Ireland & Scotland
- 14 Days: Bunratty, Connemara, Killarney, County Clare, County Kerry, Dublin, Inverness, the Highlands and Edinburgh
AUTHENTIC SMALL GROUP ADVENTURE UP TO 16 GUESTS
Handpicked Hotels. No Big Buses or Groups. No Long Lines and no rushing about the countrysides of these two amazing countries make all the difference. Authentic Journey Style Dining. No Up-sell while on tour. We're different from the mainstream.
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Frankly, we've done the sun up to sun down approach to Ireland. And we don't want to ever do Ireland that way again! Discover Journey's approach to the treasures of Ireland and Scotland and enjoy most mornings with world-class sightseeing and most afternoons at leisure. No rushing to get to "the next place" on the itinerary.
Journey's modern approach to travel means no buses, skip-the-line and exclusive access, small groups around 10 to 16 travelers and Journey Tour Directors who are the consummate professional host throughout.
On our Ireland & Scotland Adventure we know how and where to tour to avoid the crowds and the rush. We're different from the mainstream.
THIS IS WHY WE SUGGEST JOURNEY FOR YOUR VACATION:
TRIP COMMENCES: GALWAY, 2 Days/2 Nights
The perfect beginning with the beauty of Ireland's Coast
G Hotel, The Galmont, The House Hotel or Similar
SHANNON AREA, 2 Days/2 Nights
Exploring Legends and Learning Secrets
Bunratty Castle Hotel, Treacy's Oakwood Hotel or Similar. Some departures stay in Killarney.
KILLARNEY, 3 Days/3 Nights
Enjoying the good life in Killarney
Killarney Plaza Hotel, Great Southern or Similar
DUBLIN, 2 Days/2 Nights
The perfect Irish ending is discovering the treasures of Dublin
Brooks Hotel, The Fitzwilliam or Similar
TOUR FINALE: EDINBURGH, 4 Days/4 Nights
The perfect finalé is discovering the treasures of Edinburgh
Radisson Blu Edinburgh City Center or Similar
OPTIONAL ENDING: Consider London
FAQs: Frequently Asked Questions about this Journey
Answers to questions we've been asked about this trip and our approach to travel.
Choose from Deluxe or Classic Packages. Optional pre- and post-tour extensions available on these departures.
Deluxe Hotels from $9,979
4+ to 5 Star Properties with Dinner Package
Classic Hotels from $8,979
3 to 4 Star Properties
2022 Tour Dates
Sep 18-Oct 1
2023 Tour Dates
May 21-Jun 3
Jun 18-Jul 1
|Jun 30-Jul 14
Sep 24-Oct 7
ENJOY OUR UNIQUE APPROACH TO TRAVELING THROUGH IRELAND & SCOTLAND
We don't do big buses. We don't do big groups.
Our small group tour begins in Galway with an included transfer to the city.
TO CONNEMARA AND KILLARNEY
Then we're off via our comfy micro-coach thru the countryside and base in Killarney for 3 days and nights.
TO DUBLIN, INVERNESS AND EDINBURGH
We make our way to Dublin and then onward to Edinburgh for our trip Finalé. The entire trip we're only about 4 hours on a vehicle – that's the Journey Difference.
Itinerary at a Glance
DAY 1-2 GALWAY | DAY 3-4 SHANNON | DAY 5-7 KILLARNEY |DAY 8-9 DUBLIN | DAY 10-11 INVERNESS | DAY 12-13 EDINBURGH | DAY 14 DEPARTURE
FIRST THINGS FIRST: Consider our Flight and Early Arrival Options
Your flight to Shannon, Ireland, should land on Day 1 of the itinerary — this means you should depart your home airport the day prior — your round-trip travel time on this Journey is 15 Days (14 Days, 13 Nights Land). Airfare is not included. Inquire about our Business Class and Premium Economy Airfare.
CONSIDER EXPANDING YOUR JOURNEY
Expand the Journey: Many of our travelers arrive a "full day early" to recover from their overnight flight — inquire with us about a pre-tour overnight hotel room in Shannon or even stay at the beautiful Dromoland Castle! You can even stay longer with our Northern Ireland and/or Scotland Extensions.
Day 1: Welcome to Galway, Ireland
Upon arrival into Shannon Airport, you will meet the Journey Meet & Greet team after clearing customs and then enjoy the included transfer to check in to your hotel in Galway. Upon arrival into Galway, check in to your hotel. If you have arrived early, have no fears, you can drop your bags and set off to wander Galway City's cobble stone streets.
The City of Tribes welcomes you and you immediately feel yourself stepping back in time to medieval Ireland. Known the world over for its friendly people, charming streets, shopping and nightlife, Galway will refresh flagging spirits like no other place.
