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  • Glasgow
  • Oban Harbor
  • Isle of Iona
  • Highland Cattle
  • Whisky Tasting
  • Sheepdog Demonstration
  • A crannog near Kenmore, Scotland
    Prehistoric Crannogs
  • Edinburgh

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Best of Scotland in 13 Days Tour

from $4,295 per person + air

Single Supplement $1,125

See Dates & Prices

On our Best of Scotland tour, along mossy mountains, windswept isles, mysterious lochs, and heathered glens, you'll discover a land and culture that are strongly persistent…and persistently lovable. Starting in underrated Glasgow and ending in royal Edinburgh, you'll wander over the monastic Isle of Iona; explore the rugged Highlands; ponder lochs Ness, Lomond, and Tay; try a wee dram at a whisky distillery; shake paws with a sheepdog; study the fairways at St. Andrews; and time-travel about the castles of Edinburgh, Stirling, and Urquhart. Join us for the Best of Scotland in 13 Days!

Dates & Prices

2022

What's Included

You'll get at least 22 group sightseeing events — at no extra cost!

Here's what you'll see and do on our Best of Scotland tour:

  • Glasgow neighborhood walk
  • Glasgow walking tour
  • Stirling Castle
  • Iona Abbey
  • Glencoe
  • Urquhart Castle
  • Loch Ness cruise
  • Inverness orientation
  • Culloden Battlefield
  • Whisky cooperage
  • Highland estate
  • Sheepdog demonstration
  • Whisky distillery tour and tasting
  • Scottish crannogs
  • Dunkeld Cathedral
  • Bagpipe performance
  • Scottish storytelling evening
  • St. Andrews
  • Georgian Edinburgh orientation
  • Edinburgh's Royal Mile walking tour
  • Edinburgh Castle
  • National Museum of Scotland

Plus you'll get all this, too.

  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Scotland come alive for you
  • All group transportation from Glasgow to Edinburgh
  • 12 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • A tour kit including a guidebook (when available) and a moneybelt
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2022
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer or cancel your tour

Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions for important details regarding everything listed above.

Group sightseeing events subject to change.

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Scotland

We'll meet at 4 p.m. at our hotel in Glasgow for a "Welcome to Scotland" get-together. Then we'll take an orientation walk through our neighborhood and get introduced to Glasgow's metro system, before getting acquainted over dinner together.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. No bus. Sleep in Glasgow.

Day 2: Cosmopolitan Glasgow

Today our local guide will take us on a walking tour of Scotland's often-overlooked largest city. Famous for its architecture, Glasgow boasts Victorian facades, bold new construction, and beloved works by hometown visionary Charles Rennie Mackintosh — who gave Art Nouveau a Scottish burr. Along the way, we'll learn about the city's history and contemporary life, with stops at Glasgow Cathedral, bustling George Square, and thriving Merchant City. This afternoon you're free to explore Glasgow's world-class museums and the leafy parks of the West End. Tonight, find a local pub and enjoy some live music — trad or mod — in Scotland's music capital.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. No bus. Sleep in Glasgow.

Day 3: Stirling Castle

We'll begin our day with a visit to the famous castle of the Stuart kings, Stirling, with its commanding views and royal apartments. After lunch we'll drive along the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond on our way to the scenic coastal town of Oban, the "Gateway to the Isles." After an orientation along Oban's scenic promenades, we'll enjoy dinner together.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Oban.

Day 4: Inspiring Isle of Iona

Today is for Scottish island-hopping: We'll ride a ferry and board a local bus for an entertaining trip across the island of Mull to the windswept Isle of Iona, the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland. We'll visit the 800-year-old abbey where monks created the remarkable Book of Kells — a rare bright spot in Europe's Dark Ages. We'll then set you free to explore or find a spot to meditate on this tiny, spiritually charged island. We'll return to Oban, and our own century, in time for dinner.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 2 hours. Boat: 2 hours. Sleep in Oban.

Day 5: Seaside Oban

Take a vacation from your vacation. Today is yours to hike up to McCaig's Tower for a sweeping harbor view, visit the ruined Dunollie Castle and its museum, take an excursion to Staffa to see the famed puffins, or just sit seaside and watch the sun set over the islands. However you spend your day, Oban is the perfect place to relax and drink in the best of the Scottish seaside.

Light to strenuous walking (your choice). No Bus. Sleep in Oban.

Day 6: Into the Highlands

This morning we'll head north into the rugged Highlands, stopping at the "weeping glen" of Glencoe — the hauntingly beautiful site of Scotland's most infamous massacre (Campbells and MacDonalds, leave your daggers on the bus). We'll continue through fabled scenery, where we will visit the evocative ruins of Urquhart Castle. After exploring its stony towers and expansive lake view, we'll take a panoramic cruise of Loch Ness (monster sightings not guaranteed). Then it's onto the capital of the Highlands, Inverness, where we'll take an orientation walk along the River Ness and share dinner together.

Strenuous walking: 2–8 miles throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs, and uneven terrain. Bus: 3 hours. Boat: ½ hour. Sleep in Inverness.

Day 7: Battle of Culloden

Today we'll tour the powerful Culloden Battlefield — the "Scottish Alamo," where Bonnie Prince Charlie's defeat in 1746 marked the beginning of the end of the Highland clan system. The remainder of the day is yours to explore Inverness' pedestrian-friendly downtown or stroll the lovely parks and promenades along the banks of the River Ness. Tonight is a great opportunity to enjoy some traditional music in one of Inverness' many fun-loving pubs.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 1 hour. Sleep in Inverness.

Day 8: Speyside and the Cairngorms

Today we'll drive through Speyside, famous for producing Scotland's favorite drink: whisky, of course. We'll tour a cooperage to watch master coopers build oak casks and learn about the importance of cask-aging in the flavor of Scotch whisky. After lunch, we'll visit Rothiemurchus, a Highland estate at the heart of Cairngorms National Park with one of the largest areas of natural forest in Britain. With a ranger as our guide, we'll learn of land and animal conservation efforts, including "hairy coos" (shaggy Highland cattle) and red deer.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in a village in the Cairngorms National Park.

Day 9: Sheepdogs and Whisky

We'll begin our day at a working sheep farm, where we'll watch talented sheepdogs in action and learn about Scotland's wool industry. After a quintessential Scottish lunch together, we'll tour a whisky distillery to sample a wee dram and get the inside story on this iconic Scottish industry. This evening, we'll enjoy dinner together and meet a Scottish bagpiper for some music and a lesson on this unusual instrument's history.

Light walking: 2–4 miles throughout the day on mostly level terrain. Bus: 3 hours. Sleep in or near the village of Kenmore.

Day 10: Crannogs and Storytelling

This morning we'll tour a reconstruction of Scotland's unique crannogs — prehistoric, thatched-roofed defensive huts built on piers out over the lochs — and learn about the Iron Age people who first farmed these lands. Then we're off to the picturesque village of Dunkeld on the River Tay, where we'll visit its medieval cathedral before having a free afternoon to find lunch, poke around town, or relax along the river. We'll regroup for dinner together and an evening of traditional Scottish storytelling.

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 2 hours. Sleep in or near the village of Kenmore.

Day 11: St. Andrews

We'll begin today with a visit to St. Andrews, Scotland's oldest university town and a mecca for golfers worldwide. You'll have time to explore the ruins of St. Andrews' medieval cathedral, watch duffers playing the Old Course — considered the birthplace of golf — and enjoy lunch. Then we'll cross the famous Firth of Forth on our way into Edinburgh. After settling into our hotel, we'll take an orientation walk of Georgian Edinburgh, before setting you free for dinner on your own.  

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. Bus: 4 hours. Sleep in Edinburgh.

Day 12: Conquering Edinburgh

Today we'll wind our way through the Gothic streets of Edinburgh's old town, seeing the best of the city on foot. Our walking tour will take us up the Royal Mile — with its wealth of historic buildings, quaint shops, narrow lanes, and hidden courtyards — then onto Grassmarket and Greyfriars Cemetery. This afternoon, visit imposing Edinburgh Castle at your leisure to see the Scottish Crown Jewels and Stone of Scone and to soak up the dramatic views from this military stronghold and birthplace of the city. Tonight, we'll share memories of Scotland and toast new friends at our final dinner together. Slàinte!

