Welcome to Orkney


An archipelago of mostly flat, green-topped islands stripped bare of trees and ringed with red sandstone cliffs, its heritage dates back to the Vikings, whose influence is still strong today. Famed for ancient standing stones and prehistoric villages, for sublime sandy beaches and spectacular coastal scenery, it's a region whose ports tell of lives shared with the blessings and rough moods of the sea, and a destination where seekers can find melancholy wrecks of warships and the salty clamour of remote seabird colonies.


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Orkney activities

$770.88 Multi-day & Extended Tours

5-Day Orkney and Highlands Tour from Edinburgh

Leaving from Edinburgh we’ll head towards Stirling, stopping by the castle, from here get incredible views to the Wallace Monument and over the Vale of Mentieth, the southern Highlands and the Ochil Hills. We’ll then make our way to Kilmahog, you’ll get great views of Ben Ledi from here. On the way Glen Coe we’ll stop at Loch Tulla for photographs. Then you’ll learn of the harrowing MacDonald clan massacre that took places amongst the dramatic mountains and waterfalls there. We’ll then continue a little further north to Fort William, the Highland town dominated by Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in the UK. You’ll also get the chance to visit the old Inverlochy Castle here, although now a ruin this was one of the most pivotal castles in Scottish history. Overnight: Fort Augustus.On day two we’ll head further north to Inverness to meet the rest of our group, and give you an introduction to the capital of the Highlands. You’ll get the ferry over to Orkney from Gills Bay, offering the chance to spot some incredible wildlife – look out for seals, puffins and even whales if you’re lucky! Another highlight of the day is a visit to the Italian Chapel, a masterpiece built from salvaged materials by Italian prisoners of war. Overnight: Kirkwall Day three is dedicated to Orkney. We’ll take you to numerous prehistoric wonders on this incredible archipelago made up of 70 islands. Such as Maes Howe a chambered cairn, a tomb more than 5000 years old, the brooding Stone Circles of Stenness. Anyone with an interest in archaeology will love the Ness of Brodgar a Neolithic excavation site, only open whilst archaeologists are busy uncovering new items! Another source of ancient mystery is the Ring of Brodgar! You can visit St Magnus Cathedral in the afternoon before returning to your accommodation. Overnight: Kirkwall. Day 4 involves a mid morning ferry ride and more opportunities to see Scotland’s impressive wildlife.There will be an opportunity to visit Dunrobin Castle as we travel back to the capital of the Highlands for the evening. Overnight InvernessOn our final day we’ll visit the battlefield of Culloden, the site of the defeat of the Jacobite forces. You have the chance to explore the interactive visitor centre here and learn how this brutal battle changed life in the Highlands and Islands forever. As we continue back to Edinburgh we’ll pass by Inverness, the stunning Cairngorm Mountains and have a chance to enjoy the picturesque town of Pitlochry.

$79 Shore Excursions

Ancient Treasures of Orkney Shore Excursions from Kirkwall

After meeting your driver, you will depart Kirkwall and head into the west of Mainland, Orkney’s largest island.  This tour passes through the gentle rolling landscape of Orkney and into the Neolithic Heartland of Orkney; an area designated as a World Heritage Site due to its wealth of pre-historic archaeology.  Passing the Standing Stones of Stenness (photo-stop if time permits), we will stop at the Ring of Brodgar; a huge ceremonial circle of stones dating back almost 5000 years.  We then continue on to the 5000-year-old village of Skara Brae, beautifully interpreted in the visitor centre.  See the remarkable dwellings revealed from beneath the sand dunes by storms only 150 years ago.  There will also be time to visit the nearby manor house of Skaill House, built in 1620 on top of an ancient graveyard.We then continue this circular route and follow the coastline of Scapa Flow, made famous for its role in both World Wars.  Hear some of the stories from your guide today en route back to Kirkwall.ITINERARY: • Depart Kirkwall port • Photo stop at Standing Stones of Stenness • Arrive at the Ring of Brodgar • Depart for Skara Brae and Skaill House • Arrive at Skara Brae and Skaill House • Depart for Kirkwall via Scapa Flow • Arrive Kirkwall Port This is a wonderful circular tour to some of Orkneys most famous sites, please note that the order of visits may be adjusted to avoid congestion.

