Kouskoutis Vacation Scotland & Italy 2016


  • Travel Dates: October 16 - November 2, 2016
  • Total Days: 16 excluding travel days
  • Total Travelers: 4
  • Locations: Scotland & Italy

Type A Tips by Country


Converter: Round, 2 prong European Adapter


  • Restaurants: 0-10% (unless there is a servizio, then that is the tip)
  • Hotel Staff: 1-2 euro per bag
  • Taxis: Round Up
  • Bars: None
  • Tour Guides: 10 euro


Converter: British three-pin plug, 230v AC


  • Restaurants: 10%
  • Hotel Staff: 1 pound
  • Taxis: Round up
  • Bars: Round Up
  • Tour Guides: 5-10%

Before you order Haggis: a traditional dish made of sheep's or cow's heart, liver and lungs minced together and served in a sheep's stomach or artificial casing. Many people really love it and it's worth a try at least once!


Sunday, October 16

Travel Day - Florida to Milan

8:10pm - 11:25am Tampa to Zurich (next day / 9:05 non-stop)


Monday, October 17

Location: Milan to Bellagio | Accommodations: Borgo Le Terrezze

If your flight is on time, you have 1 hour to run to the restroom, stretch your legs and eat. I highly suggest you get something to eat or snacks for the road since you probably won't have another opportunity until you arrive in Lake Como.

12:30 - 1:25pm Zurich to Milan (55min non-stop)

Pick up Rental Car from Europcar

  • Located in Terminal 1
  • Must Book with Flight Info

Drive from Milan to Bellagio (1.5 hours) - The route from Malpensa through Lecco is the easiest to drive, so be sure to take the route toward A36 to SS36 (directions included).

I suggest grabbing a snack for the drive and getting straight there to avoid afternoon traffic out of Milan. You can eat lunch at the hotel then enjoy a nice dinner in Bellagio.


B&B Borgo Le Terrazze

$225 per night for 2 nights ($450 total), shuttles to and from Bellagio, $8 pp for bfast, free parking. Large Apartment - 2 Bedroom, 2 bath. Booking payed upon arrival, credit card was only used to reserve the booking.

Borgo le Terrezze

Dining Options:

  • Salice Blu. You can make reservations and be picked up directly from your hotel. $40-50pp. Highly reviewed, especially considering food in Bellagio is known to be so-so.
  • Terrazzo Ristorante - great views, full but mediocre menu.
  • Trattoria San Giacomo - no view, but delicious regional specials for a reasonable price (25 euro fixed price meals).
  • Bilacus Ristoriante - across the street from San Giacomo above, with a fine dining garden and more extensive wine list.
  • Wine Tasting: Enotecca Cava Turacciolo, includes wine, meat, cheese and bread (20 euro per person)
  • Gelato: Gelateria del Borgo


Tuesday, October 18

Location: Bellagio/Lake Como | Accommodations: Borgo Le Terrezze

8-11am Breakfast is served at the hotel ($8pp)

Purchase a Central Lake Day Ticket (battello navetta) from the Boat Dock ($20 pp)and travel from town to town. It's suggested to first take the 50 minute trip one way, then stop at towns that interest you on the return trip.

Must Stops:

  • Villa Carlotta in Tremezzo - tour the expansive gardens, but note that the villa's interior is simply worth a quick walk through (Open 9-5, $10 entry/$14 for 2 hr guided tour).
  • Villa del Balbianello - Known as the best villa on the lake. Depart the boat in Lenno, go left and walk 5 minutes to the end of the harbor. Take a speedboat shuttle (10 euro per person round trip) to the Villa. You can only get inside by going with an English guide (15 euro per person, tours depart hourly). Walk the gardens while waiting for your tour. If you decide to book the 2.5 hour lake tour below, then this is included.
  • Varenna - definitely stop in Varenna. This is a nice place for lunch.

Optional Activities:

Villa Melzi is a garden/villa option in Bellagio - $8pp. Open from 9:30-6:30pm daily.

4pm Private 2.5 hour boat trip around the lake - $60 pp. Includes guided tour of Villa Balbianello. Must book ahead of time.


Wednesday, October 19

Location: Bellagio to Selva | Accommodations: Hotel Sporting

8-11am Breakfast is served at the hotel ($8pp)

Check Out and take the shuttle to town - leave bags at the front desk

There is a lakeside market every third Wednesday of the month (today!)