Moderate walking: 2–6 miles throughout the day with some hills and stairs. No bus. Sleep in Edinburgh.

Day 13: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. Edinburgh's airport and train station are easy connections from our neighborhood. Glasgow is one hour away by train; London is 90 minutes by air. For those tempted to continue their trip, Edinburgh is a great jumping-off point to Paris, Dublin, Amsterdam, and many other exciting destinations. Turas math dhut! (Happy travels!)

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Physical Demands

Our tours are physically active! It's an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Best of Scotland in 14 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily…

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (possibly several blocks) and up stairways to reach your hotel, then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing, for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.
  5. Walk up steep hills in Edinburgh and at Urquhart Castle.

Reviews

Jerome

Perrysburg, OH

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great diversity of experiences on the tour, with excellent tour guides, great locations to stay, and fun travelers to enjoy the trip with. It was my first Rick Steves' tour, but certainly will not be my last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the beauty of the country, the charm of each of the stops, and the great diversity of experiences. It was fun to go to the sheep farm and experience the dogs bringing in the sheep, and also go to a distillery and learn how Scottish Whisky is produced. I feel like I got a great "flavor" of Scotland, and had the ability to connect with some locals, which was very informative and interesting ... and enjoyable! I also loved the bed and breakfast in Oban!"

Albert

Arvada, CO

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Would recommend this tour to friends. Love the 'ruggedness' of Scotland. Our 2nd visit but did not repeat anything. Nigel was a great guide and our group was awesome too. Made a huge difference relative to some other tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stepping off the plane in Edinburgh."

Nicole

Inver Grove Heights, MN

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour has a great balance of group time and free time. I was worried about all the time on the bus, but we made several stops for breaks (and gift shops) and the landscape was beautiful. Who knew there were so many waterfalls in Scotland? Our guide Nigel was fantastic and Grant, our driver, was excellent. It was a great way to see a lot of Scotland and learn the history and culture. The weather was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Dare I say the Haggis was my WOW moment? The food overall was quite delicious and really fun to try."

Michael

Baltimore, MD

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall the tour was great. Our group was very friendly and we enjoyed being a happy band of travelers with them. The itinerary (see comments at the end of the survey) for the most part was interesting and provided a good understanding of the history and culture of Scotland. We enjoyed meeting Scottish folks and found them to be very friendly and willing to help or just talk about "stuff". Nigel was flawless in his leadership and everything went smoothly. Loved the Whisper Sets - so much easier!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to Loch Ness was spectacular. The weather was absolutely perfect and the Loch was beautiful. Urquhart castle was the best of the ruined castles and exploring it's many twists, turns and towers was one of my highlight moments."

Mary

Sturgeon Bay, WI

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our guide was excellent, the sites were fantastic, great side trips, the historical information excellent. We had great weather also!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not one "wow", it was the overall tour!"

Lincoln

Somersworth, NH

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Thoroughly enjoyed the Bagpiper, Crannog and Sheep Dog experiences. Every turn of the corner was a postcard image, beautiful."

Elizabeth

Overland Park, KS

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Scotland is a beautiful country and the Scots were very friendly and welcoming. I couldn't have wished for a better trip. I was traveling alone but my fellow travelers were friendly and inclusive. My rooms were comfortable and clean. The inn at Dunkeld was particularly charming and the guest house in Oban was lovely. The owner was delightful to talk to. The included meals were varied and delicious. The final dinner at Harvey Nichols was especially good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is very hard to pick just one. There was one breathtaking view after another! Our guide in Edinburgh was fabulous. Sheila is very knowledgeable and exceptionally witty. I learned so much about the city and see details I would never have found on my own. Our visit too Iona was special...so much history in one very small, beautiful place."

Nancy

Black Mountain, NC

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This is my 1st RS tour and I enjoyed it a lot. Everything went smoothly, the group was nice and locations beautiful. Glad there were other single and women travelers. The bus trip was broken up and Grant was a great driver. The trip reminded me a bit of a cruise in that time to experience a location was limited to a shorter period than I would like before we moved on.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick a favorite - I made a new friend from Glasgow while in Inverness,found the grave marker for the clan of my family heritage at Culloden, was surprised to find that Dunkeld was the sister/twin city for Asheville, NC where I live. I enjoyed the sheepdog demo and puppies and seeing hairy coos. Taking the chair lift at Glencoe highlands was fun.I enjoyed the bagpipe demo a great deal more than expected and loved Gillie. Was so happy hiking at the Heritage and seeing the waterfall."

Kenneth

Sturgeon Bay, WI

Tour: 10/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized, diverse, and Nigel was outstanding. Lots of different experiences. Also a very good value. Plenty of room to stretch out on the bus.

Patricia

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful! Every day was full of new experiences and amazing sights. The hotels were all very comfortable, clean, and well-located. Our guide James was very knowledgeable and shared many interesting stories, historic information, and personal insight. He and tour apprentice Diane were excellent. They arranged several amazing surprises for us which included a visit to a cattle auction and a mountain-top whisky toast at Kenmore. Also, we had an especially wonderful group.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were 3 major wow moments for me. Of course, first, the sheep dog demonstration was amazing (even with the intermittent rain drops); second, visiting the Crannog was fascinating; and third, visiting the cattle auction where I took a million photos of hairy coos."

Virginia

Sacramento, CA

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour far exceeded my expectations, which were high to begin with! From the orientation to the last day, the tour was very well handled, even when unforeseen circumstances occurred. Since coming home, I have not stopped thinking about what I learned, the beautiful sites, my wonderful tour companions, the fun, and the thoughtful and expert guidance that James provided. Not to mention the added bonus of having Diane along as our Tour Apprentice. She was so helpful and a true delight.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments were everywhere in Scotland! It is impossible for me to pick just one. From arriving in Edinburgh with it's beautiful grand castles and cathedrals, to getting up close and personal with the "Heddy Coos", to the awe inspiring island of Ione, to Stirling Castle. . . But with all that, the most beautiful and amazing view of the lands as we traveled provided WOW moments every day,"

Bruce

New Glasgow, NS

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As usual a very insightful and fun filled "journey". Just not a "tour". A "experience"

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Traveling up the ski lift chairs in Glencoe, to the top of the mountain and having a toast with some whisky. Incredible views."

Frank

Peterborough, NH

Tour: 10/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall wonderful tour covering both city and countryside. Scottish Highlands positively beautiful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Has to be the visit to the sheep farm...still in awe of the border collies used to round up the sheep. Neal, the farm owner, was incredible with his ability to train and dispatch the dogs to herd the flock...all with unique whistles."

Lew

Gainesville, FL

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Charlie,our tour guide, was fantastic. Always available and made sure that everything went well. Very warm and enthusiastic. Whatever you are paying her, you are getting your monies worth.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting a wealthy mans home from the 1600's gave me real insite to how people lived then and how difficult life was. Visiting the sheep farm and watching the sheep herder show off his dogs by running them thru their paces was awesome. I enjoyed listening to his political views especially about Brexit."

Jacklyn

Mystic, CT

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

This was our first structured tour and having Charlie and the speciality guides was a wonderful asset.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"1) National Museum of Scotland 2)Seeing the country side particularly the ride through Glencoe Valley"

Susan

Southborough, MA

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour of the highlights of Scotland . I saw so much more and learned so much from our guides. The culture, politics, food and drink of the area came alive along with the history! There was a great mixture of tour time with the group and independent time to explore on my own. Our group of travelers was fantastic; everyone was on time and friendly and respectful. The activities were wonderful and meals together were great. Charlie our leader was top notch.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Glencoe after a few days of rain when the water falls were overflowing and the mountains emerging from the fog! It was magical seeing Gllencoe's beauty in the mist. A close second wow was seeing Neil the shepherd and his dogs herding sheep and getting to hold a border collie puppy. And of course seeing all the castles was amazing- Edinburgh, St. Andrews, Urquhart, Stirling and Brodie."

Richard

Denver, CO

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very well organized and informative. Most enjoyable except for some difficult showers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Scottish Highlands and learning some of the history."

