I would like to hear from those of you that have been on Rick Steve's Best of Scotland tour. What did you think of the tour? What did you like the best and what did you like the least. Would you recommend this tour?
I loved the tour, but in all fairness it was our first tour, so we didn't have anything to compare it to. I love British history and the dramatic landscapes. The scenery was gorgeous and I loved that we saw all kinds of castles - ruins, restored, currently lived in, etc. The itinerary looks even better now, as it includes a boat trip on Loch Ness and a visit to Cairngorms National Park, which our tour did not include. We had Anne as our guide and she did a great job of including history and modern cultural education on the bus. I loved every minute. I recommend some extra time in Edinburgh, as it is a lovely city and you don't see much of it on the tour.
Now that I've been on another tour (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) and can compare the two, I would say Scotland is a bit different than other tours may be. Things are very spread out, so there is more time on the bus. We had significant bus time every day after Edinburgh. This didn't bother me because the scenery is great and our guide used the time for educational talks, sharing music and giving us local snack; but it's something to consider if you hate the bus part. This also results in less free time. The food was also not as good as the GAS tour, in my opinion. Our best meal was an off tour optional group dinner at an Indian restaurant in Inverness. The only thing about the itinerary that I was disappointed in is that our time in Glencoe was almost exclusively at the visitors center, which was a bit remote, with only a quick photo stop on the side of the road otherwise. The drive through Glencoe was stunning, but I would have liked to walk around the park a bit. This may have been because it was raining, I'm not sure.
We recommend getting a quick sandwich and having a picnic at the lunch stops because they were in great, scenic locations. Be prepared for rain, although we got lucky with beautiful weather. I absolutely recommend the tour. I made a scrapbook about our tour last year with lots of pictures in case that helps.
Thanks Tamara. I posted the question for a friend who is thinking of taking this tour. It will be his first RS Tour and I thought he should have all the information he could get so he could make an informed decision. I really liked your scrapbook.
Thanks for the information on the Scotland tour. I also had a look at your Scrapbook, and you had some great photos. It's interesting that you're still using film. I'm also considering that tour and will make a decision in the next few months.
So nice of you to do research for your friend! I can't imagine anyone wouldn't like it. We chose this tour first the because we weren't sure we would like tours and it is shorter and less expensive than most other tours, so it's a good introduction to that style of traveling.