11am Optional - Tour of Villa Serbelloni. You must book a tour ahead of time at tel. +39-031-951-1555 or +39-031-950-204. Note that tours only depart if at least 6 people sign up. Tours meet at the Bellagio tourist office at Piazza della Chiesa 14. 9 euro per person. There is a good amount of uphill walking and the tour is only of the gardens as no one is allowed inside.

Gardens of Villa Serbelloni

12:30 Lunch in Bellagio (ask for recommendations from the hotel)

2pm Return to Hotel - Take shuttle (or taxi if necessary $10) back to hotel, leave for Dolomites

Drive from Bellagio to Hotel Sporting (be sure to enter the right address as there are other Hotel Sportings near Milan - Rainel street 65, I-39048 Selva Val Gardena). Total Drive = 4hrs.

Hotel Sporting

Located in Selva. Luxury hotel, breakfast included, gorgeous views of the Dolomites right in the Ortisei area, $200/nt, will probably need to go into town for meals as restaurant is closed during this time, parking available.

Dining Options: Many places are beginning to close in October, so be sure to ask the front desk for recommendations and to check if places you will be going are still open. There are plenty in the neighboring towns of Val Gardena so you shouldn't have a problem finding places to eat.

Restaurant Freina (Hotel Freina) - reservations a must. $$-$$$. fantastic reviews, most people say they ate here twice.


Thursday, October 20

Location: Selva Val Gardena | Accommodations: Hotel Sporting

Breakfast at the hotel (included)

Enjoy a leisurely outdoor day exploring the area of Val Gardena. Val Gardena is made up of 3 villages: Ortisei, Santa Cristina and Selva all within a 10 minute drive from your home base at Hotel Sporting.

Here's a link to leisurely trails in the area : Trails

Seiser Alm/Alpe di Siusi circular trail - 15 minute drive to the start. Easy walk around and cable car.


Friday, October 21

Location: Selva Val Gardena | Accommodations: Hotel Sporting

Breakfast at the hotel (included)

Full Day Trip to explore The Dolomites - it's best to leave by 8am. Pack some snacks to hold you over during the drive.

First Stop: National Park of the Belluno Dolomites. 2 hr drive. A fantastic reserve that includes glaciers, waterfalls, forests, even a number of art, history and archaeology museums. Plan to spend 2 -3 hours.

Next Stop: Belluno. 1 hr drive. The ancient town of Belluno, with 37,000 inhabitants, is the most important town in the eastern Dolomites. Perfect stop for lunch.

Continue to Cortina. 1 hr drive. Whether you’re a skier, snowbunny or fashionista, Cortina d’Ampezzo is the place to be in the Dolomites in the winter. This fashionable resort town doesn’t just have fantastic skiing—it has some serious history. This is where the 1956 Olympics were held, where the famed James Bond film sequence of gunners chasing Roger Moore on skis in “For Your Eyes Only” was filmed, and where both Audrey Hepburn and Ernest Hemingway vacationed!

If you want some beautiful views of Cortina d'Ampezzo, then head up Route SR48. This could be a perfect spot for watching the sunset.

Stop for Dinner in Cortina or at a nearby village on your way home or just head straight home.


Saturday, October 22

Location: Selva Val Gardena | Accommodations: Hotel Sporting

Breakfast at the hotel (included)

Brixen is a great day trip and only 1:15 drive away. Larger town with much to eat, see and do. Worth a half day visit with a few stops along the way.

First Stop: the world's longest railway from Siusi to Compaccio (40 min drive). Parking is available and free at the Valley Station. Tickets $18pp. 15 ride to the top. Be sure to ask hotel for directions first, but I believe this is the correct address: Cabinovia Siusi - Alpe di Siusi SPA, Via Sciliar 39, 39040 Siusi.

Next Stop: if you're up to it, check out Castelrotto Kastelruth, which is a larger town and great for restaurants and shopping. This is definitely an optional stop as you will be continuing on to Brixen.

Final Stop: Brixen. Explore and enjoy lunch until you get tired, then drive home. The drive is just over an hour. If you are not feeling like going out for dinner, you may want to pick up some take out food/snacks for the evening here.



Sunday, October 23

Location: Selva to Zurich | Accommodations: Kameha Grand Zurich

7:30am Breakfast at the hotel (included)

8:15am Check out - Drive to Bolzano (1hr).

  • Drop off one couple at Bolzano Bolzen train station with luggage, other couple drop off rental car and take taxi back to train station.