$362.38 Cultural & Theme Tours

3-Day Orkney Explorer - Small Group Tour from Inverness

ItineraryDay 1: Inverness - Gills Bay - St. Margaret's HopeStop At: Dunrobin Castle and Gardens, Golspie, Caithness and Sutherland, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandShort photo stop - please note the path leading to the front of the castle is quite steep, not suitable for everyone.Duration: 10 minutesStop At: Dunbeath HarbourBeautiful view to the sea and a very scenic landscape. Short comfort stop.Duration: 20 minutesStop At: The Italian Chapel, St. Mary's, Mainland, Orkney Islands, ScotlandVisit the Italian Chapel, a beautiful Roman Catholic chapel in Lamb Holm which was constructed by Italians during the Second World War.Duration: 30 minutesNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Overnight in Kirkwall, Orkney.Day 2: Today is your chance to explore the modern and ancient wonders of this fantastic islandStop At: Maeshowe, Stenness, Mainland, Orkney Islands, ScotlandThe monumental chambered tomb of Maeshowe is simply the finest Neolithic building in NW Europe. Built around 5,000 years ago, it is a masterpiece of Neolithic design and stonework construction, not least for its use of massive individual stones.Viking crusaders broke into the cairn in the 12th century and carved graffiti runes on the walls of the main chamber. Maeshowe is part of the Heart of Neolithic Orkney World Heritage Site, along with Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar and the Stones of Stenness.Duration: 1 hour 30 minutesStop At: Stromness Marina, Stromness, Mainland, Orkney Islands, ScotlandExplore the quaint alleyways and absorb the atmosphere in this 18th century settlement, which boasts an array of shops and cafes, as well as Stromness Museum and the acclaimed Pier Arts Centre.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Skara Brae, Stromness, Mainland, Orkney Islands, ScotlandLong before Stonehenge or even the Egyptian pyramids were built, Skara Brae was a thriving village. Step back 5,000 years in time to explore the best-preserved Neolithic settlement in Western Europe.Duration: 1 hour 15 minutesStop At: Ring of Brodgar, Stromness, Mainland, Orkney Islands, ScotlandOne of the finest stone circles in the world.Dating back from 2,500 to 2,000 BC, the stone ring was built in a true circle, 104 metres wide and originally contained sixty megaliths; today only twenty-seven of these stones remain.Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Standing Stones of Stenness, Stenness, Mainland, Orkney Islands, ScotlandStep back in time over 5000 years at what may be the earliest henge monument in the British Isles. The enormous Stones of Stenness are all that remains of a great stone circle on an ancient ceremonial site.Duration: 10 minutesNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Overnight in Kirkwall, Orkney.Day 3: Kirkwall - InvernessStop At: Kirkwall Marina, Kirkwall, Mainland, Orkney Islands, ScotlandFree time in Kirkwall town centre - visitors can wander around the town, visits local shops or St. Magnus Cathedral.Duration: 1 hour 30 minutesStop At: John O' Groats, Airor, Knoydart Peninsula, Lochaber, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandThis Highland village combines dramatic, unspoilt scenery and fascinating wildlife.Just 11 miles from Dunnet Head, the mostly northerly point of mainland Britain, the small coastal village of John o’ Groats is the starting point for many embarking on the famous 'End to End' journey to Land's End in England, some 876 miles away.Duration: 30 minutesNo meals included on this day.No accommodation included on this day.

$394.01 Cultural & Theme Tours

5 Day Orkney, Ullapool & the Northern Highlands

Our 5 Day tour heads west to pick up our Glasgow passengers before moving on to Luss on the shores of Loch Lomond. We travel on to Tyndrum at the south edge of Rannoch Moor for some lunch before heading to Glencoe. Afterwards we move on to Fort Augustus where you will have the option to take a cruise* on the loch and pause for photos of Urquhart Castle before travelling to Inverness.Day 2 we depart early from Inverness and head to the village of Golspie and Carn Liath. Next stop will be at Gills Bay for the ferry ride across to Orkney, arriving at St Margaret’s Hope, we will then travel on to visit the Italian Chapel*. It is named this as it was built by Italian prisoners of war during World War 2 and has since been restored. We will journey on to Kirkwall, Orkney where you will check in to your accommodation.Day 3 you will visit the Standing Stones of Stenness and the Rings of Brodgar.. We will then move on to Maeshowe*, an underground chambered cairn where you will have time to explore the passages and chambers before we travel to Skara Brae*.Skara Brae is Europe’s best-preserved Neolithic village, built even before the pyramids of Egypt. You can explore the village and get a glimpse into what life was like for the inhabitants 5000 years ago.We then return to Kirkwall and check into our accommodation.After breakfast we make our way to St Margaret’s Hope to take the ferry back to mainland Scotland. After arriving at Gills Bay we travel west, enjoying the beautiful views on our way to Thurso. Here, you will have time to explore the town and get some lunch and refreshments before we begin our journey along the north edge of Scotland to Smoo Cave. The route is particularly beautiful so there will be plenty of opportunities for photo stops along the way.Smoo Cave has a 50ft high entrance and it was created through erosion from the sea as well as an underground stream that formed the inner chambers. We pause here for photos before we journey on to our accommodation in Ullapool.We depart Ullapool and travel to Culloden Battlefield*. Afterwards, we will take short trip to the Clava Cairns, a 4000 year old burial mound surrounded by standing stones.The tour then continues on to the 15th century Cawdor Castle*, north east of Inverness. Explore the castle and its beautiful gardens where you can even get audio-guides which are available in several languages.We then move on to Pitlochry for refreshments before returning to Edinburgh.

