Scotland and Ireland Adventure and Discovery
$3,695 + Airfare + $200 Intra Trip Flight
Aug 1 – Aug 13
7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12
|Who can go on this trip?||
Students from around the world!
Edinburgh, Loch Ness, Dublin, Achill Island, Cong, Galway, Croagh Patrick, Galway, Inishmore
|Optional group flight there:||
JFK to Edinburgh
|Optional group flight back:||
Dublin to JFK
With an abundance of rolling hills and cliffs, emerald green grass, and fairytale castles, you can’t help but fall in love with the unique beauty of Scotland and Ireland! Discover the cultural and historical connections between these two countries, starting in majestic Edinburgh. Explore this imperial city with a stroll down the Royal Mile and a visit to Edinburgh Castle. Climb to the top of Arthur’s seat for a stunning panorama of Edinburgh, get transported to a fairy tale while driving through the Scottish Highlands, and cruise down Lake Loch Ness searching for Nessie. After a stop in the vibrant city of Dublin we will have a truly unique experience while staying at an adventure camp on Achill, the largest island off the coast of Ireland. Hit the magnificent beaches for surfing, coasteering, and sea kayaking. Hike 2500 feet up to the summit of Croagh Patrick for an unforgettable view of the greenest islands scattered across a crystal blue bay below. Try your hand at flying falcons at a Falconry School in the quaint village of Cong. End your Emerald Isle adventure in Galway, a charming coastal city filled with rich Gaelic culture. Lastly, stand atop 700 foot tall cliffs and feast at a medieval banquet. Join us on this unforgettable trip through cities and green countryside!
On this trip you will:
- Stroll along the Royal Mile and explore Edinburgh Castle
- Take a boat cruise on Loch Ness in search of the Loch Ness monster
- Ride through the unforgettable Scottish Highlands
- Visit the cafe where J.K. Rolling wrote the Harry Potter books!
- Climb Arthur’s seat for the best view of Edinburgh from above
- Take a ghost tour through the most haunted parts of this Scottish city, going below ground through spooky vaults and secret passageways!
- For those brave enough, sample a traditional dish, Haggis!
- Try surfing and sea kayaking on Achill Island (for all skill levels!)
- Jump, climb, swim and slide your way along coastal rock formations on a coasteering adventure
- Conquer Croagh Patrick mountain for breathtaking views of the bay and islands below
- Take a lesson in the ancient art of falconry at a castle and experience falcons soar from your hand
- Explore the stunning Irish countryside on horseback
- Bike ride around Inishmore and visit a ring fort on the side of a cliff that was built around the 2nd century BC
- Shop for your very own authentic wool sweater at the Aran Islands sweater market
- Eat like the locals at Galway’s most famous fish and chips restaurant
- Visit one of the most famous natural sights in the world at the Cliffs of Moher
- Feast like kings and queens at a medieval banquet with a show of traditional Irish dancing and fiddle music
DAY 1: GROUP FLIGHT DEPARTS FROM NEWARK, NJ
DAYS 2-5: EDINBURGH (WITH A DAY TRIP TO LOCH NESS)
Welcome to Edinburgh, this regal city awaits just steps from our accommodation located in the heart of the historic Old Town. We’ll get acquainted with a walk down the famous Royal Mile, with the iconic Edinburgh Castle on one end and the official residence of Her Majesty the Queen of Scotland (Holyrood Palace) on the other. We’ll marvel at the impressive architecture towering above the city and sneak a peek down cobblestone passageways off the main road. We’ll visit the eclectic Grassmarket area, once a bustling market place in medieval times, packed with lively restaurants and great shopping that make for a truly dynamic atmosphere. We’ll get the adrenaline pumping on our climb to the top of Arthur’s seat, which legend holds could have been the site of Camelot, and sit back to enjoy the view of this beloved medieval city below. Once the sun sets, we’ll delve into Edinburgh’s spooky past with a local guide. Exploring the haunted closes and courtyards first, we’ll then go underground to unravel the city’s chilling history. In addition to getting to know Edinburgh like a local, we’ll take a trip out to Loch Ness experiencing the stunning beauty of the Scottish Highlands, and cruise through the lake searching for Nessie before touring Urquhart Castle, the medieval fortress on the banks of the river.
