4.5 star rating: Recommended 158 Reviews

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  • Location:Inverness, United Kingdom
  • Duration:14 hours (approx.)

Orkney Islands Day Trip from Inverness

Take an Orkney Islands tour of top attractions on this day trip from Inverness. You’ll travel by coach through Scotland’s dramatic North Highlands and ferry across the Pentland Firth from John O’Groats. Cross the Churchill Barriers and Scapa Flow to the Ring of Brodgar and Standing Stones of Stenness — part of the Neolithic Orkney World Heritage site. Your guide also takes you to the stone-age village of Skara Brae, the 12th-century St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall, and the Italian Chapel on Lamb Holm.

Note: This tour operates during the summer months.

Highlights

  • Day trip from Inverness to the Orkney Islands
  • Drive through John O’Groats, the northernmost town in mainland Scotland
  • Ferry boat ride across Pentland Firth
  • See the top attractions of Orkney, and cross the Churchill Barriers
  • Visit Kirkwall and Skara Brae

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Orkney Islands Day Trip from Inverness

Neolithic Skara Brae, Scotland

Marvel at the highlights of Neolithic Orkney on this full-day Orkney Islands tour, departing by coach from Inverness during summertime. Set your eyes upon the magnificent landscapes of the North Highlands before arriving at Scotland’s northernmost point in the village of John O’Groats. 

From here, it’s a 40-minute ferry ride across the Pentland Firth to the Orkney Islands. Search the strait for gannets, seals, puffins, pods of porpoise and the occasional whale as you island-hop through the Churchill Barriers, which connect five islands to form the Eastern boundary of Scapa Flow.

Your first stop is Kirkwall, the capital and largest town of the Orkney Islands. Learn from your guide about Viking history and admire the Romanesque architecture of St Magnus Cathedral, whose construction began in the 12th century. 

Then step back in time 5,000 years at Skara Brae, a prehistoric Neolithic settlement — perfectly preserved under sand dunes and discovered in 1850 during a winter storm (admission fee is your own expense). See it along with the the Standing Stones of Stenness and the Ring Of Brodgar Stone Circle and Henge — all comprising the Heart of Neolithic Orkney UNESCO World Heritage site. 

On the return ferry ride in the evening, make a final stop at the Italian Chapel. This Roman Catholic chapel in Lamb Holm was built during World War II using raw materials inside two Nissen huts. Once you’ve landed back in Inverness, you’re returned to the bus station where your day trip ends.

Customer Reviews

Winnett C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Even though the day was gloomy. We had a great time and saw quite a bit of the island.

Aneta I

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Wonderful trip, excellently and organised to a tiny little detail. The guide on the Orkney islands was especially charismatic, with subtle and amusing sense of humour he showed great and varied historical and cultural knowledge of Orkney. Enjoyed it very, very much

dsterl

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

This was an amazing trip to Orkney and to Skara Brae. We picked up the Viator coach at the Inverness bus station right on schedule and were met by a lovely man who had personality plus. Our trip was informative and fun and we sat back and enjoyed the view and the ride. We will definitely use Viator again in the future as they are a class act !

BRIAN P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

One of the best tours I have been on. The visit to Kirkwall, Scara Brae and the Standing Stones of Brodgar and the Italian Chapel were very inspiring. The commentary from Inverness to John O'Groats and the one on the Orkeys were both very informative, unfortunately there was no commentary on the way back, from John O'Groats to Inverness. All in all, I would thoroughly recommend the tour even though it is a very long day.

Kelly T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Awesome, one of my bucket list items. It is a long trip but well worth the time to see Skara Brae, Skaill House, Ring of Brodgar and Italian Chapel. Also a drive-by of the Standing Stones of Stennes, Scalpa Flow. Our tour driver on Orkney was incredibly knowlegeable and entertaining. The bus ride to John O'Groats and back was equally enjoyable. The guides going up and back were very attentive, serving both tea and coffee also pre ordered sandwiches for the way back. More than I ever expected.

Cathy Hammond United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

A wonderful time that I will never forget! Worth every moment and penny!

David W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

The tour guide did an outstanding performance and the information relayed was extremely valuable. It was a well worth trip!!

Linda E

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Excellent tour - I am so glad I went to Orkney. Coach service was excellent with a very knowledgeable driver.
Would recommend this to anyone thinking of doing day tour of Orkney.

Dorcas F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Fantastically interesting. The Neolithic sites are amazing. Our bus driver/guide was very knowledgeable and entertaining. Highly recommended.

Irene M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

long day, but all sites seen and good history and background to islands given by driver/guide on coach

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Tour code: 2746INVORK

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