5 (or 6) Day Orkney, Shetland and Highlands Tour
A stunning five (or six) day Northern Isles adventure from Edinburgh through the Highlands and Orkney to Shetland.
Day 1 - Departing from Edinburgh we travel north over the Firth of Forth towards the Central Highlands. We explore the beautiful village of Dunkeld and its historic ruined cathedral before our drive northwards takes us to the Cairngorms National Park. Arriving near Inverness by the mid-afternoon, we can either visit Culloden Battlefield and the Clava Cairns or Urquhart Castle and Loch Ness before our overnight stop.
Day 2 - Our longest day as we depart from Inverness on a morning drive to the far North of Scotland and our ferry port of Scrabster, near Thurso. The drive north covers wonderful coastal scenery and normally takes around 3-4 hours including photo stops and a brief visit to the historic town of Dornoch. Our 1½ hour ferry journey includes a great view of the Old Man of Hoy before our arrival in Orkney where we visit the 5000 year old village settlement of Skara Brae and the nearby Neolithic standing stones of the Ring of Brodgar. After an evening meal in Kirkwall we catch the late ferry (11pm) from Kirkwall for an overnight sailing to Lerwick in the Shetland Islands.
Day 3 - After a leisurely breakfast on the ferry we depart Lerwick to spend the day exploring the south mainland of Shetland. Sumburgh Head is our first stop - a stunning viewpoint and a haven for seabirds. Next is Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse settlement which spans over four thousand years. The afternoon takes us on a beautiful coastal drive to the breath-taking St Ninian's Isle where you can hike across the sands to the island. Returning north we end the day at the two thousand year old Clickimin Broch before our overnight stay in Lerwick.
Day 4 - Departing from Lerwick we head towards the north Shetland mainland. Arriving at Eshaness we take time to savour the dramatic cliffs and sea stacks that the fantastic coastal landscape of Shetland presents to us from this headland. The afternoon takes us to the ruins of Scalloway Castle before we return to Lerwick. Here we explore the Shetland Museum and Fort Charlotte before ending our time in Shetland with a meander through Lerwick town and harbour. In the late afternoon we board the ferry from Lerwick for an overnight sailing to Aberdeen on the Scottish mainland.
Day 5 - Arriving into Aberdeen harbour in the early morning, we enjoy a leisurely breakfast on the ferry before heading south to explore the ancient ruins of Dunnottar Castle near Stonehaven. The early afternoon takes us south to the Kingdom of Fife where we explore the historic town of St Andrews before our arrival into Edinburgh in the late afternoon and the end of our Northern Isles adventure!
Tour option - Add an extra day on Orkney
The standard tour is ideal for those that may have already visited Orkney – with a half day on the Orkney mainland during our travels north to Shetland. However, for those looking for more time in Orkney (and there is lots to explore) we can add an additional day on Orkney to discover more of its stunning neolithic treasures. With this option there would be an overnight stay in Kirkwall. Tour option surcharge – £500 per tour.
What to expect on an Orkney and Shetland Tour...
I can promise our tour will include all the wonderful views shown above... but maybe not the weather - we are the land of four seasons in one day!
Private Tour Price (per tour)
5 Day – May to September: £3350
+ £75 per person ferry tickets
The 5 Day tour is available on Monday, Wednesday and Friday start days from Edinburgh.
The 6 Day tour is available on Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday start days from Edinburgh.