Orkney and Shetland by air
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.
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.
NB: Flights are also available from Edinburgh at a $140pp supplement (August departure only).
Your Departure date
$2,515 (including offers)
Benefit from this limited time offer:
- Save $140 with our Offer Discount.
Deposit: $350 Single supplement: $350
Day 1 -
We depart this morning on the early 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. 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.
Day 2 -
After breakfast this morning we will head to the island’s capital town of Lerwick, where we will enjoy some free time. You may wish to visit the state of the art Shetland Museum for more detail on this special set of islands.
This afternoon we will travel through small communities such as Gulberwick and Cunningsburgh until we reach Sandwick, where we will cross as foot passengers on the ferry over to the fascinating little island of Mousa, where we will visit the 2000 year old iron age broch. Remarkably the broch of Mousa still stands to its original height of 13m. The island is also a nature reserve and is rich in wildlife. Storm petrels, Arctic terns and Skuas nest here, and harbour seals lounge on the shore. Keep a sharp eye on Mousa Sound and you may also spot porpoises and the odd killer whale.
If for any reason (weather or boat problems – sadly it can happen) we will visit Scatness Broch on Mainland Shetland.
We will return to our hotel this evening where dinner will be served.
Day 3 -
This morning after breakfast we will return to Sumburgh Airport, where we will take the mid-morning flight to Kirkwall. On arrival, we will depart on a tour of the south end of mainland Orkney, crossing the Churchill Barriers which were built after the sinking of HMS Royal Oak in October 1939. The causeways are built of 5 and 10 ton concrete blocks and have good roads on the top connecting Burray and South Ronaldsay to the Orkney mainland. We also stop off at the beautiful Italian Chapel, built on the site of a former prisoner of war camp. Several hundred Italians, captured during the North African campaign of World War II were sent here to work on the Causeways and converted two huts into a chapel. The marvellous paintings in the interior were done by Domenico Chiocchetti, one of the prisoners who has returned several times to restore and repaint parts of the building.
We then return to Kirkwall, the capital of Orkney, where have free time to explore its environs at leisure. Places of interest include St. Magnus Cathedral - one of Europe’s greatest architectural masterpieces, its red and yellow sandstone still vibrant after 861 years; the Earl’s Palace and the Bishop’s Palace and The Orkney Museum.
Later this afternoon we will check-in to our accommodation at the Kirkwall Hotel, where dinner will be served in the evening.
|Hotel||Kirkwall Hotel, Orkney|
Day 4 -
This morning after breakfast, we have an all day excursion of west mainland Orkney visiting the Heart of Neolithic Orkney – World Heritage Sites. We begin at Maeshowe, the finest chambered tomb in Western Europe. Built before 2700 B.C. Maeshowe was raided by Vikings in the 12th Century. It thus houses the largest collection of runic inscriptions to be found in any one place in the world.
We shall also visit the Standing Stones of Stenness, with the adjacent Neolithic village of Barnhouse, before continuing to Skara Brae, with its new visitor centre depicting the history of this world famous monument and Skaill House, a fascinating architectural medley to the side of Skara Brae.
We return to our hotel, where dinner is served this evening.
|Hotel||Kirkwall Hotel, Orkney|
Day 5 -
After breakfast this morning we will check-out of our hotel and transfer to Kirkwall Airport where we will take the mid-morning flight back to Aberdeen.
Tour dates & prices
Included in your cost:
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Comfortable coach travel throughout
- Meals - as per the itinerary
- Internal Flights
|Tour Departure||Tour ID||Departure date||Return Date||Guided by||Price||Deposit||Single supplement||Offer||Availability|
|25 March 2024||BAOS240325||25 March 2024 (Monday)||29 March 2024 (Friday)||$2,655
|Book your trip|
|25 May 2024||BAOS240525||25 May 2024 (Saturday)||29 May 2024 (Wednesday)||$2,725
|Book your trip|