10:34AM – 12:32PM Train Bolzano to Innsbruck

  • Coach #263, Seats 61-64
  • Quickly grab a bite to eat before your next train arrives

1:44 – 5:20PM Train Innsbruck to Zurich HB

  • Coach #26, Seats 51-54

Take a taxi to Kameha Grand Zurich, Autograh Collection (13 min)

  • Address: Dufaux Strasse 1, Thurgauerstrasse 107
  • 2 premium king rooms booked

Kameha Grand Zurich, Autograph Collection

$165/nt, 2 miles from airport (6min)/15 min from downtown, excellent reviews. No free shuttle to airport.

Dinner: There are many options in the city center, so definitely ask the front desk for some options, but Zeughauskeller is an option to consider in old town serving traditional Swiss meals and beer.



Monday, October 24

Location: Selva to Edinburgh to Glasgow | Accommodations: Dakota Deluxe

5am Travel to Airport - Subway service .2 miles from hotel/5 min walk, fee: 2.2 CHF (one way) or estimated taxi fare: 35 CHF (one way)

7:05am - 8:40am (1:35) Zurich to Amsterdam. Luggage not included. Paid online for 2 checked bags. 25 euro each.

9:50 - 10:20am (1:30) Amsterdam to Edinburgh

Travel by bus to Glasgow - 1 hr. Bus comes every 30 minutes on the hour and half hour (10:30 or 11am departure). Ask where Stop C is when you arrive. Purchase tickets upon arrival. Take the bus to the end to the Glasgow Buchanan Bus Station. From there to the hotel is a 15 min walk or 8 min taxi ride.

Bus Information
Walking Directions Dakota Deluxe Glasgow from Bus Station

Dakota Deluxe Glasgow

Upgraded to King rooms, breakfast included in rate, centrally located, $450 for 2 nights.

Lunch: Two Fat Ladies at The Buttery. 10 minute walk. Staple restaurant in town. Lunch menu includes a 2 course for $20 or 3 course for $25. It's possible to walk in, but reservations are better if possible. Lunch is served until 3pm.

Purchase a Rail Ticket to get around the city or purchase a 2 day hop on hop off bus tour ticket for $20 per person (but the buses end at 4:30pm).

8:30-11:45pm Sweeney's On The Park Informal Jam Session. Must go! Listen to local musicians playing traditional Irish music while you enjoy a beer (no food). Only on Monday nights. 15 min taxi or Take the Rail: 10 min walk to Glasgow Central Station. Take Rail to exit Crossmyloof (check for direction and correct train). Walk 10 minutes to Sweeney's (map below).

DAY 10

Tuesday, October 25

Location: Glasgow | Accommodations: Dakota Deluxe Glasgow

Breakfast is served at the hotel (included)

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum - free. large collection of art in a gorgeous building. Open 10-5.

The West End - Not far from the museum, this is a great place to walk around, shop and explore. Be sure to check out the the Voltaire and Rousseau bookstore with thousands of books piled high from isle to isle.

Lunch: The Hanoi Bike Shop - Vietnamese (so you don't get sick of Scottish food!). Located in the West End.

Glasgow Necropolis and CathedralSt. Mungo's Museum of Religious Life and Art - Museum is free and worth a look around, but the graveyard is the main attraction. If a guide is there and available you can hire one, otherwise walk around at your leisure.

Dinner: Fanny Trollopes (1 mile from hotel, 17 min walk). $$. $20 mains. Scottish favorites using only Scottish ingredients. Reservations required.

Sample Menu

Late Night Drinks - The Pot Still. 5 minute walk from your hotel with hundreds of Scotch Whiskeys to choose from.

DAY 11

Wednesday, October 26

Location: Glasgow to Fort William | Accommodations: The Grange

Breakfast is served at the hotel (included)

Pack snacks

11:30 Check Out - Take a taxi (6 min) or walk (15 min) to Glasgow Queen Street Station at 11:45.

West Highland Train to Fort William

4:09pm Arrive in Fort William - take a taxi to The Grange (5 minute drive / 20 minute walk)

The Grange at Fort William Bed and Breakfast

$175/nt includes breakfast, 2 bedrooms booked. Must pay in cash upon arrival.

The Grange
Fort William

Dinner: Food in Fort William is decent, but nothing spectacular. Crannog Seafood is well rated, but pricey (15 min walk) or take a taxi to The Ben Nevis Inn & Bunkhouse and eat there (seems to be the best meal in town and relatively inexpensive). If you want a really swanky dinner, take the 10 minute taxi to Inverlochy Castle - jackets required for men and reservations required.

Crannog Seafood Sample Menu
Ben Nevis Inn Sample Menu

DAY 12

Thursday, October 27

Location: Fort William | Accommodations: The Grange

8am Breakfast is served at the hotel (included)

9:30AM Morning stroll along High Street to the train station (25 min)

10:15AM The Jacobite steam train Fort William to Mallaig - $45pp round trip, 10:15am departure, second to last day before season closure.

