Scotland & Ireland Whiskey Trail
Starting at PER PERSON for all of the below, based on 2 participants: $3,944.00
Day 1: Edinburgh for 1 night
Meet & greet private transfer from airport to hotel
1 double king, breakfast & taxes included at Hotel Indigo****
In Edinburgh’s vibrant city centre, 657 feet from the Edinburgh Playhouse Theatre, Hotel Indigo Edinburgh offers stylish rooms with state-of-the-art technology. Featuring a fitness centre and free WiFi, the hotel is a 5-minute walk from Princes Street and St Andrew’s Square.
The contemporary bedrooms each have a flat-screen satellite TV and an iPod dock. All rooms have a media hub, air conditioning, and a luxury bathroom with a rainfall shower, integrated speakers and Aveda toiletries.
Turquoise Thistle Restaurant, Bar and Lounge serves modern international cuisine and classic Scottish dishes. The bar offers a range of creative cocktails, freshly brewed coffees and traditional whiskies. Room service is also available.
Day 2: Bowmore for 2 nights
Pick up car in Edinburgh Volkswagen Passat or similar Midsize Class – Automatic Transmission unlimited mileage CDW & theft included
After departing Edinburgh, your first stop is Deanston Distillery, where you can sample handmade treats in their coffee shop. You will then take a tour of the distillery. Heading north into the Highlands the landscape becomes more mountainous. Passing Loch Awe and into Argyllshire, with some great photo stops along the way, you will arrive in the Victorian town of Oban in time for lunch and some exploring. This is the seafood capital of Scotland so make sure you make the most of it.
Visit the ancient neolithic landscapes of Kilmartin Glen. There are hundreds of ancient monuments and historic sites in this region.
Then a short drive down the Kintyre Peninsula to Kennacraig where you will board the evening ferry to Islay.
The ferry crossing is around 2 hours and allows for some beautiful views of the islands of Gigha, Jura and Islay as well as the area surrounding West Loch Tarbert. There is time to relax in the bar with an Islay whisky; grab some dinner from the restaurant and just soak up the sea air before you arrive.
On arrival into Port Ellen or Port Askaig it is a short drive to Bowmore
1 double king, breakfast & taxes included at Skerrols House****
Within 15 minutes’ drive of 4 of the Isle of Islay’s whisky distilleries, Skerrols House has uninterrupted countryside views and is just a 5-minute drive from the coastal village of Bridgend. Located in the centre of the island, Bowmore Distillery is less than a 10-minute drive away.
Skerrols can arrange tours of the island and the whiskey distilleries. There is a boot room for guests to keep their wet coats and muddy shoes and a lounge with a log fire.
Walkers can enjoy a choice of scenic routes nearby, and the Machrie Golf Course is 15 minutes’ drive away. The ferry terminal at Port Askaig and Islay Airport, which has flights to Glasgow Airport, are both 15 minutes’ drive from this guest accommodation.
Rooms at Skerrols House are elegant in design, and each has a flat-screen TV with satellite channels and free Wi-Fi access. They also come with facilities for making tea and coffee, and their own bathroom with toiletries and a hairdryer.
Full day to explore
These can include empty beaches, whitewashed villages, ancient sites, the Kildalton Cross, medieval strongholds, fresh seafood, local wildlife and traditional cultures. With only around 3000 people and 8 world class distilleries, the chances of finding a ‘wee dram’ on Islay are pretty good.
The distillery and whisky experiences will give you an insight into Islay’s most famous export. Your day includes a warehouse experience at Lagavulin with premium tatsing.
A tour at Ardbeg and a look at the Laphroaig maltings.
We could also include Bruichladdich, a chance to gaze over the Sound of Jura from the Bunnahabhain and a behind the scenes peek at the independant Kilchoman
Day 4: Glasgow for 1 night
After a final hearty breakfast, you catch the morning ferry back to Kennacraig.
Arriving on the mainland, you head to the loch-side town of Inveraray. This is the seat of the clan Campbell, home to the Loch Fyne Whisky shop..
Then you can head to the shores of Loch Fyne and Loch Long before climbing up to the Rest and be Thankful pass for sweeping views. Then it is to the shores of Loch Lomond.
Stop for some lovely views and stretch of the legs before crossing the River Clyde and into Scotland’s largest city of Glasgow.
