Ireland, Scotland and Iceland Vacation

September 25th - October 9th

14 days, 13 nights - $2,975 with hotels (double occ), ground transportation, domestic flight and more
Does not include international air - see below

 

 

 

Here's a very popular trip that we've run twice now. The tours and itinerary are fantastic giving you a well-rounded experience in these beautiful countries. We will even have a very good chance to see the Northern Lights in Iceland at this time of the year. This 2-week trip will have us in Ireland for 4-nights, Scotland for 5-nights and finally Iceland for 4-nights. We've negotiated great rates on the hotels to help make this trip affordable. Our group air will be announced in November.

We expect to offer air from LAX and JFK and will arrive in Dublin on the 26th. In the wake of a remarkable economic boom, Dublin's landscape has changed immeasurably over the past decade. These days Dublin ranks among the top tourist destinations in Europe, and this vibrant city hums with a palpable sense that it is creating a new cultural heritage. The city's burst of prosperity gave it a new confident sheen, but what remains special is the spirit of the people who ensure that, despite whirlwind changes, Dublin remains one of Europe's most down-to-earth, friendly and accessible cities. Voted by Frommers Guide readers in 2011 as their favourite holiday destination in the world, it’s now your turn to uncover the mystique and charm of the Emerald Isle. A bustling metropolis alive with entertaining cultural pursuits, fine museums, beautiful architecture and lively pubs, Dublin offers something for everyone. Castles, galleries, cathedrals, parks, shopping, fine dining – Dublin has it covered.

ITINERARY:
These are the optional tours that we offered on our last trip. They have a separate cost to cover the bus and guide and to give our travelers the freedom of opting only for the tours they are most interested in.

WICKLOW AND GLENDALOUGH
Monday, September 27th

Today we'll enjoy a wonderful scenic day starting with our drive from Dublin into the heart of Wicklow's stunning countryside

The stops on our tour will include the Powerscourt Estate where we will explore the gardens of the estate including the Italian gardens, Japanese gardens and pet cemetery. This is one of the most visited tourist destinations in Ireland. We will also visit Powerscourt Waterfall, the highest waterfall in Ireland.

We'll visit the pretty Wicklow village of Avoca (where the famous TV show, Ballykissangel was filmed). Leisure time at Avoca (60 minute stop) where you can drop into Fitzgerald's pub for a pint of Guinness. Visit the famous Handweaver's craft shop, considered the oldest weaving mill in Ireland

From there we'll visit the 6th century monastic settlement in Glendalough (105 minute stop). Enjoy a guided tour of this mystical site. See the famous 10th century Round Tower and St Kevin's Kitchen. Enjoy the fresh country air of the Wicklow Mountains. Glendalough is famed for its beautiful scenery and historic monuments, but has also been a centre for pilgrims and visitors from the time of St. Kevin, (from whom the bus service took its name).

KILKENNY
Tuesday, September 28th

Once the capital of Ireland in the middle-ages, Kilkenny is renowned for its magnificent Norman Castle dating back to 12th century. With its narrow street and colorful shops and buildings, Kilkenny is unique as a city and a mecca for those who choose to visit. You will have plenty of time to enjoy a pint of Kilkenny in Kilkenny. Kilkenny's rich medieval heritage is evident in the city's treasure trove of historical buildings and landmarks, exemplified by the magnificent Kilkenny Castle.

Kilkenny is arguably the pre-eminent medieval city in Ireland, with the current layout of the city clearly grounded in the city's medieval roots.
However, the city's origins predate the medieval landmarks existing today. Saint Canice founded a monastic settlement in Kilkenny in the sixth century, unfortunately the sole remaining landmark from this settlement is the round tower positioned alongside the cathedral.


FREE DAY IN DUBLIN
Wednesday, September 29th

FERRY TO EDINBURGH
Thursday, September 30th

Today we will take a luxury and very stable ferry from Belfast across the North Channel to Scotland where we will be met by our motorcoach for our trip to Edinburgh where we will spend the next 5-nights. You will love this hotel, located on Royal Mile with all the action of shops and restaurants right outside our door.

