Login

Forgot password

Please enter a valid email
authentic vacations

Thank You! We have just emailed you instructions to reset your password

7-Night Authentic Luxury Royal Scotland Tour

Price: From $3,450 Per Person.
7 Nights

Savor overnights at the finest Scottish hotels, while discovering the very best of Scotland on our Authentic Luxury Royal Scotland Tour! Enjoy unrivalled service amidst opulent and historic surroundings. From boutique 5-Star City Hotels to a 19th century Baronial Mansion, you'll sample an array of luxurious and authentic Scottish delights. Along the way, celebrate quintessential Scotland, with a traditional dinner and show in the heart of Edinburgh, as well as a unique, convertible mini-bus tour of the city. Taste the cream of Scotch Whisky at Macallan's intimate facility, and keep an eye out for Nessie on a Loch Ness cruise. If visiting between mid-May & October, your tour will include a ride on the world-famous Jacobite Steam Train, its unique viaduct crossing recently immortalized on film as Harry Potter's 'Hogwarts Express'. Scenic Highland splendor, a multitude of forbidding castle fortresses and fascinating, though sometimes macabre historical sites all await to captivate and enthrall you!

                           **Use tabs above to view Itinerary, Prices & How to Book.**

Tour Highlights:

ACCOMMODATION

  • 5-nights at Scotland's most Luxurious 5-Star Hotels
  • 2-nights at a World-Famous 19th Century Baronial Mansion

TRANSPORTATION

  • Private Transfer on Arrival at Edinburgh Airport to your Downtown Hotel
  • Convertible Mini-Bus Tour of Edinburgh
  • Choice of Luxury Rental Car or Private Chauffeur upon leaving Edinburgh

DINING

  • 7 Scrumptuous Full Scottish Breakfasts
  • Traditional Scottish Dinner & Show in Edinburgh

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

  • Macallan 'Six Pillars' Scotch Whisky Tour & Tasting
  • Inspiration Cruise on the Storied Waters of Loch Ness
  • Jacobite Steam Train Ride - Often Cited as the World's Finest!

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Edinburgh Castle & Royal Yacht Britannia
  • Shop & Explore Edinburgh's 'Royal Mile'
  • Stunning Blair Castle and Cairngorms National Park
  • The Black Isle & Culloden Battlefield
  • Loch Ness & Picture-Perfect Urquhart Castle
  • Remarkable History & Scenery at Glencoe & Glenfinnan
  • Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park
  • Stirling Castle, Bannockburn & The Wallace Monument

Edinburgh, Scotland

Arrive at

Arrive at Edinburgh Airport, Scotland

Arrive at Edinburgh Airport. If arriving from the U.S., please note that your flight is overnight.

Edinburgh is a small airport, ensuring that your experience there is a pleasant one. The airport is located 8 miles west of downtown Ediunburgh, and it takes approximately 30 minutes to make the journey by car or bus.


Accommodation

Scotsman Hotel - Edinburgh, Scotland

5 Star
Room Type: Classic Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 4:00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out before 12:00 noon.


Included Experiences

Historic Edinburgh Small Group Tour

Edinburgh, Scotland
Learn about Edinburgh’s rich and varied history, as you enjoy the services of a knowledgeable private guide. From Edinburgh Castle to the Queen’s official residence (the Palace of Holyrood House), this tour has something for everyone. From the moment you settle into your minibus, your driver/guide will be there to explain the history of the city and its landmarks. See the exterior of Edinburgh Castle, visit the site of public executions, hear the chilling stories of the Burke and Hare murderers and the heartwarming tale of the faithful dog Greyfriars Bobby The Grand Old Duke of York, learn how the Royal Mile got its name, and hear the tragic tale of Mary Queen of Scots. 
Places you discover:
  • Princes Street-Travel along this street and learn about the Scott Monument and the Princes Street Gardens
  • Grassmarket-This area offers fantastic views of the castle, stories of ancient crimes, ad many old-fashioned drinking spots.
  • The Old Town-Listen to the tales of ancient Edinburgh in the oldest part of the city.
  • The New Town-This part of the city as stunning architecture, and also the historic home to some of the country's finest writers and inventers.
  • Dean village-A hidden-away place that feels more like a cozy village than the capital city of Scotland.
  • Holyrood Palace-Venture past the beautiful palace situated at the bottom of Arthur's Seat. 

Meet & Greet Private Airport Transfer - Edinburgh

Edinburgh, Scotland

Your tour includes a private transfer from Edinburgh Airport to your Downtown Hotel. Once you have collected your luggage, proceed through to the Arrivals Hall, to meet your driver. You will be quickly escorted outside, where your ride awaits. Before you know it, you will have arrived at your Downtown Edinburgh Hotel, and have completely bypassed the endless searching for the right airport shuttle, bus or taxi. All part of our Authentic Vacations 5-star Customer Service!


Overnight Location

Edinburgh, Scotland

On The Map: Edinburgh is located in the southeast of Scotland. Edinburgh is well served by a good network of roads and motorways, including the M8 from Glasgow to the west, and A68 from Newcastle, England to the southeast.

Edinburgh knows how to welcome travelers with grace and charm. She also knows how to kick up her heels and enjoy a nice shot of Scotch Whisky after a festival. The hill that Edinburgh Castle stands upon has been Scotland’s remarkable silent witness since the Bronze Age. Today her streets are filled with cutting-edge galleries and museums, tributes to the love of literature and music, fine cuisine, quirky shops, theater, and an extravagance of festivals. Four ancient streets, called the Royal Mile, are the main thoroughfare.  Running through medieval Edinburgh with her 66 alleys, tumbling shops, cobblestones, and tight homes the Royal Mile takes you to New Town.  Here you’ll stroll through fine gardens, perfect Georgian architecture and broad squares. The mix of time, while lost in time, is a heady brew. There may be no finer city than Edinburgh Scotland, to participate in the gifts of the past with an eye to a brilliant future. 