$394.01 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

5 Day Orkney, Ullapool & the Northern Highlands from Glasgow

ItineraryDay 1: From Glasgow to InvernessStop At: Luss Pier, Luss, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, ScotlandWe stop at Luss for a morning break and views across beautiful Loch Lomond. Loch Lomond is Scotland's largest freshwater loch, and inspiration for many poems from Rabbie Burns.Duration: 45 minutesStop At: Tyndrum Community Woodland, Tyndrum, Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park, ScotlandWe stop at Tyndrum for a bite to eatDuration: 45 minutesStop At: Glen Coe, Glencoe, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandWe stop at Glencoe for a photo stop and wander through this haunting glen; site of the Massacre of the MacDonald clan.Duration: 15 minutesStop At: Fort Augustus, Fort Augustus, Loch Ness, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandStop at Fort Augustus for an optional cruise across Loch Ness. Alternatively, enjoy time at the village for refreshments and magnificent views across the water.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Urquhart Castle, Drumnadrochit, Loch Ness, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandWe pause for photos at Urquhart CastleDuration: 15 minutesStop At: Inverness Cathedral, Inverness, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandWe arrive at Inverness, Capital of the Highlands, where you will check in to your accommodation for the evening.Duration: 2 hoursNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Choose a single, double, twin or family room at a Bed & Breakfast. Alternatively make your own accommodation arrangementDay 2: From Inverness to OrkneyStop At: Loch Fleet National Nature Reserve, Golspie, Caithness and Sutherland, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandWe pause for photos at Loch FleetDuration: 15 minutesStop At: Golspie Gallery, Golspie, Caithness and Sutherland, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandWe pause for refreshments at the village of Golspie.Duration: 20 minutesStop At: River Helmsdale, Helmsdale, Caithness and Sutherland, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandAfter Cairn Liath, we pause for photos at the Helmsdale ClearanceDuration: 15 minutesStop At: Pentland Ferries, Gills, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandWe reach Gills Bay, where we take the ferry over to the Orkney IslandsDuration: 1 hourStop At: The Italian Chapel, St. Mary's, Mainland, Orkney Islands, ScotlandWe stop at the Italian Chapel, and time permitting we have the option to explore the interior of the wonderful building.Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Kirkwall Marina, Kirkwall, Mainland, Orkney Islands, ScotlandWe arrive in Kirkwall, capital of the Orkneys, where we spend our second night of the 5 day Orkney tour.Duration: 3 hoursNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Choose a single, double, twin or family room at a Bed & Breakfast. Alternatively make your own accommodation arrangementDay 3: A full day exploring OrkneyStop At: Standing Stones of Stenness, Stenness, Mainland, Orkney Islands, ScotlandWe stop for photos of the magnificent Stones of StennessDuration: 15 minutesStop At: Ring of Brodgar, Stromness, Mainland, Orkney Islands, ScotlandWe visit the Ring of Brodgar, a neolithic stone formation in Stromness.Duration: 25 minutesStop At: Maeshowe, Stenness, Mainland, Orkney Islands, ScotlandWe stop at Maeshowe, an underground chambered cairn where you will have time to explore the passages and chambers.Duration: 1 hour 25 minutesStop At: Skara Brae, Stromness, Mainland, Orkney Islands, ScotlandSkara Brae is Europe’s best-preserved Neolithic village, built even before the pyramids of Egypt. You can explore the village and get a glimpse into what life was like for the inhabitants 5000 years ago.Duration: 2 hoursStop At: Kirkwall Marina, Kirkwall, Mainland, Orkney Islands, ScotlandWe return to Kirkwall and check in to our accommodation for the evening.Duration: 3 hoursNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Choose a single, double, twin or family room at a Bed & Breakfast. Alternatively make your own accommodation arrangementDay 4: Take the NC500 from Orkney to UllapoolStop At: Pentland Ferries, Gills, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandWe travel from St Margaret's Hope to Gills Bay, back to mainland Scotland.Duration: 1 hourStop At: Thurso iCentre, Thurso, Caithness and Sutherland, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandWe stop at Thurso for lunch. Duration: 1 hourStop At: Smoo Cave, Durness, Caithness and Sutherland, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandSmoo Cave has a 50ft high entrance and it was created through erosion from the sea as well as an underground stream that formed the inner chambers. We pause here for photos.Duration: 15 minutesStop At: Ullapool VisitScotland Information Centre, Ullapool, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandWe arrive at Ullapool, where we check in to our accommodation for the evening.Duration: 3 hoursNo meals included on this day.Accommodation included: Choose a single, double, twin or family room at a Bed & Breakfast. Alternatively make your own accommodation arrangementDay 5: Ullapool to GlasgowStop At: Culloden Battlefield, Culloden Moor, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandCulloden Battlefield, where Bonnie Prince Charlie and the Jacobites were defeated. You will have some time here to take a walk and soak up the haunting atmosphere. Duration: 1 hour 30 minutesStop At: Clava Cairns, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandWe will take short trip to the Clava Cairns, a 4000 year old burial mound surrounded by standing stones.Duration: 20 minutesStop At: Cawdor Castle, Nairn, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandThe tour then continues on to the 15th century Cawdor Castle, north east of Inverness. Explore the castle and its beautiful gardens where you can even get audio-guides which are available in several languages.Duration: 1 hour 25 minutesStop At: Pitlochry VisitScotland iCentre, Pitlochry, Perth and Kinross, ScotlandWe then move on to Pitlochry for refreshments before returning to Edinburgh where our Orkney and the Northern Highlands tour concludes. If you are continuing to Glasgow, your guide will take you to Edinburgh Waverley railway station for the 50 minute free journey by train.Duration: 45 minutesNo meals included on this day.No accommodation included on this day.

