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Best of Ireland--14 days or Best of Scotland--14 days


I am trying to decide whether to travel to Ireland or Scotland in summer 2022. I love the itineraries of both tours but am leaning a little more towards Scotland. I love historical sites, castles and coastal environments--which Ireland and Scotland both have! I am fairly young and have no health/physical issues.

For those of you who have taken both of these tours can you tell me why you preferred one over the other?

If you have only taken one of the tours--why did you enjoy the tour?

Thank you in advance!

Posted by
7730 posts

Robin, I've taken neither tour, but have been to both countries once. We are also looking at both tours to decide which one we want. I am leaning towards the Ireland tour, because it seems to me that the Scotland tour itinerary short changes the western coast and isles, which to me seem the more interesting parts of Scotland. I'll be interested in what others have to say.

Posted by
3872 posts

We've taken both and can't think of anything negative about either that would cause us to pick one over the other. I know that sounds like a non answer, but they are both great tours! You can't go wrong with either. We would not hesitate to take either one again. Perhaps, for each tour, making a list of the things that interest you, and how much they interest you will help you decide. Since you are both fairly young, perhaps you can do the one with the most interest in 2022 and the other later.

Posted by
11884 posts

I've taken both and agree with TC, no way to actually make a call to do one over the other. Both had outdoor experiences, neolithic experiences, a little bit of city stuff, interesting history and sheep dogs.

I would NOT do them back to back, lol. I did the Best of Scotland back to back with Villages of Southern England and even "I" got castled out by the end of the Scotland trip. I could barely drag myself thru Stirling Castle which was excellent but more than I wanted, lol.

For both I would suggest planning to arrive 2 days ahead if you have that amount of extra time. There is a lot to do in Dublin including taking a day trip out to Newgrange and there is a tremendous amount to do in Edinburgh (although now it may start in Glasgow?). I like the changes that have been made to the itinerary of the Scotland tour - would have loved to visit Skye so that is a bit of a plus.

By the way...the Scotland trip is the ONLY tour I've done (11 Rick Steves and 11 Road Scholar programs) where I wished I had had my waterproof rain pants. It was the Oban to Mull to Iona day and it was lashing rain. Even with a waterproof jacket I was soaked. Thank goodness the B&B had very effective towel heaters which radiated enough heat to dry out my shoes.

We managed to hit Ireland in a heat wave/dry spell but I would want a waterproof jacket with hood for this trip as well.

Do you have any ancestral ties to either country? That can be a way to decide which one to do first, lol....

Posted by
1259 posts

Take one trip this year, the other next year!
I was on the previous version of the Scotland tour (slightly shorter, did not include Galsgow) in April, 2019, and we had absolutely stunning weather. Ten days of glorious sunshine. Except for the Iona excursion. Huge swells shut down all ferry traffic and for a few hours it looked like we'd be spending the night in the bus.

Posted by
68 posts

We've taken both tours and we both liked Ireland better although we also both enjoyed the Scotland tour. I felt that Ireland had more scenic beauty along the coasts - Dingle, Slea Head Drive, Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands, Giant's Causeway. That said, we did enjoy Scotland and they have changed the tour since we went to add Glasgow and the Isle of Skye which we would have loved to see.

Posted by
1521 posts

I did Ireland in 2018 and 10 day Scotland in 2019. I had a fabulous time during both. We had great guides, good hotels, a mixture of experiences. I always go early and stay after. I took a 1 day Rabbies tour in Scotland to see Melrose Abbey and Rosslyn Chapel. My only complaint was Scotland tour was too short, but now that has been taken care of.

Posted by
84 posts

Thank you, everyone! I'm going to book the Ireland tour first! :)

Posted by
140 posts

Like many others, I have taken both tours and cannot pick a favorite. If you do Ireland in 2022, then schedule Scotland in 2023. You will not be disappointed.