommend spending the afternoon walking through the city, strolling along the Royal Mile and exploring the Old and New Towns, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are also plenty of museums and landmarks to visit within the city centre, including the majestic Edinburgh Castle.

    Spend the night in Edinburgh. 

    Included: Entrance to Edinburgh Castle

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Optional Extras
  • Day 2: INTO THE HIGHLANDS

    Start your road trip driving into the Highlands. On the way you’ll have many possible stops, such as the picturesque village of Dunkeld and the 13th-century Blair Castle. Later, driving through the Cairngorms National Park you could also stop at the Highland Folk Museum. Arriving near Inverness, you can drive to 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 visit Clava Cairns, a series of tombs and standing stones dating back roughly 4,000 years.

    Spend the night in the Inverness area.

    Included: Entrance to Battlefield of Culloden Moor

    Driving distance: 251 km / 156 miles
    Estimated driving duration: 3.5 hours (without stops)

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 3: THE BEAUTY OF LOCH NESS

    Spend some time exploring Inverness, “The Capital of the Highlands”, and its surroundings. You could explore the Black Isle Peninsula, where dolphins can sometimes be spotted at low tide in the Moray Firth. Drive south along the shores of the mysterious Loch Ness. Take some time to visit the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition, the loch-side Urquhart Castle ruins or to try to spot the notorious monster, Nessie. You could also opt to take a detour to visit the picturesque Glen Affric. Continue to Fort William, passing by Scotland’s highest mountain, Ben Nevis.

    Spend the night in the Fort William area.

    Included: Entrance to Urquhart Castle

    Driving distance: 155 km / 95 miles 
    Estimated driving duration: 2 hours (without stops)

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 4: TRAVEL ALONG DRAMATIC GLENS

    Today, drive across the Trossachs National Park and Loch Lomond area all the way to Glasgow. This journey takes you past the magnificent Glen Coe, Scotland’s most famous and scenic valley. For a fun photo opportunity, don't miss Doune Castle, featured in Monty Python & the Holy Grail and Outlander TV series. If time allows, you could also stop by Stirling Castle, one of Scotland’s top attractions. Enjoy the evening at your leisure in Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow.

    Spend the night in Glasgow. 

    Included: Entrances to Doune Castle and Stirling Castle

    Driving distance: 209 km / 130 miles
    Estimated driving duration: 3.5 hours (without stops)

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Optional Extras
  • Day 5: TRAVEL TO DUBLIN, IRELAND

    Today, board a flight to Dublin, Ireland for the second portion of your tour. Upon your arrival in Dublin, 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.

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Optional Extras
  • Day 6: TOWARDS THE IRISH WEST COAST

    Today, start your road trip towards the west coast, passing through the beautiful midlands. Your first stop is Trim Castle where you can learn about Irish history at the largest Anglo-Norman castle in Ireland. You could also make a pit stop at Kilbeggan Distillery to see how the local whiskey is made. Later, we recommend roaming around the atmospheric ruins of Clonmacnoise. Finally, arrive in Galway, a lively city by the Atlantic Ocean. The colourful city is the perfect place to taste some Irish delicacies with its famous food scene and numerous pubs.

    Spend the night in Galway.                                      

    Driving distance: 229 km / 142 miles
    Estimated driving duration: 3.5 hours (without stops)

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 7: CLIFFS OF MOHER & LIMESTONE LANDSCAPES

    Start the day by visiting Dunguaire Castle. Sitting on a rocky outcrop overlooking Galway Bay, it is one of the most photographed castles in Ireland. Further ahead, explore the unique, lunar-like landscape of The Burren before arriving at the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, Ireland’s top tourist attraction. It showcases some of the country’s most iconic coastal scenery. If time allows, you can then visit the 15th-century Bunratty Castle. Here you’ll also find the Bunratty Folk Park, where you can experience what Irish rural life used to be like a century ago.

    Spend the night in the Killarney/Tralee area.

    Driving distance: 277 km / 172 miles
    Estimated driving duration: 4.5 hours (without stops)

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 8: RING OF KERRY

    Take in the magic of the Ring of Kerry, a classic “must do” scenic drive of the Irish countryside. Stop at Kells Bay House, to see its primeval forest of planted giant ferns. Other highlights include the ancient stone forts of Caherdaniel and Staigue, and Derrynane Bay with its beautiful white sand. Complete the circle with a visit to the picturesque Torc Waterfall. Today, you could also take an optional boat tour from the coast to see the Skellig Islands from up close. These otherworldly islands were recently featured in the Star Wars movies.

    Spend another night in the Killarney/Tralee area.

    Driving distance: 160 km / 99 miles
    Estimated driving duration: 3.5 hours (without stops)

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Optional Extras
  • Day 9: STEP INTO IRELAND’S FAMOUS HISTORY

    Today’s journey will take you back to Dublin. We recommend stopping at a few worthwhile sights along the way. Don’t miss Blarney Castle, a legendary medieval stronghold that houses the Blarney Stone, surrounded by many myths and tales. Later, explore the spectacular Rock of Cashel, a historic site containing a fantastic 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 amazing journey.

    Spend the night in Dublin.

    Driving distance: 343 km / 213 miles
    Estimated driving duration: 4.5 hours (without stops)

    Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 10: DEPARTURE

    To get to Dublin Airport, you can take a taxi, or we can arrange a convenient private transfer directly from your hotel. If your flight is in the afternoon, you can use the morning to enjoy some last-minute shopping, visit one of the many attractions or simply relax and take in the atmosphere of the city one last time.

    Optional Extras

Map

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

Accommodation

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

Comfort

Rooms with private WC and shower (or bath) in a three-star hotel, B&B, well-appointed guesthouse or similar. All provide breakfast..