Must-See Sites

The Royal Mile, Scotland

On The Map: The Royal Mile is located in Old Town Edinburgh, and runs between Edinburgh Castle & Holyrood Palace.

The Royal Mile is the main thoroughfare of Old Town Edinburgh, and boasts a number of famous historical sites and buildings, as well as an impressive array of shops, eateries and pubs. The Royal Mile is actually more than a mile by 107 yards. It starts at the entrance to Edinburgh Castle & ends at the gates of Holyrood Palace. There are several independently named streets which connect to make up the Royal Mile: Castlehill, Lawnmarket, High Street, Cannongate, and Abbey Strand. The major attractions on the Royal Mile are: Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, The National Museum of Scotland & Camera Obscura - Scotland's oldest purpose-built attraction.


Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

On The Map: Edinburgh Castle is located at the top of the Royal Mile, at the west end of Edinburgh's Old Town. From its lofty position on Castle Rock, the castle dominates the Edinburgh skyline, and is impossible to miss!

Edinburgh castle sits on a high, rocky hill with a narrow ridge running east above the Old Town of Edinburgh. There has been a fortification of some kind here for thousands of years. The castle has existed through layers of time and history, and it is indeed magnificent. Edinburgh Castle has highlighted the city’s skyline for 800 years, is a national symbol, and it is Scotland’s most popular site to visit. The castle was a vital possession in Scotland’s historic struggles. The castle houses the Honours (Crown Jewels) of Scotland, the Stone of Destiny, the famous 15th century gun Mons Meg, the One O' Clock Gun and the National War Museum of Scotland. In addition to guided tours provided by the castle stewards, there is an audio guide tour available in eight languages. The audio tour takes the visitor on a tour around the castle, explains its architecture, and tells its dramatic history.


National Museum of Scotland, Scotland

On The Map: The National Museum of Scotland is located on Chambers Street, in the heart of oldtown Edinburgh. A mere few minutes walk from the Royal Mile, Chembers Street links George IV Bridge & South Bridge

The National Museum’s forte is artifacts from around the world. The recently opened more modern Museum of Scotland is a small miracle and dedicated to the story of Scotland and its people. They have separate identities, while sitting right next to each other. Very handy. Together, they are considered one of the finest collections in the world. The rarest antiquities in Scotland create a treasure trove for the senses and imagination. Some highlights include: Ivory chessmen made by invading Vikings in the 12th century; Holy relics, one linked to St. Columba and Iona and the other to Robert the Bruce; A staff carried by St. Fillian in the 8th century, one of the finest examples of artistry present 1,200 years ago; The Maiden, a 16th century guillotine; Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Canteen—all the stuff he needed to travel and dine in style!; Egyptian mummy cases, decorated with Egyptian symbols of death and resurrection; a 3,500-year-old Egyptian toy mouse with string that would have been pulled by a child. When it walks the tail wags!


Edinburgh, Scotland

Accommodation

Scotsman Hotel - Edinburgh, Scotland

5 Star
Room Type: Classic Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 4:00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out before 12:00 noon.


Included Experiences

Spirit of Scotland Show

Edinburgh, Scotland

Enjoy an unforgettable evening of traditional Scottish food, music and entertainment, with costume, dance, fiddles and bagpipes! Upon arrival, you will be treated to a delectable 4-course traditional Scottish dinner, including a 'Ceremony of the Haggis'. Thereafter the show begins, featuring a variety of highly skilled and renowned local performers. Your Master Piper is Andy Coulter, a favored piper at Royal events, who has personally played for Her Majesty the Queen. Other notable participants include vocalist/guitarist Philip Henderson, and fiddle player, Jani. Lynsey Shand is Dance Choreographer and Mentor to the dancers who perform nightly. It all adds up to a unique and wonderful experience in the very heart of bustling Edinburgh!


Must-See Sites

Gilmerton Cove, Scotland

On The Map: Gilmerton Cove is located in the Gilmerton suburb of southeast Edinburgh. It's not walkable from downtown, but is served by the 3, 3a & 29 buses.

Gilmerton Cove is a series of strange, hand carved passageways and chambers that lie 10 feet below ground to the south of Gilmerton crossroads. After five years of work by Gilmerton Heritage Trust and The City of Edinburgh Council to restore and preserve it for future generations, it opened in August 2003, providing visitors of all ages with an educational and fun experience. The entrance to Gilmerton Cove is through a visitor centre adapted from a traditional mining cottage. This cottage now houses imaginative audio and visual displays that depict the various theories behind the origins of Gilmerton Cove which, after extensive archaeological and historical research, still remain a mystery. Just how old the caves are is unknown, but records go as far back as the 18th century and the system appears to be very much older. Who constructed them? When? Why? And what have they been used for over the years? Tomb of ancient kings? Meeting place for one or more persecuted religious groups? Masonic Lodge Room? Witches Coven? Illicit Whisky Still & Drinking Den? Knights Templar Retreat? Some theories even suggest that the Templars buried the Holy Grail here. Whatever the real answers, everyone can agree that it is truly a fascinating and mysterious site to visit. Daily tours are available by prior appointment - call 07914 829177. Please note that Gilmerton Cove is not located in the heart of Edinburgh. It's a 30-minute bus ride - use Bus No. 3 or 29 from Princes Street.


Camera Obscura, Scotland

On The Map: Camera Obscura is located in the heart of Edinburgh. Right on the Royal Mile and only 100 metres from the entrance to Edinburgh Castle.

