Discover Scotland with Joan Qualls and Tasteful Voyages!
From its rugged sea-sprayed islands to its stately castles layered in history, Scotland awaits. Learn how to play the bagpipes and enjoy dinner at the National Piping Centre’s farm-to-table restaurant. Take a cruise on the famed Loch Ness. Visit a local family on their farm and meet their sheepdogs. Marvel at the stunning Isle of Skye. Explore the Orkney Islands’ ancient Skara Brae. Visit Dunrobin Castle. Sample Scotch whisky on a distillery tour. Stop in St. Andrews, home of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. Explore the regal city of Edinburgh. Put a modern twist on Scottish cuisine during an interactive cooking class. Discover a land of rolling green Highlands, friendly sheepdogs, and smooth Scotch whisky.
Pack your bags, get your camera ready, and get ready for a guided tour.
Classic tours are for those who want to see the sights, taste the cuisine and experience the world. The monuments, architecture, art, and natural wonders of the world will captivate you. The cultural experiences – delving into local life and cuisine, nurtures that wandering spirit within you.
And with guided travel, the most is made of every moment. Trip packages are designed to let you experience the magic of travel while we completely cover all the details. Your only job, once the tour starts, is to try to absorb it all.
What's included in this trip:
Experienced Tour Manager guiding your visit
Round-trip international air (optional; land-only pricing is available for guests choosing to book air on their own)
Hotel Stay, 9 nights
8 Breakfasts & 6 Dinners
It's Your Choice: In Edinburgh, take a locally guided panoramic city tour - OR- join a local expert and explore the Old Town and Royal Mile on foot. Both choices feature a visit to Edinburgh Castle.
Must-See Inclusions: Experience the Orkney Islands during a full-day guided excursion | Visit magnificent Edinburgh Castle, a stone fortress perched high atop the city | Explore the legendary Isle of Skye while soaking up the dramatic views
Culinary Inclusions: Learn the art of producing Scotch Whisky during a distillery tour and tasting | Enjoy an interactive cooking experience at one of Edinburgh's premier culinary institutions
Cultural Experiences: Visit a working farm and meet a shepherd and his sheepdogs | Discover the remains of a Neolithic village at Skara Brae
Virtuoso Exclusive Amenity: (per person) $100 credit toward economy | premium economy air or $250 credit toward business class air or $100 credit toward tour add-ons (anything beyond land package and waiver, including pre/post nights, pre/post tour extensions, optional excursions, etc.)
NOTE: If air is purchased through Collette, private transfers to and from the airport are included - provided that the airport is within 100 miles of the guest's home.
What's not included:
Any items of a personal nature not specifically mentioned in itinerary
Meals not listed itinerary
Optional excursions / extensions
Day 1 - Monday, October 2, 2023 - (Overnight Flight): An overnight flight transports you to a country of stunning landscapes, lively cities, and stirring history.
Day 2: Tuesday, October 3, 2023 - Glasgow: Your tour opens in Glasgow, Scotland’s Victorian city. Start your Scottish adventure with a visit to the National Piping Centre. After a demonstration and lesson with a renowned piper, it’s your chance to give it a go! Then, join your fellow travelers for a lively welcome dinner at the Centre’s farm-to-table restaurant. Hotel: Maldron Hotel, Glasgow or comparable. Included Meal: Dinner
Day 3 : Wednesday, October 4, 2023 - Glasgow | Loch Lomond | Fort William | Ballachulish: This morning, bid Glasgow farewell as you travel to Loch Lomond, located in the Trossachs National Park, with its breathtaking scenery, and onto Fort William. Here you visit one of Scotland’s renowned whisky distilleries. Taste and see for yourself why Highland malt whisky is considered the world’s finest. Admire the verdant green hills and mountainside waters as you arrive at your remote countryside hotel situated on lovely Loch Linnhe. Hotel: Ballachulish Hotel or Comparable. Included Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 4: Thursday, October 5, 2023 - Ballachulish | Isle of Skye | Ballachulish: Take a stunning drive along the “Road to the Isles” and over the Skye Bridge to the legendary Isle of Skye, also known in poetry and song as Eilean a' Cheò (The Misty Isle). Enjoy dramatic views of the Sound of Sleat. Then, visit Armadale Castle & Gardens* and the Museum of the Isles to learn about island life and the history of Skye. Conclude your visit with views of the isle from yet another vantage point during a ferry crossing back to the mainland. Returning to Ballachulish along the same road, see Glenfinnan where Bonnie Prince Charlie rallied the clansmen for battle during the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion. Included Meals: Breakfast & Dinner. *Armadale Castle and Gardens is open from April to October. On other dates, a visit to Eilean Donan Castle will be substituted.