12:30 Lunch in Mallaig - for a casual lunch go to The Bakehouse (Old Quay) which has fabulous pastries (3 min walk) or for more of a formal sit down, Cornerstone and The Steam Inn are both well reviewed and within 1 minute of the train station.

2:10 Train departs Mallaig for Fort William

4:00 Train arrives in Fort William - enjoy the stroll back to your hotel to relax before dinner.

DAY 13

Friday, October 28

Location: Fort William to Fort Augustus | Accommodations: The Highland Club

Breakfast at the Inn (included) & Morning Relaxation

11:45 Check Out - Travel to bus station (15 min walk/5 min taxi)

12:15pm Citylink Bus Fort William to Fort Augustus / Loch Ness - Bus toward Inverness, stopping in Fort Augustus. 1 hr by City Link bus ($11pp). Must bring printed Citylink e-ticket

1:03 arrive in Fort Augustus/Loch Ness - The Bus Stop is located next to the iCenter visitor center, so you can stop in there before heading to the hotel. The hotel is a 6 minute walk away.

The Highland Club

The Highland Club is set within 20 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds on the southern shores of Loch Ness. It occupies the Grade A gothic buildings of the original 1729 English fortification, Fort Augustus, which later on were transformed into St Benedict’s Abbey.

MacVeans Grocery - head here for some breakfast items, snacks for the next two days of touring and drinks to stock the refrigerator with. If you are tired of eating out, you have the option of making all of your meals in.

The Boathouse - The Highland Club restaurant that has excellent reviews, a beautiful view and reasonable prices.

Fort Augustus

DAY 14

Saturday, October 29

Location: Fort Augustus | Accommodations: The Highland Club

Day Tour of the Isle of Skye. Andrew MacDonald (Hame Tours) will pick you up 9am. Minibus for 2 days $1,300 unlimited miles/hours with drop off in Edinburgh.

DAY 15

Sunday, October 30

Location: Fort Augustus to Edinburgh | Accommodations: Old Town Chambers Luxury Apartments

Check Out - Bring all of your luggage with you.

Pick up at 9am

9AM Outlander Day Tour of the highlands/castle tour. Andrew will pick you up at your hotel and drop you off at your hotel in Edinburgh.

Old Town Chambers Luxury Apartments

Perfect for walking the city, 2 bedroom apartments, bfast not included, $1000 total for 3 nights.

Address: Roxburgh's Court, 323 High Street | Off Mary King's Close, Edinburgh EH1 1LW, Scotland

DAY 16

Monday, October 31

Location: Edinburgh | Accommodations: Old Town Chambers


Lunch at The Witchery - Lunch is served from 12 - 5 and dinner begins at 5pm daily. Lunch 2 course special for 20 pounds or all day 3 course for 36 pounds. Reservations are recommended. Located just below the entrance to Edinburgh Castle at the very top of the Royal Mile. If you have a late lunch, it will get you through the long evening of events!

6:45pm The Potter Trail Halloween Magic Special Tour - free, but tip between $5-10pp. 1:45 total with a real magician as your guide. The Potter Trail leaves at the statue of Greyfriar’s Bobby on George IV Bridge in Edinburgh. It ends at nearby Victoria Terrace.

9pm Fire Festival - We will be processing down Edinburgh’s historic Royal Mile to West Parliament Square, where the stage performance will take place (free, donation only). Check it out for 30-40 min.

10pm City of the Dead - Double Dead Tour 13 pounds each, 1:45min, 10pm tour. All City of the Dead tours leave from large black signs against the roadside wall of St Giles Cathedral on the Royal Mile. Must bring printed confirmation

DAY 17

Tuesday, November 1

Location: Edinburgh | Accommodations: Old Town Chambers

The Edinburgh Castle - 9:30-6pm. $20pp. From Princes Street, go up Waverley Bridge, The Mound, Mound Place, Ramsay Lane to the castle esplanade.

The National Museum of Scotland - free entry, donations welcome. Open 10-5 daily. Chambers Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1JF.

St Giles’ Cathedral - suggested donation of $3.

Stockbridge - an eclectic local neighborhood just north of the city center, is my favorite part of Edinburgh. It's where real people live and eat and shop, people who actually live in Scotland. Here, you'll find authentic, quality shops and eateries that represent the life and culture of Scotland - a vast difference from the many mediocre tourist traps you find around Princes Street.

