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Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye - Scotland

Ultimate Tour of Scotland & Ireland

Scottish Highlands, North Coast 500 & Wild Atlantic Way

(25 days / 24 nights)

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Set off on the trip of a lifetime

Have you always dreamed of discovering the stunning beauty and hidden characters of both Scotland and Ireland? These neighbouring countries have singular landscapes, cultures and traditions that you’ll want to immerse yourself in. This is the ultimate tour to do so! Come experience the Scottish Highlands, Orkney and the Isle of Skye as well as the rugged beauty and Gaelic culture of Ireland. With this tour, you also get the chance to explore Northern Ireland and its iconic sights!

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25 days / 24 nights

Price p.p. from

The amount will be charged in GBP

Approx 5354 GBP

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— Why book with Nordic Visitor

  • Seamless travel experience
  • Handpicked hotels and routes designed by local experts
  • Reliable rental cars with trusted car rental partners
  • Comprehensive itinerary, personalised map & travel guide
  • 24/7 helpline during your tour
  • Service from trusted local travel experts
  • Great customer reviews
  • Carbon offsetting included

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— Book With Confidence

  • Optional cancellation insurance
  • Affordable deposits from 10%

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
  • Go island hopping and discover the Viking past of Scotland on Orkney
  • Explore some of Scotland’s top sights on the famous and breathtaking Isle of Skye
  • Walk along the shores of the mysterious Loch Ness
  • Travel to Northern Ireland to explore Belfast and the impressive Giant’s Causeway
  • Journey around the Ring of Kerry, Ireland’s most iconic driving route
  • Admire the coastal scenery of the renowned Cliffs of Moher
  • Discover ancient castles and medieval sites such as Eilean Donan Castle, Newgrange and Blarney Castle
  • Enjoy a road trip with peace of mind with your personal itinerary from a travel expert

Travel style

Self-Drive i

Interest

Castles and Royalty i, Countryside and natural scenery i, Culture and History i, Off the Beaten Path i

Season

Apr - Oct

Departure

Daily

Interest

Castles and Royalty i, Countryside and natural scenery i, Culture and History i, Off the Beaten Path i

Driving distance

4127/2565 km/mi

Itinerary

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

  • Day 1: Arrival in Edinburgh

    Upon your arrival in Scotland, make your way into Edinburgh city centre where you’ll find your accommodation. You might decide to take a taxi or hop on public transport, but for a more direct and comfortable ride, we can organise a private airport transfer for you.

    If you’re 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.

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 2: Scotland’s Dramatic East Coast

    Today, you start your road trip, so pick up your rental car and set off! You’ll cross into Fife and your first stop will be the quaint village of Falkland, where you can explore a Renaissance palace. From here, drive east to the town of St Andrews, famous for being the home of golf and of the oldest university in Scotland.

    Later, continue north, passing by Dundee, a UNESCO City of Design. You can then drive directly to Aberdeen or take the coastal scenic route. This will take you past the St. Cyrus National Nature Reserve and the spectacular Dunnottar Castle, near Stonehaven.

    Spend the night in the Aberdeen area.

    Average driving distance: 235 km / 135 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 3: Royal Deeside, Castles & Whisky

    Today will take you into the Scottish Highlands. First drive along the “Deeside Tourist Route”, an enchanting route through the Cairngorms National Park. On the way, there is a plethora of castles you could visit, including 16th-century Crathes Castle, and of course, the Scottish residence of the Royal Family, Balmoral Castle, which you can visit from April to July. You will then continue to Speyside, which is famous for its whiskies. You may want to visit one of the many distilleries (there are over 40 to choose from!), such as Glenfiddich or Aberlour.

    Spend the night in Inverness area.

    Average driving distance: 240 km / 150 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 4: Journey to Orkney

    Today your drive will take you to the north of mainland Scotland, to the seaside village of Scrabster. We recommend making a stop on the way at the fairytale Dunrobin Castle. In the early afternoon, you’ll catch a ferry to Stromness on Orkney. This is a beautiful journey across the Pentland Firth with spectacular views of the Old Man of Hoy.

    Once you’ve reached mainland Orkney, drive to the capital, Kirkwall, a former Viking stronghold. Here you can explore the town centre and the magnificent 12th-century St Magnus Cathedral.

