Shannon, Cliffs of Moher, Burren, County Mayo, Ashford Castle, Connemara National Park, Dublin, Newgrange, Kilmainham Gaol, Glendalough, County Wicklow, Edinburgh,...
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Exclusive and enchanting, this handcrafted tour explores the finest highlights of two Celtic nations. Private and flexible, it mixes urban and rural highlights, starting with several nights in an Irish castle. Discover Dublin, explore Edinburgh, then bask in the beauty of rural Scotland. Think fjords, abbeys, coastlines, royal legacies, famous distilleries, taking a stroll past karsts and glens. This is a relaxed tour tailored for senior travelers. Visit the Ireland...
County Mayo – The Cliffs of Moher Welcome You to Ireland
Land in Shannon and the journey to County Mayo is sublime, passing through two of Ireland’s most famous landscapes. Yes, you’re probably tired from the flight, but the Cliffs of Moher and Burren are en route to the castle. So you can take it slow and be energized by such remarkable lands. Cliffs rise hundreds of feet above Atlantic Ocean waves, a place of haunting beauty and natural power. A rocky karst landscape stretches out towards the horizon, forts, and tombs punctuating the work of ancient volcanoes. The guide will take it easy, and the pace is really up to you; choose for some fresh sea air and a walk along the cliffs or just park at the viewpoint before continuing the journey to your first night in an Irish Castle.
County Mayo – Full Day in Connemara National Park
Connemara National Park feels like Ireland from the postcards. Moors and bogs tumble along, beneath the rock-studded frame of mountains. Tiny villages dot the outskirts, some with thatched roofs, most with a freshly painted white facade. You spot stone walls and separate fields of cows while an ancient abbey stands on the edge of a lake. In this national park, you can drive and admire the views. You can walk and inhale the salty air. You can take photos from viewpoints and disappear into valleys where nobody else is around. Of course, you can stop in the villages for a cup of tea and a slice cake, as well as driving onto the coast where Ireland’s only fjord provides another unique attraction today.
County Mayo – Leisurely Day Around the Castle
You stop and admire the heart of Ireland. Green colors stretch in every direction, and you’re tempted to go searching for a four-leaved clover. The setting is iconic, and the atmosphere is otherworldly, County Clare making it feel like you’ve journeyed into the Ireland of yesteryear. Local culture is alive here, and there are many local people and places to meet. The cuisine is traditional, and each night you have a hearty dinner of food from the area. You can go exploring today or relax around the castle grounds, where there is everything from golf to fishing to horseback riding and falconry.
Dublin – Megalithic Tombs and Irish Storytellers
The stories can be ancient all across Ireland, none older than the circular megalithic tombs of Newgrange. Predating the pyramids and Stonehenge, these peculiar World Heritage structures appear to have come from a sci-fi movie. How they were made and why they are here are questions that anthropologists can only guess at; your guide will provide an in-depth narrative. Newgrange is a natural stop on the drive to Dublin, where you have time for a short city orientation before an evening of entertainment. A traditional storyteller spins his yarn, music, and dancing help you experience tradition, and the cuisine continues to be nothing but Irish.
Dublin – Literary History of Dublin Private Tour
Dublin can be many cities in one and it’s good to have a lens from which to explore the attractions ranging from St. Patrick’s Cathedral, the Book of Kells at Trinity College, and the infamous gaol. No story is more powerful than one from James Joyce or Oscar Wilde, authors who created legendary works about Georgian Dublin. On a private tour of Dublin, the guide can adjust everything to your interests, whether that is the Old Jameson Distillery and Guinness Storehouse, the preserved architecture around St. Stephen’s Green, or the collection of old Catholic churches across the city.