Join the Journey Tour Director for a Discovery Walk on your arrival day in Galway. Learn the major landmarks and the lay of the land in relation to our hotel. We'll introduce you to the best ATM machines and other helpful information for your stay in Galway.
Welcome to Galway Dinner
Tonight enjoy a special welcome dinner in Galway with your Journey Tour Director.
Accommodation in Galway, 2 Nights with breakfast
Deluxe: The Galmont Hotel, The House Hotel, The G Hotel & Spa, or Similar
Classic: Classic Hotel or Similar
Day 2: Exploring the Connemara
After a wonderful Irish breakfast at the hotel, we will set out to explore the Connemara area of Ireland.
Today's Adventure: Exploring the Connemara
Now we are entering the wild beauty of Connemara: Mountains start to rise and there are vast, open, breath-taking spaces in the Maam Valley, a spectacular region that divides up the Maamturk mountains of Connemara. Dropping down into the village of Leenane where the film The Field directed by John B. Keane was filmed, Killary Fjord (Ireland’s only fjord) unfolds. Here you can see the salmon and mussel pots floating on the surface of the water where the fish are farmed here. Arriving now at the highlight of the tour, Kylemore Abbey & Gardens, one can absorb the tranquil atmosphere while walking in one of Ireland’s most peaceful scenic areas.
We return to Galway for the balance of the afternoon at leisure.
Journey is Different: Your Journey Tour Director will invite you to an optional dinner tonight or you can explore Galway at leisure.
Day 3: The Cliffs | Exploring the Region
Today's Adventure: The Cliffs of Moher & the Burren
This morning after breakfast we will set out to explore and experience the Cliffs of Moher, a sheer precipice that stretches for 5 miles along the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland's western edge. The Cliffs of Moher rise to a height of 668 feet above the Atlantic and is one of the most impressive coastlines in Ireland. In nesting season the cliffs are home to a variety of seabirds.
Today's Adventure Continues: The Burren
What is most realized upon entering The Burren is the silence. Tourism Ireland describes it this way, "It’s a silence as layered as the undulating landscape itself, filled with the riches of Irish history; of aeons of stories, told and untold. All around you is pale grey stone ribboned with crags and crevices; miniature cliffs spread like mosaics as far as the horizon; and a microcosm of Ireland’s wildlife thrives." We agree. Its a special place that makes the Treasures of Ireland journey that much more interesting.
Later this afternoon we continue our journey and arrive at our home for the next two days.
Upon arrival, we will check in and freshen up.
On the Discovery Walk we will orient you to the area around the hotel and get to know our home for the next two nights.
Accommodation in the Shannon Area, 2 Nights with Breakfast
Deluxe: Bunratty Castle Hotel, Treacy's Oakwood Hotel or Similar
Classic: Classic Hotel or Similar
Day 4: Day at Leisure
Plan Your Day
Fill your day with excitement and discovery with a range of exhilarating activites, indoor and out. Or just find that perfect space to enjoy your good read, or maybe it's time to continue working on your own piece of literature — whichever you prefer, today is the perfect day to enjoy as you desire.
Taking place nearby within a short drive are amazing experiences which must be booked in advance including game shooting, horse riding, falconery demonstrations, spa experiences, cycling and much more.
Journey is Different: Your Journey Tour Director will invite you to an optional dinner tonight or you can explore Shannon at leisure.
Day 5: Onward to Killarney
Today's Adventure: Muckross House
This morning we make our way bound for Killarney, but first we enjoy visiting a stop at a 19th century Victorian mansion by the name of Muckross House.The house stands close to the shores of Muckross Lake, one of Killarney's three lakes. Originally built for Henry Arthur Herbert and his wife, the water-colorist Mary Balfour Herbert. The fourth house in a series of homes that were owned by generations of the Herbert family for almost two hundred years.
Upon arrival to Killarney, we will check in and freshen up before our Discovery Walk.
Discovery Walk in Killarney
On the Discovery Walk we experience a Now Journey exclusive with your Tour Director.
Welcome to Killarney Dinner
Your Journey Tour Director hosts an amazing welcome dinner in Killarney with authentic and delicious Irish and World cuisine served by a family who love what they do.
