5 Day Orkney and North West Highlands Tour

5 Day Orkney and North West Highlands Tour

A stunning 5 day tour from Inverness through the North West Highlands including Applecross, Gairloch, Ullapool and Durness on the way to the heart of Neolithic Orkney. Explore a 5000 year old village (Skara Brae), chambered tomb (Maeshowe) and standing stones (Ring of Brodgar, Stones of Stenness), a 2000 year old Broch (Gurness) and an 800 year old cathedral (St Magnus) and the medieval Earl's Palace.

Day 1 - Departing Inverness we drive west towards Lochcarron and the wonderful Applecross peninsula. The journey up Bealach na Ba take us over 2000 ft and from the summit we get an extraordinary view of the Highland landscape. The afternoon takes us towards Shieldaig and the Torridon mountains. After exploring the beautiful Loch Maree we finish the day at Gairloch for our overnight stop.

Day 2 - Departing Gairloch we follow the coastal road towards the scenic harbour town of Ullapool with a visit to Corrieshalloch gorge on the way. The afternoon takes us north for a breath-taking drive past the stunning mountains of the North West Highlands before reaching Durness and visiting the wonderful Smoo Cave. Depending on your accommodation booking we will either stay overnight around Durness or further along near Tongue/Bettyhill.

Day 3 - Departing the north-west we continue along the north coast route to our ferry port of Scrabster, near Thurso. Our 1½ hour ferry journey includes a great view of the Old Man of Hoy before our arrival in Orkney where we visit Skara Brae, a 5000 year old Neolithic village settlement. This is one of the highlights of the tour before our arrival in Kirkwall for our overnight stop.

Day 4 - A full day on the Orkney mainland that includes a visit to Maeshowe one of the best Neolithic chambered tombs in Europe (I love the 12th century Viking graffiti in the tomb!). The rest of the day involves visits to the Neolithic standing stones of Stenness, the magnificent stone circle at the Ring of Brodgar and the 2000 year old Broch of Gurness. The late afternoon is spent in Kirkwall enjoying the stunning 12th century St Magnus Cathedral along with the ruins of the Bishop’s and Earl’s palaces before our overnight stop.

Day 5 - Leaving Kirkwall we visit Stromness where we have a little time to explore this picturesque fishing town before our mid-morning ferry across the Pentland Firth to Scrabster on the Scottish mainland. We then enjoy a beautiful coastal tour back towards Inverness including an afternoon visit to explore the breath-taking Dunrobin Castle with its wonderful gardens (or the Castle of Mey if you prefer).

For a detailed tour itinerary please complete a Booking Enquiry Form.

Private Tour Price (per tour)

May to September:    £2750

Tour Information

Depart Inverness 9am
Return Inverness
(5 Days)

Tours are exclusively for your private group only (up to 3 persons) and prices are per tour. We only offer private tours and do not combine individuals or separate groups - if your group size is less than 3 the advertised tour price still applies. Prices include all taxes, a driver/guide and ferry tickets but exclude your accommodation costs, meals and entrance fees (the Orkney Explorer Pass will cover the majority of the sites we visit on the island).

Accommodation options
We recommend that you book accommodation in Gairloch (Day 1), Durness/Tongue/Bettyhill (Day 2) and Kirkwall (Day 3 and 4) to make the most of your trip. Whilst we do not book accommodation for you we are happy to help with advice on where to stay.

Tour Notes
The above itinerary is based on the ferry timetables for June to August travel dates. For travel dates in May and September an adjusted itinerary is required depending on your travel days. Please contact with your travel dates for more information.

Ferry Sailings
Ferry sailings are generally very reliable in the summer months, but delays can very occasionally occur. While we cannot be responsible for any extra accommodation, food or other costs that clients may incur due to ferry delays and cancellations, we will make every effort to adapt the tour to minimise disruption. Please note that no refunds will be given for tour and itinerary changes due to ferry changes and cancellations. To date all our tours have crossed over and returned without any significant delays.

This route is extremely popular and much of the accommodation (which can be limited) sells out far in advance - we would recommend at a minimum you book this at least six month before. We accept bookings up to two years in advance for this route. Whilst we have suggested the overnight locations, there is flexibility to change slightly to work around accommodation availability.