Dublin – Discovering County Wicklow Including Powerscourt
County Wicklow is the Irish garden, a smorgasbord of green colors made from rolling farmland and verdant hills. Monasteries and lakes dot the landscape, along with old stone mills and royal legacies. Visit Powerscourt House and sip on a tea while overlooking the gardens, then choose whether to continue to Glendalough, an old glacial valley that looks like many an Irish postcard. Back in Dublin, there are good restaurants within walking distance of the the hotel, including those for traditional Irish cuisine. If you’ve had enough potatoes, there are many international fine-dining restaurants as well.
Edinburgh – Relaxing Around the Royal Mile
Fly to Edinburgh and the Royal Mile is a wonderful place to explore at leisure. You’re staying on one of the quiet back alleys next to all the monuments and famous buildings, yet far enough away from the bustle and noise. Just walk out, and there are countless options for dining and exploring within a quarter-mile. The guide greets you at the airport and gives you an overview of the old town, another of the World Heritage Sites visited on this vacation. Tomorrow you’ll get to know the monuments in more depth. Today is nice and relaxed, so you can make your own first impressions of Scotland and its capital.
Edinburgh – Exploring the Best of the Scottish Capital
Experience the best of Edinburgh through a serene journey through countless centuries. Start with a drive up to Edinburgh Castle, the majestic compass point that looks down on the city. Check out the Scottish crown jewels and other extravagant gems, before following the Royal Mile through the city. Each of the narrow closes has a story to tell, from wool and tweed shops to ornate embellishments and secrets from the city’s past. Continue to the Palace of Holyroodhouse, and you’ve completed the journey through the oldest part of Edinburgh. The Royal Botanic Garden and the National Gallery are one option for the afternoon. You can hike an extinct volcano for inspiring views, or head down to the waterside for a spot of fish and chips.
Edinburgh – Flexible Day of Private Touring
This day is left flexible so you can choose which way to turn, dependent on your interests and energy levels. Often you only find out about the best parts of a country once you are there, especially when insider guides are full of ideas to take you away from the standard trail. One option for today is Glasgow, an alternative city with a long history and a superb art scene; it is vastly different from Edinburgh. Another option is the Scottish Borders area, rolling fields of heather punctuated by castles and the lonely sheep-strewn road towards Hadrian’s Wall and England. You may want to spend the day in Edinburgh or even go much further afield to Loch Lomond or even one of the Scottish islands.
Perthshire – Immersed in Rural Scotland
Stirling delights the imagination; it is an expertly preserved old city great for taking a very slow walk through history. When you emerge from the alleys and closes you look upon Stirling Castle, perhaps the grandest of all the castles in Scotland and Ireland. Half a day in Stirling is part of the journey as you continue into Perthshire, where rolling hills and distant mountain peaks look down upon your estate. It’s one of Scotland’s most peaceful and luxurious places to stay, your accommodation bordering rugged and wildlands to one side, and world-famous golf courses to the other. Check-in, check out the tranquility and plan the next two days with your private guide.
Perthshire – Lochs, Distilleries, and National Parks
From your hotel base, you’re within reach of so many Scottish icons. Travel further north, going deeper into the Scottish Highlands, where lochs stand lonely in glens. Make a tour of old-world whiskey distilleries, this region well known for its single malts. Travel further afield to Ben Nevis and the famous Loch Ness, where a private boat ride shows that there’s more to the area than a fictional monster. A couple of superb national parks are within 45 minutes by car, places to go hiking in nature, appreciate silence, and wonder as to how Scotland has such contrasting colors to Ireland. This is a country known for its landscapes and a stay in Perthshire places you center stage for many rural pleasures.
Perthshire – Relaxed Day Around the Luxury Resort
There’s nothing planned for this day, and you’ll find many ways to keep yourself occupied around the resort. Tee off times can be booked for one of the golf courses, including the one that hosts the Ryder Cup and Johnnie Walker Championship. You could spend the day in nearby St. Andrews, a quaint town along the seaside. Falconry and horseback riding are options, along with fishing and biking on the huge resort grounds. Today is another chance to do or see the Scotland of your imagination, the private guide can be on hand to tailor and enhance your journey.