Patricia

Cumming, GA

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

it was a great way to learn about Scotland and its people. However, it was too short.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was the guided tour of Old Edininburg where we saw the window overlooking the cemetery and school where JK Rowling was inspired to write Harry Potter. Also, Victoria Street which served as Diagon Alley."

Mary

Pittsfield, MA

Tour: 10/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An excellent overview of Scotland. Our guide Charlie was energetic, positive, and made sure we all had a good experience. The balance of organized touring vs. free time was good. The tour left me wanting to go back to spend more time in my favorite places.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Difficult to choose, as usual with Rick Steves tours, but I especially liked the crannog visit, the sheep dog demonstration and the trip to Mull and Iona. I might never not have gotten to these if traveling on my own."

Sandra

Kennett Square, PA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

delightful, interesting, beautiful,fun!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"castle sights"

Pam

Lincoln, NE

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Simply amazing. The weather was better than expected and Nigel was an excellent guide. Grant was very interesting to talk with and a wonderful bus driver. I am not very adventuresome so it was great to have the mix of guided and unguided time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I think I would have to say the visit with Neil. I had a border collie that was like a hired hand when I was first married but to see these dogs work the sheep was simply amazing. The whistles were so soft and negligibly different and yet the dogs did just as expected."

Steve

Tigard, OR

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

We previously did one of your Ireland tours. The one thing that I missed in Scotland was visiting the small villages with time to interact with the locals. We had more free time in places where the locals were playing music or we could just stroll the town for shopping and eating. For instance, the hotel in Kenmore is isolated and there isn't a real village within walking distance as far as I know. Other places we visited didn't allow us enough time to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was probably the Royal Mile guided tour. The guide was entertaining and witty. It would have been nice to see one of the old coal mining towns to see how people lived in the 19th and 20th century. Those times are the reasons that many of us have ancestors from Scotland."

Lisa

Medford, MA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 4th RS tour and I literally cannot fathom using any other tour company. I love the balance of tour group time and independent time. I always leave tired, but it's the best kind of tired, having gained new friends, knowledge about history and culture of a place I've only read about--I'm always in awe when I travel and it's a surreal experience for me to experience things and see places I've read about/seen pictures of. Rick Steves Tours knocked it out of the park again!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite moment was the sheep dog demonstration at Leault Farm w/ the shepherd, Neil. It was utterly amazing to see those dogs (who each have their own command whistles/calls) work. And even the younger pups were ready to work! Amazing to see. And I got to shear a sheep! I love animals and have always been intrigued w/ farm life, so I just loved this. We also got to see and pet 37 day old puppies and future herders!"

Nancy

Newtown Square, PA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Well organized, wonderful guide, friendly and kind coach driver(s), wonderful meals, comfortable accommodations, diverse and friendly group of fellow travelers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is a tie between the whistling sheep dog demonstration and a most lovely scone."

Toni

Poway, CA

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a trip for our 45th anniversary and we couldn't have been happier with our decision to go with the Rick Steves 10 Days of Scotland tour. It was our first tour with Rick Steves and every part of it came off without a hitch! We felt we really gained an understanding of the Scottish culture, history and enjoyed the absolutely stunning scenery. Our group was a wonderful group to travel with, everyone was so polite and interesting. We highly recommend this tour to anyone.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting the Crannogs and the sheep dog herding demonstration were my favorite....both so authentic. Wonderful informative experiences. But the most exciting was learning I was related by name to a castle we toured!"

Holland

Frisco, TX

Tour: 09/30/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour experience was amazing! Nigel the guide was superb! We had so many experiences that do it yourself planners would either not have known about, or didn't have access to.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The landscape and scenery was my wow moment! Who would have thought there would be so many waterfalls in Scotland!"

Joseph

Plainfield, CT

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed visiting Scotland. It is a beautiful country full of surprises. I was a bit disappointed when I saw that there were 28 people on this tour. One of the reasons I chose Rick Steves Tours is the lower group numbers of about 24.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many "wow" moments, but, I would have to say that Glencoe was the "wowest!" Just so beautiful...."

Mary

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We thoroughly enjoyed our Scotland tour. The stops were beautiful with interesting sites to see. The Scottish people were kind, generous and extremely friendly. But most of all we were particularly happy with our guide, James. His unique knowledge and understanding of the Scottish history and its people was outstanding. He was kind, funny, but most important extremely knowledgable and had the ability to impart facts of history, religion, culture and Scottish lore in an interesting manner

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The scenery of the highlands."

Ralph

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have been on a number of Rick Steeves' tours and James, our guide made the trip for me. He is the best guide that I have encountered on Rick Steeves' tours and is one of the best on other tours that I have down in the past. His professionalism, candor and wit made the tour an excellent experience. He made Scotland!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually, I don't have a "wow" moment as the whole tour was a wow moment for me."

Rick

Spartanburg, SC

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour, but will not be the last. We received a lot more knowledge on the trip and got to see more things than if we would have done the trip by ourselves (and took twice the amount of time).

Annette

Tigard, OR

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent tour that exposed us to the Scottish landscape, people and history in the way that most tourists would not experience on their own or in a published tour guide book.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views of Loch Ness from the Urquhart Castle were absolutely breathtaking."

Paul

Fort Worth, TX

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

James and the other guides were wonderful. They provided great insight, and kept things running smoothly.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sheep dog demonstration. How can anything else compete against puppies? Castles were pretty. Hotel near Dunkeld was very pretty."

Corey

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/25/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have taken 12 Rick Steves Tours in the past and the Scotland Tour was by far one of our greatest!!! We couldn't of asked for a better guide than James. His expertise and love for his country helped to excide our expectations. Scotland was an amazing country and we loved it all!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Edinburgh!!!"

Deborrah

North Chesterfield, VA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First of all, I just loved Scotland. Being able to experience the country and have everything so organized and easy was great. And secondly, our tour guide, was just absolutely fabulous. She imparted so much history and information and was so upbeat and fun. I had a wonderful first experience with Rick Steve's Tours!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheep farm and herding."

Laurel

Saukville, WI

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Beat way to experience Scotland. The trip was a good sampling of the land and the culture.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sunset in Oban was remarkable and I enjoyed the time in Iona. The isle of Mull was a quick drive thru but I would love to go back to investigate more."

Richard

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Very well organized and scheduled. Enjoyed the sites, getting the history and culture explained to me. Also loved feeling like I could immerse myself in Scotland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were two: 1. Arriving at Urquhart Castle by boat on Loch Ness 2. Final Dinner at Four at Harvey Nichols Edinburgh and catching sunset views of the entire Edinbugh skyline."

Abigail

Mentor, OH

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was phenomenal.I can't get over the sheer number of things we got to experience in 10 days, and I returned from the trip feeling invigorated rather than exhausted. I'm not sure how that happened, but I chalk it up to the amazing skills, knowledge and support of Liz. This trip was the perfect blend of gorgeous sites and amazing experiences. Liz was a wealth of knowledge on history but also pop culture, music, and contemporary politics which really helped me experience Scotland fully.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment came on an unexpected day. Traveling from Edinburgh to Kenmore, Liz began to incorporate music into our travels. Music is such a strong memory trigger for me and to hear The Proclaimers, KT Tunstall, and Paolo Nutini who I love as well as new musicians like Amy MacDonald, Dougie Maclean, Schiehallion was really powerful for me. Then to arrive in Kenmore and stand on the shore of Loch Tay in the silence and the mist-It was so peaceful and moving--the music, travel, scenery. Perfect"

Patrick

Dover, NH

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From beginning to end this tour was the best. The tireless efforts of our tour guide Liz made this tour a moment to prize forever.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our tour guide Liz was my favorite "wow" moment for this tour. From our hustory lessons, wonderful gaelic, and modern Scotish music while on the bus, to our wanderings around the beautiful countryside of Scotland, Liz was there for us enriching our experience and helping us experience the rich history of Scotland."

Raymond

North Chesterfield, VA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really didn't know much about Scotland and now I know a lot! I enjoyed the history and learning about modern Scotland, the people and their culture. The scenery was breathtaking and I also enjoyed the people on the tour. We had some fun times!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheep dog experience."

Lorna

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

this was our second RS tour, and our expectations were met. it was interesting, educational, full of new experiences and most of all fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"each day had new things that were great, picking one is not so easy."