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Quality

Rooms with private WC and shower (or bath) in a boutique guesthouse, three- or four-star hotel or the best accommodation of that s..

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Rental car

Enjoy your journey with two driver authorization, free GPS and Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) to reduce liability.

Toyota Auris (automatic)
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x3
  • A

Toyota Auris (automatic)
or similar

  • Description: Economy
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 3
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Ford Mondeo (automatic)
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x4
  • A

Ford Mondeo (automatic)
or similar

  • Description: Standard
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

BMW 520 (automatic)
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x4
  • A

BMW 520 (automatic)
or similar

  • Description: Premium
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 4
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Kia Sportage (automatic)
or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x3
  • A

Kia Sportage (automatic)
or similar

  • Description: Intermediate SUV
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 3
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Automatic

Mercedes Vito (manual)
or similar

  • x8
  • x3
  • x5
  • M

Mercedes Vito (manual)
or similar

  • Description: Premium Passenger Van
  • Passengers: 8
  • Luggage: 5
  • Doors: 3
  • Transmission: Manual
  • *upgrade to automatic available upon request

Optional extras

Customise your adventure with these Optional Extras.

Tour Information

We recommend that all our travellers read through the following information about driving in Scotland & Ireland, what the tour includes, the itinerary, accommodation, and other useful information for your travels.

ABOUT OUR SELF-DRIVE TOURS
This is a self-drive tour, which means you will follow a detailed and personalised itinerary during your road trip through Scotland and Ireland. No dedicated driver or tour guide is included. All accommodation, rental vehicles, and other planned activities or added services will be pre-booked by Nordic Visitor (as specified in the itinerary). As this is a self-drive tour, you are welcome to stop when and where you wish on your drive. Except for accommodation and booked activities, other highlights we’ve listed in the itinerary are suggestions based on Nordic Visitor favourites.

FLIGHT FROM GLASGOW TO DUBLIN
Included in this package is a flight between Glasgow, Scotland to Dublin, Ireland. The direct flight takes approximately 1 hour. Baggage allowance per person is one 25kg checked bag and one 7 kg carry-on bag. We’ll also include a standard pre-booked seat.

Most days offer flights around mid-day but in some cases, you may be booked on an earlier or evening flight. Your travel consultant will book the best option for your travel dates.

Please note that airport transfers from your hotel in Glasgow to the airport and from Dublin airport to your accommodation are not included, but you can add them in the optional services.

TRAVEL SEASONS IN SCOTLAND & IRELAND
Scotland and Ireland are beautiful all year long, but we want travellers to be aware that the summer is the high travelling season, with July and August being the peak months. Due to this fact, many of the highlights, such as Isle of Skye, Edinburgh, the Ring or Kerry and Dublin, will be extremely popular and offer limited availability, for attractions, accommodations, restaurants and tours alike.

For a more relaxing experience, we recommend booking well in advance or arriving during the shoulder season, from April to June or September and October. However, if you wish to travel in July or August, we will endeavour to make this a great adventure for you.

ACCOMMODATION
Our team of local travel experts carefully selects hotels, B&Bs, and guesthouses around these two countries based on excellent ratings, personal experience and comfort. Generally, in Scotland and Ireland, whilst room sizes may vary, the room types are based on European standard sizes. Please note that twin rooms, triple and family rooms are not commonly available in Scotland and Ireland, so please contact us for booking assistance if that is something you would like.

Please also be aware that, due to the historic nature of the properties we usually select, most of the rooms are only accessible by going up stairs, as there are often no lifts available. Please contact us if you are not able to walk up stairs.

DRIVING IN SCOTLAND & IRELAND
The roads in both Scotland and Ireland are usually in good conditions all year long and are renowned for their road trip worthiness. Please be aware that in these two countries motorists drive on the left side of the road (and on the right side of the car). If you are not used to driving on the left, we highly recommend choosing a vehicle with automatic transmission for your self-drive tour. If you want a manual transmission vehicle, keep in mind that you will need to shift gears with your left hand (floor pedals are the same).

Drivers will also have to get used to the narrower roads of the UK and Ireland as well as the rural single-track roads with passing places and be careful of animals on the road.

For inexperienced drivers who still want to explore and discover Scotland, we recommend one of our guided small group tour or our privately guided tours, where you will have a local, experienced guide at the wheel.

ARRIVAL/DEPARTURE FROM GLASGOW
If you are planning on arriving in Glasgow, you could book a private transfer from Glasgow Airport to your accommodation in Edinburgh to start the journey in a comfortable way.

SAFETY & WEATHER CONDITIONS
Please note that sightseeing and transport is dependent on weather and road conditions and might need to be altered if conditions are not favourable. This includes ferries and drives. If something unexpected occurs, you can call our 24-hour helpline to speak directly with a Nordic Visitor staff member.

DEPOSIT PAYMENT
As this tour includes flight tickets and non-refundable services, we charge upon booking a 50% non-refundable deposit. For more information - click here.

CURRENCY RATE
All bookings are charged in British Pounds (£, GBP). Prices displayed in other currencies are indicative only and based on the daily exchange rate. Therefore, conversions from GBP to other currencies will fluctuate from day to day. The currency used in Scotland is the Pound Sterling (GBP) and in Ireland is the Euro (EUR).

AFTER BOOKING WITH NORDIC VISITOR
After booking your package with Nordic Visitor, you will be contacted within two business days by one of our travel consultants who will serve as your dedicated contact person for all your travel needs before, during and even after your holiday. Your travel consultant will provide you with details about your booking and your remaining payment (if not paid in full). You will also receive more information about what to expect during your holiday.

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