1 double room, breakfast & taxes included at Hotel Carlton****
Located next to Glasgow Queen Street Rail Station and just 165 feet from Buchanan Street’s shops, this hotel has an airport bus stop directly outside. With a rooftop restaurant and wonderful views across Glasgow’s skyline, Carlton George Hotel offers luxury rooms with free Scottish whiskey.
Decanters of alcoholic spirits are included in each 4-star room, which also has a flat-screen LCD TV with Sky Sports channels and a work desk. The luxurious bathrooms have a power shower and feature fluffy robes and slippers. Free Wi-Fi access is also available.
Windows Restaurant serves a creative modern menu featuring fine Scottish produce. The wonderful Waxy O’Conner’s Bar has 6 unique bars set over 3 floors, which are joined by a maze of passageways.
Just a 10-minute walk from City Chambers and the Gallery of Modern Art, the Carlton George Hotel is a 10-minute train journey from Glasgow’s famous West End. Private parking is available nearby.
Day 5: Dublin for 1 night
Drop off car at the airport
Aer Lingus flight from Glasgow to Dublin
Departure at 8:20 am, arrival at 9:30 am
Meet & greet private transfer from airport to hotel
1 double room, breakfast & taxes included at Hotel Trinity Lodge****
Located beside Trinity College, this 4-star, family-owned Georgian townhouse is beautifully restored with elegant décor and warm, traditional style. Trinity Lodge is set within a quiet area of Dublin’s historic quarter.
The Lodge offers spacious air-conditioned rooms with Wi-Fi, desks, power showers, TVs and free tea and coffee facilities. All rooms are individually styled, blending beautifully the ambiance of the Georgian period with all the contemporary comfort.
Breakfasts are served every day in the spacious dining room, and are prepared using only organic products. Guests can choose from the buffet breakfast a selection of organic fruits and yoghurts, cereals and pastries, or hot breakfasts including full Irish breakfast, omelettes and eggs benedict.
Grafton Street and Temple Bar are just a 5-minute walk away, and O’Connell Street is 10 minutes away on foot. Aviva Stadium, O2 Arena, RDS, Dublin Convention Centre, IFSC, Grand Canal Theater are all within 5 minutes’ drive of the property.
Croke Park Stadium is 10 minutes away by car. The Air Coach and Dublin’s city tour bus stops are 2 minutes away on foot. The closest LUAS station is Stephens Green and Connolly Train Station is 5 minutes away by car.
Half day private guided walking tour of Dublin
Enjoy a guided walking tour through Dublin’s colorful center including Temple Bar with its lively pubs and picturesque streets. Arrive to the old Jameson distillery then for your first whiskey experience of the tour. The fine whiskeys of Jameson were made here for over 200 years before moving premises to Middleton in Cork in the 70’s. For decades, the Dublin distillery remained abandoned until finally being revamped and turned into a distillery museum with tasting rooms. The visit is stellar, very educational and detailed and you will have tasting
Private driver guide at disposal for the day
After a splendid, filling Irish breakfast hit the road and head west to the heart of Ireland, to the neighboring counties of Westmeath and Offaly. Today you will visit two important Irish distilleries. First up is the delightful 18th century Kilbeggan Distillery experience, located in the tiny hamlet of Kilbeggan in a picturesque setting overlooking the river Brosna. Founded in the 1750’s, this is one of the oldest distilleries in the island. It closed in the 1950’s but is now reopened and both distilling and maturing fine whiskies. In fact, its claim to fame is that it is the oldest continually licensed distillery anywhere in the world. You will visit the museum and working distillery and admire their still/functioning water wheel dating to the 1800’s and check out their ancient pot still (thought to be the oldest working whiskey pot still in existence).
Conclude the tour, naturally, with a tasting! Taste Kilbeggan Irish Whiskey and a connoisseurs sampler of the Cooley range.
Carry on the Tullamore Dew Heritage Centre, situated in the historic D.E. Williams Tullamore Distillery dating back to the 1800’s. The location for both of these distilleries was selected as the Irish midlands were ideal for whiskey distillation (the waterways provide ample fresh water throughout the year; you find turf in abundance, and this was used for fuel; and the micro climate was perfect for the cultivation of barley). Apart from whiskey, the Tullamore company updated an ancient Irish recipe for heather wine and coined it “Irish Mist” which boosted sales. After a tour, get cozy over your whiskey tasting including goodies like the Ten Year Old Tullamore blend or the Ten Year Old Single Malt. Sláinte Mhaith! In the afternoon, head back to Dublin.
the way, drive through colorful Dalkey and Sandycove, two of Dublin’s prettiest neighborhoods. See Dalkey castle and enjoy a stroll on the pretty main street. Your driver will drop you off at your hotel in the early evening and the rest of the day is yours.
