15 Day Celtic Connections self-drive tour






14-day-cc

Inclusions

Price Includes:

  • 14 nights sharing a double/twin room at specified properties (Pre-booked Accommodation)
  • Heritage Island Guide (Ireland only)
  • Service Charges & taxes at existing rates

Hotels (or Similar):

  • Edinburgh – 3* Jurys Inn Edinburgh
  • Perth – 3* Best Western Queens Hotel
  • Inverness – 3* The Royal Highland Hotel
  • Isle of Skye – 3* Dunollie Hotel
  • Oban – 3* Kings Knoll Hotel
  • Glasgow – 4* Jurys Inn Glasgow
  • Belfast – 3* Jurys Inn Belfast
  • Galway – 3* Connacht Hotel
  • Killarney – 3* Killarney Court Hotel
  • Kilkenny – 3* Aspect Hotel
  • Dublin – 3* Sandymount Hotel

Or similar *

 

Itinerary

Day 1 – Welcome to Scotland edinburg_st-andrew-sq-1

After arrival transfer into the city centre and check into your hotel. Get to know the historic centre of Edinburgh with Edinburgh Castle and Princess Gardens. Edinburgh’s Castle rock has been a stronghold for over 3000 years. In its dominating position overlooking the capital city, the grandeur and historical significance of Edinburgh Castle has made it a globally famous icon of Scotland and part of the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh World Heritage Site. Wander along the Royal Mile and relax in one of the cafes or pubs or visit the museums such as the National Museum of Scotland or the National Gallery.

Overnight: Edinburgh area
Day 2 – St Andrews & Perth

Leave Edinburgh via the spectacular Forth Road Bridge. Visit St Andrews Castle, the main residence of the bishops and archbishops of St Andrews – the focal point of the Church in Medieval Scotland. St Andrews is also the famous home of golf, played on the Old Course since the 15th century.
Continue to Perth where you can visit the Scone Palace. Once the crowning place of the Kings of Scots, Scone Palace occupies a unique position in the history of Scotland. It is a breathtakingly beautiful seat of power and mystery and the rightful home of the celebrated Stone of Scone – also known as the Stone of Destiny. Scone Palace is regarded as a national treasure and is revered as the historic jewel in the crown of Scotland.

Overnight: Perthshire area
Day 3 – Scottish Highlands

Explore the magnificent Scottish Highlands today and be enchanted by its beautiful scenery. On your way visit the Edradour Whisky Distillery, the smallest distillery in Scotland, and don’t miss out on a tasting. Dating back to 1825, Edradour, stands alone as the last stronghold of handmade single malt whisky from a farm distillery still in production today. Hidden in the very heart of Perthshire, this picturesque ‘little Model Village’ of Edradour is steeped in a history of intrigue to inspire the imagination. And, with matchless commitment to retaining authentic small scale production, Edradour uniquely boasts over 25 distinctive expressions of Highland Single Malt Scotch Whisky with their wonderful characters and flavours. You should also spend some time in the principal city of the Highlands this evening, Inverness. Visit the Victorian Market or Craig Patrick above the city.

Overnight: Inverness area
Day 4 – Isle of Skye g3dsky_05

A visit to Loch Ness is a must today, in search of the Loch Ness Monster, as well as the ruins of Urquhart Castle. Urquhart Castle offers a taste of the Highlands at their most dramatic. Discover 1,000 years of drama, experience a glimpse of medieval life and enjoy stunning views over Loch Ness from the ruins of the greatest castle in the Highlands. Urquhart’s stories are also told through a remarkable collection of artefacts left by its residents, historic replicas, including a full-sized, working trebuchet siege engine.
Travel to the Isle of Skye, the largest and most scenic of the Hebridean Islands.

Overnight: Isle of Skye area
Day 5 – Oban

Enjoy your morning on this beautiful island. During your tour you can take in the dramatic scenery of the famed Cuillin Mountains. Visit Dunvegan Castle, the stronghold of the Chiefs of MacLeod for nearly 800 years. Alternatively spend some time in Portree, the capital of the island.
Continue through the historic valley Glen Coe, also known as the “Valley of Tears.” The main valley road brings you through the beautiful mountains, with their deep gullies & impressive waterfalls.

Overnight: Oban area
Day 6 – Glasgow

Drive along the banks of Loch Lomond towards Glasgow. Loch Lomond has the greatest drinking water capacity of any lake in Great Britain. There are approximately 38 islands in the lake. It is one of the most famous lakes in Scotland and has been a rich source of inspiration for many poems and songs.
Spend the afternoon exploring the city of Glasgow. Visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery where you can explore its 22 themed galleries showcasing an astonishing 8,000 pieces of art. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum is one of Scotland’s most popular museums. With 22 themed, state-of-the-art galleries displaying an astonishing 8000 objects, the extensive collections are wide-ranging and internationally significant.

Overnight: Glasgow area
Day 7 – Welcome to Ireland 

Take the ferry to Northern Ireland today. Depending on your time of arrival spend the day exploring the city of Belfast. Visit Titanic Belfast. Located in the heart of Belfast, the Titanic Belfast recreates the story of the world’s most famous ship in a new iconic, six floor building right beside the historic site of the original ship’s construction. Opened in April 2012 to coincide with the centenary of its launch, the self guided journey begins on entering the building’s giant atrium, where the visitor is surrounded by the four ‘ship’s hull’ shaped wings which house the Titanic Experience. As you journey through the nine large galleries of the interactive exhibition, you will uncover the true story of the Titanic, from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900’s, through her construction and launch, to her famous maiden voyage and subsequent place in history.