Mary

Vincennes, IN

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed every minute of it. Scotland is so varied, and I learned a great deal of history throughout the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing Ossian's Cave at the falls in The Hermitage. And those huge trees! And the rushing river! Marvelous."

Penny

Hoover, AL

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well organized and proper balance was achieved between walking tours, rest periods and bus travel. We had great fun with a group of interesting people from all over the US. We learned a lot about the people and places of the past by walking in their footsteps and connecting with their stories.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was our visit to the Isle of Iona. I could hardly believe I was standing in that place where so much of civilization itself was preserved."

Eric

San Francisco, CA

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour experience was quite good. We were very lucky with weather, for the most part, which helped a lot.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having a chance to learn to play the bagpipes."

Lorraine

Chestertown, NY

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The tour provided a very good overview of Scotland. I appreciated that the schedule booked us 2 nights per stop, so it didn't feel like I was constantly packing & unpacking. Our accommodations were comfortable throughout the trip and I enjoyed the goodies we shared back on the bus. Liz was a personable and helpful guide with a lot of good stories and provided entertainment on the bus rides between stops.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wandering around both Iona and Culloden. Both sites were "haunted" and lent a sense of both history & spirituality."

Helen

Staten Island, NY

Tour: 09/23/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Great experience. We saw a lot of Scotland in 10 days. Great planning to pack in all of that. We were very busy and we all formed a very cohesive bond with each other.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Last dinner--fabulous restaurant!"

Joey

Marble Falls, TX

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Informative , educational , interactive. Exceeded any expectations that I brought.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My telling the group at introduction that our surname was Campbell & having Helen saying there would be a lot to talk about on that topic. She followed through throughout the tour."

Lisa

Auburn, CA

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was very well-organized and every day was a delight. The pace was perfect in terms of the number of activities each day. Scotland is such a beautiful country; I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of the topography and the towns and villages we visited. Our guide, Helen, was delightful and very knowledgeable about each site we visited as well as the country's history. It was nice to have a few hours of free time each day to explore.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't pick out one thing because we did so many wonderful, different things. The crannogs, talks about the peoples' way of life and their ingenuity during that time (B.C.) was fascinating; the town Oban on the coast was beautiful; the sheepdog demonstration (and puppies to hold) was a delight (as well as having the opportunity sheer a sheep)! The castles were astounding, the stop at Culloden and trip to Iona very touching ...the delightful inns, the history..."

Dolph

Brooks, GA

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour gave me a terrific overview of Scotland. Our guide Helen was as good as a guide could be. Her knowledge of all things Scottish from food to music to history made the trip. It was a very friendly group in which to travel including our bus driver. Overall a great vacation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two moments stand out for me. The sheepdogs and their Shepard and the vistas of Glencoe."

Mary

Shady Cove, OR

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved, loved, loved Scotland. Just stop using the last morning as a "day".

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hike in the Hermitage forest. The sheep farm sheep dog demonstration."

Kristen

Concord, CA

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 6th tour. The group and guide were outstanding. I was concerned about 28 people, with people having to double up on the bus, but everyone was open and welcoming. The experiences were so varied, with lots of things we would never have found on our own, like the Crannog in Kenmore. Our guide was illuminating at the right times so we got the full appreciation. She is a Scot who loves her country and sharing it... as well as sharing the other folks we met like Gilly the bagpiper.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Culloden. I was overwhelmed with emotion, unexpectedly and to the point of tears. I had read up on it, and understood at a scholarly distance... but the video and the place blew me away. Glencoe was the next ultimate, emotionally. The Crannog experience was wonderful and unusual. It created a foundation for lots of later learning. Loved it."

Karen

Jacksonville, FL

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Enjoyable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Iona, Oban, Glencoe"

Peggy

Brooks, GA

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The trip was great! Our guide, Helen, couldn't have been nicer, funnier, full of fun and laughter, and quite knowledgeable. There are always spots you'd like a little more time, and others less but that's all a matter of personal preference.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Didn't really have one this time."

Carol

Mahwah, NJ

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Not surprisingly, the people on the tour were comparable and friendly. Our guide Helen was superb; she had such a deep knowledge of the history and culture. The tour itself covered so many sites, some special ones off the beaten track like the crannog visit. I felt it was just the right combination of bus rides and walking, group time and time on our own. The country is beautiful, very clean, and the food was terrific (haggis- well that's a personal choice!)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many... one moment was the realization that the ancient people were not primitive at all, but were very highly skilled. Also, shepherding with Neil- seeing a14 week old border collie successfully manage the herd was amazing!"

Anna

White Salmon, WA

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found Scotland to be full of surprises. And, Helen helped us to see the extensive beauty of the place she calls home. Good group of people. The tour was just busy enough - though, as usual, I want a little more time for independent touring. You can't have it all!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lots of Wow moments: Ghillie the piper was amazing, as a musician, a speaker, and as a lovely human being with lots of humor. The highlands were unexpectedly rugged and beautiful. Iona was more than mystical - we wanted to stay and just breathe it in. The gardens (Culross and Cawdor Castle) were exceptional places to wander and explore. And, the Crannog center was an educational treat."

Gretchen

Alliance, OH

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour, great people!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the whole tour, hard to pick a wow moment. Loved seeing the sheep herding and of couse the hairey coos! I think learning about the Crannogs was interesting, I had never heard of them before."

Reuben

Oxford, MI

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my 6th tour. I've found that most of the people that sign up have the same positive reaction to the learn something, be active, and no grumps philosophy. The influence of Scotland on the world was well presented. Urquart castle was a fascinating trip to that era.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The crannog exhibit gave me a chance to see, touch, and actually USE some prehistoric items. I did a bit of college archaeology and was stunned at the level of data collection."

Nancy

Oxford, MI

Tour: 09/21/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tours (6 counting this one) attract very enjoyable companions. We have made several long term friendships. The learn, be active, and no grumps philosophy works, for me.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Since I'm a gardener, amazed to find many of the same perennials in Scotland that we have in Michigan, except they're so much bigger in Scotland. Garden in Culross circa 1700 was fascinating that they're recreating it. Cawdor castle garden was spectacular."

Carol

Hilton Head Island, SC

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent itinerary Beautiful country Outstanding tour director and other presenters Good food Wonderful travel companions Good pace Appreciate ease of travel, no waiting in line Great sense of humor Strong presentations of history, culture, values

Favorite "WOW" moment

"tour of Edinburgh our city guide was topknotch"

Ardith

Golden, CO

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I thought the size of the group was good since we had the whispers to hear the guides plus the size allowed for plenty of room on the bus. I enjoyed the variety of activities from castles to dogs to bagpipes to boat rides. All the guides were enthusiastic as well as knowledgeable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My step brother ia a Brodie so seeing the Brodie Castle was the highlight of the tour. Anne was so helpful at arranging the details"

James

Hilton Head Island, SC

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For my iterests this was a very well constructed tour. Great balance of urban and rural events and experiences. I came away feeling I got an accurate look at Scottish people, culture and geography. Meals were much better than on previous tours to Bulgaria and the Dalmatian Coast. Good selection of 3 star hotels and B and B,s with more than adequate breakfasts. Broken elevator in Brooks Hotel a minor inconvenience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sheep dog demonstration and Gilly's after dinner bag pipe presentation and stories."

Kathleen

Fairfield, CA

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first "tour" of any kind (I'm 80 ). We did some "on our own" exploring 6 days before and 5 days after. Everything about the itinerary was wonderful. I loved the variety of sites we visited, the food, and mostly the locals we met and interacted with. This was much more walking than I expected (though warned) so was tired at the end of each day. Especially challenging was the time in Edinburgh at the beginning 2 days. But, everyone was patient with us who needed to catch up.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheep dog demonstration and the Kenmore stops were my favorites."

Michael

Oak Harbor, WA

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour guide and driver. Anne seemed to go out of her way to keep us informed. Her enthusiasm was contagious. The tour seemed to offer a very good overview of what Scotland has to offer. A good bit of history was well presented and the stops informative and entertaining, especially the Dewar's distillery and St. Andrews but I do have a bias toward Scotch and golf. Food was excellent. The hotel in Edinburgh was nice but would have been better with a working elevator.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Our guide and her efforts to make us feel at home in Scotland."