Dinner: Scran and Scallie Public House. My personal favorite restaurant (call for reservations 0131 332 6281). It's a cozy, incredibly delicious local eatery that serves sophisticated twists on traditional Scottish food. Everything we ordered was mouthwatering, especially the warm sticky toffee pudding with creamy vanilla ice cream and definitely try the Thistly Cross Strawberry Cider.

Scran and Scallie Sample Menu

DAY 18

Wednesday, November 2

Location: Edinburgh to Tampa | Accommodations: Home

5:30am Travel to Airport - Taxi's to the airport are expensive - roughly 40 pounds one way ($60+ US), but it only takes about 20 minutes. If you're looking for a fast and inexpensive way to get to and from the airport, consider taking the express Airlink 100 Bus which picks up at Waverly Bridge (5 minute walk from hotel). 5 pounds pp. Arrives every 10 minutes. 30 minute ride to the airport.

8:05am - 12pm Depart Edinburgh to Newark (7:55)

3:35 - 6:35pm Newark to Tampa (3hrs)

Welcome Home! I hope you had an epic adventure that exceeded all of your expectations. Cheers!

Created By
Aimee Slade


Created with images by Unsplash - "travel explore journey" • tjmwatson - "Haggis" • kawa0711 - "Bellagio" • David Spender - "Villa Carlotta, Lake Como" • Arrogant_exiled_french - "Varenna" • David Spender - "Lake Como Ferry" • comoguide1 - "Villa Balbianello" • LaurieJ - "from the Villa Serbelloni" • grogri - "val gardena sassolungo mountain" • giustina_ilyusha - "DSC_0625.jpg" • giustina_ilyusha - "DSC_0461.jpg" • giustina_ilyusha - "DSC_0447.jpg" • Luigi Mengato - "Sui prati sopra a Retica #3" • °linda°!° - "monti del sole" • grongar - "Cortina d' Ampezzo - Church tower" • wolfango - "Ovovia Alpe di Siusi 2" • maxmann - "kastelruth south tyrol mountains" • Pixelschubser99 - "dom bressanone church" • Luciana.Luciana - "Bressanone Brixen - Portici Minori" • Luciana.Luciana - "Bressanone Brixen" • Gunn Shots (Mark Gunn) - "Zurich by Night" • Ninian Reid - "Edinburgh bus station, by kind permission of Irene Gunnion, Duchess of Bowerswell" • nathanh100 - "Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Undated" • The Integer Club - "Voltaire and Rousseau" • johnomason - "Glasgow Necropolis" • auspices - "the necropolis" • _gee_ - "necropolis" • yellow book - "Glasgow Cathedral" • Michel Curi - "Glasgow Cathedral" • Kasman - "small boats river boat" • Fæ - "Nevis Bridge, Fort William, Scotland-LCCN2001706000" • SupportITNI - "ben nevis loch eil loch" • miketnorton - "Near Fort William, Scotland" • conner395 - "River Oich at Loch Ness - Fort Augustus - Scotland" • Michel Curi - "Urquhart Castle, Loch Ness" • RidwanJaafar - "Fort Augustus" • Spixey - "Caledonian Canal" • FrankWinkler - "coast elgol isle of skye" • misterfarmer - "scotland skye isle of skye" • FrankWinkler - "landscape coast waters" • FrankWinkler - "bridge lighthouse sunset" • katjasv - "neist point lighthouse highlands and islands" • chrisbulle - "highland cows, isle of skye" • fotshot - "cow bull horns" • indianabones - "loch earn scotland high" • kolibri5 - "scotland england highlands and islands" • conner395 - "Inverness Castle Scotland" • Romtomtom - "Dirleton Castle" • caitbonnar - "Doune Castle" • Mike Kniec - "Creepy Crawlies" • City.and.Color - "The Elephant House" • Kyle Taylor, Dream It. Do It. - "Edinburgh - 051" • Sebastian96 - "castle knight's castle middle ages" • I'm Harry Freakin' Potter - "Harry Potter 2" • ptc24 - "More Fire" • Rising Damp - "Halloween special no. 2" • jaakko.hakulinen - "cemetery" • fw42 - "Edinburgh vaults" • simple - "bagpipes highlander man" • shilmar - "holyrood park in edinburgh edinburgh city view" • Martin Burns - "Freedom Alone" • Walkerssk - "edinburgh calton hill princess street" • NadinLisa - "scotland home federal government" • DesignFife - "edinburgh castle fountain flower beds" • waldomiguez - "edinburgh scotland buildings" • Leandro's World Tour - "St. Giles' Cathedral - interior 1"

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