Accommodation in Killarney, 3 Nights with Breakfast
Deluxe: Killarney Plaza Hotel or Similar
Classic: Classic Hotel or Similar
Day 6: To Blarney Castle
Today's Adventure: Blarney Castle & Gardens
Today we enjoy ourselves with a visit to Blarney Castle, where you will have the chance to see the famous Stone of Eloquence (some call the gift of Gab) and time to visit the adjacent woolen mills. Situated 8km from Cork City, this historic castle is most famous for its stone, which has the traditional power of conferring eloquence on all who kiss it. In the grounds of the castle, the Rock Close, and its surroundings, is a curious place of ancient trees and far more ancient stones, by legend a garden of druidic origin and a center of worship in pre-Christian days. The place has an aura of magic and mystique with Wishing Steps, Witch's Kitchen, Druid's Cave and many other delights, telling a story of centuries past. Blarney Castle Estate offers visitors the chance to stroll in one of the country's most spectacular gardens. Blarney Castle & House are set in acres of parkland filled with rare and unusual trees and plants. There will be time for lunch and shopping at the nearby Blarney Woolen Mill's, the largest in Ireland.
Join your Journey Tour Director later today for a special time together.
Day 7: A Day at Leisure
Today, enjoy a complete day at leisure. May we suggest optional touring to the Ring of Kerry?
Journey is Different: Your Journey Tour Director will invite you to an optional dinner tonight or you can explore Killarney at leisure.
Day 8: Welcome to Dublin
Today's Adventure: Rock of Cashel
Today we head to Dublin with a stop at the Rock of Cashel, also known as Cashel of the Kings and St. Patrick's Rock, is a historic site located at Cashel, County Tipperary, Ireland with time for lunch on your own. Upon arrival to Dublin, we will check in, freshen up and then enjoy a Discovery Walk before dinner.
On the Discovery Walk we find Dublin to be a beautiful destination filled with coffee shops, museums, and one shop called Peacock Green & Co. known for its specialty in tea. Oh! And don't forget the Queen of Tarts, whose delectable sweets are manifest in the many cakes available! Learn about these sites and more on the Discovery Walk with the Tour Director.
Welcome to Dublin Dinner
Your Journey Tour Director hosts an amazing welcome dinner in Dublin - it's a night of music, cuisine and special drink.
Accommodation in Dublin, 2 Nights with Breakfast
Deluxe: Brooks Hotel, The Fitzwilliam or Similar
Classic: Classic Hotel or Similar
Day 9: Exploring Dublin
After your full Irish breakfast this morning you will commence the walking tour exploring the city center of Dublin.
Today's Adventure: Treasures (and Secrets) of Dublin
Enjoy an informed and fun perspective of life and history in Ireland’s capital. We take in the amazing Trinity College Library where we include entrance fees to see the famous Book of Kells. St. Patrick's Cathedral is a delight and another treasure on our Journey. We make our way to Brazen Head Pub for a very special visit.
The afternoon is at your leisure. You may choose to visit Kilmainham Gaol, The Guinness Storehouse, The Dublin Writers Museum or any of the great museums and galleries.
Journey is Different: Join your Tour Director for an optional dinner in Dublin or explore at your leisure.
Day 10: To Scotland
After breakfast, we will transfer to the airport (Dublin or Belfast on select itineraries) for our included flight to Edinburgh (Inverness on select itineraries), Scotland.
On the Discovery Walk of Edinburgh, magic seems to come to life as we learn about this amazing city. J.K. Rowland's famous Harry Potter series was inspired from her time writing in Edinburgh.
Welcome to Edinburgh Dinner
Your Journey Tour Director hosts a welcome to Edinburgh dinner.
Accommodation in Edinburgh, 4 Nights with Breakfast
Deluxe: Royal Mile or Similar
Classic: Classic Hotel or Similar
Day 11: Exploring Amazing Edinburgh
Today's Adventure: Treasures of Scotland: Edinburgh, the Castle and Stirling Castle
Enjoy the expertly guided tour of Edinburgh with a visit to the Castle, the Grass Market area with it many famous pubs and eateries, and learn about the National Museum and National Galleries and the Royal Mile. Then we're off to Stirling Castle: We make our way to Stirling to enter the world of Scotland’s Renaissance kings and queens and discover a world of splendor. We learn of Sir William Wallace, the Braveheart legend, and Sir Robert the Bruce. Stirling's strategic position along the River Forth between the lowlands and highlands has meant it's been coveted and fought over since the time of the Romans.
Journey is Different: We return to Inverness later in the afternoon and then you are invited to our optional dinner in town or enjoy exploring at your leisure.
Day 12: Optional Adventure to the Highlands
Today's Adventure: Loch Ness and the Highlands - Inquire for Pricing
On this optional adventure, we make our way north and pass the imposing ramparts of Stirling Castle: truly Rob Roy territory. We arrive at Loch Ness where we enjoy a boating adventure. This is a fantastic full day adventure in the Highlands as we visit Loch Ness with a 1 hour boat cruise, we'll learn of the history of Scotland as we make our way and learn about Glen Coe, the Highland Perthshire and perhaps see the incredible Ben Nevis along the way.
It's a full day exploring and we return early in the evening to Edinburgh.
