Amazing summer trip across Orkney and Shetland! With this combination of ferries and flights you can visit 6 islands of Orkneys and Shetlands in one journey from Aberdeen, Scotland for only £156!
There’s a magic to Orkney that you begin to feel as soon as the Scottish mainland slips astern. Only a few short miles of ocean separate the chain of islands from Scotland’s north coast, but the Pentland Firth is one of Europe’s most dangerous waterways, a graveyard of ships that adds an extra mystique to these islands shimmering in the sea mists.
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.
Close enough to Norway geographically and historically to make nationality an ambiguous concept, the Shetland Islands are Britain’s most northerly outpost. There’s a Scandinavian lilt to the local accent, and streets named King Haakon or St Olaf are reminders that Shetland was under Norse rule until 1469, when it was gifted to Scotland in lieu of the dowry of a Danish princess.
The stirringly bleak setting – it’s a Unesco geopark – still feels uniquely Scottish, though, with deep, naked glens flanked by steep hills, twinkling, sky-blue lochs and, of course, sheep on the roads. Despite the famous ponies and woollens, it’s no agricultural backwater. Offshore oil makes it quite a busy, comparatively well-heeled place, despite drops in barrel prices. Nevertheless nature still rules the seas and islands, and the birdlife is spectacular: pack binoculars.
Aberdeen – Kirkwall (ferry) July 1
Kirkwall – Papa Westray (flight) July 3
Papa Westray – Kirkwall – Sanday – Stronsay (flights) July 5
Stronsay – Sanday – Kirkwall – North Ronaldsay (flight) July 6
North Ronaldsay – Kirkwall (flight) July 7
Kirkwall – Lerwick (ferry) July 7
Lerwick – Aberdeen (ferry) July 11
How to book:
Follow the links below.
One checked bag of up to 15 kg per passenger.
Sample reservations for 2 people:
Aberdeen – Kirkwall (ferry)>>>
In Orkney we suggest you stay at Kirkwall Youth Hostel with very good reviews. Situated just 13 minutes’ from St Magnus Cathedral, Kirkwall Youth Hostel offers free onsite parking and a self-catering kitchen. This former World War II base and school is quietly located on the edge of Kirkwall. Each private room has access to shared bathroom facilities. Guests have use of laundry facilities and a large drying room. Kirkwall Youth Hostel offers a well equipped kitchen, for guests to prepare meals. The surrounding area offers a wide range of restaurants and pubs. Orkney offers many historic sites and attractions, including Skara Brae, Maes Howe, and the Ring of Brodgar. The historic Scapa Flow is just 1.6 km from the Kirkwall Youth Hostel. Guests can enjoy ferry trips to the Northern Isles from Kirkwall Harbour.