Day 5: Friday, October 6, 2023 - Ballachulish | Loch Ness | Thurso: Today, enjoy stunning and unspoiled landscapes as you journey further into the Highlands. Travel through the Great Glen, famous for its many lochs (lakes). Visit the striking ruins of Urquhart Castle before enjoying a cruise on Loch Ness, one of Britain’s most scenic bodies of water. Keep your eyes open — you never know when Nessie will appear! Travel off the beaten path to Thurso, one of Scotland’s most remote towns on the North Coast. Embrace the rustic environment of the Scottish Highlands as you settle in for your 2-night stay. Hotel: Pentland Hotel or Comparable. Included meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 6: Saturday, October 7, 2023 - Thurso | Orkney Islands | Thurso: Grab your windbreaker – it’s time for an adventure on the Orkney Islands.** Ferry to this former Viking stronghold off the northernmost coast of Scotland, where artists admire the ever-changing clouds rolling across the sky like a time-lapse at double speed. On the crossing, feel the wind in your hair as you view the abundant bird life and, if you are lucky, porpoises and seals. A local guide introduces this ethereal place that few visitors to Scotland get to experience. Visit Skara Brae and discover the remains of a Neolithic village built at the same time as the Great Pyramids in Egypt. Continue on toward the prehistoric Standing Stones of Stenness, reported to be older than Stonehenge. Make your way through the town of Viking Kirkwall before returning to the mainland. Included Meal: Breakfast. **Weather conditions may sometimes prevent operation of the ferry to the Orkney Islands. In these cases, your Tour Manager will substitute activities on the mainland.
Day 7: Sunday, October 8, 2023 - Thurso | Inverness: As you make your way back from the northern coast, visit the majestic Dunrobin Castle*** which dates back to the 1300s. The Castle is built in the style of a French Chateau and is home to the Duke of Sutherland. Take in the breathtaking views as you drive along the windswept cliffs of Scotland's east coast. Enjoy an overnight stay in Inverness, the capital of the Highlands. Hotel: Best Western Palace Hotel or comparable. Included Meals: Breakfast & Dinner. ***Dunrobin Castle is open from April to October. When it is closed you will visit Fort George or similar
Day 8: Monday, October 9, 2023 - Inverness | Pitlochry | Edinburgh: Begin your day with a visit to a family-run farm set in the heart of the Highlands. See sheepdogs at work while surrounded by the mountain wilderness of Cairngorms National Park. Continue on to the vibrant Victorian town of Pitlochry for some time at leisure. End your day in Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh. Hotel: Radisson Blu Edinburgh or comparable. Included Meals: Breakfast
Day 9: Tuesday, October 10, 2023 -Edinburgh: Today visit Edinburgh Castle, home of the Scottish Crown Jewels. Then, it's your choice! Choose to get acquainted with this regal capital on a locally guided tour of the Old Town and New Town via motorcoach, OR, for a different perspective, you may join a local expert and explore the Old Town and Royal Mile on foot. This evening, give traditional Scottish ingredients a modern twist. Enjoy a lively and interactive cooking experience at one of Scotland’s premier culinary institutions. With a “wee dram” in hand, toast the end of a wonderful journey. Included Meals: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 10: Wednesday, October 11, 2023 - Edinburgh, Tour Ends: Your tour of Scotland comes to a close today.
Optional Pre-Tour - 3-Night Stay in London
Day 0 - Overnight Flight
You’re on your way to the United Kingdom. Begin in England and enjoy a 3-night stay in London.
Day 1 - London, England
Experience London, the esteemed capital of the United Kingdom. Often described as a world within a city, London is a sophisticated metropolis with a timeless style all its own.
Day 2 - London
Navigate the city with a local expert. Using your included Oyster card, hop on the famous underground Tube and zoom to the city’s most beloved attractions. Visit Kensington Palace, once the home of Queen Victoria and Princess Diana. Enjoy some free time to explore the city. Included Meal: Breakfast
Day 3 - London
The day is yours! Take advantage of your day at leisure and your included Tower of London pass. London’s bustling city streets are lined with beautiful gardens, fascinating museums, celebrated monuments, and grand theaters – and you’ll be a part of it all! Included Meal: Breakfast
Day 4 - London to Glasgow, Scotland
Wish London goodbye as you take a high-speed train through the English countryside to Scotland. Included Meal: Breakfast
Optional Post-Tour - 2-Night Stay in Dublin
Day 1 - Edinburgh - Dublin, Ireland
A short flight brings you from Scotland to Dublin, Ireland’s cosmopolitan capital. Settle into your centrally located hotel and enjoy time at leisure to explore the city.
Day 2 - Dublin
The day is yours! Take advantage of your day at leisure and perhaps visit the Guinness Storehouse and sample a pint of ‘the black stuff’, tour Trinity College to marvel at the Book of Kells, or take in some traditional music in at one of the city’s many historic pubs. Included Meal: Breakfast
Day 3 - Dublin - Extension Ends
Wish Dublin goodbye as your time in Ireland comes to a close. Included Meal: Breakfast
Pre-nights in Glasgow Hotel and post-nights in Edinburgh hotel are available upon request
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Discover Scotland - Double Occupancy - Economy Air from San Diego Included (air from other cities available upon request)