    Spend the night in the Kirkwall area.

    Ferry duration: 1.5 hours

    Average driving distance: 205 km / 130 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 5: The Wonders of Orkney

    You have the whole day to experience the gems of Orkney, admire its stunning scenery and explore its ruins dating back millennia to the Stone Ages. The highlight of Orkney is the “Heart of Neolithic Orkney”, a UNESCO World Heritage Site area comprised of a group of Neolithic monuments. This includes the 5,000-year-old prehistoric village of Skara Brae, the mysterious Ring of Brodgar stone circle and the huge megaliths at the Standing Stones of Stenness. And you won’t want to miss the chambered cairn of Maeshowe, where 12th-century Vikings left one of the largest collections of Norse runic inscriptions.

    Spend another night in the Kirkwall area.

    Average driving distance: 56 km / 35 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 6: North Coast 500 Route

    Today you journey back to the mainland by ferry before taking on part of the famous North Coast 500 route. This scenic route stretches around the Northern Highlands of Scotland and is known for its incredible rocky cliffs, gold sand beaches and beautiful mountains.

    We recommend stopping along the way to visit the awe-inspiring Smoo Cave, the largest and most dramatic sea cave in Britain. On a sunny day you could also pass by the pristine beaches and turquoise waters of Durness. Finally, you could visit the 15th-century ruins of Ardvreck Castle before arriving at the charming and whitewashed village of Ullapool.

    Spend the night in the Ullapool area.

    Ferry duration: 1.5 hours

    Average driving distance: 250 km / 150 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 7: Along the West Coast to Skye

    Start the day by visiting the breathtaking mile-long Corrieshalloch Gorge and enjoying a walk to the Falls of Measach. During your drive along the west coast, we recommend stopping at Inverewe Garden. It boasts some 2,500 exotic plants and flowers that flourish in Northern Scotland thanks to the warm currents of the Gulf Stream. Continue your journey through the dramatic landscape of the Torridon Hills. Before reaching Skye, we recommend stopping at the picturesque village of Plockton, on the shores of Loch Carron.

    Spend the night in the Isle of Skye area.

    Average driving distance: 265 km / 165 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 8: The Isle of Skye

    Today take full advantage of your time on Skye, a haven for nature lovers. We recommend driving to the northern part of the island and taking your time around all the attractions on the breathtaking Trotternish Peninsula. There you can enjoy a walk up to “The Old Man of Storr” rock pinnacle and see the beautiful Kilt Rock waterfall. Other highlights include the Quiraing rock face, the An Corran Beach at Staffin, where you may spot ancient dinosaur footprints, and the mystical Fairy Glen.

    Spend another night on the Isle of Skye or nearby.

    Average driving distance: 70 km / 45 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 9: The Beauty of Loch Ness

    Head back to the Scottish mainland via the Skye Bridge. Make sure to stop at the picturesque Eilean Donan Castle, a sight you will surely recognise from many photographs, films and TV shows. Then drive all the way to the shores of the mysterious Loch Ness, where you can visit the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition. You might also wish to take a boat tour on Loch Ness in search of its notorious and elusive monster. Or go explore the nearby Urquhart Castle ruins on the shores of the loch.

    Spend the night in the Fort William area.

    Average driving distance: 240 km / 150 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 10: Travel Along Dramatic Glens

    Today's journey takes you past Scotland’s most famous valley, Glen Coe, which offers world-famous scenery. You could stop at Rob Roy’s grave at Balquidder and at the beautiful Falls of Dochart in the village of Killin. Alternatively, you could travel the longer scenic route via the seaside town of Oban onto the historical valley of Kilmartin Glen and past the charming village of Inveraray. This region is considered to have one of the most important concentrations of Neolithic and Bronze Age remains in Scotland, including cairns and standing stones.

    Spend the night in the Trossachs National Park area.

    Average driving distance via Glen Coe: 130 km / 80 miles

    Average driving distance via Kilmartin Glen/Inveraray: 285 km / 180 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 11: Trossachs National Park to Glasgow

    Today’s drive will take you to Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow. Drive through the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, where you could stop for a nature walk, enjoy an optional steamship tour on Loch Katrine, or visit a local whisky distillery. For a fun photo opportunity, don’t miss Doune Castle, featured in Monty Python & the Holy Grail and the 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 Glasgow.