DAYS 5-8: DUBLIN > ACHILL ISLAND
Hop a flight from Scotland to Ireland and visit the vibrant city of Dublin for a quick tour and lunch. Then we’ll head west to our next destination, Achill Island. The adventure begins here on the largest island off the coast of Ireland. Our local guides will provide all the fun needed for a true Irish experience in this hidden gem of an island. Achill is full of beauty: from the pristine beaches to rolling hills and with the charm of frequent sheep appearances, you’ll never want to leave! We’ll throw on our wetsuits and hit the waves for some surfing, kayaking, and coasteering. In the evenings, we’ll grab a bow and arrow and shoot for the bullseye at the camp’s archery center or scale the rock climbing wall. The highlight of our time spent on the west coast of Ireland will be our ascent to the top of Croagh Patrick, a mountain named after St. Patrick, that 1 million pilgrims climb each year. Our local experts will tell lively accounts of Irish history and the great famine, lead a tour through historic abandoned villages, and take us on a sunset drive along the coast to end our magical island experience on Achill. We’ll leave all the tourists behind on this off the beaten path getaway to a truly unique place and learn what it’s like to visit Ireland as a traveler.
DAYS 9-12: CONG > GALWAY (WITH A DAY TRIP TO THE ARAN ISLANDS)
We’ll bid farewell to our friends on Achill and head to the adorable, picturesque village of Cong. Here we will learn the ancient sport of falconry around the grounds of the beautiful Ashford Castle. With help from our expert instructors, we will watch in amazement as the birds fly from our very hands! Launch them into flight, watch them soar into the distance, landing on the trees,and marvel as they swoop back to your glove on command… a rare opportunity and one not likely repeated in a lifetime.
Next we will continue on to our final destination of Galway. We will wander the charming streets of this coastal town, and enjoy the iconic pastel buildings along the buzzing harbor. We’ll spend a day out on the Aran Islands, home to the warmest, softest genuine wool sweaters which have been hand knit there since the 1800s! Hop on a bike and cruise around the island of Inishmore to discover this ancient fortress town. We’ll save the best for last and round out our time in Ireland with a visit to the iconic Cliffs of Moher, peering over the edge of the Atlantic at this mesmerizing view! We will finish this unique adventure with a decadent feast at a medieval banquet dinner at a castle on our final night. Join us for an unforgettable adventure of emerald green, blue waters, and medieval treasures!
Who can go on this trip? What kind of teen typically goes on this trip?
We have teens join this program from all over the world! They are typically culturally curious teens who are excited about making new friends, stepping out of their comfort zone, expanding their horizons, and trying something new.
Where do we stay?
Our hotels are specifically chosen to be in safe areas and well-suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. This means we do not use large, impersonal chain hotels on the outskirts of cities. We prefer to select smaller, family run hotels where we establish personal relationships with the owners.
In Edinburgh, we stay in a top rated youth hostel located right in the city center, just steps from the Royal Mile. On Achill Island, we stay at an adventure center that caters specifically to student groups. Our expert guides are on site 24/7 and the center provide us with home cooked meals everyday. In Galway, we stay in a hostel within walking distance of all the sights and best shopping.
For safety reasons, we do not publish the names of the accommodations we use. We do not feel it is safe to publish the name of a hotel where a group of teenagers is staying abroad. After registering, participants and parents are given access to our secure parent website where you will be able to see the names of all of the accommodations for a trip.
Do most travelers go by themselves?
Yes, in fact over 75% of students who travel with us choose to come independently. This encourages teens to step further outside their comfort zone and make new friends. We believe that one of the most rewarding and exciting elements of travel is the new friendships that are formed along the way. If you travel by yourself, you are bound to make new friends from all over the country and even the world. The best part is, you can travel again with your new BFFs on another TFT trip the next summer!
Can I bring a friend?
Absolutely! We just ask that if you come with a friend, you and your friend(s) are still open to meeting new people and sharing this special experience with the entire group.
What do students generally like most on this program?
Students love that they are able to explore some of the most beautiful parts of these two countries, from the trendy city of Edinburgh to the tiny village of Cong, Ireland. This program allows them to discover the similarities and differences of the unique cultures in Scotland and Ireland.
What is unique about this program?
Practically everything about this program is unique, as Travel for Teens offers an unparalleled experience in Scotland and Ireland. From the search for Nessie, to a stay on the exclusive Achill Island with expert local adventure guides, flying falcons in Cong, and biking around the Aran Islands, this program offers insider access to some of the most untouched destinations in these two countries. This program is perfect for the student who wants to take the path less traveled, and explore the hidden gems of Scotland and Ireland.
What is included?
Ground transportation, accommodations, all breakfasts and dinners, chaperones and guides, trip related activities, trip related activity admissions, taxes and tips.
