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Select Cosmos 2021 Europe tours are limited to an average of just 24 guests per tour. There’s always room to roam with extra space between you and other travelers—while still getting up close and personal to the experiences you’ve been dreaming of. Small-Group Discoveries include all the features of a traditional Cosmos European tour, complete with expert Tour Director, Driver, and Local Guides who ensure that your health and safety is our top priority. A Small-Group Discovery Europe vacation is the perfectly sized tour—without the crowds.
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Total meals included:
Check into your hotel. In the afternoon, there’s time to rest or discover Scotland’s great cultural city. This evening, meet your Tour Director and traveling companions for dinner at the hotel.
Start your day with an orientation drive taking in the fine 12th-century cathedral, imposing university buildings, and elegant Georgian squares. Continue on to Stirling where you will have time to admire the castle, a great symbol of Scottish independence and favored residence of Scotland’s kings and queens. Pause in Culross featured in the popular TV series Outlander. After arrival in Edinburgh, why not join an optional excursion: a traditional Scottish night out with Highland dancers, bagpipers, and of course, the Ceremony of the Haggis?
Today’s Distance: 69 mi/ 111 km
A full day to enjoy the Scottish capital. Morning sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to the 200-year-old “New Town,” home to famous scientists, inventors, and novelists. In the “Old Town,” visit Edinburgh Castle to admire Scotland’s Crown Jewels. Afternoon at leisure. Later, a unique optional experience: board the former Royal Yacht Britannia. Tour five decks and see how the Royal Family and crew of 240 lived and worked on board. Dinner rounds out this optional evening. For departure August 15 tickets are included for tonight’s performance of the world-renowned Military Tattoo, a vast spectacle of massed Scottish pipe bands that takes place in an arena on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle.
A day of memorable sightseeing. Take the elegant Forth Road Bridge to St. Andrews, whose Royal and Ancient Golf Club has given us the rules of golfing, then cross the Firth of Tay and head into the Highlands, with a stop in the Victorian mountain resort of Pitlochry. Cross the battlefield of Culloden Moor with its memories of Bonnie Prince Charlie, then proceed to your Highland destination.
Today’s Distance: 225 mi/ 362 km
More spectacular Scottish scenery: Dornoch Firth, the Kyle of Sutherland, the Falls of Shin, the Mountains of Assynt, and Knockan Crag. Then, follow Strath Oykel for a visit to Ullapool, a remote fishing harbor on Loch Broom, before returning along Loch Glascarnoch. Our recommendation for this afternoon: join the optional Loch Ness Experience, which includes a cruise, followed by supper.
Today’s Distance: 123 mi/ 198 km
More heather-clad moors as you drive through the western Highlands to Lochalsh and the Inner Hebridean Isle of Skye. The route back to the mainland is by ferry across the Sound of Sleat to Mallaig. Pause at Glenfinnan to see the monument to fallen Jacobite clansmen and the famous viaduct well known to Harry Potter fans before reaching Fort William beneath Ben Nevis. Glen Coe, where the MacDonald Clan was massacred in 1692, and a drive along the “Bonnie Banks” of Loch Lomond are scenic highlights on the way back to Glasgow.
Today’s Distance: 234 mi/ 377 km
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
It may occasionally be necessary to use alternative hotels of a similar standard to those shown.
Multistory Hotel set in prestigious West End, 4 miles from city center.
The 4 star Novotel Edinburgh Park is ideally located for a city break in Edinburgh. The hotel has free on site parking, leisure facilities including a pool, gym and steam room.
Scottish Highland hotel is an idyllic setting for weddings, functions and conferences, offering spectacular views of Ben Wyvis.
Our expert Tour Directors help you get the most out of every place you visit - and have a 96% customer satisfaction rating.
We’re delighted to have achieved the Good Housekeeping Reader Recommended endorsement for customer experience.
We are a member of ABTA and our flight-inclusive holidays are protected by ATOL. If your holiday is cancelled for any reason, you’ll receive a full refund.