Mysteries and movie moments cover Ireland and Scotland; the Hogwarts Express, Loch Ness Monster, Blarney Stone, a James Bond castle, and stories from Titanic. These two countries are dominated by landscapes and legend, with something to excite all ages. Handcrafted for curious families, this private tour balances the best of Scotland and Ireland for contrasting ages, creating a journey to the heart of the mysteries. Think culture, castles, and all the unusual history. Are you planning your once-in-a-lifetime...
Edinburgh – Panoramic Highlights of the Scottish Capital
The great thing about Edinburgh is that you don’t need to do anything in order to get an intimate feel of the city. A majestic castle peers down from the hill, onto a lane of cobbles and charming buildings from times past. Cathedral spires rise above the cityscape and palace buildings glimpse at a royal history. There are some extravagant monuments to explore. Yet the Edinburgh experience is equally made up of strolling the Royal Mile to discover what makes the country and capital unique. It’s hard to know the mood and energy levels after your flight to Scotland. A guide greets you at the airport and tailors a day around how you are feeling; it can incorporate a panorama of grand highlights or be more of an orientation on the central streets.
Fife – Medieval Musing and a Night in a Castle on a Loch
Ft. William – Searching for the Loch Ness Monster and a Highlights Distillery
Island of Skye – Riding the Hogwarts Express and a Famous Castle From the Movies
Glasgow – So Many Stories That Give Scotland Its Mystery
Dublin – Storytellers, Songs, Fairies, and Guinness as You Explore Dublin
Wicklow – The Great Green Fields of Ireland and Four-Leaved Clovers
Kilkenny – Relaxing Into the Irish Vibe and an Evening With the Locals
Killarney – Kissing the Blarney Stone and Stories From the Titanic
Killarney – Discovering the Ring of Kerry and Some Lord of the Rings
Adare – A Pony Ride to a Thatched Village and Medieval Castle Dinner
Shannon – Departure
- Ride the Jacobite Hogwarts Express, the train from Harry Potter taking you through the Scottish highlands
- Spend the night in three different castles, including the fabulously mysterious Dromoland
- Search the Loch Ness Monster after tasting at a boutique whiskey distillery
- Ireland is full of mysteries for all ages: kissing the Blarney Stone, searching for four-leafed clovers, and ride a pony along a lake to the thatched village of Adare
- Explore Scotland’s diverse history, from the pastel houses of Portree to Viking fortresses, cobbled streets in Edinburgh, and the castle from a Bond movie
- Experience Ireland’s traditions, like storytelling in a Dublin pub, Celtic folklore in a local room, plus memoirs to a Catholic history
- Journey across otherworldly landscapes, the 12-day tour incorporating the Scottish Highlands, the Ring of Kerry and the open green pastures of southern Ireland
There’s something about both Ireland and Scotland that brings out the child in everyone. Take the Loch Ness Monster as an example. It’s such an unbelievable tale you want to go searching, especially after a tasting at an intimate whiskey distillery nearby. Or consider the Irish Seanachi storytelling tradition, oral tales of fairies and Celtic warriors told with a pint of creamy stout in hand and soft drinks for the kids of course. You can sleep in castles that seem to come from children’s movies, yet are dappled with artistic details. The Hogwarts Express is another example for all the ages, a vintage steam train of mechanical brilliance, unmissable for some because it’s the same one used in the Harry Potter movies.
Handcrafted to provide something for all ages and interests, this family tour takes you through the heart of Scotland and Ireland. Along with a sense of mystery, there’s another ubiquitous element to the tour, being landscapes. From the Scottish Highlands and islands to great green pastures and the craggy Irish coast, this is a tour dominated by incredible visuals. These are rural countries, and the landscapes are unlike anything else you’ll find in Europe, tranquil yet wild and rugged, seeming to stretch for eternity but suddenly disappearing beneath the weather. Castles and villages dot these landscapes, and on many mornings you open the curtains to iconic vistas.
Your adventure in Scotland with the family starts with Edinburgh. There are plenty of highlights to explore with a private guide, the first day’s program dictated by your interests and energy levels following the flight. Travel north to St. Andrews, where some may muse over where William met Kate, others may be excited by the home of golf, and the cobbled streets will charm all. That night is your first in a castle, set upon a loch in a setting that screams Scotland. The Loch Ness Monster is a legend of make-believe which somewhat obscures the dramatic natural beauty of the surrounding land. Next, you ride the Harry Potter train through the Highlands. Viking fortresses, pastel-hued townhouses, Celtic myths, sublime coastal trails will be spotted along the ride.
There’s some more time in the Highlands before you travel south through Stirling to Glasgow, a city that’s almost the polar opposite of nearby Edinburgh. This whole tour runs at a relatively fast pace, with almost every night in a new destination. Make sure that your family desires a fast pace trip for this vacation. Those with a curious mind and the sense of adventure will be royally entertained, Scotland, and Ireland able to offer a superb wealth of experiences in a relatively small geographic area. One moment you’re in the castle from Highlander and a James Bond movie, then you’re taking a walk in the mountains of Glencoe before getting to know an evocative post-industrial city.
Fly to Dublin, and there’s nothing like the Seanachi storytellers for introducing the Irish experience; except perhaps for a creamy Guinness, which you drink at the brewery’s old storehouse in central Dublin. Songs are sung as you hear fanciful tales, all of them adding to the mystery you are about to explore. The next morning, you explore the Garden of Ireland and a monastery from the 7th century. Then it’s through turf fires and bogs to Curragh, a great opportunity to go horse riding and the place where you eat with a local Irish family – children usually love the accents and try to decipher what’s being told.
The Blarney Stone is yet another legend, and you can kiss it – hold onto your kids’ ankles as they do it – before discovering stories that came before the Titanic; many of the passengers were from Cobh, a small fishing village you visit on route to Killarney. There’s now a Lord of the Rings pub in County Kerry, but it’s nothing more surreal than the outlandish scenery along the Ring of Kerry. As with other evenings, you enjoy music in a country pub and spend the night enchanted by Ireland’s commitment to tradition.
On the final day, you ride by pony and cart to Ross Castle, then onwards to a thatched village and a medieval-themed dinner at Bunratty Castle. Dromoland is the final place you lay your head, a five-star castle hotel where they sing ballads in the bar and reminisce of 1460. Transfer to Shannon Airport to start the journey home, a small airport that seems to sum up the laid-back Irish style.
$4,195 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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