Camera Obscura is Scotland’s oldest purpose-built attraction, originally established in 1835. There's certainly something for everyone in this unusual and highly entertaining venue. Enjoy unique views of Edinburgh from the fascinating Camera Obscura and rooftop terrace. In World of Illusions, experience five floors of interactive hands-on fun, including The Vortex Tunnel, Mirror Maze and Shrinking Room. At Light Fantastic, be dazzled by the spectacular collection of 3D holograms. In The Magic Gallery, interact with incredible things like floating sweets, Victorian bendy mirrors & fish that swim on the floor! Get involved, play with & touch everything. Money back guarantee if not fully satisfied, and voted ‘Best family attraction in Britain’, in The Telegraph newspaper in 2010.


Holyrood Palace, Scotland

On The Map: The Palace of Holyrood House is located in the heart of the City of Edinburgh. The famous Royal Mile connects Edinburgh Castle at its western end and Holyrood to the east.

The official residence in Scotland of Her Majesty The Queen, this beautiful palace sits at the bottom of Edinburgh’s Royal Mile, sheltered by Arthur’s Seat. Holyrood has many strong ties in Scottish history, and is well-known for being the home of Mary Queen of Scots. Visitors can view the stunning Royal Apartments, which show the different tastes of each monarch with fine plasterwork ceilings and decadent furnishings. On a tour round the palace you can see the Great Gallery, hung with portraits by Jacob de Wet, of the real and legendary kings of the country, and see the display on the Order of the Thistle, the highest honour in Scotland. Visitors can also take a guided tour of the historic Holyrood Abbey ruins, and learn of the building’s fascinating history through the centuries from its beginnings in 1128.


Royal Yacht Britannia, Scotland

On The Map: The Britannia is berthed at Ocean Terminal, Leith - just 2 miles north of the heart of Edinburgh. Majestic Tour Buses depart regularly from Waverley Bridge in the centre of town, and stop at the Royal Botanic Gardens en route.

Discover the floating palace that served the British Royal Family for over forty years from 1954. This magnificent ship has played host to some of the most famous people in the world. But, above all, she was home to Her Majesty The Queen and the Royal Family. The Queen played a large role in the design of the ship, personally approving plans and choosing the furniture and decor. She was once quoted as naming the yacht as the one place she could truly relax. Now in Edinburgh you are welcome on board to discover the heart and soul of this most special of royal residences. Experience what life was like on board The Royal Yacht Britannia with a fascinating audio tour of five decks. Highlights of the tour include the elegant State Apartments, the Crew’s Quarters, the Engine Room and the stunning Royal Deck Tea Room. Complimentary audio guide in 22 languages. Open year round with free parking at Ocean Terminal. **Authentic Ireland clients receive a 10% discount on admission - on arrival, show any official Authentic Ireland voucher / document, to avail of the discount.**


Inverness, Scotland

Accommodation

Rocpool Reserve Hotel - Inverness, Scotland

5 Star
Room Type: Chic Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 3:00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out before 11:30am.


Enroute Sightseeing

Cairngorms National Park, Scotland

On The Map: The Cairngorms National Park, (Scotland's biggest), occupies a large region in the northeast of the country. The nearest major town is Aberdeen to the east, but Cairngorms NP is quite central to all Scotland's large cities.

Scotland’s pristine National Park, the Cairngorms, have the highest, rugged mountain range in Britain rising to 4,296 feet. This country is heaven for walkers, skiers, rock climbers & nature lovers. A number of species of rare birds are attracted to the thriving, unusual alpine flora. Rock-climbers and skiers particularly love the challenge of the Cairngorms. Its craggy sides attract climbers from around the world—they practice at the Cairngorms before trips to the Himalayas! During the summer a funicular railway climbs Cairngorm. The views over the Spey Valley are spectacular. There’s also a steam railway, dating from 1863, that runs from Aviemore and Broomhila.  This is a great way to get up-close to nature if you’re not into the thrills-and-chills of mountain sports!  Also, many estates in the valley supplement their income by introducing visitors to the Highlands. See Britain’s only herd of reindeer and walk among them - the Cairngorm Reindeer Center is happy to take you to these lovely animals. With mixed woodlands at the base, and the summit forming a sub-polar plateau, the Cairngorms present a huge variety of flora.  Ancient Caledonian pines, once common in the area, still survive in Abernathy Forest.  Fragile and flourishing, Arctic flowers thrive in the heights.


Enroute Sightseeing

Blair Castle, Scotland

On The Map: Blair Castle is located in Perthshire in the centre of Scotland, just north of Pitlochry Town. The castle is accessed via the main A9 road that connects the towns of Inverness (to the north), and Pitlochry & Perth (to the south).

The only man in Europe still allowed to have a private army is the Duke of Atholl, who resides at Blair Castle! The sight of his magnificent, white castle on the main road north will stop you in your tracks. The oldest part of the castle was built in 1269.  During the Jacobite campaigns, it was designed anew, and the turrets were added.  A brilliant stroke of genius. The ancient seat of the Dukes and Earls of Atholl and home to the Atholl Highlanders, Blair Castle stands proudly against the magnificent backdrop of Highland Perthshire. With collections that fill over 30 rooms, there are few historic homes in Britain that can claim to have more comprehensive family treasures than Blair Castle, which portrays Scottish life over 700 years. After a tour of the castle you can enjoy the variety and tranquility of the grounds and gardens which form part of one of Scotland's great estates.


Enroute Sightseeing

Pitlochry, Scotland

On The Map: Pitlochry is located in the very heart of Scotland. Cairngorms National Park is very close by to the north, and Edinburgh less than 1.5 hours to the south via the A9 road.

When Queen Victoria fell in love with the Highlands of Scotland, Pitlochry was a quiet village surrounded by the pine-covered hills of the Central Highlands. It became famous when she named it one of the finest resorts in Europe, and visitors began arriving to discover the magic of the Highlands. This vibrant town in the wooded valley of the River Tummel runs along a main street that’s lined with shops and eating places. It bustles with visitors, but relax and go with the flow. Look behind the busy-ness, and you’ll see the charming, Highland Victorian town that is still Pitlochry. Pitlochry is farther from the sea than any other place in Scotland, and it makes a good base for exploring the surrounding scenery, which is spectacular.