Not Included: (not intended to be an exhaustive list) Airfare, rail passes, lunches, visas & visa application fees, beverages other than tap water, activities and admissions not referenced in the itinerary or deemed not trip related such as movies, clubs and the like, expenses incurred by the participant that are outside the trip description such as damage to hotels, excess baggage fees and the like, expenses related to unforeseen circumstances such as transportation strikes, natural disasters and the like, personal and medical expenses.
How do the optional group flights work?
Upon registration, you will be contacted by our International Logistics Team to discuss this trip’s flight details. You are not required to take the group flight, although there are several advantages to doing so. The group flight is chaperoned by TFT staff, it offers an opportunity for the students to get to know each other before the trip starts, and we get preferred group flight prices on trips that have group contracts (ask for details). Parents are responsible for arranging for participants to get to the group flight airport. Travel For Teens staff are at the airport, greet arriving participants, and help them get to where the rest of the group has assembled. For more information about Flights, visit our Flights page.
Who are the counselors on the trip?
The Trip Director for every trip is a seasoned teen travel professional with extensive TFT experience. Trip Directors often live or have lived and worked in the destination country. Extensive knowledge of the language and culture of the destination is crucial. Our Senior Counselors are experienced, responsible and fun-loving individuals who our participants can share experiences with and look to for guidance and support. At Travel for Teens we pride ourselves on our rigorous staff application process and the professionalism of our full time and summer staff.
It is the job of the counselors to keep the trip fun and exciting, the learning and the laughter in good balance, and to oversee the safety of the participants. Minimum ratios are on average one staff member to every seven participants. Trips may also include one or two Junior Counselors, who are college students with a history of TFT travel, and one or more Counselors in Training (CIT’s) with limited responsibility. CIT’s are not counted in staff-participant ratios.
What are the safety qualifications for our staff?
All of our staff members attend a week long training session every May to prepare for the upcoming summer and go over safety precautions and protocols. Likewise, every counselor is CPR/First Aid certified and Trip Directors are Lifeguard certified. All staff undergo a rigorous interview process and thorough background check.
What is the average group size?
At Travel for Teens, our trips typically fall into 3 different size categories.
Small: 7-14 students where 14 is the maximum.
Medium: Average is between 14-21 students with 21 as the maximum.
Large: Trips 21-35 students. These are our largest trips.
Typically Scotland and Ireland falls into the medium range, but trip sizes differ from year to year.
How does this program connect to other programs?
Most of our Europe programs are designed specifically so that participants can combine them with other trips. If you are connecting to another program, your counselor will escort you to the airport on the last day of the trip and help you get to your next destination where you will meet up with your new counselors and group.
What is the food like on this trip?
In a word – Delicious! At TFT, we believe food should be an integral part of the travel experience and always make an effort to eat at authentic establishments when we can. What better way to immerse yourself in the culture of a place than by sampling the local delicacies, and we encourage students to do so whenever possible! Just as we stay away from Americanized hotel chains, we try to avoid restaurants with menus that cater only to tourists because every good traveler knows the best food is found wherever the locals are eating!
The UK is famous for a wide variety of international cuisine and we will have plenty of choices each day in Scotland! From fresh baked scones to warm herbal tea at the cafe where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter, we will taste the best of Edinburgh. Those brave enough will even have the opportunity to try haggis, a famous scottish delicacy!
In Ireland, we will indulge in the most delicious fish & chips you will ever eat! We will also eat at traditional Irish pubs and on Achill, we will enjoy delicious home-cooked meals everyday from our accommodation.
We also love to have picnics al fresco, and do this whenever possible, which is a great way to taste some local food while sitting out in the fresh air taking in the sights and sounds of our surroundings.
As always, we are willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.Do I need any vaccinations for this trip?
We recommend that you check with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the areas you will be visiting. For more information, please check out the World Health Organization’s website www.who.int/en/.
How much free time do we get?
Our counselors are with the group nearly always. Everyday we will break up into smaller groups to give our participants some choices and flexibility in their itinerary. We do offer some free time to do some shopping, for example, in defined areas that we are very familiar with. If participants are ever shopping by themselves within these defined areas they go in groups and for no more than an hour. On this trip, the group will have some free time to explore some of the safe pedestrian areas of Edinburgh and Galway. A counselor will always be nearby when participants have free time in each city.
What kind of Visa do you need for this trip?
Any US citizen that enters Europe is automatically granted a free 90-day tourist visa and in the UK a free 180-day tourist visa. If you are coming from somewhere outside the US, please be sure to check your country specific visa requirements.
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