Scotland is home to a relatively diverse terrain, complete with tall mountains, several islands, sea-side cliffs, and lush forests. Possessing vibrant and modern cities such as Edinburgh and Glasgow, it manages to successfully combine these two contrasting sides. It holds a rural backdrop of awe inspiring scenery, villages and towns of unique local history and culture all the while possessing a modern and young urban landscape with cities of the calibre of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen that can rival the best in Europe. There's plenty of adventure, whether you want to bash downhill on a mountain bike, hurl yourself off a bungee or take on the Atlantic surf in a kayak Scotland is one of the world’s top adventure playgrounds. It's got wildlife with huge eagles and stately stags on land and basking sharks, dolphins and even killer whales at sea. Scotland’s seven cities – Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Dundee, Inverness, Stirling and new city Perth- all have their own charms and each is worth a trip on its own. Scotland is also home to an impressive five UNESCO World Heritage sites – Edinburgh’s Old and New Town, Orkney’s Prehistoric Sites, Hadrian’s Wall, St. Kilda and New Lanark.

EDINBURGH CASTLE
Friday, October 1st
Our hotel is an easy 5 minute walk to this iconic castle which is a must see. We will not need a bus or a guide. I have set up a reservation for our entire group for this morning. The afternoon is free and all the other interesting sights are an easy walk. The city itself is like a museum so enjoy your free time.

ST ANDREWS AND THE HIGHLANDS
Saturday, October 2nd

Today we will visit Highlands, featuring Scotland's most characteristic and romantic scenery. Visit the university town of St Andrews on this private trip. Famous for being the 'home of golf,' St Andrews is known for attractions like the Old Course and Swilcan Bridge, part of St Andrews' prestigious golf legacy and not to be missed. which you'll see on this tour with a private guide. Walk around town and enjoy time to buy lunch and shop a bit, if you like.

We are setting up options to play a round on the Putting Club Course, probably better known to visitors from around the world as The Himalayas which is an apt description for this unique facility found in St Andrews, the home of golf. We are also setting up a 50 minute guided walk of the Old Course There is the option to have your photo taken on the Swilcan Bridge. You can also visit the British Golf Museum or the Castle ruins and Cathedral (own expense). Before stopping at the Old Course you will be given a short driven tour around St Andrews to get your bearings. For those not interested in Old Course there is an option to stay in town and shop.

From there we will venture further into the highlands with a visit to Glaimis Castle. Glamis has been the family home of the Earls of Strathmore since 1372 when SirJohn Lyon was granted the thaneage by King Robert II. In 1376 Sir John married the King's daughter and since then Glamis has been visited and lived in by many members of the Scottish and British Royal Families. The present owner is Simon Patrick Bowes Lyon, 19th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne who succeeded his late father on the 27th of February 2016. The castle is famed as being the childhood home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, birthplace of HRH The Princess Margaret and the setting for Shakespeare's 'Macbeth'. It is situated in the fertile valley of Strathmore, only 5 miles from Forfar and 12 miles from Dundee.

SCOTTISH BORDERS
Sunday, October 3rd

Journey through the majestic Scottish Lowlands on this 7.5-hour tour that will include Melrose, Abbotsford House, Traquair House and Roslyn Chapel. Take a scenic route along Scotland's border to Melrose Abbey - believed to be the burial site of King Robert the Bruce's heart - and enjoy lunch at your leisure. Admire panoramic views over the Scottish countryside and the Tweed River from Scott's View