Overnight: Belfast area
Day 8 – Galway

Depart Belfast for Galway this morning. Visit Locke’s Distillery en route, the world’s oldest Whiskey Distillery. Explore the Distillery’s museum and learn how Whiskey has been produced here since it was founded in 1757. Start your tour in 1757 and discover how Irish whiskey was made in the time of the Lockes ownership of the distillery on one side of the courtyard and then follow on to see how Kilbeggan Irish whiskey is now being made in the traditional manner which includes a 180 year old pot still. Today the distillery hosts a museum and since 2007 when distillation commenced again in Kilbeggan, visitors can experience a real working distillery run by a team of young enthusiastic craftspeople (and a few wise old heads too), skilled in the traditional ways of making Irish whiskey. Continue to Galway and spend your evening in the city.

Overnight: Galway area
Day 9 – Connemara

Discover the wilderness of Connemara today. Connemara, whose inhabitants still speak Irish, is without doubt the wildest and most romantic part of Ireland. Bewitchingly hidden between mountains and lakes and surrounded by Rhododendrens, lies the gothic style Kylemore Abbey. Afterwards visit Connemara National Park. This impressive park is situated at the foot of the Diamond Mountain, which is 727 metres high. The park includes 1,500 hectares of forest, swamp, highland moors and heaths.

Overnight: Galway area
Day 10 – Clare/Kerry clare-golf-doonbeg

On the way to Kerry you will cross the Burren region, which is often likened to a moonscape because of the lack of vegetation. Soon after that you will arrive at the Cliffs of Moher. Situated on the Atlantic Ocean and bordering the Burren region, the Cliffs of Moher are one of Ireland’s most spectacular sights. Standing 230 metres above the ground at their highest point and 8km long, the Cliffs boast one of the most amazing views in Ireland. On a clear day, the Aran Islands are visible in Galway Bay as well as the valleys and hills of Connemara.

Overnight: Killarney area
Day 11 – Ring of Kerry

The Ring of Kerry brings you along the Atlantic Coast and is one of the highlights of a trip to Ireland. Quiet valleys and idyllic spots await along the way. The breathtaking beauty of the landscape on the peninsula will delight you. The mild climate influenced by the Gulf Stream accounts for luscious growth of surprising flora such as subtropical Palm trees.

Overnight: Killarney area
Day 12 – Kilkenny

Leave Killarney and travel eastward. En route visit the Rock of Cashel. Possibly the most photographed site in Ireland, the Rock of Cashel towers over the town of Cashel from its perch on a 200-foot high outcrop of limestone. Once the seat of the Kings of Munster, St. Patrick visited the rock in 450 AD, while Brian Boru was crowned the first high King of Ireland here in the tenth century.
Spend your afternoon in Kilkenny and visit either Kilkenny Castle or the Smithwick’s Experience. One of the most instantly recognised buildings in Ireland, Kilkenny Castle has been an important site since it was built by the Anglo-Normans in the 12th century. The castle has been remodelled in Victorian times and set in extensive parklands which was the principal seat of the Butler family, Marquesses and Dukes of Ormonde. The Victorian brewing building of Smithwick’s has been transformed into a visitor centre that will immerse you in Ireland’s oldest beer, teach you about the craft of brewing and ultimately allow you to taste the perfect Smithwick’s pint.

Overnight: Kilkenny area
Day 13 – Wicklow

On your way to Dublin visit the monastic settlement of Glendalough in the Wicklow Mountains. The English name Glendalough originated from the Irish “Gleann Dá Locha”, which translates as “The valley of the two lakes”. It was here that St. Kevin, son of the king of Leinster, founded a monastery in the 6th century. From a simple beginning the site grew to become famous as a centre of learning throughout Europe. Standing for 600 years it was destroyed in 1398. Much of what is to be seen today dates from the 10 to 12th century. One of the most attractive features is the fine 34m high round tower. A cathedral, stone churches and decorated crosses also survived albeit as ruins. Beautifully scenic walking trails take visitors on a circular route by the lakes from the Car park.

Overnight: Dublin area
Day 14 – Dublin City dublin-dublin-castle

Discover all Dublin has to offer. You will notice that Dublin is split in half. The northern side is a lively area with lots of attractions such as the General Post Office on Dublin’s main street, O’Connell Street. The southern side on the other hand has a more refined feel with its Georgian squares, the famous coloured front doors and the fashionable shopping district of Grafton Street with its upmarket shops.
Perhaps visit Trinity College to see the famous Book of Kells, or maybe visit the Guinness Storehouse. The Guinness Brewery in Dublin is Europe’s largest stout producing brewery and home to the Guinness Storehouse. Opened in 1904, the Storehouse was an operational plant for fermenting and storing Guinness. Today it houses a very fine exhibition dedicated to the Guinness story. Visitors will discover what goes into the making a pint of Guinness – the ingredients, the brewing process, the time, the craft and the passion. Once the tour has finished, the guest is invited to the Gravity Bar to enjoy their pint of Guinness.

Overnight: Dublin area
Day 15 – Departure

Transfer to Dublin Airport and take your flight back home.

Prices

 

Celtic Connections

14 Nights Package 3* & 4* Hotels (excluding transport)

Twin Per Person

Single Supplement

Triple per person

January – February & November – December

1601

1116 1428
March – April

1788

1159

1593

May – July & September – October

2221

1354

2026

August

2490 1517

2295

Cairnryan, Scotland – Belfast, Ireland Ferry Supplement

80 – 86

Excursion Pack Supplement Per Person

368

 

Please note: car hire, fuel, additional vehicle insurance, departure transfer, items of a personal nature, etc are not included in the above price.
Prices are correct at time of publishing, 12/09/2017, and may change due to exchange rates, taxes, etc.  
From price is in Australian Dollars.