Overnight Location

Inverness, Scotland

On The Map: Inverness is located on Scotland's central northern coast. The town is accessed via the A9 road from the southeast (Cairngorms National Park), A82 from the southwest (Loch Ness) , and A96 from the northeast (Speyside, Whisky Country)

Inverness is the true capital of the Highlands, and with 50,000 people, it is one of Scotland’s fastest growing cities. It is also one of the Highland’s oldest settlements. All roads still lead to the Highland’s center, Inverness. It feels like a compact town, but it has the bustle and air of a lovely city. Let your imagination run wild, and take a ghost tour led by an 18th century ghost, complete with period costume. Expect to hear tales of the city’s blood-chilling past, including ghosts, witches, murders, and spells! Stroll along the River Ness, or cruise on the Moray Firth, searching out bottlenose dolphins. It is very peaceful, especially if you’ve just been ghost-hunting... The River Ness flows through Inverness, and salmon fishermen come during the summer, even where the river runs right through the city’s center. High above the city is Inverness Castle, a unique Victorian built of red sandstone. Just below the castle is the museum and Art Gallery which runs exhibitions and workshops for kids. The main shopping area fans out from there in three directions, and includes a lively gathering place where pipers and other musicians get together and make music.


Inverness, Scotland

Accommodation

Rocpool Reserve Hotel - Inverness, Scotland

5 Star
Room Type: Chic Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 3:00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out before 11:30am.


Included Experiences

Macallan Six Pillars Tour

Speyside, The Whisky Triangle, Elgin, Scotland

Much like their curiously small stills, Macallan small group tours are limited to just 10 people to ensure a luxurious, personal experience. Your friendly and knowledgeable guide will explain how we create The Macallan's rich spirit in a working still house and introduce you to the ‘Six Pillars’.  You will learn how our unparalleled investment in the finest casks contributes to the natural colours, aromas and flavours that set The Macallan apart. After a thorough immersion into the world of The Macallan, you will experience a nosing and tasting of four The Macallan whiskies as well as their very foundation, our wonderfully rich new make spirit. Tour duration: approx. 1 hour 45 minutes.


Must-See Sites

The Black Isle, Scotland

On The Map: The Black Isle is located just north of Inverness in the Highlands of Northern Scotland. Construction of the Kessock Bridge (completed in 1982 and part of the A9 road) has greatly aided to access to the peninsula.

Despite its name, the Black Isle is not an island, but a peninsula, surrounded on three sides by water. The description ‘Black’ is just as misleading as Isle, and no one knows where the name originated. There are however a number of theories, the most colourful relating to the practice of black arts and witchcraft in mediaeval times. About 23 miles long by 9 miles wide at its broadest point, a drive around the peninsula, particularly if spending a few nights in Inverness, is well worth the effort. One of the Isle’s highlights is the village of Cromarty, poised on the tip of the peninsula. Probably the Highlands' best preserved historic town, Cromarty offers a wealth of attractions: sandy beaches, unusual architecture, Bottlenose Dolphins, pleasant eateries, and even a multi-award winning museum. Much of the village is original 18th century design, with little influence by modern-day architecture. The small fishing villages of Fortrose, Rosemarkie and Avoch are also highlights, located on the east coast of the Black Isle. Just across the water is the massive and imposing Fort George, built after the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion, in the hope of deterring any further unrest among the Highland Clans.


Culloden Battlefield, Scotland

On The Map: Culloden Battlefiled is located just 15 minutes from Inverness in the north of Scotland. From Inverness, travel approx. 7 miles east on the B9006, Culloden Road. A daily bus service also runs from Inverness to the battle site.

Since the 1630s Britain had suffered political and religious upheaval. Civil war was a constant fear as Scotland, Ireland and England struggled to find a way to live and prosper together. The 1745 Jacobite Rebellion against the British Government, led by the exiled Prince Charles Edward Stuart ('Bonnie Prince Charlie') had had some success. However at 1.00pm on 16 April 1746, the Culloden Battle began. Hardly an hour had passed between the first shots and the final flight of the Prince's army. Although a short battle by European standards, it was an exceptionally bloody one, and would change the course of history in Britain. The exciting new Culloden Battlefield visitor centre and exhibition opened in December 2007. Through recent archaeological and historical research the National Trust for Scotland discovered that the previous centre was sited on the third Government line of the battlefield. With the Trust's resolve to return the battlefield to as original a condition as possible, the centre was moved. The new centre and exhibition allows the whole Culloden story to be told in an innovative and interactive way, which appeals to all the family.


Cawdor Castle, Scotland

On The Map: Cawdor Castle is located in the north of Scotland. The castle is accessed via the B9090 road whichintersects with the main A96, northeast of Inverness Town.

Cawdor Castle has been the home of the Thanes of Cawdor since its construction in 1370. Originally consisting only of its central tower, the current structure is a result of significant additions in the 15th, 17th & 19th centuries. Well known for its fictional association with Shakespeare's Macbeth, Cawdor is also famed for its magnificent gardens, portions of which are over 300 years old. After you step inside, this other-worldly castle makes historical facts pale. Cawdor Castle fulfills all Shakespearean thoughts of love and tragedy. With its original keep, built in 1454, a drawbridge, ancient yew tree and enough weapons to start an uprising, this castle is the stuff of legend. The garden and estate, complete with maze, are equally remarkable. Who could ask for anything more? Cawdor Castle is open to the public between May & September each year.


Fort William, Scotland

Accommodation

Inverlochy Castle - Fort William, Scotland

Castle
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 2:00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out before 11:30am.