The triple peaks of the Eildon Hills are the most distinctive single landmark in the Scottish Borders. At their feet in the valley of the Tweed lies Melrose. From the rolling hills and moorland in the west to the gentle valleys and picturesque Berwickshire coastline in the east, it is easy to see why Sir Walter Scott was so enamored with this peaceful region that he chose to build his beloved house, Abbotsford here which we will visit. Here at Abbotsford he worked tirelessly, writing book after book in his wood-panelled study. Scott looked far and wide across Scotland for decorative elements to embellish his house; he rescued architectural fragments from houses, and took casts from existing houses to create copies that reflected Scotland's architectural heritage. The result was a very 'Scottish' building, inspired by Scotland's heritage and containing pieces from a variety of dwellings across the country. This very nationalistic pride in Scottish heritage was typical of Scott and his work. The result was almost universally popular, and Abbotsford became a very popular place for sightseers almost immediately.

On our way back to Edinburgh we will make a stop at Roslyn Chapel. One of Scotland's most remarkable buildings, Rosslyn Chapel has been in the ownership of our family since its foundation in 1446 and is still used today as a place of worship.

FREE DAY IN EDINBURGH
Monday, October 4th

We will have a number of suggestions for you including visiting the Royal Yacht Britannia, Queen Elizabeth's first ship, or the Palace of Holyroodhouse

FLY TO ICELAND
Tuesday, October 5th

Today we will journey to Iceland. Your trip includes our short flight to the capital of Rekyjavik where we will spend the next 4-nights.

Iceland, a country rich with roaring volcanoes, monolithic glaciers, icy mountains and deep fjords, has become a mecca for photographers looking to capture the raw, mystical power of its natural northern beauty. The ruggedness of and stark contrasts present in Iceland’s landscapes makes them irresistible to photographers. Glacial floodplains, waterfalls, towering mountains, fjords and even deserts of volcanic ash can all be found in relative proximity to each other. Its small population (of roughly 325,000) also means that the majority of its natural wonder remains nearly or completely untouched. We will be spending most of our time here exploring the outdoors and natural beauty.

THE BLUE LAGOON & RAYKJANES PENINSULA
Wednesday, October 6th

This is a half-day tour that we'll start at 12 pm. On our way to the famous Blue Lagoon we will visit the Raykjanes Peninsula. There you can see beautiful small fishing town, a lighthouse, old stone built church, Gunnuhver (Geyser), Krýsuvík, Kleifarvatn and of course the Blue Lagoon. Here you can find more about Reykjanes. Then, we'll head to Iceland's famous Blue Lagoon for an otherworldly dip in its geothermal waters.

This spa is based around the unique properties of the geothermal seawater in the lagoon and they claim to be in the 25 natural wonders of the world. The Blue Lagoon was formed in 1976 during operation at the nearby geothermal power plant. In the years that followed, people began to bathe in the unique water and apply the silica mud to their skin. Those with psoriasis noticed an incredible improvement in their condition. Over the years, Blue Lagoon has been innovative in harnessing this gift of nature to develop different spa services and products. Today, Blue Lagoon is recognized as one of the wonders of the world.

The geothermal water originates 2,000 meters below the surface, where freshwater and seawater combine at extreme temperatures. It is then harnessed via drilling holes at a nearby geothermal power plant, Svartsengi, to create electricity and hot water for nearby communities. On its way to the surface, the water picks up silica and minerals, before emerging at a soothing 38°C (100°F). Perfect for a relaxing and re-energizing bathe.

GOLDEN CIRCLE TOUR
Thursday, October 7th

The Golden Circle is a must-do day tour out of Reykjavik. It offers you the opportunity to discover some of the highlights of south-west Iceland. It also provides you with a general insight into the Icelandic history, geology, its people and it rich cultural heritage.