$230.61 Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

3 Day Orkney Explorer from Inverness

ItineraryDay 1: The journey from Inverness to OrkneyStop At: Loch Fleet, Dornock, Annan, Dumfries and Galloway, ScotlandOur first stop of the day is Loch Fleet. We pause here for pictures of the local wildlife; seals and birds.Duration: 15 minutesStop At: Golspie InnWe spend a short while in the small village of Golspie for refreshmentsDuration: 20 minutesStop At: Carn LiathWe spend some time at Cairn Liath, an iron age broch on the eastern shore of the Scottish HighlandsDuration: 30 minutesStop At: River Helmsdale, Helmsdale, Caithness and Sutherland, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandAfter Cairn Liath, we pause for photos at the Helmsdale ClearanceDuration: 10 minutesStop At: Pentland Ferries, Gills, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandWe reach Gills Bay, where we take the ferry over to the Orkney IslandsDuration: 1 hourStop At: The Italian Chapel, St. Mary's, Mainland, Orkney Islands, ScotlandWe stop at the Italian Chapel, and time permitting we have the option to explore the interior of the wonderful building.Duration: 30 minutesStop At: Kirkwall VisitScotland iCentre, Kirkwall, Mainland, Orkney Islands, ScotlandWe arrive in Kirkwall, capital of the Orkneys, where we check in to our accommodation.Duration: 3 hoursNo meals included on this day.No accommodation included on this day.Day 2: A full day exploring OrkneyStop At: Standing Stones of Stenness, Stenness, Mainland, Orkney Islands, ScotlandWe stop for photos of the magnificent Stones of StennessDuration: 15 minutesStop At: Ring of Brodgar, Stromness, Mainland, Orkney Islands, ScotlandWe visit the Ring of Brodgar, a neolithic stone formation in Stromness.Duration: 25 minutesStop At: Maeshowe, Stenness, Mainland, Orkney Islands, ScotlandWe stop at Maeshowe, an underground chambered cairn where you will have time to explore the passages and chambers.Duration: 1 hour 25 minutesStop At: Skara Brae, Stromness, Mainland, Orkney Islands, ScotlandSkara Brae is Europe’s best-preserved Neolithic village, built even before the pyramids of Egypt. You can explore the village and get a glimpse into what life was like for the inhabitants 5000 years ago.Duration: 2 hoursStop At: Kirkwall VisitScotland iCentre, Kirkwall, Mainland, Orkney Islands, ScotlandWe return to Kirkwall and check in to our accommodation for the evening.Duration: 3 hoursNo meals included on this day.No accommodation included on this day.Day 3: The return trip to InvernessStop At: Pentland Ferries, Gills, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandWe travel from St Margaret's Hope to Gills Bay, back to mainland Scotland.Duration: 1 hourStop At: John O' Groats, Airor, Knoydart Peninsula, Lochaber, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandWe follow the coastline to John O’Groats; Scotland’s most northerly point on the mainland. Spend time here exploring the coastline and take your iconic picture next to its famous signpost. A range of wildlife can usually be seen here such as Atlantic puffins, seals, a variety of birds and possibly even an orca! Duration: 1 hourStop At: Dunbeath Castle Gardens, Dunbeath, Caithness and Sutherland, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandWe pause for photos at Dunbeath Castle GardensDuration: 15 minutesStop At: Dunrobin Castle and Gardens, Golspie, Caithness and Sutherland, Scottish Highlands, ScotlandWe pause for photos at Dunrobin CastleDuration: 15 minutesStop At: Golspie InnWe stop for a refreshment break at the village of GolspieDuration: 20 minutesNo meals included on this day.No accommodation included on this day.