Included Experiences

Inspiration Loch Ness Cruise

Loch Ness, Scotland

Nothing beats being on the water and the best way to do it is by boat. Jacobite’s impressive fleet gets you onto Loch Ness to cruise in comfort. You’ll find their staff friendly and helpful, while the audio commentary guides you through the landscape as you sail. This is a 1 hour Loch Ness cruise with magnificent views of Urquhart Castle. The cruise goes as far as Urquhart Castle near Drumnadrochit, which is approximately halfway down Loch Ness. You'll sail through the deepest part of this famously deep Loch, so if you happen to spot Nessie, be sure to remain very quiet, and of course take pictures!
The boat trip leave directly from the Clansman Harbour at the Clansman Hotel - 9 miles south of Inverness. Your boat has toilets on board and a range of light snacks plus soft drinks, wines, spirits and lagers are also available as you cruise.


Enroute Sightseeing

Urquhart Castle, Scotland

On The Map: Urquhart Castle is located on the western shore of Loch Ness in the northern Highlands of Scotland. The castle is approx. 16 miles southeast of Inverness on the main A82 road, in close proximity to the village of Drumnadrochit.

Wild natural beauty and 1,000 years of history - Urquhart Castle offers a taste of the Highlands at their most dramatic. Magnificently sited, overlooking Loch Ness, Urquhart is one of the largest castles in Scotland, and remains an impressive stronghold despite its ruinous state. Urquhart witnessed considerable conflict throughout its 500 years as a medieval fortress and its history from the 13th to 17th centuries was particularly bloody. Following Edward I’s invasion, it fell into English hands and was then reclaimed and lost again. In the 14th century, it figured prominently in the Scots’ struggle for independence and came under the control of Robert the Bruce after he became King of Scots. In the 15th and 16th centuries, the castle and glen were frequently raided from the west by the ambitious MacDonald Lords of the Isles, before ultimately falling into decay in 1689. The castle’s history and that of its noble families – Durward, MacDonald and Grant - is told in the exhibition and audio-visual display in the new visitor centre. The centre features an outstanding array of medieval artefacts found at the castle. The visitor centre contains retail, interpretation area, audio-visual presentation and tearoom and toilets on one level. The centre's veranda offers stunning views of the loch.


Enroute Sightseeing

Loch Ness, Scotland

On The Map: Loch Ness is a long stretch of freshwater, extending for approx. 23 miles southwest of the northern city of Inverness.

Loch Ness holds more water than all the lakes and reservoirs in the U.K. put together. Is it any wonder that a monster would choose to live there? During the Ice Age, glaciers tore and deepened a trench halfway through Scotland, creating a long glen of steep, forested mountains and mysterious lochs. Castles and forts abound, bearing witness to the Great Glen’s strategic importance. There is, of course, the elusive Loch Ness monster. She still attracts scientific interest, so keep your camera ready! Loch Ness is almost 1,000 feet deep and, on most days, has unusually black water, owing to the high peat content of the surrounding soil. This is an immensely atmospheric loch that is surrounded by everything you could hope for: mountains, castles, abbey ruins, and several enchanting villages. Loch Ness is worth every ounce of its fame.


Overnight Location

Fort William, Scotland

On The Map: Fort William sits at the head of Loch Linnhe, and the foot of the Great Glen and snow-peaked Ben Nevis. The major A82 road runs through town connecting it with Glasgow to the south & Inverness to the northeast.

Fort William got its name from the original fort built here in 1650 to keep the Highland clans in order. It's a convenient touring base for the Northwest of Scotland, and a popular hub for walkers, mountaineers, and scenery lovers of every type. Its appeal is not that of a destination town, but rather its location to some of the most stunning natural beauty in Scotland. Ben Nevis, Scotland’s highest, and most rugged is the most obvious draw, but it's certainly not all. The West Highland Museum on Cameron Square exhibits the 18th century “Secret Portrait of Prince Charles.” This was done when all paintings of Stuarts were completed in obscure swirls so the viewer didn’t get into trouble for having any connection, at all, to the Stuart side of the Royal family. Just northeast of town is the acclaimed “Treasures of the Earth,” one of Europe’s finest collections of crystals and gemstones. The “Underwater Center,” on the banks of Loch Linnhe, is the world’s leading diving instruction and training center. Also north of town are the impressive ruins of Inverlochy Castle.


Fort William, Scotland

Accommodation

Inverlochy Castle - Fort William, Scotland

Castle
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is after 2:00pm on your day of arrival. Check-out before 11:30am.


Included Experiences

The Jacobite Steam Train aka Hogwarts Express

Fort William, Scotland

On The Map: This West Coast Railways journey runs from the town of Fort William (at the foot of Ben Nevis) to Mallaig, a busy fishing port on Scotland's western coast.

Described as one of the great railway journeys of the world, this 84 mile round trip takes you past a list of impressive extremes. Starting near the highest mountain in Britain, Ben Nevis, it visits Britain's most westerly mainland railway station, Arisaig, and passes close to the deepest freshwater loch in Britain - Loch Morar. The highlight of the journey for movie fans is crossing the 21-arched Glenfinnan viaduct. The scene (pictured) has received worldwide fame, owing to its use in the Harry Potter movies. In the second movie (Chamber of Secrets) Harry & Ron swoop and dive in their flying Ford Anglia, as the train crosses the viaduct - a particularly memorable scene! Some of the carriages of the train are those actually used in the Harry Potter films. Beyond the viaduct, the train next stops in the charming town of Glenfinnan. After Glenfinnan are the beautiful villages of Lochailort, Arisaig, Morar and the train's final destination, Mallaig. When passing Morar, keep an eye out for the silvery beaches used in the films 'Highlander' and 'Local Hero'.  (Train runs from mid-May to October only.)


