Scotland's Orkney Islands

5 Days | Whisky and Neolithic history in UK’s northern reaches

4.3 out of 5 based on 30 reviews submitted.
Explorer
From
CAD $2,076
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The Orkneys, off the northern tip of Scotland, are well and truly alive with histories and mysteries to discover by land and sea. Spend five days experiencing the best of the Orkney Islands, departing from the highland hub of Inverness, and using Kirkwall as your base. Admire the Neolithic town of Skara Brae that predates Stonehenge, get well off the tourist trail on a leisurely coastal walk on Island of Hoy, and bookend your days with plenty of local history and perhaps some whisky tastings at local pubs along the way. With a local leader full of knowledge and a group as eager to learn as you, this slice of European history has never been so enticing.

Trip overview

Map of Scotland's Orkney Islands including United Kingdom
Start
Inverness, United Kingdom
Finish
Inverness, United Kingdom
Theme
Explorer
Destinations
United Kingdom
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Original
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1 - Max 12
Trip code
BWSO
We’re in the process of figuring out how much CO2-e this trip generates. In the meantime, find out more about our climate commitments and carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • The Orkney Islands are teeming with historic sites to explore. The Neolithic township of Skara Brae, the renowned Ring of Brodgar and 12th-century St Magnus Cathedral – it’s like you’ve been transported back in time!
  • Join your group leader on a walking tour of Kirkwall – Orkney’s main centre. They’ll be able to share with you the history and traditions behind the game of ‘Ba’ in town.
  • Spend the morning discovering the island of Hoy and famous Scapa Flow Museum, showcasing objects never seen before alongside favourite exhibits telling the story of Scapa Flow as centre of the British naval universe during both world wars.
  • What’s Scotland without a tipple? Be sure to join your local leader and group of travellers throughout the trip at a corner pub, tasting some of the finest whiskies on offer.
  • With plenty of time dedicated to exploring at your own pace, you can dial up the history, or instead, balance it all out with some distillery visits. You’ve got the power to choose.

Is this trip right for you?
  • Please ensure you consult your local government’s advice regarding domestic travel prior to booking this trip.
  • Scotland can be cold at night throughout the year, especially at the start and end of the season. Please bring appropriate clothing for adverse weather conditions, including base layers, hat, gloves, scarf, waterproof clothes/umbrella and anything else that you think may be applicable.
  • As accommodation on this trip is twin share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same gender. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. However, if you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge (some exceptions may apply). Please ask your travel consultant for more details. Also, hotels in Europe can seem small by Australian or American standards, and often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together/apart.

Itinerary

Map of Scotland's Orkney Islands including United Kingdom

Inclusions

Meals

4 breakfasts, 1 lunch

Transport

Train, Public bus, Private vehicle, Taxi, Ferry, On foot

Accommodation

Guesthouse (4 nights)

Activities
  • Kirkwall - Leader-led Walking Tour
  • Orkney Islands - Ring of Brodgar Standing Stones
  • Orkney Islands - Italian Chapel
  • Orkney Islands - Orkney Mainland Day Tour
  • Orkney Islands - Picnic lunch with Local Orkney Produce in an old schoolhouse
  • Orkney Islands - Churchill Barriers & Scapa Flow
  • Orkney Islands - Skara Brae Prehistoric Village Visit
  • Island of Hoy - Day Trip
  • Island of Hoy - Scapa Flow Museum visit
Add on activities
  • Island of Hoy - Coastal Walk - Free

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1.A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2.This trip starts at 1pm in the ticket hall of Inverness Railway Station on Day 1. Afterwards, your group will immediately depart for Kirkwall. This trip finishes upon arrival in Inverness on Day 5 at approximately 5pm. Please consider this when booking onward travel.
3.Please note that the journey from Inverness to the Orkney Islands and vice versa is quite long (approx 7.5 hours), involving a train, taxi, ferry and local bus. Our arrival into Kirkwall on day 1 will be at around 9:30pm and arrival back into Inverness on the last day will be at around 5pm.

Essential Trip Information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

Read Essential Trip Information

Reviews

4.3 out of 5 based on 30 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

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Janet · Traveled June 2024
Had a great time in Orkney. Kirkwall has a great museum and a beautiful cathedral. The Neolithic sites are a must, our guide was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic. It was fun to be part of a small group , our guide was very patient and very helpful with his local knowledge. At the end of the day we always had a lovely meal sampling the local food and drink.
Review submitted 26 Jun 2024

Linda · Traveled June 2024
Please extract from the earlier sections of this report.
Review submitted 26 Jun 2024

Myra · Traveled May 2024
A fantastic experience. The best small group tour we have done. Lawrence made all of us welcome on the first day and spent time with all of us getting to know our interests and what we were expecting from the tour. His gentle humour was a delight as was his professionalism. The natural beauty and history of Orkney were enhanced by Lawrence's depth of knowledge.
Review submitted 06 Jun 2024

Robin · Traveled April 2024
A wonderful short trip for people that have always wanted to visit the Orkney islands but want someone else (Intrepid) to expertly organize everything.
Review submitted 27 Apr 2024

Valerie · Traveled October 2023
The Orkney Islands are beautiful to the eye and the soul. Our guide was knowledgeable and had a great sense of humour. Care for the groups was definitely his priority and Alistair managed to accomplish this without being instructive. The meals and spirits of the island should not be missed.
Review submitted 07 Oct 2023
Scotland's Orkney Islands
From
CAD $2,076