Day 7: Bushmill for 1 night
Private driver guide at disposal
From Dublin, drive north today.
Drive first to Riverstown, which is about half way to Belfast and tucked away in the scenic Cooley Mountains.
Arrive to the Colley Distillery, Ireland’s only independent distillery, founded in the late 80’s. They invested in the creation of this distillery, the renovation of the Kilbeggan distillery and they breathed new life into Irish whiskey brands like Tyrconnell and Millar’s Blended Irish Whiskey. Cooley make a wide range of high end whiskies that include these as well as Connemara Peated Single Malt, Greenore Irish Single Grain, Inishowen, Locke’s Premium Blended Irish whiskey, and Kilbeggan. Visit the facilities with the onsite whiskey master and enjoy an informal tasting.
Stop in Belfast, in Northern Ireland.
Pop into the Victorian Crown Liquor Saloon and stroll through the Cathedral and Queen’s quarters.
Bushmills awaits now, and you will drive northwest into beautiful Country Antrim. Not all whiskey makers can say they have 400 years of history, but Bushmills can and it is indeed the oldest distillery in the world – founded in 1608. British King James I granted Sir Thomas Phillips a “royal license” to distil uisce beatha (the water of life the monks had been distilling non commercially). In the 1880’s the distillery actually burned down to the ground but was rebuilt and got back to distilling quickly. During WWII, distilling stopped but the property kept working as it became a lodge for the American and Allied Forces. Have a tasting. Today Bushmills offers well organized tours and tastings which you will get to enjoy. On a connoisseurs tour, explore the facilities and finish with a tasting of some of their flagship whiskies like Black Bush and 16 year old Malt. Tonight you will sleep in a darling inn (which is actually a coaching inn dating to the early 1600’s) with cozy wood beamed ceilings and sumptuous bathtubs .
1 double superior breakfast & taxes included at Hotel Bayview***
Overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, this hotel is situated in the heart of the picturesque harbour-village of Portballintrae, one mile (1 miles) from Bushmills.
Opened in 2001, the hotel with private car park is close to the Giant’s Causeway and Old Bushmills Distillery. Ideal for escaping the stresses of everyday life, the hotel’s surroundings offer many opportunities for natural and cultural excursions and activities.
The hotel has good conference facilities, and Porthole Restaurant and Bar offers a pleasant space in which to enjoy a meal and drinks. An ideal destination for conferencing, golfing, business or leisure, the hotel and staff aim to cater to your requirements.
Day 8: Dublin for 1 night
Private driver guide at disposal
Before driving down to Dublin today, no tour of the north would be complete without a visit to the spectacular “Giant’s Causeway”, a Unesco protected geological wonderland on the coast, close to Bushmills. Created by a volcanic eruption millennia ago, the Giant’s Causeway is composed of thousands of basalt columns (solidified lava) of different heights, interlocking (hence the name “steps”) jutting out into the sea. It’s an astounding site which will take your breath away. Enjoy some free time here this morning to explore on your own, don’t forget the camera”! On the way back to Dublin, you can also visit the evocative Dunluce castle whose ruins perch over romantic cliffs- another captivating scene and well worth the detour.
1 double sea view room, breakfast & taxes included at Fitzpatricks Castle****
Stay at Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel Killiney in County Dublin and experience the magic of a 4 Star 18th century luxury castle hotel in Dublin, Ireland.
Enjoy the charm and elegance of the south Dublin coast: Killiney, Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey; take a leisurely walk into the quaint, nearby village of Dalkey, with its gourmet restaurants and cosy pubs.
Fitzpatrick Castle Hotel is the epitome of the elegance and charm of the south Dublin coast. It’s the only Irish castle hotel located in the fashionable suburbs of Killiney, Dun Laoghaire and Dalkey, overlooking Dublin Bay. The castleis only 9 miles/20 minutes from downtown Dublin.
Take a taxi to the airport