Must-See Sites

Glencoe, Scotland

On The Map: Glencoe runs east-west along the route of the main A82 road. Fort William is a mere 16 miles to the north, while Glasgow is 90 miles to the south

'Glen Coe' is probably Scotland’s most famous and scenic Highland glen – and deservedly so - it really does merit the description 'spectacular'. The best approach is from the south on the A82, one of the major routes through the Highlands. The road climbs over the bleak expanse of Rannoch Moor and drops down between the steep scree-strewn sides of Glencoe. Awesome mountains such as Buachaille Etive Mor and the Three Sisters loom on either side, with riverine scenery at the bottom of the glen. The area is a paradise for walkers and climbers in all seasons, and skiers and snowboarders in the winter. The name Glencoe means 'Valley of Weeping', and has a haunting atmosphere as a result of the Massacre of Glencoe in 1692. This was carried out by the British army, when the chief of the MacDonalds of Glencoe had been slow to swear allegiance to William of Orange. The picturesque village of Glencoe lies at the northwest end of the glen. In the TV series Outlander, Glencoe features in the show's opening credits. It has also starred on the big screen, in Harry Potter movies, Highlander and Rob Roy.


Steall Waterfall, Scotland

On The Map: Steall Falls is located in Glen Nevis, just 15 minutes drive southeast of Fort William.

Steall Waterfall takes its name from the gaelic 'An Steall Bàn', which means The White Spout. And quite a spectacular spout it is at almost 400 feet tall - the second highest in Scotland. It is a relatively short hike to the falls from the Lower Falls carpark - between 30 & 45 minutes each way. Serious walkers wishing to indulge in a longer hike can instead leave their cars at the Braveheart carpark. The path through Nevis Gorge is well-maintained and straight-forward, but of course good footwear is essential. The gorge is the epitome of Highland beauty, as you find yourself surrounded by superb views, wild flowers, cascading streams and most likely some grazing Highland cattle! Soon the gorge opens-up to reveal a hanging valley, into which Steall Waterfall makes its impressive drop. Walk on for another 15 minutes or so, and you'll arrive at the wire rope bridge, where one can test their nerve in pursuit of a close-up waterfall view!  If you are a Harry Potter fan, Steall Falls is featured in a few scenes such as the famous battle between Harry and the Horntail dragon in the Goblet of Fire.


Glenfinnan, Scotland

On The Map: Glenfinnan Village is located in the western highlands of Scotland, 10 or so miles from the coast. The Village is most easily accessed via the A830 road, 17 miles west of the town of Fort William.

This small, beautiful village has sat comfortably among the hills of Glen Finnan for centuries. The village is located within a lovely u-shaped valley that follows a north-east to south-west route with Loch Shiel in the center of the glen. Of major interest is the Glenfinnan Monument (pictured). The column, erected in 1815 is a tribute to the Jacobite clansmen who fought and died in the cause of Prince Charles Edward Stuart (Bonnie Prince Charlie). The raising of the Prince's Standard took place at the head of the loch on 19 August, 1745, in a last attempt to reinstate the exiled Stuarts on the throne of Great Britain and Ireland, Unfortunately for the Prince and his followers, their campaign came to a grim conclusion in 1746 on the battlefield at Culloden. The nearby Glenfinnan Viaduct is also well worth a visit. This wonderful piece of late Victorian construction was completed in 1901, and the viaduct was the first structure in the world to use at that time the new building material 'Mass Concrete'. Over 100 feet in height and made up of 21 arches, this viaduct is a beautiful piece of engineering and is a glorious sight. The viaduct has recently gained notoriety from its use in the Harry Potter films, as the Hogwarts Express winds its way to Hogwarts Castle.


Dunblane, Scotland

Accommodation

Cromlix Hotel - Dunblane, Scotland

5 Star
Room Type: Large Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check in is between 3:00pm and 6:00pm on your day of arrival. Please call the property in advance if you expect to arrive outside of these hours.


Enroute Sightseeing

Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, Scotland

On The Map: Loch Lomond is located in Central Scotland, approx. 20 miles northwest of Glasgow. The main A82 road runs along the west shore of the lake en route to Fort William and beyond to Inverness.

Encompassing approx 720 square miles, Loch Lomond and the Trossachs became Scotland’s first National Park in 2002. Originally made famous by the novels of Sir Walter Scott in the early 1800s, The Trossachs has been enjoyed as the ‘Highlands in Miniature’ by tourists ever since. For two centuries, people have come here to walk, climb, cycle and sail, to breathe fresh clean air and drink in the spectacular views. The landscapes covered by the Park range from the uplands of Breadalbane to the sea lochs of Argyll, and included within its area is the whole of Scotland's largest loch, Loch Lomond. The northern end of the loch is deep and narrow, with mountains on either side, including the iconic Ben Lomond. The southern half of the loch is much more pastoral and is home to many islands. The surrounding mountainous areas include 21 ‘Munros’ (individual mountains over 3000ft); 20 ‘Corbetts’ (individual mountains over 2,500ft); and two forest parks. To appreciate the very best of the Trossachs, we recommend the route of the Duke’s Pass from Aberfoyle to Loch Katrine.


Overnight Location

Dunblane, Scotland

On The Map: Dunblane is located just five miles north of Stirling off the M9 motorway

Dunblane is a properous town boasting one of Scotland's quaintest cathedrals. New roads and railway services have resulted in development and an influx of middle-class commuters but the centre of Dunblane traversed by Allan Water is still charming. The old town centre retains a number of historic buildings in addition to the cathedral, including the 17th-century Leighton Library, the oldest private library in Scotland open to the public on selected days in summer. A well-preserved late medieval town-house nearby houses a local history museum, which is free, but only open in summer. A modern extension has recently been completed within its interior courtyard to provide additional exhibition space and allow disabled access.


Must-See Sites

Battle of Bannockburn, Scotland

On The Map: The site of the Battle of Bannockburn is located just 2 miles south of the city of Stirling in central Scotland. To access the site from the M9/M80 motorways, take Junction 9 onto the A872 road.