Edinburgh – Departure
A short jaunt back to Edinburgh completes the vacation, a private transfer that gets you at the airport in plenty of time before the departure flight. With a late departure, there’s an option to stop somewhere on the way, perhaps Rosslyn Abbey, the medieval wonder made famous by The Da Vinci Code.
- Settle into an Irish castle for several nights in rural Ireland, where you’re immersed in culture, cuisine, and coastlines
- Multiple nights in Dublin allows for time to discover the legendary literary history, along with all post-medieval highlights in and around the city
- Relax into the experience in Scotland’s stunning capital, Edinburgh full of royal pleasures and day-trip options
- Escape into rural Scotland away from the world yet next door to lochs, glens, golf courses, distilleries and national parks
- Ireland and Scotland are famous for the landscapes: compare the Cliffs of Moher and Ireland’s Atlantic coastline with a journey across the Scottish Highlands
- Castles stud the scenery in both countries; you’ll discover the best of the old and new 19th-century styles that exist, including Stirling and Ashford castles
- The history goes back many millennia, as symbolized by a trip to the megalithic tombs of Newgrange
- Culture is part of the everyday, found through Irish storytellers, local dancing, traditional music and more
- These are countries that invite you to be outdoors, and there are many ways to explore based on your interests, starting with leisurely walks in destinations like Connemara
It would take many months to see all of Ireland and Scotland. These aren’t countries to rush around, nor nations for ticking off sights. With so much culture and natural beauty, Ireland and Scotland are best discovered at a relaxed pace. This handcrafted tour for seniors combines four iconic destinations for the classic experience. You piece together the slices of a quadrant, gaining an inspiring and immersive impression of two Celtic countries. All accommodation is in five-star properties, including an Irish Castle and a world-famous golf resort. Every tour is private, and the itinerary has been designed for flexibility; you can do more or see more, but you can also do very little at all.
Ireland’s rugged landscapes dominate county Clare. Mountains, moors and bogs surround your castle accommodation with many green hues stretching out. But you only need to walk over a ridge and the coastline appears, limestone cliffs hanging above crashing Atlantic waves, such as at the Cliffs of Moher and eerie Burren. Connemara National Park is another expressive piece of nature you’ll discover around County Clare. These first days in rural Ireland will also connect you to local culture and cuisine found best in small traditional villages along the coast.
Stop at the megalithic tombs of Newgrange on route to Dublin, a city that you may know from the works of James Joyce or Oscar Wilde. If that’s the Dublin you know, then the city tour can follow in literary footsteps. If not, then there are many other ways the guide can tailor your city experience, taking in icons like Trinity College and St. Patrick’s Cathedral, famous stories like the Old Jameson Distillery and Guinness Storehouse, plus some of the storytelling and lesser-known sides to the Irish capital. You’ll get a great sense of urban Ireland but also have time for a day trip to County Wicklow, where Powerscourt and Glendalough are located.
Fly to Edinburgh and spend time in the Scottish capital. Like every stop on this vacation, location makes all the difference when it comes to your hotel. In Edinburgh, it’s a mostly pedestrianized area, so you can walk to restaurants and attractions that are in a very close proximity. Spend a few days in the city and explore what is nearby, such as the art scene of Glasgow, The Da Vinci Code in Rosslyn Chapel, and whisky distilleries.
You take a private journey onto the hills and into rural Scotland visiting Stirling Castle on route to Perthshire, where you settle into one of the country’s most recognizable country estates. From here, you can explore different lochs, the term for lakes, and national parks, visit old-world towns and villages, satisfy yourself with activities around the resort, and head further north to enjoy the fabulous Highland scenery. Like all of the four stops, the guide will customize each day. This could be a short trip to a monument you’re desperate to see, then a transfer to a particular restaurant or village; there are always options on a relaxed private tour, especially with such well-located accommodation.
$4,545 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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