Scotland: Orkney and Shetland by Air21st Aug 2024
You asked and we listened! As it’s a long way by road and sea, we have launched this alternative itinerary that explores the glorious and wild Orkney and Shetland Isles, which includes a flight from Aberdeen to Sumburgh and back from Kirkwall. This makes the journey to the start point of our tour far shorter and avoids us having to take an overnight sailing to Lerwick. (Please be advised that flights from Edinburgh are also available at an additional supplement - please contact us for more details).
Over the course of six memorable days, we will explore lands steeped in history, wildlife and stunning scenery, far from the jostling crowds as we lose ourselves in the haunting beauty haunting beauty of the Orkney and Shetland Isles. Many people have landed there before you - some as early as 3000 BC. Most famous of all were the Vikings, but they were not alone and all around you will find historical treasures. Both islands, but particularly Shetland, in summer have virtually no darkness and the beauty of this ‘Simmer Dim’, as it is called locally, has to be seen to be realised. Both Orkney and Shetland have their own identity, Orkney being very green and fertile while Shetland has a more rugged cliff and sea loch scenery. Both however share a colourful history of Picts, Norsemen, ancient antiquities, buried treasure and seafaring legends, bound up with an independent spirit that makes them quite different from the rest of Scotland.
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What to Expect
- Mousa Broch – the best preserved Iron Age tower in existence
- Spectacular sea cliffs at Eshaness
- Multitudes of seabirds at Sumburgh Head
- The multi-period settlement of Jarlshof
- Neolithic Orkney – a UNESCO World Heritage Centre
- The Churchill Barriers and Italian Chapel, poignant reminders of more recent history
** Please note that all timings are approximate and subject to change. Final timings and pick-up points will be confirmed with your joining instructions approximately 10 days prior to departure. **
Day by Day Itinerary
We depart this morning on the mid-morning flight from Aberdeen to Sumburgh.
On arrival we will transfer the short distance to Sumburgh Head, where the North Sea on the east meets the Atlantic Ocean on the west. The cliffs here are quite spectacular and home to an RSPB reserve.
We will then visit the outstanding Prehistoric and Norse Settlement of Jarlshof, with over 3 acres of remains, spanning 3000 years since the days of the Stone Age, including oval shaped bronze age houses, an iron age broch and wheel houses, Viking long houses and medieval farmhouses.
This afternoon we will transfer to Scalloway, the former capital of Shetland where we see the ruined castle built in 1600 by the infamous Earl Patrick Stewart. We then continue north towards the spectacular cliffs of Eshaness, look out for the ‘Otters Crossing’ sign at the narrow isthmus known as Mavis Grind, where it is said to be possible to throw a stone from the North Sea to the Atlantic.
Later we will transfer to our comfortable accommodation at the historic Busta House Hotel. The hotel dates back to 1588, with a colourful history that includes tales of family feuds, secret marriages and tragic events. Today, the hotel offers all modern conveniences and comfortable, individually decorated bedrooms. The bar features a selection of around 160 malt whiskies and an open peat fire, just the place to relax in the evening. Please note the hotel does not have a lift or ground floor rooms and may not be suitable for those with limited mobility. Dinner will be served in the evening.