Stirling Castle was central to the defence of the main route into northern Scotland, and between 1296 and 1314 it changed hands five times! In 1314, the castle was held by a garrison of King Edward II’s troops, and besieged by the Scots. Edward II marched rapidly northwards to relieve the garrison and Robert the Bruce chose a site at the crossing of the Bannock Burn to stop the advance of Edward’s army. The Battle of Bannockburn was a turning point for the beleaguered Scots.  Facing a thorough onslaught by the English in 1314, Robert the Bruce led the Scots to an astonishing victory. The Scots won their independence, their nation, and their pride. In 1329, in large part due to this battle, Scottish independence was ratified by the Pope. The sense of history here is tangible and Bannockburn is still a focus for Scottish pride today. You can find out what inspired this great Scottish victory at the Bannockburn Heritage Centre. Don't miss the gripping new film depicting the dramatic events of June 1314, as well as walking the battlefield under the gaze of Robert the Bruce himself, immortalised in a statue by Pilkington Jackson (pictured).


Wallace Monument, Scotland

On The Map: The Wallace Monument is located just north of Stirling City. It is signposted from both the town centre and the main A91 road.

William Wallace (1270 – 1305) was a powerful man with bright eyes. Standing more than six and a half feet tall, he was a veritable giant in a time when most men were five-feet-tall! Wallace spent his childhood near Stirling under the supervision of his uncle, a priest. Wallace probably led a comfortable and peaceful life as a child, and must have trained in the martial arts of the time, including horsemanship and swordsmanship. When King Edward I, known as Edward "Longshanks,” came to the throne of England in 1272, a reign of tyranny and terror began to subdue the Scots and cement English rule. Life had changed, and when Wallace came of age, he fought. The 220-ft National Wallace Monument commemorates the great man and his valiant fight for Scotland’s independence. Visitors will learn about Wallace’s dramatic tale in detail, as well as other national heroes like Robert the Bruce and Rabbie Burns. . Most electrifying is the “talking head’, which presents Wallace’s defense before his brutal execution in 1305. When you climb to the top, you’ll see Wallace’s amazing and massive two-handed broadsword, and the 360 degree view is extraordinary.


Stirling Castle, Scotland

On The Map: Stirling is located in the town of Stirling in Central Scotland. Stirling is less than 45 minutes on the M80/A80 from Glasgow to the southwest & 1 hour on the M9 motorway from Edinburgh to the southeast.

Stirling Castle sits high on a rocky crag above the town. It is a magnificent castle and is one of the finest examples of Renaissance architecture in Scotland. Stirling occupied a key position in Scotland’s battle for independence. Seven battlefields can be seen from the castle, and the 220-foot Wallace Monument at Abbey Craig recalls William Wallace’s (the Scottish Hero on which the movie 'Braveheart' was based) defeat of the British in 1297 at Stirling Bridge. For generations Scotland’s royalty gathered at Stirling Castle to revel in its impressive buildings, superb sculptures, fine craftsmanship and beautiful gardens. Today Visitors can do the same. Highlights include The Great Hall, Chapel Royal, Regimental Museum of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders, The Great Kitchens and Tapestry Studio. Guided tours of the castle help bring its rich and colourful past to life in vivid detail.


Depart From

Depart from Edinburgh Airport, Scotland

Return to Edinburgh Airport 2 hours prior to your flight's scheduled departure. This will allow ample time to check in for your flight home.

Edinburgh is a small airport, but offers a surprisingly large array of shops and restaurants. If you have some time on your hands after check-in and security, you won't be bored!


Enquire For Availability

Luxury Rental Car Transportation

From $3,450 per person

Enquire For Availability

Private Chauffeur Transportation

From $5,200 per person

Your Price Includes

ACCOMMODATION

  • 14 Nights Accommodation – From Luxurious City Hotel to Boutique Guesthouse!
  • Spend 3 of Your Nights in Vibrant London City

TRANSPORTATION

  • Rental Car - Includes Insurance, Unlimited Mileage & All Taxes

DINING OPTIONS

  • 14 Breakfasts - Sumptuous Full English Breakfasts Every Morning

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

  • Enjoy a Gentle Guided Walk Exploring London Landmarks
  • Stop at Platform 9¾ from the Harry Potter Series
  • Stay in Stratford-Upon-Avon and Visit the Birthplace of Shakespeare
  • Visit the Maze of Twisting, Narrow Alleyways in York's 'The Shambles'
  • Spend Two Nights on a Working Sheep and Arable Farm
  • Visit Hilltop Farm - Beatrix Potter's 17th-Century Farmhouse
  • Stroll through Infamous Sherwood Forest near Nottingham

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Discover the Natural Beauty of the Ancient Jurassic Coast
  • Visit Two Quintessentially English Castles - Warwick & Conisbrough
  • Explore Ancient Stonehenge & Avebury
  • Get Lost in the Modern Beauty of the Eden Project
  • Marvel at the Ancient Roman Baths
  • Sightseeing at Stunning Lands End
  • Visit Beautiful Cornwall & Dorset - Film Locations for Poldark & Broadchurch
Prices Based On
  • All Taxes & Fees Included
  • Prices are Per Person based on 2 people traveling together and sharing a room.
  • Traveling Alone? No Problem. Just Ask Us for a Single Supplement Price.

“Last Minute Trip”

Jul 17, 2019 by Dylan. Your Hometown: Nashville

I had a last-minute work trip that I added a vacation too. Authentic Vacations were quick and found me exactly what I needed. They worked within my budget and it was seamless when I got to Ireland!