Wallace

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Overall, the trip was fascinating. It gave me a clearer sense of Scotland as an individual place with an individual identity, not just part of the UK.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My absolute favorite was visiting Neil Ross's sheepdog herding demonstration on his farm. Those dogs were absolutely amazing, as was Neil's ability to direct each of ten or so dogs individually, using only whistling. And getting to play with the puppies afterward was icing on the cake."

Timothy

Cupertino, CA

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour guide Anne is an outstanding host. She is a proud citizen of Scotland and having grown up there., she was able to give us much local insight as well as long-running history. Transportation Nice, big bus. Our driver, Keith, was skilled, our Isle of Mull driver shared a lot of good info. The mainland bus had malfunctions two times but we stayed on schedule with replacements thanks to Anne and Keith's efforts. Scotland is a beautiful place with a storied history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to find just one moment but I do remember being moved by the way the Neil Ross could get his dogs to herd the sheep. The atmospheric conditions on Loch Ness were mystical in the early morning with the still water and layers of low clouds and fog. Good thing I had my camera even if the legendary monster was a no show."

Helen

Oak Harbor, WA

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great!!! Thanks to Anne whose main concern was that we had a great "Scottish experience". And we did.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"For me it was the visit to the border collie training sheep farm. And- the Piper!!!!!"

Karen

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

The actual tour was outstanding. Ann, our tour guide, was very, very knowledgeable about Scotland, the culture, the sights, and the history. She has a pleasant and outgoing personality. Ann was very responsive to everyone's well being, and really made the trip very meaningful. Ann is a very caring person. Keith, the bus driver, was awesome. He is obviously an experienced, careful, and safe driver. The buses were problematic, and we had to switch to another bus twice.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Isle of Iona trip - Days 7 & 8 - were wow days. The history on the island is amazing. The mixture of traveling via bus and ferry was so interesting, especially driving when we drove on a one lane road to Iona. We were able to see the countryside, and we also were able to see a small herd of Harry Coo cattle. So much fun!"

James

Colorado Springs, CO

Tour: 09/18/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

It was an education with non stop surprises along the way. Our tour guide Anne was excellent. I intend to continue touring with your company because of my experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"These occurred every day. The country side, cities, people, bus and boat transport, and tour sites opened doors to the world."

Michael

Federal Way, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I generally don't like tours, and prefer to venture out together with my wife and travel just the two of us "incognito" after a bit of pre-trip planning. This way we get a better feel for the places we see. This was my first Rick Steves tour, and it broke the mold from previous tour experiences in a very positive way. Our time was not monopolized by too many pre-planned activities. The group was small, convivial, and blended well with the locals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Learning how hard it was to play bagpipes!"

Amber

Wheat Ridge, CO

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

What a crazy adventure. It was my 1st time to do a tour, and oh my! We had the best tour guide, Charlie! Spoiled us rotten and I fear she has sat the bar high for the other guides in the future. Scotland was amazing; the weather was amazing, and we are so grateful for the experience to see the many sites, have the VIP service, and meet so many amazing friends!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite "wow" moment was probably the day to Iona. I might have consumed too much whiskey with some friends from the group and a gang of locals at the pup the night before, so the day was going to be a bit shaky. Nonetheless, we boarded the ferry that morning and the weather was the worst we had experienced all week. It was cold, windy, and raining and we thought the day would be cut short from the wind. But just like the magic of this group, the sun came out and it was a gorgeous day in Iona!"

Carol

Longmont, CO

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steve's tour. I've used other companies and really enjoyed this one. There were no hidden surprises. The accommodations were great as was the bus. Our meals together were very fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The whole trip was WOW!"

Mary

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful tour. We were blessed with exceptional weather, which made Scotland shine at its very best. So much history, so many wonderful sights. Well organized and we felt taken care of, yet empowered to do outings on our own. Many days we had over 20,000 steps, so you do need to be prepared for that. Busy days!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The isle of Iona was spectacular. The veil is definitely "thin" there as the saying goes. We loved our time to wander the island on our own. Another hour or two there would have been welcome."

Mary

Issaquah, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Love the level of activities.

Lori

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour and it was an amazing adventure! Our guide and her assistant were so knowledgeable, kind and fun. We had a wide variety of experiences, learned a lot about the history of the country and really enjoyed getting to know our fellow travelers. One thing to keep in mind, there is a LOT of walking on this tour. I ate a lot of good food, including desserts, during the 10 days and I still came home 5 lbs lighter!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many things to choose from - I can't just name one. Loved the Crannog living museum, Stirling Castle (could spend a whole day there) and meeting so many friendly people in the pubs at night."

Kristy

Rochester, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful group of people. Our tour guide was caring, knowledable and so fun. Our driver was excellent. The whole experience was really fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Having coffee early in the morning in Kenmore listening to the church bell mark the hour. It was my Scotland moment."

Brad

Lynnwood, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was excellent. Perfect mix of scheduled events with enough free time to explore on our own. The itinerary was well-planned, and included some amazing places we would never have found or scheduled on our own. Highly recommended.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several such moments. All of them are favorites. The time spent watching the sheepdogs work was amazing. We saw a fantastic local band in Inverness that I still can't believe. We toured a re-created Crannog historical center which was extremely interesting. Iona was also spectacular - plus we had unbelievable weather. Mostly the whole trip was a "WOW"!"

Beverly

Tacoma Wa, WA

Tour: 09/16/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Had a great time! Wonderful guide. Saw everything I wanted to. Love that it started in Edinburgh so I could visit Holyrood Palace & the HMY Britannia on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the whole trip ??"

Taryn

Coon Rapids, MN

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceptional! I expect no less from Rick Steve's tour, this was #8 for me, and not the last. Martin gave us a plethora of wonderful memories. He is like a walking encyclopedia. I love the history, and all the information/background on what we were seeing. I want a vacation where I am learning. Since I am still working full time, it is very important to use my limited vacation days on something so special and rewarding. Resting is for home, Travel is vacation!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's impossible to choose. I enjoyed everything we did, everything we saw. Scotland is a beautiful county, with kind, friendly people. A local stopped us while we were studying a map, and asked if she could help us. The scenery is spectacular, we saw it all, the ocean, the Highlands, forests, waterfalls, valley's and glens, Edinburgh, small towns. We saw Hairy cows, sheep dogs, bagpipes, crannogs, castles, cathedrals, ruins, but no Nessy."

Geraldine

Bend, OR

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a great tour. Lots of laughter. So many interesting places to see and learn about. This tour ranks as one of our favorites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Scottish countryside and learning how difficult playing the bagpipes are."

Philip

Orleans, MA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All was thoroughly enjoyable. Nothing disappointed, and some things were pleasant surprises. I appreciated Rick's apparent positive relationship with the weather gods and how little precipitation we experienced. The variety of experiences and places visited added an unexpected breadth to our experience. Typical of RSTs, I found tour stops where I wished more time was allotted, but I do understand the nature of these tours and appreciate the pacing.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The personal interactions stand out for me. 1) I enjoyed Martin tremendously. 2) I enjoyed getting to know many of my travel mates as well. 3) The morning spent on the sheep farm with the Neil and his dogs felt like a candid glimpse of his rural life and love for his work 4) Sharing a ferry ride from Mull to Oban with the Britmyre Rugby Club and getting to talk to the boys was a hoot 5) Talking with singer/entertainer Gary Coogan after his gig in the pub in Inverness made a cultural tie."

Lea

Bend, OR

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I thoroughly enjoyed the tour of Scotland. Martin, and bus driver David, were a great team and worked well with our group. Martin was very helpful with questions of any sort, patient, and put the concerns of the group first. All travelers were friendly and on time.It was a great experience to see Edinburgh plus the towns and villages of Scotland. The weather was on our side many days and we experienced the beauty of Glencoe, Loch Ness, Oban and Iona in the sunshine!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the sunsets in Oban, Neil Ross and the border collies, and the evening of music in the crannog. The ending of the video at Urquhart Castle definitely caused chills."

