• Eilean Donan Castle, Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland

    Rick Steves' Best of Scotland in 10 Days Tour, Day by Day

    What is Rick Steves' best-selling 2019 tour so far, you ask? Why it's the Best of Scotland, laddies and lassies! Go ahead and take a wee sneak peek with our Best of Scotland in 10 Days tour slideshow. Off ye go now! (photo: Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Days 1 & 2: Welcome to Scotland and Edinburgh

    We'll meet at 4 p.m. at our hotel in Edinburgh for a "Welcome to Scotland" get-together. We'll then take a neighborhood walk and tour of Georgian Edinburgh before getting acquainted over dinner.

    The next morning we'll wind our way through the medieval streets of Edinburgh's old town, seeing the best of Edinburgh on foot. Our walking tour will take us up the Royal Mile and 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, and soak up the dramatic views from this military stronghold and birthplace of the city. Tonight, join your guide and fellow tour members for a pint at a local pub to share the stories of your Scottish experiences. (photo: Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Gardens at Culross Palace, Culross, Scotland

    Day 3: Culross and St. Andrews

    We cross the famous Firth of Forth this morning as we head into the Scottish countryside. Our first stop is in the picturesque burgh of Culross, where we'll learn about long-ago lifestyles as we tour a 17th-century "palace." Then we're off to St. Andrews, Scotland's oldest university town and mecca for golfers worldwide. You'll have time to explore the ruins of St. Andrews' medieval cathedral, watch duffers playing the Old Course, and enjoy lunch. This evening we'll enjoy dinner together, and then listen to the history of bagpipes and a real Scottish piper. (photo: Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • A crannog near Kenmore, Scotland

    Day 4: Crannogs and Whisky

    This morning we'll tour a reconstruction of Scotland's unique crannogs: prehistoric, defensive homesteads built on piers out over the lochs. We'll also learn about the first people to farm in this part of the world, millennia ago. Then we'll head to the Hermitage, where we'll hear about Scottish Romanticism amidst Black Linn Falls and towering forest. Next, we are onto the charming town of Dunkeld, where we'll tour its medieval cathedral. After lunch, we're off to Aberfeldy, where we'll tour a  whisky distillery and enjoy a wee dram of single malt while learning about this iconic Scottish industry. This evening you can relax riverside before dinner together. (photo: Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Day 5: Sheepdogs and the Highlands

    We're off to the Highlands today! We'll start off by learning about the nitty-gritty of Scotland's wool industry at a working sheep farm and watch a demonstration by talented sheepdogs. After a quintessential Scottish lunch together we'll tour evocative Culloden Battlefield, where, in 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie's defeat ended decades of Scottish rebellion against the British government. We'll end the day of striking scenery with an orientation walk of Inverness. (photo: Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Cawdor Castle, Cawdor, Scotland

    Day 6: Cruises and Castles

    Today we'll explore the Highlands and enjoy a panoramic cruise of Loch Ness (monster sightings possible) before the boat drops us at the shore to explore the dramatic ruins of Urquhart Castle. This afternoon we'll enjoy tea at the turreted Cawdor Castle and stroll through its magnificent gardens. The remainder of the afternoon is yours to explore Inverness or stroll along the banks of the river before dinner together. Tonight is a great night to enjoy some traditional music in one of the many pubs. (photo: Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Glencoe, Scotland

    Day 7: Glencoe and Seaside Oban

    This morning we’ll head toward the coast, stopping at haunting Glencoe, site of Scotland's most infamous massacre (Campbells and MacDonalds, keep your daggers on the bus). We'll finish our day where we’ll spend the next two nights: in the scenic coastal town of Oban, also known as the "Gateway to the Isles." This evening is yours to climb up to McCaigs' Tower, wander the quaint lanes and alleys, or simply relax over a pint while taking in the views of the harbor. (photo: Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Iona Abbey, Iona, Scotland

    Day 8: Inspiring Isle of Iona

    Today we'll board a ferry and hop on a local bus for an entertaining ride across the island of Mull to our destination: the windswept Isle of Iona, the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland. We'll tour the village with a local guide, and visit the 800-year-old abbey, where monks created the remarkable Book of Kells, one of the sparks of creativity that pulled Europe out of the 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. (photo: Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Day 9: Loch Lomond and Stirling Castle

    We'll drive along the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond and through central Scotland on our way back to Edinburgh. En route we'll visit the famous castle of the Stuart kings, Stirling, including the newly restored Renaissance Palace. Tonight we'll share memories of Scotland and toast new friends at our final dinner together. Slàinte! (photo: Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

  • Flying haggis, Edinburgh Airport, Scotland

    Day 10: 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. Cheerio! (photo: Dominic Arizona Bonuccelli)

     

    Learn more about Rick Steves' Best of Scotland in 10 Days tour.