    Spend the night in Glasgow.

    Average driving distance: 109 km / 68 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 12: 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 See Activities for this day
  • Day 13: MEGALITHIC NEWGRANGE & SCENIC LANDSCAPES

    Start your road trip towards Northern Ireland. Your first stop is the charming 12th-century Malahide Castle. Visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Newgrange, where you can see megalithic passage tombs which are believed to be older than the Great Pyramids of Egypt. This is one of Ireland’s most popular and fascinating attractions. Next, stop to admire the high crosses of Monasterboice, the historic ruins of a Christian settlement. Cross into Northern Ireland to reach the capital Belfast.

    Spend the night in Belfast.                                         

    Average driving distance: 195 km / 121 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 14: Discover Belfast

    Today you have a full day to explore Belfast, an exciting city with a mix of Victorian grandeur, industrial grit and living history. Don’t miss out on the city’s leading attraction, the Titanic Belfast. Experience the story of the world’s largest and most luxurious ship, which was constructed in Belfast in 1909. You can also see the Peace Walls and their famous murals, admire the architecture of the City Hall, or opt to visit the Ulster Folk museum, a complete recreation of an early 1900s traditional Northern Irish town.

    Spend another night in Belfast.

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 15: GIANT’S CAUSEWAY & ANTRIM COAST

    Explore the beautiful Antrim Coast. First, pass by the atmospheric Dark Hedges, a Game of Thrones filming location. Then, enjoy a scenic coastal walk at Carrick-a-Rede to cross its rope bridge swaying 30m above the sea and providing stunning views of the cliffs below. The highlight of the day is the jewel of Northern Ireland and World Heritage Site, the Giant’s Causeway, with its iconic basalt columns. Nearby, visit Bushmills Distillery the world’s oldest whiskey distillery. We also recommend stopping for a view of the breathtaking, medieval ruins of Dunluce Castle, located by dramatic coastal cliffs.

    Spend the night in the Donegal area.

    Average driving distance: 257 km / 160 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 16: WILD ATLANTIC WAY & CLIFFS OF SLIEVE LEAGUE

    Today, you will get your first taste of the iconic Wild Atlantic Way route, a journey past soaring cliffs, buzzing towns, epic bays and hidden beaches. Your first stop is Glenveagh National Park where you’ll explore towering mountains, lakes, valleys and woodlands. Drive past the imposing Mount Errigal and over the winding Glengesh Pass to Glencolumbkille, one of Ireland’s best living-history museums. Then experience breathtaking views at the imposing cliffs of Slieve League, which, at 600m, are some of the highest marine cliffs in Europe. Alternatively, you can enjoy a leisurely day in Donegal. 

    Spend another night in the Donegal area.

    Average driving distance: 223 km / 138 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 17: Rugged Coastlines & Stone Age Sites

    Head south to County Sligo, driving past the stunning Ben Bulben, perhaps one of Ireland’s most recognisable mountains. Visit the small fishing village of Mullaghmore with its lovely sandy beach. Here, you’ll find Mullaghmore Head, one of the signature discovery points along the Wild Atlantic Way. We also recommend a visit to the atmospheric Carrowmore, Ireland’s largest Stone Age cemetery where you can roam around megalithic tombs and stone circles. Continue your drive to Downpatrick Head to enjoy a walk along the majestic sea cliffs and take in the vast views of the rugged coastline.

    Spend the night in the Westport area.

    Average driving distance: 241 km / 150 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 18: Connemara National Park

    Visit the striking region of Connemara with its landscapes characterised by rugged mountains, white sand beaches, picturesque lakes and heathlands. Stop by Killary harbour, Ireland’s only true fjord with a length of 16km (9.9miles). Further along, visit Kylemore Abbey where you can admire spectacular Gothic architecture and take a stroll in the Victorian Walled Garden.

    Stop by the Connemara National Park Visitor Centre to follow scenic walking trails. Drive the circular Sky Road near Clifden for broad views of the Atlantic and arrive in Galway, a lively and colourful city.

    Spend the night in the Galway area.