Sandra

Oakdale, MN

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have not traveled overseas for almost 50 years. This was a very memorable trip for me. Our guide, Martin was wonderful. He gave us history and background on things we were going to see or do. I loved Brian's tour of Edinburgh. A lot of info to take it, but all of it very interesting. The bus driver on the Isle of Mull was fun too. Had a great time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the Crannog. We walked over at night and sat by the fire, listened to music and a story teller. Martin even picked up the guitar. Then came back the following day for the history of the Crannog itself. Loved the food and the restaurants, and the quirky hotels. Can't choose one thing."

Nancy

Bakersfield, CA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Beautiful country, nice mix of locations to visit, historical perspective of Scotland was well-covered and, for me, very thorough, friendly people at hotels and restaurants, fun, professional bus driver,

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How about moments...I loved Inverness, but I have to say our views of the bay in Oban took our breath away. The day before our tour began I spent the day at the National Museum of Scotland...amazing! The sheep dogs and shepherd were a unique experience. Loved the Glenmor valley, drives through the countryside with dialogue about terrain."

Rebecca

Bremerton, WA

Tour: 09/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steve's tour, and we were very impressed! A great value for the money, and we ended up doing many things that we never would have attempted "on our own". We are recommending your company to everyone we talk to!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The evening at the crannog, with the storyteller and music, was absolutely magical! It will be a lifetime treasured memory for me!"

Richard

Waunakee, WI

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Scotland is a beautiful country with more small mountains and lovely rivers than I anticipated. Edinburgh was beautiful with so much to see. Could have used additional day here. I'm a golfer, so it was a treat to be able to walk on St. Andrews and get my picture TAKEN ON THE Swilken Bridge. Nigel was very knowledgeable and kept things interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say the sheep dog demonstration and the ride up the ski lift were both WOW moments. I don't believe you get these type of experiences on most tours."

Donna

Sioux Falls, SD

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Start to finish the tour was excellent....places, guides, experiences, Nigel, history, culture. Only one glitch and I'll reserve that for later!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Cranog Museum! What a gem....that no one would see if not on a tour...or using a guidebook. gave a great insight into the people and history of Scotland."

Susan

Waunakee, WI

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Scotland is one of my favorite countries now. Every day was filled with new experiences and opportunities to learn. I do want to mention learning about the Crannogs was so interesting. Traveling through Scotland brought to life Outlander and Harry Potter.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the trained dogs on the working sheep farm. I was amazed by and so admire the relationship between Neil and his dogs, his respect for the land, dogs, and sheep, and that you do your job and I will do mine philosophy he lives by. A lesson to be learned and followd for a better world. Of course snipping some wool and holding a wee pup warmed my heart."

Emily

Pflugerville, TX

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour took us to so many different areas of Scotland, seeing the way people lived and experiencing the history hands on. The geography and beauty of the countryside was breathtaking. From the bustle of Edinburgh to the quaint hunting lodge, and then the moors and the coastal towns, this tour gave a glimpse of this enchanting country. I love the people of Scotland, their kindness and willingness to walk this adventure alongside once strangers now comfortable travel companions.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The bookshop in Inverness, colorful bindings with enticing titles to browse, Collecting sea glass at low tide early in the morning in Oban Downing a smokey whiskey at the top of the lift with sweeping views of the mountains. Sticky toffee pudding, wanting to lick the bowl clean Sunset views back in Edinburgh at the last supper The gardens of the castle in full bloom in full sun! Yes, sun. Nigel narrating quirky and informative stories on the coach as we drove along the byways. So relaxing"

Lonna

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

You know I've done other tours with other company's and I can't help but compare. To date I must say I like OAT the best. The guides are so knowledgable and so personable. I love that.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the trip to Iona. The bus driver Richard was a hoot."

Dennis

Brentwood, CA

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

My wife and I enjoyed the opportunity to see this beautiful country. Our group was easy to travel with.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We loved seeing St. Andrews. We had lovely weather to watch the golfers and enjoyed a wonderful lunch there. Having seen this course on TV many times, it was a great experience to be there. The only thing better would've been playing."

Laura

Medford, OR

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed this trip so much! The accommodations were nice and clean, the meals were delicious and the guide, Nigel was awesome! The trips were very well organized and informational (wish I'd paid better attention to tell the truth). I had so much fun trying to keep track of who was who...exchanged numbers with a few at the end of the trip. hope I can make the reunion but not sure as of yet.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Neil Ross and the farm. The sheep/dog demonstration touched my heart....and the puppies! Second favorite was the Crannogs. The employee (Karen I think) was passionate about her job and made it so very interesting. I think I'd like to make a donation to continue this endeavor.... I've never been on a tour before very impressed with organization and content."

Shar

Medford, OR

Tour: 09/11/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was organized from the very beginning. We had complete instructions of the day, the night before so we knew where to be when and where we were going. The time at each location allowed us to see most everything if you didn't dawdle. I think the idea of the whisper machine is great. As long as we could see Nigel we could hear him. This was helpful if we lagged behind on on the more strenuous walks. Nigel, our guide was great and knew his tour fully.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is hard to pick one. The scenery was so green, with the homes, churches and castles was awesome. Being inside buildings 100-1000 years old and imagining the life going on at that time. The crannog, shepherd and dogs, Gilly and the piper demo and talk, Loch Ness (didn't see Nessie), island of Mull and Iona, distillery . All the tour speakers showed they really loved their jobs and that added to the talk."

Alan

Valrico, FL

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Excellent guide and itinerary.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The sheep dog presentation was special. It was windy that day. It would have helped to use the audio devises."

Forrest

Springfield, IL

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Perfect Rick Steves experience. Covered a lot of ground, but not so intense that we were ever overly tired. Plenty of time to unwind and wander on our own. Great group, made some good friends.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I love dogs of all kinds so the working dogs at the sheep farm was a highlight for me. The WOW MOMENT was when the 4 month old puppy jumped right in to the task and did his part perfectly. WOW! Loved it. Also have a strong interest in the history of the monarchy. Several wow experiences at the several castles we visited. Finally, I was thoroughly wowed by the Scottish National Portrait Gallery (portraits of royals on the third floor) which was no on the tour, but during free time."

Barbara

Steamboat Springs, CO

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour lived up to expectations. There were a few glitches and surprises (ex. filming of Fast and Furious in Edinburgh) that kept our guide on his toes. Everyone went with the flow and James did a great job of making a silk purse out of a sows ear. He took us places that even he had not been to and it turned out to be some of the more memorable moments of the trip. Even if we missed something (like the Loch Ness cruise), James creatively remedied the situation. Great time!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The view out over the harbor from the hotel in Oban was magical."

Nancee

Newtown, OH

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I got to experience so many different aspects of life in Scotland that were varied and so interesting. James made the trip very special and his flexibility to deal with the challenges that pop up during a tour were phenomenal.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's a tie between the Munlochy Clootie well and the sheep herding dogs. The clootie well was totally unexpected and a last minute choice due to weather issues cancelling our regular plans. I think it was meant to be. Very spiritual, bizarre, ancient and modern - all in one. Our time there was special. The dogs and puppies were too cute and totally impressive... WOW...."

Laurel

Steamboat Springs, CO

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really enjoyed this Scotland Tour. There was so much variety in the places we visited, and James contributed all kinds of interesting information. He shared his music with us which I thought was very special. Learning about Scotland's history and following political events was most intriguing but also concerning. Our tour group couldn't have been better. Everyone was so upbeat during the entire trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sterling Castle was the best part of the tour. I had read extensively about Scotland's history, and to be in the place where so many significant events happened was really exciting."

Michael

Rio Verde, AZ

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

excellent guide..........beautiful places and nice buses/drivers.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"not sure............too many!"

Robert

Steamboat Springs, CO

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

`Great knowledge guide with a sense of humor !!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching sheep hoarding dogs."

Gayle

Valrico, FL

Tour: 09/09/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Scotland was a beautiful country. James, our tour guide was excellent. He was from Scotland, lived there all his life and was very knowledgable on the culture and history. We were also lucky to have a good group of people and felt very comfortable. Everyone shared their prior experiences on other countries visited. This is our fourth Rick Steves' tour and every one was as good as the last one. Itinerary was spot on!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite "wow" moment, was St Andrews. My husband and I live in a golf community and were excited to visit that area. The course(s) were breathtaking and the town quaint and great to explore."