“Summer vacation with wife and 14 yr old daughter”

Jul 17, 2019 by C.J. Driggers. Your Hometown: GILBERT, SC

We had an awesome trip to the wonderful island of Ireland. Everything went smooth for us and our agent Lonna set us up with great accommodations. It seemed each hotel/b&b got better as the trip went along! We went for 8 days with 2 in Dublin, 1 in Kinittey, 2 in Killarney, 1 in Dingle, 1 in Doolin, and 1 in Trim before departing for home. My wife and daughter liked Dingle the best, while I thought Killarney offered the best of all worlds. I will say as an American, driving over there is an adventure. Major roadways are not a problem, but I've been on golf cart paths wider than some of the rural 2-lane roads found in the countryside. The only piece of advice I could offer is that when in Dublin, take the hop-on/off tour bus 1st thing around the entire city. Then get off the bus and explore the parts of the city that seem interesting to you. If you stay at the Ashling Hotel, walk across the bridge in front of the hotel and go around the corner of the train station to your right to get on the convertible bus. Knowing this would have saved us several hours as we wasted half a day trying to figure this out on our own.

Jul 17, 2019 by Nancy Foldesi. Your Hometown: Simi Valley

This was our second trip with Authentic Ireland and we loved it even more than our first trip. Aran Islands was a great spot. Rugged and beautiful! Our driver for the 3-day portion was great. Very helpful with great ideas. Our stay in Sheen Falls was magical. The cottage and villa were stocked with everything we needed to make a fantastic breakfast!! Also wine and candy 😎 Michelle was so helpful and gave me wonderful advice. She booked our perfect meal at The Lime Tree!! Perfect family vacation!!

“Ireland Trip 2019”

Jul 17, 2019 by Meghan Fahey. Your Hometown: Vermont

We booked a 10 day stay in Ireland. My boyfriend and I made our first international trip together. We had a great time! I had been to Ireland before, but the itinerary AV made was outstanding. The pace was great for a cross-country road trip and Michael was excellent at listening to our expectations and our wishlist. The Mystical Rose and Mena House were our very favorite B&Bs! Ring of Kerry was spectacular! We never had a bad meal! IT was outstanding to have all the planning stream-lined in one document. We just got back July 1st, and are already talking about Scotland! I had never been to Galway-what an addition to the trip. We saw everything we planned and had enough time to try other experiences. Ireland is getting more touristy by the second, so I would highly recommend planning and booking in advance for as much as possible. There were 2 B&Bs that we were not overwhelmingly enthused by, but they got the job done. We could not have had better weather-only one day of rain! The Blarney Castle was fantastic and driving ourselves was not even that bad. All in all, a great experience!

“40th Anniversary Trip”

Jul 10, 2019 by Kenneth Elder. Your Hometown: Katy, TX

My wife and I spent 16 days traveling all over Scotland. We had an amazing trip! We had read many of Con's blogs and planned many of our activities based on his blog.

Con and his team set up the hotel/B&B stops for us along the way and my wife and I drove the rental car over 1500 miles touring the countryside, castles, distilleries, and sites around Scotland, as we pleased.

Most of the accommodations were very nice, but, like most anywhere you travel in Europe, many of the showers in the bathrooms are more like a phone booth. Very cramped.

Except for being a little warmer than we anticipated, the weather was perfect. Out of 16 days, we had two days of rain.

Driving on the wrong side of the road, from the wrong side of the car, on some of the narrow, single lanes, winding coastal roads, with your wife navigating and yelling at you to slow down, was an adventure all by itself. I wish we had taken a "GoPro" camera to put on the dash to record some of the roads we drove on! Make sure you have an international phone plan or a GPS! Google Maps worked great for us.

As someone else mentioned in their review, the "Spirit of Scotland" dinner show was underwhelming, as was the food, but it was already included in our package. Probably could have spent those 2-3 hours doing something more interesting.

Con was very helpful in helping arrange our trip and gave some very useful tips and insight.

One suggestion I would make to Authentic Vacations for those who are renting a vehicle and driving in Scotland is that they provide some explanation of road signs and some details about highway speed limits. Such as, unless posted differently, the speed limit on Scotland highways is 60 MPH.

AND, in Scotland, the speed limit is in MPH, not Kilometers. Speed cameras are used extensively in Scotland, so mind your speed.

Thanks, Con and Authentic Vacations. We had a wonderful vacation!

Page 1 of 200:
«
 
 
1
2
3
 
»
 

1. Click on the Green “Get Started” Button to the Bottom 

Submit your travel dates, number of people and type of transportation. We can adjust the length of our vacation packages to suit your needs.
Get Started

2. Online Account & Quote Created

Our experts will create a custom quote & itinerary based on your requirements, and all details are posted to your Authentic Ireland online account (login info will be emailed to you!).

3. Make Changes / Ask Questions 

Your quote will have been created by your own personal Expert, who will be available to you at any stage of planning your vacation & even while you are in Ireland or Scotland. Call or email your dedicated Expert to discuss options, make changes or ask questions.

4. Reserve & Pay Online

Reserve your vacation package securely via your online account. We only require a 20% deposit to secure your vacation, and our Risk-Free Cancellation Policy provides you with complete peace of mind.

5. Print Your Travel Documents & Go!

Once your vacation has been paid in full, you will be able to print your travel documents directly from your online account. You’re ready to go!

At Authentic Vacations, each of our self-drive and chauffeur tours are tailor made to your specific requirements. We work with all budgets and group sizes to deliver a personalized experience that remains true to the authentic brand. When you book with Authentic Vacations, you can always expect a package rich with cultural experiences, secret spots and insider knowledge, unique and boutique accommodations and more.

We have been known to customize some pretty exceptional experiences: from jousting exhibitions to fly fishing to romantic serenades, there is nothing outside of the scope of what we will plan for our clients.

Let us customize the perfect Authentic Vacation for you.

Start by giving us some details related to your travel plans. Don‛t hold anything back. The more we know about your ideal vacation, the better we can deliver an experience that far exceeds your expectations

GET STARTED

Send Me Your Latest Travel Specials!

Tell us about your favorite destinations!