    Average driving distance: 182 km / 113 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 19: 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. Here you can visit the iconic portal tomb Poulnabrone Dolmen, one of Ireland’s oldest megalithic monuments.

    Next stop is the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher, Ireland’s top tourist attraction, showcasing some of the country’s most iconic coastal scenery. On a sunny day the views are expansive, but even a stormy day can be exhilarating with the powerful Atlantic below.

    Spend the night in the Doolin/Lisdoonvarna area.

    Average driving distance: 111 km / 69 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 20: Medieval Castles & Killarney National Park

    Start the day visiting the 15th-century Bunratty Castle. Here you’ll also find the Bunratty Folk Park, where you can experience Irish rural life from the 1800s. We then recommend stopping at Adare, one of Ireland’s prettiest villages with its thatched cottages housing craft shops and restaurants. In the afternoon, explore Killarney National Park set beneath Ireland’s highest mountains. You can visit the 19th-century mansion of Muckross House, take an optional Jaunting Car tour of the park or a boat trip on the peaceful Lough Leane, departing from the medieval Ross Castle.

    Spend the night in the Killarney/Tralee area.

    Average driving distance: 206 km / 128 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 21: 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.

    Average driving distance:198 km / 123 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions See Activities for this day
  • Day 22: GARNISH ISLAND & IRELAND’S SOUTH COAST

    Today, you will travel over the scenic, winding Caha Pass to the colourful village of Glengarriff. From here, we recommend taking a short boat trip, with the opportunity to spot a seal colony on the way, to Garnish Island, which features a world-renowned garden. You could also visit the 18th-century Bantry House. Later, travel via Kinsale, a popular resort town with its picturesque yachting harbour and historic forts. Continue to Cork, a buzzing city with a vibrant cultural scene.

    Spend the night in the Cork area.

    Average driving distance: 191 km / 119 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 23: ANCIENT CASTLES & THE BLARNEY STONE

    This morning, you can visit Blarney Castle, a legendary medieval stronghold that houses the Blarney Stone, surrounded by many myths and tales. Then we recommend stopping at the photogenic harbour town of Cobh. It is known as the last port of call of the Titanic in 1912! Continue to Cashel, where you can visit the spectacular Rock of Cashel, one of Ireland’s most visited attractions. The site offers a fantastic collection of medieval buildings that span over 1000 years of history. Later, drive to Kilkenny, a medieval town nestled around a majestic 12th-century castle.

    Spend the night in the Kilkenny area.

    Average driving distance: 208 km / 129 miles

    Attractions Attractions Attractions Attractions
  • Day 24: THROUGH THE WICKLOW MOUNTAINS TO DUBLIN

    If you wish to spend more time exploring Dublin, you can head straight to the city this morning.

    Alternatively, we highly recommend a drive through the scenic Wicklow Mountains to take in the beautiful views. In the area you could visit Glendalough, a 6th-century monastic settlement, and the Powerscourt Estate, featuring the restored mansion Powerscourt House. On the estate, you will find Ireland’s highest waterfall as well as magnificent gardens. 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.

    Average driving distance to Dublin: 123km / 77 miles

    Average driving distance via Wicklow Mountains: 165km / 102 miles

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  • Day 25: Departure from Dublin

    It’s time to say goodbye to Ireland as your adventure comes to an end. When you need to head to the 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 spend the morning enjoying some last-minute shopping, visiting one of the many attractions or simply relaxing and taking in the atmosphere of the city one last time.

    See Activities for this day

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 self-drive 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 self-drive tour, Nordic Visitor supplies you with a quality rental car and a detailed personal itinerary. You act as your own tour guide and driver, and you get to pick the road trip music!

All your services will be pre-booked by your personal travel consultant at Nordic Visitor. This includes your rental car and accommodation in Scotland and Ireland, along with planned activities, as specified in the itinerary.

As this is a self-guided tour, you’re welcome to stop whenever and wherever you wish along the way. Except for accommodation and booked activities, other highlights we’ve listed in the itinerary are suggestions based on Nordic Visitor favourites.

And rest assured that we’re with you every step of the way. Upon your arrival in Scotland, you’ll receive personalised information, including an itinerary, hand-annotated map and our very own Scotland and Ireland Travel Guides. Plus, you’ll have access to our 24/7 helpline during your trip should you need to contact us.

