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Package Tour | Insight Vacations | 8 Days Country Roads of Scotland

8 Days Country Roads of Scotland

Price: US$1353
Book by 2nd May 2010 to enjoy discounted price!

Departure Dates:
June: 12. 26
July: 10, 24

Beyond Scotland’s tartan façade lies 8,000 years of history and a rich cultural heritage, while the drama and variety of her natural features never fails to impress. This tour is well paced with an initial two-night stay in Edinburgh followed by nights in the Highlands, Thurso, Ullapool, the stunning Isle of Skye and Glasgow. The driving days are of a comfortable length and have frequent stops.

The modern Marriott hotels in both Edinburgh and Glasgow contrast with those to be found in the Highlands, which are much simpler establishments although typical of the region, and often family run.

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Day 01 Edinburgh

Welcome to Scotland - land of legend and romance, from the two great cultural cities in the south, to the salmon-filled rivers, dramatic mountains and misty lochs of the Highlands! On arrival at Edinburgh Airport, your airport shuttle service leaves for the tour hotel at 09:00, 11:00 & 13:00. The rest of the day is yours to relax or start exploring. Perhaps take a stroll around the shops of Princes Street before joining your Tour Director and fellow travellers for a Welcome Drink. In the evening, selected departures attend the spectacular Military Tattoo - a colourful mix of pipes and drums, dance and display, set against the floodlit backdrop of Edinburgh Castle. Hotel: Marriott

Day 02 Edinburgh Sightseeing
Join a local guide to see the highlights of ‘Athens of the North’. Drive along Princes Street to see the ornate Scott Memorial, then visit the 18th century New Town with its classical Adam facades. Over in the Old Town, visit the castle, high on its rocky crag, home of Mons Meg, the Stone of Destiny and Scotland’s glittering crown jewels. See the house where John Knox, leader of the Protestant Reformation in Scotland, spent the last 10 years of his life, and St Giles’ Cathedral, where he preached his fiery sermons. At the bottom of the Royal Mile, see the Palace of Holyroodhouse, where Mary Queen of Scots lived – it is still the official Scottish residence of the Queen. The rest of the day is yours to explore the city at leisure: perhaps research your family tartan in the Tartan Centre or visit the art treasures in the National Gallery.

Day 03 Edinburgh - St. Andrews - Highlands (Breakfast / Highlight Dinner)
Cross the Firth of Forth into Fife and make your way to St Andrews, where golf was born on the Old Course in the 15th century. After some time to explore, cross the Tay and drive to Pitlochry on the River Tummel, a charming Victorian highland resort town, famous for its salmon leap. En route, hear an informative tutorial about the origins of Scotch whisky. Continue via Blair Atholl (whose castle is the home of Britain’s only private army) and over the Grampian Mountains to your Highland hotel. This evening, you are invited to a rousing Highland style dinner with haggis, bagpipes and traditional Scottish entertainment. Hotel: Highlander.

Day 04 Highlands - Thurso (Breakfast / Dinner)
Travel along the sparkling Spey Valley, past the winter ski resort of Aviemore to the tragic battlefield of Culloden, where in 1746 Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army was finally crushed. Drive via the stately town of Inverness, home of world-famous Pringle knitwear, and along the scenic shores of Loch Ness to search for the elusive monster. Now follow the rugged coast north to John O’Groats, the most northerly town of mainland Britain. The coastal road to Thurso then offers splendid views out over the Pentland Firth. Hotel: Royal.

Day 05 Thurso - Ullapool (Breakfast / Dinner)
Through stunning and unspoilt landscapes along the northern coastline with its white sandy beaches, and further inland to misty valleys and glens, lochs and rushing waters. Arrive in the little fishing town of Ullapool on Loch Broom.
Hotel: Caledonian

Day 06 Ullapool - Isle of Skye (Breakfast / Dinner)
An exciting day takes you alongside Loch Carron, past remote Eilean Donan Castle, which under a clear sky offers a perfect reflection in its loch. Then it’s ‘Over the Sea to Skye’ the largest and most beautiful island of the Inner Hebrides. Hear romantic tales of young Flora MacDonald and how she helped to rescue Bonnie Prince Charlie, who fled in disguise after his defeat at Culloden. See the island’s most famous feature, the Cuillin Hills on your way to Skye’s quaint capital, Portree, which is situated in a sheltered bay. Hotel: Tongadale.

Day 07 Isle of Skye - Glasgow (Breakfast)
Enjoy a feast of scenic splendour as you return to the mainland and head past Loch Garry into the Great Glen. Stop along the way at the Second World War Commando Memorial which affords fine views of Ben Nevis, Britain’s highest mountain. Your route continues via the Victorian town of Fort William on the shores of Loch Linnhe and through the infamous Valley of Glencoe, its dramatic peaks still echoing with the ghastly cries of massacred clansmen. Your highlight for today is a cruise on the blue waters of Loch Lomond, the ‘Queen of Scottish Lakes’ and largest in Great Britain. It’s not far now to the Clyde Valley and your hotel in the vibrant commercial city of Glasgow. Hotel: Marriott.

Day 08 Glasgow (Breakfast)
Your tour comes to an end after breakfast. Departure transfers arrive at Glasgow Airport at 07:00 & 09:00.
Updated 19 April 2010
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