We start the tour by driving to Iceland's first national park, the Thingvellir National Park. This is the birth place of a nation as well as of the first Icelandic democracy, when the Viking chieftains decided to establish their first parliament (Althingi) or "general assembly" in 930 AD. Many events took place in the area, including the introduction of Christianity in the year 1000 AD, the declaration of independence from the Danish kings on June 17, 1944. Besides its historical and cultural importance, the park displays a unique geology and natural landscapes. There, one can learn and understand the tectonic activity or the so-called the continental drift, the boundary between North American and Eurasian plate tectonics. Thingvellir is one of the only sites on Earth where the effects of two major tectonic plates drifting apart can be observed. Notorious for its outstanding natural beauty, Thingvellir National Park served as one the main filming locations of Game of Thrones in Iceland. There, you can experience the site the same way encountered or seen by the cast of the White Walkers and the trail of the Wildlings from North of the Wall.

After a short walk through the area, we continue towards the Geyser geothermal area. There, you have enough time to discover Strokkur, one of the most active geysers in the world. It spouts hot water and steam at a height of 20 - 25 meters every 5 - 8 minutes.

After lunch break in the area, we head towards Gullfoss "Golden Waterfall", Europe's second most powerful waterfall. It is located on the Hvítár "White River", one of Iceland's major glacier rivers. The gorgeous waterfall is one of the most popular attractions in the country. Located in the canyon, which forms three step terraces, river Hvítá plunges creating a powerful stream and Gullfoss. There are no rails - just a natural surroundings.

SOUTH SHORE TOUR
Friday, October 8th

In this tour we will take in the scenery of the South Coast and go as far as Vík. Vík is Iceland's most southerly village and one of the most popular tourist sites in Iceland. Although this community of about 450 inhabitants faces the open Atlantic, Vík is the only seaside settlement in Iceland left without a harbour due to natural circumstances. We will see The Black Sand Beach, (Reynisfjara) a beautiful basalt-lava rock formations and sea-made caves. The historical palagonite mountains of Pétursey, Hjörleifshöfði and Hafursey stand towering over the surrounding black expanse., Dyrhólaey, where the unique rock arch is found, is a 120-m-high promontory in the western part of the Mýrdalur district. Dyrhólaey is Iceland's most southerly tip. Skogafoss Waterfall, which rivals Gullfoss as Iceland's most famous waterfall. Seljalandsfoss Waterfall one of the best known waterfalls in Iceland. It's possible to walk behind the waterfall so bring a raincoat as you will get wet from the drizzle. It's awesome especially on a sunny day when one can catch a rainbow. And of course the beautiful town of Vík. On the way there they will see The Eyjafallajökull eruption museum, Mýrdalsjökull glacier, Skogar waterfall and much more. It is a great tour.

 

 

NORTHERN LIGHTS
Any evening in Iceland
The Norhtern Lights become a real possiblity to see any time after September 15th which is one of the reasons for our visit at the end of September. If the Northern Lights appear the town of Reykavik will often times turn off the city lights to make the viewing better. We will organize a bus tour to get outside of the city which worked out group on our last trip. Check out my video! https://youtu.be/xgLNKHwrt24

 

 

 

 

 

Temperature The month of September is characterized by falling daily high temperatures, with daily highs decreasing from 54°F to 48°F over the course of the month, exceeding 58°F or dropping below 42°F only one day in ten. Daily low temperatures range from 39°F to 45°F, falling below 32°F or exceeding 50°F only one day in ten.

Extra light! The sun will set about 8:30 pm during our stay.

DEPOSIT TO SIGN UP - $200

OUR AIR:

From LA:

Flight: Air France 69 Departure:Los Angeles 25SEP/1820 Arrival:Paris 26SEP/1420
Flight: Air France 1116 Departure:Paris 26SEP/1530 Arrival:Dublin 26SEP/1620
Flight:Delta Air Lines 247 Departure: Reykjavik 09OCT/1055 Arrival:New York Kennedy /1310
Flight:Delta Air Lines 309 Departure: New York Kennedy 09OCT/1530 Arrival:Los Angeles /1901
Base fare $728.00 plus taxes $532.76 = $1260.76 (*Total Fare Estimate per seat with taxes and fees at time of booking*)

From JFK:

Flight: Air France 9 Departure:New York Kennedy 25SEP/2350 Arrival:Paris 25SEP/1315 (will meet with LA group in Paris)
Flight: Air France 1116 Departure:Paris 26SEP/1530 Arrival:Dublin 26SEP/1620
Flight:Delta Air Lines 247 Departure: Reykjavik 09OCT/1055 Arrival:New York Kennedy /1310
Base fare $349.00 plus taxes $522.66 = $871.66
Taxes and fees are subject to change until final payment is collected.