Scotland and Ireland have different minimum ages for hiring a vehicle. But here’s what you need to know:

  • In Scotland, the minimum age is 23.
  • In Ireland, the minimum age is 21. You’ll need to have held a valid driving licence for at least 5 years to rent a car.

Both countries have an additional fee and extra conditions if you’re under 25. You may also be restricted in the size of vehicle you are able to rent.

Please contact us if you are unsure about which car to choose.

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.

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

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.

Travelling with your kids? No problem! Just let your travel consultant know during the booking process. We’ll arrange any cots needed at your accommodation.

If you'd like us to arrange for a car seat to be provided for your trip, please let us know ahead of time. This will incur a small extra cost.

The roads in both Scotland and Ireland are usually in good condition all year long and are renowned for their road trip worthiness.

Please be aware that in these 2 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 need to get used to the narrower roads of the UK and Ireland as well as the rural single-track roads. If you meet another driver on one of these single-track roads, one of you needs to tuck into a passing place, which might be behind you. In these areas, you should also be careful of animals on the road.

It’s also a good idea to plan how you will navigate around ahead of time. Your travel consultant will prepare a detailed hand-annotated map of your route to help you stay on track.

We also recommend using navigation apps on your phone, such as Google Maps. Make sure to download the routes ahead of time, in case you don’t have signal in the more rural areas.

For inexperienced drivers who still want to explore and discover the Celtic nations, we recommend one of our small guided group tours or private tours. On these tours you’ll have a local, experienced driver at the wheel.

This itinerary includes a ferry crossing. To board, you’ll need to arrive at the port marked in your voucher and on your map. You will need to arrive a certain amount of time ahead of your departure, and this time will be noted on your voucher. Simply drive your car in the queue to board the ferry at the right time.

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.

On your Ireland and Scotland road trip, you should budget for petrol costs of around £1.60–£2 per litre (similar in Euros too).

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.

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 call our office. And if anything unexpected happens outside working hours, you can reach us on our 24/7 helpline.

During your tour, there will always be an Edinburgh-based travel expert on call to handle any unforeseen situations, 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.

Yes, you can customise this tour online. During the booking process, you can easily add extra nights to your itinerary as well as optional day trips, excursions and upgrades.

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 your accommodation in the Edinburgh city centre. If you’ve come from another airport, such as Glasgow, you can take the train or book a private transfer.

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.

Reviews

We don’t like to brag, so we’ll let our happy customers do it for us.

Extremely satisfied with all aspects of the tour

Extremely satisfied with all aspects of the tour. Very professional and thorough. The maps and guide book were invaluable and made the tour very easy to navigate. Locations of accommodation were superb, all near restaurants, attractions and shopping.

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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Rental car

Enjoy your road trip with 2 authorised drivers and Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) to reduce liability.

Vauxhall Astra & Opel Astra (manual) or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x2
  • M

Vauxhall Astra & Opel Astra (manual) or similar

  • Description: Compact
  • Passengers: 5
  • Luggage: 2
  • Doors: 5
  • Transmission: Manual

Toyota Auris & Toyota Corolla (automatic) or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x3
  • A

Toyota Auris & Toyota Corolla (automatic) or similar

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

Ford Mondeo & Scoda Octavia (automatic) or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x4
  • A

Ford Mondeo & Scoda Octavia (automatic) or similar

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

BMW 520 & Volvo S90 (automatic) or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x4
  • A

BMW 520 & Volvo S90 (automatic) or similar

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

Vauxhall Grandland & Nissan Qashqai (automatic) or similar

  • x5
  • x5
  • x3
  • A

Vauxhall Grandland & Nissan Qashqai (automatic) or similar

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

Mercedes Vito & Ford Transit (Automatic)

  • x8
  • x3
  • x5
  • A

Mercedes Vito & Ford Transit (Automatic)

  • Description: Premium Passenger Van
  • Passengers: 8
  • Luggage: 5
  • Doors: 3
  • Transmission: Automatic*
  • *manual option available upon request
Free upgrade

Price per person from

The amount will be charged in GBP

Approx 5354 GBP

See special offers terms

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Our best price per person when booking for two.

2024
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