Debbi

Coupeville, WA

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Scotland tour was an exceptional experience in every way! Our group of 25 travelers jelled quickly allowing for positive and supportive connections. The tour was well paced with a nice mix of organized experiences and opportunities to independently explore. Julia, our tour guide inspired curiosity and engagement with her extensive knowledge of Scotland. Her ability to personalize the history and culture made my experience real.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have several: 1) I was overwhelmed with the stark beauty of the Glencoe Valley. This I was not expecting! I felt connected to this place. Maybe my McDonald roots were speaking to me! 2) The bagpipe "demonstration" by Gilly. I loved her passion for her art and now have a new appreciation for the "pipes"."

Terry

Coupeville, WA

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my second Rick Steves tour and I thought the first one was outstanding, this one was beyond it. Our tour guide was just the best....can't wait for my next one !

David

Lake Oswego, OR

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved our guide, Julia, and had a great group of fellow traveler. The trip was well organized, lots of fun each day, learned lots of history, and the weather wasn't bad. Mostly cloudy, but not a lot of rain. Loved the castles, the Highland scenery, the sheep dogs and puppies, tried Haggis and blood pudding, and truly enjoyed venison.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Wow moments included Culross (especially for Outlander fans), the sheep dogs, Cawdor castle, the visit to the Isle of Mull, Stirling Castle and the town of Kenmore was a favorite stop, so beautiful."

Lorraine

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour. The pacing was good and the itinerary gave us a good idea of the various regions of Scotland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Especially enjoyed the highlands."

Carole

Grandview Heights, OH

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have traveled for the last 50 years and lived overseas - so not a newbie. This was the best tour I have ever taken. Scotland was so much better than expected but so were the tour members and our guide, Julia.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Really tough choice here. Every moment in Inverness. The sheepdog demonstration The Inner Hebrides"

Harry

Coupeville, WA

Tour: 09/07/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Scotland tour exceeded my expectations in almost every regard. The country is physically beautiful....and green...and the various sights and sounds and tastes were wonderful. We had an expert tour guide who knew the history and the background of everything we visited our saw. We did the Ireland tour last year and we thought nothing could equal that . . .but Scotland certainly did and then some!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have to list two! (1) The Crannog tour with a visit to an replica of thousand--year-old community dwelling built twenty feet off the shore of a loch. Amazing! And tour guides were excellent. (2) The sheep dog demonstration. Simply wonderful watching these dogs do the work they love and our farmer host was so willing to show off all their skills. And we got hold collie puppies!"

Patricia

Newington, CT

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I want to send kudos to you for Elizabeth as our tour director. This was my first experience with the Rick Steves tours and she made it incredible. We had a history lesson as well as background of the Scottish culture, traditions and geology. Liz went over and above with her little extras on our tour. I will return to Scotland at some point. Thanks again for a great experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many that I would say the whole tour was a great big "WOW"!"

Thomas

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

this was our third tour with RS. As before,the tour was well planned and expertly guided!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to put a finger on that favorite wow moment , there were so many. Perhaps the ruins of ST Andrews or the gardens of Cawdor castle."

Janet

Portland, OR

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I keep thinking that every tour I go on is the best tour, but this was the very best (our 6th tour) because of Liz, our guide! And I loved every moment. The itinerary was wonderful. I loved that we got to see the big city, Edinburgh as well as the beautiful country glens and mountains, as well as the lovely towns such as Oban, Culross and Iona. The bus driver on the island of Mull was superb! And Paul, our driver for the whole time was also wonderful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many!! I loved the castles, especially Sterling and Cawdor where I did feel we had a fairly good amount of time to explore. I also so enjoyed learning about the Crannogs, the life of a shepherd and training their dogs, and walking the streets of Culross (fun to learn about what scenes from Outlander were filmed there!). The Dewar's whisky experience was a delight, as well as whisky tasting we did with Liz - all great fun! The bag piper was tremendous!!!"

Grover

Chester, VA

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Crannog - the group had a great guide,explaining the prehistoric dwelling built on piers over the loch"

Cheryl

Kalispell, MT

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another tour in the books and as always fabulous. Everyone asks me which tour I've loved the best as this is my 9th. As I always say each country is different, each experience different and I can never pick a favorite. The accomodations were varied and fun from Princess style at Bonham to a wonderful B&B, to a very old, quaint inn on the bank of a river. Wonderful bus driver Paul.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the evening with our bagpiper, listening to her stories and bagpipe was wonderful. The sheep dog demonstration and talking to the shepard and discussing his life so was so authentic."

Catherine

Chester, VA

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Crannog was amazing"

Nora

Newington, CT

Tour: 09/04/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great survey tour of Scotland. We got to see many of the highlights. I would love to go back for an in depth study of some of the sights we saw.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The drive up Glencoe Valley was far and away the best time of the tour."

Dan

Calgary, AB

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Both Anne and Andy knew their history about Scotland and made it very entertaining. The trivia questions were a lot of fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All the authentic castles we mind-blowing."

Gerard

Ocean View, NJ

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience. Better than I expected. We enjoyed plenty of activity, got plenty of walking in, learned a lot and made new friends. The agenda was just right; enough tours and activity but didn't burn us out.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The most spectacular was the breathtaking scenery at Glencoe."

Vickie

Murrieta, CA

Tour: 09/02/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our 1st visit to Scotland, land of my heritage. It was also our 1st Rick Steve's Tour! It was everything it promised to be and MORE! The smaller group made it easier to hear the tour guides information and you couldn't get lost! I've been with larger tour groups before and Rick Steve's keeping their groups smaller is the way to go! We were fascinated with Edinburgh, the castles, the shortbread! The stone bridges and streams in the highlands were so picturesque. Well done Rick Steve's!!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Taking the Rick Steve's well defined walk along the river in Inverness. We tore the page from his tour book and were amazed at the beauty on this walk! Bridges connect small islands that dot the river and it gave us some of our most beautiful pictures! We came across locals throwing sticks out for their dogs to swim and fetch. It made for some fun video. Also the shepherding demo was pretty impressive."

George

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 08/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Martin, our guide, was wonderful! I have done other tours with Rick Steves and this was tops. The weather was great, it rained when it was supposed to, and the sites were great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The trip from Oban to the Isle of Iona. Great weather and gorgeous scenery."

Goolpranee

Avondale, AZ

Tour: 08/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Love everything of this tour, hotels, itineraries, guide, bus driver and daily activities. Weather was perfect throughout especially on the day we visited Iona. It's sunny, calm and warm. What a lovely day. Tour members are nice and easy to mingle with. I like Martin's dry sense of humor. Would love to have him as my tour guide if we cross path again . For Martin, that song, I'm Gonna Be, by the Proclaimers is stillI stuck in my head. I see myself repeating this tour in near future.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Neil Ross's techniques of sheep dog herding is my first highlight. Even though we visited his farm on a cold rainy day we were amazed with the intelligence of his dogs. It's too bad to hear that old fashioned sheep herders have become almost extinct. I am glad I bought a couple children books directly from Neil illustrated his life stories. Second wow moment is a visit to Iona island. It's a lovely day. That place is beautiful. Plus a local bus driver on Mull Island is hilarious. LOVE SCOTLAND"

Donna

Fergus Falls, MN

Tour: 08/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved the itinerary...a good taste of the region. Group size was perfect Just enough time for every adventure.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The skill of the sheep dogs and the herder."

Carol

Tucson, AZ

Tour: 08/31/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fabulous time with Martin. The schedule allowed extra perks, memorably a wonderful stop for scones.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the Isle of Iona. Lovely, secluded, calm and quiet."

Denise

Mukilteo, WA

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was over and above what I had expected. The itinerary was well thought out and included just enough free time to explore on our own. Our tour guide James was excellent. He took a group of strangers, and who during the trip became good friends while sharing their experiences. We looked forward to hearing from James on what was planned each day. He brought us up to date on history, current events, local music, and shared personal stories to provide insight to life in Scotland.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! Staying in Dunkeld and hiking in the Hermitage, Neil and his sheepdogs, visiting all the castles, and all the fresh seafood along the pier in Oban are top on my list. Scotland was like living in a postcard. Beauty surrounded us each day and presented itself in so many ways. The Scots are very friendly and I plan to return someday soon."