INCLUDES:

  • 13-nights accommodations (double occ.)
  • All ground transportation
  • Ferry from Ireland to Scotland
  • Daily Breakfast
  • Flight from Scotland to Iceland: Flight: Icelandair 431 Departure: Glasgow 05OCT/1340 Arrival:Reykjavik /1500

 DOES NOT INCLUDE:

 

HOTELS:

IRELAND

The Morgan - 4-star
Website - Reviews - 30 out of 150 hotels in Dublin

Tired of traditional, boring hotels? Looking for a quirky Temple Bar hotel? Then immerse yourself in our design hotel on Fleet Street in Dublin City Centre. The Morgan Boutique Hotel Dublin is located in the very heart of Temple Bar.Check-in to your uber stylish room and go explore Dublin, you will be minutes away from all of the city’s hot spots including, Grafton Street and O’Connell Street, shops, museums, restaurants, bars and famous sites including, Trinity College, The Guinness Storehouse, Old Jameson Distillery, as well as some of Dublin’s newest entertainment venues including, the Convention Centre Dublin, The Bord Gais Energy Theatre and The 3Arena (formerly o2) to name just a few.Risqué design that is provocative, contemporary and unique holds host to chic guestrooms, a funky cocktail bar, crazy outdoor spaces, cool meeting rooms and an amazing Penthouse with rooftop garden. This luxury deluxe, boutique Dublin hotel in Temple Bar is an experience.

 

 

 

SCOTLAND

Radisson Blu Edinburgh - 4-star - Website - Tripadvisor review

The Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh is designed to blend into the surrounding medieval architectural with its own 16th-century style façade. The hotel’s spot in the middle of Edinburgh lets you see Scotland’s capital city from a convenient vantage point. Nearby public transportation is readily available, and many city attractions are within walking distance of the hotel’s location.

In Edinburgh, you’ll find plenty of shopping centres, restaurants and bars as well as historic areas such as Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace and Abbey, and Rosslyn Chapel.

After a day of sightseeing, relax in one of our rooms or suites with amenities such as Free high-speed, wireless Internet. Dig in to something tasty for breakfast, lunch and dinner at our on-site restaurants, and cap off a fun day with a drink from our well-stocked bar. Keep up with your fitness routine at our fitness centre, and test the waters of our indoor pool. Unwind in the sauna, and then get a rejuvenating massage or facial. Host meetings or special events with our spacious meeting facilities, on-site car parking, charging stations for electric vehicles and catering options.

 

ICELAND

Fosshotel Reykjavík - 4-star -
Website
- Tripadvisor reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fosshotel Reykjavík is the largest hotel in Iceland. It is located in Reykjavík's business district, a short walking distance from Laugavegur, the main shopping street. Immerse yourself in Reykjavík's magnificent architecture, captivating history, vibrant markets and rich culture. Fosshotel Reykjavík is located in the heart of the city so it's ideal for those who want to experience everything the city has to offer. The hotel has 16 floors with many rooms offering magnificent views of the city and the bay area. The top floor features seven suites, four of which can be used as meeting rooms. Fosshotel Reykjavík will feature first class conference facilities on the second floor. Unwind with Icelandic draught beer at the Beergarden or enjoy dining at Fosshotel Reykjavík's restaurant, Haust.

    • 320 rooms
    • Breakfast included
    • Bjórgarđurinn / Beer Garden Haust restaurant
    • Gym access for all hotel guests
    • Tour desk
    • Free WiFi

 

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