Day 13: Edinburgh at Leisure
Today, enjoy Edinburgh completely at your leisure until our farewell dining event tonight.
Our Special Journey Finalé
Tonight join your Tour Director for our special Aperitif to celebrate our time together. It has been a Journey of adventure and discovery, along with making new friends! Until our next Journey — Slán!
Day 14: Departure Day Or Extend Your Adventure
Your Journey ends this morning after breakfast. May we suggest an extension:
What about Northern Ireland? Tempting? Please inquire with Reservation about extensions and pricing.
Passport, Visa and Electronic Authorities
A valid Passport is required for citizens from the USA and Canada (other countries: please speak with your consulates). The Passport must be valid for at least six (6) months beyond your return date. We may suggest keeping a photo of your Passport in your email as an unsent draft.
Airfare Purchased through Eddie at Bella Vista
Airfare is not included in the tour price. However, you can book through our recommended air provider: Bella Vista. Any changes to flights booked through Bella Vista must be administered by Bella Vista. Eddie is the name of our colleague at Bella Vista who provides outstanding service and pricing. Bella Vista is not organically affiliated or connected to Now Journey LLC.
Airport and Included Arrival Transfer Details
Upon clearing customs, you will be met by our Journey driver who will whisk you along to the water taxi or hotel, all included.
Luggage On Tour
One (1) 50 pound suitcase is included in your portage throughout the tour. You are also entitled to a carry-on bag, and a purse or satchel. Remember, your airline or the airline on tour if applicable may have more restrictive limits — be advised you are responsible for any fees incurred on all flights.
Walking and Mobility on Tour
Be prepared to be standing and/or walking for up to 3 hours on various terrain including cobblestone streets, stairs and uneven surfaces. We walk a lot on our tours but we are unhurried and you may opt out of most sightseeing tours at just about any time. The Journey Tour Director is unable to assist with mobility assistance. Please carefully read the Trip Agreement to understand your obligations and responsibilities.
What's the difference between Deluxe and Classic?
Deluxe package includes a full, hot daily breakfast (table service or buffet), 5 of the 9 dinners and 4+ to 5 Star hotel properties featuring large, air-conditioned guestrooms with ensuite bathrooms. Classic package includes a daily breakfast, Galway Welcome Dinner (guests may upgrade to the total 5 dinners included for $390 per person), and 3 to 4 Star hotel properties featuring air-conditioned guestrooms with ensuite bathrooms.
COVID 19 Requirements
Please check with the Center for Disease Control website (https://www.cdc.gov) around 60 days prior to departure for the latest entry requirements. Also, please visit the Ireland and Scottish government's websites for entry requirements.
Hotel Guest Rooms: Air Conditioning, Electricity, Bathrooms and WiFi
Each of our guest rooms feature ensuite bathrooms, air conditioning and select amenities in Deluxe category. Daily breakfast is included in each hotel category. You will need a converter for certain devices, as well as an adapter for the physical US 2 or 3 prong to the Italian dual prong system. WiFi is included with your Journey vacation wherever available.
Journey Style Dining
Journey’s approach to dining is unique in the travel world (just like the regions we travel through). We include Premium Beverages (wine, soda and cocktails) and you choose your dinner from the menu. The chefs and families are proud of their delicious dishes which hail from each of the regions in which Journey travels. Throughout the journey you will enjoy a variety of dishes and delicious wines and spirits.
Medicine and Health on Tour
Please do not pack essential medicines in your luggage, rather take them with you in your carry-on (alert: liquid medicines may need additional approval by the airline). Should you have any food restrictions or allergies, please ensure you note this on the Traveler Profile.
The Euro is used in Ireland and the GBP is used within Scotland. We recommend you bring with you around €250 per person. To obtain more cash while on tour, use your Debit Card with your PIN memorized (we may suggest keeping this information in your email as an unsent draft).
Tipping on Tour
At the finalé of your Journey, you are invited to provide a gratuity to your Journey Tour Director. We recommend tipping $USD20 per person per day for your Journey Tour Director. Customary gratuities are included on your Journey for included dinners, drivers and local guides.
No Up-Sell on Tour: Rest Easy
Unlike most tour operators, we do not upsell to you while you're on tour. Your Journey Tour Director will assist you with any request while on tour, but will not proactively sell to you — this is not our culture or style of travel. We recommend you select your optional activities at least 90 days prior to your trip departure date.
Weather in Ireland and Scotland
Expect some showers possible throughout our season with warm temperatures in July and August.
March through April with October: Layer your clothing with warmer sunshine expected by 10am on most days. Have a rain jacket or umbrella just in case. May through June with September: Summer clothing is recommended with jeans, slacks, dresses, shorts, sneakers and caps/hats completely acceptable. July through August: It's hot, so dress accordingly with sunscreen on hand.