Sallie

Seattle, WA

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Really enjoyed this well-organized tour- it definitely hit the highlights of Scotland! Outstanding guide! Fantastic bus driver! Weather cooperated for the most part. Friendly group. Nice bus and well-timed bathroom stops.:)

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching border collies in action on a sheep farm was probably my favorite, among other special experiences: hearing the bag piper, walking along the river Tay, soup and scones with cream at a country hotel, walking around Oban."

Katherine

Pittsburgh, PA

Tour: 08/28/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had been to Scotland before and was as much in awe this time as the first. It is such a beautiful country. I had not been to Edinburgh before and really enjoyed that city. The oldness of it is fascinating compared to the USA. The castle setting was beautiful. The people were nice, the food delicious and the history interesting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have two wow moments. 1) I was in awe of the shepard's demonstration with the sheepdogs and the sheep. 2) My other wow moment was the peacefulness of the time spent in Inverness. Our hotel was right on the river and I enjoyed walking across a couple of the pedestrian bridges. Later on that evening I sat in the dark on a bench by the river enjoying a glass of wine."

Myles

San Diego, CA

Tour: 08/26/19

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Overall, the tour lived up the the "Rick Steves" reputation.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit with the shepherd and his team of dogs. The memory still lives on! The Royal Mile in Edinburgh with our local guide (who's name I can't remember) was someone who I wouldn't have met without the the Rick Steve's magic. And she was a cast member in Outlander!! Nice job! Her tour brought us back to the 1800's, the poverty, smells, the everyday...she was a time traveler! Our guide, played her fiddle on the way back on the ferry from a rainy, windswept visit to the island of Iona "

Teresa

Redmond, WA

Tour: 08/19/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Scotland exceeded my expectations. It is such a beautiful country not only in scenery but also the wonderful and friendly Scottish people we were able to meet. Anne is such a treasure and Rick Steves Europe is lucky to have her guiding. She gave us a wonderful history of Scotland and shared her culture and humor. The only negative comment is it is too short a tour. I would have loved to experience Scotland in a 14 day tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Pretty much everyday had wow moments so it is hard to narrow it down. I think the best thing is the Rick Steves special events that normal tourists don't get to experience like Gilly the Scottish bagpiper, the Crannog experience, the wonderful bus driver across the Isle of Mull who with his humor made the trip to Iona so enjoyable. The wonderful bed and breakfast owners,like at Glenburnie House in Oban when the owner suggested taking time in Iona to just sit, relax and feel what was important."

Lori

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 08/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour to Scotland was so much fun ! Our guide Helen was the best ! Our hotels were the nicest of any of our tours so far. Sticky Toffee Pudding - what a tasty and wicked dessert - I am amazed I have any teeth left ! I have enjoyed all of our RS Tours but I think Scotland is my favorite one ...

Shirley

Medford, OR

Tour: 08/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

O absolutely loved this tour. It was a great balance of rural and urban activities and sites. Helen was an absolutely wonderful guide.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were several. The sheepdog farm - getting to help shear a sheep plus hold adorable puppies was awesome. The crannogs were facinating, and I greatly appreciated the opportunity to learn about the way of life. The Isle of Iona and the comedic local driver were a great experience. Almost forgot about the piper Gilly and her private concert for us - this was so cool!!!"

Joseph

Medford, OR

Tour: 08/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

An absolutely fabulous tour with a fantastic guide and a great group of fellow travelers. I'd never been to Scotland before and I was amazed by the variation in vegetation and topography. Being an "Outlander" fan, it was fun to see both Edinburgh and stone circles. I appreciate the variety - castles, nature, lochs, battlefields, crannogs and whiskey tasting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the "hairy coos" up close and personal on the Isle of Mull. Our guide and island bus driver found a place to stop for some great photos! Our sheepdog exhibition with Neil was also a fun and relaxing visit!"

Michael

Walnut Creek, CA

Tour: 08/17/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

awesome! could have spent 10 weeks instead of 10 days...we'll probably go back on our own sometime...

Favorite "WOW" moment

"cullen skink: best chowder ever! Hairy cows. heather. the highlands. the sheep dogs. the very long days at high latitudes. the great glen."

Laurie

Renton, WA

Tour: 08/14/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Scotland was all that was expected and much more. While we didn't have much Summer weather on our August trip, the rain and wind didn't put much of a damper on the adventure. We had to cancel our boat trip to the Isle of Iona due to dangerous wind and weather, but our wonderful guide and bus driver quickly took over with "Plan B" of visiting local weavers and Duart Castle. The ten day tour covered plenty of ground around the country, sampling a bit of everything Scottish.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the road up to Glencoe, with the narrow road and waterfalls."

Melissa Beth

Denver, CO

Tour: 08/10/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was very memorable. It exceeded me expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Crannog Centre.. fascinating."

Russell

Southlake, TX

Tour: 07/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time on the tour. We had an awesome tour guide, James knows so much about the history and culture of Scotland, which he shared with us continually on the trip. The pace of the travel and locations visited were perfect. The size of the group was great as well, and we made many new friends on the trip. Our bus driver we awesome as well. We loved the small hotels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Highlands and Iona."

Leanna

Olympia, WA

Tour: 07/22/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have seen other tour groups in my travels and had resisted them on purpose. This was my first "group tour" in Europe and I did not know what to expect. This trip was a chance to travel with other family members and I was pleasantly surprised. First of all, your tour guide is the Key component. Colin was on point in his choices of attractions, hotels, and extras! His leadership made us feel comfortable, safe and respected. I saw places that I wouldn't have on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My WOW moment would have to be the day we went to Ben Nevis and hiked to the viewpoint overlooking the Loch. Then we went to Glencoe valley, which was even more spectacular scenery. I really felt the Highland Spirit in the hills that day. Thank you Colin!"

Leanne

Stockton, CA

Tour: 06/26/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the best time! I felt I really saw and experienced Scotland. Everything went smoothly and I had a wonderful time. I would have liked a little more time in the National Museum. I guess I have a reason to visit again.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I know this sounds strange, but when our fabulous tour guide said, "Relax, you are on vacation!" that was my "wow" moment. I would also include having tea at the castle. It was phenomenal."

Ellen

Eugene, OR

Tour: 04/24/19

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed tasting Scotch whiskey. April was a wonderful time to visit - bluebells in bloom everywhere, and lambs in all the fields. Lots of green growing everywhere. Sitting on the right side of the coach, as we passed oncoming vehicles on very narrow roads, offered exciting moments. Loved seeing things that tied to the history that I had read about - Stirling Castle, the moors and highlands, Edinburgh Castle, Loch Ness and Loch Loman.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Stirling Castle was pretty amazing because I had just finished reading 'Mary, Queen of Scots' and was in the place where the history had happened. I hadn't known much about Iona and the Book of Kells, but enjoyed learning about it in such a beautiful, peaceful place. Urqhart Castle and Loch Ness was pretty special too."

When To Go & Weather

Any time between April and October is a good time to visit Scotland. However, the months of April, May, September, and October are best for combining the convenience of peak season with generally good weather and lighter crowds. While Scotland never quite feels crowded, July and August are considered peak season, with long days and the best weather (though never guaranteed).

Scotland / Edinburgh

Hotels & Flights

Tour Hotels

In case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations, the contact information for the tour's first and last hotels is included in your tour confirmation email as well as in the Itinerary section of your tour account. One month prior to the tour departure, you'll find the directions to your first tour hotel and a complete list of hotels where we'll be staying while on tour in the Documents section of your tour account.

Please note: There are no triple rooms available on this tour.

Flights

Our tours don't include airfare, so your flight arrangements and transfers are completely up to you.

Most tour members arrange to fly into Glasgow (GLA) and out of Edinburgh (EDI) — choose "multicity" on flight-booking websites. Alternatively, Glasgow and Edinburgh are less than an hour apart by train. You could choose to fly roundtrip to/from one of the cities and then take a train between Glasgow and Edinburgh.

We suggest arriving a day or two before your tour begins to allow ample time to get over jet lag and be well-rested for the first few days of your tour. For more information about transportation options for getting to and from your tour, see your Rick Steves Scotland guidebook.