5 star rating: Highly Recommended 91 Reviews

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  • Location:John O'Groats, United Kingdom
  • Duration:11 hours (approx.)

Orkney Islands Day Trip from John O'Groats

Escape the mainland for a full-day tour of the far-flung Orkney Islands from John o’Groats. Journey by ferry across the Pentland Firth to the wind-swept Orkney archipelago, bursting with postcard-perfect natural vistas and mystical landmarks. With a local guide, cruise along the Churchill Barriers to visit villages steeped in Viking mystery like 3,000 year-old Skara Brae and landmarks like the Lamb Holm Italian Chapel and St Magnus Cathedral.

Highlights

  • Day trip from John O’Groats to the Orkney Islands
  • Cross the Churchill Barriers
  • Ferry boat ride across Pentland Firth
  • Watch for seals and whales
  • Visit the villages of Storminess and Skara Brae

Recent Photos of This Tour

What You Can Expect

Orkney Islands Day Trip from John O'Groats

St Magnus Cathedral, Scotland

Your 11-hour trip through the Orkney Islands begins in John o’ Groats Harbor, where you’ll set off by ferry in the morning across the blustery Pentland Firth to port in Burwick. After your 40-minute cruise, transfer to a comfortable coach for a guided tour of remarkable local attractions.

Savor unspoiled scenery as you travel along the Churchill Barriers (the extensive island causeway system). You’ll hug the Scapa Flow (meaning ‘bay of the long isthmus’ in Old Norse), where you may spot swooping seabirds, bobbing seals and whales. Stop in Stromness, the last port of all before the Americas, and Kirkwall to see the lovely St Magnus Cathedral – nearly a millennia old! 

Soak up mysterious Viking history as you visit ancient monuments including prehistoric standing stones, tombs and the more than 4,500-year-old village of Skara Brae. Cap your day with a stop at the famous Italian Chapel, built during WWII by Italian prisoners of war. Admire the beauty and ingenuity of the chapel, made of only basic raw materials, then re-board your coach for the ride back to port.

Your tour concludes back at John o’Groats Harbor in the evening. 

Customer Reviews

FABRIZIO L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

Was great- --- i never been in place like that

MS LAI FONG L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

Lots of WW1 and WW2 history and geological and pre-historic interests to explore. Skara Brae was fantastic and who need Stonehenge when you can see standing stones and stone circles on the Orkneys for free?

Hiram D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2015

This is the second time I have been asked for a view on my trip, I completed this before. As I said on my previous review the whole trip was wonderful made extra special by the coach driver A1 star.

Shirley B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Terrific driver and tour guide. Most enjoyable. But be prepared for a long day!

vivfel

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2015

Our bus driver/guide was exceptional - information and humour all in one. Pity he couldn't have given us better weather, but still this was a great day. Learnt so much about the Churchill Barriers, Skara Brae other items of interest. The background story of the Italian Chapel was very interesting. Well worth doing.

Michael N

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Can you please accept that this was essentially a private trip and we do not have time for such
superfluous writings??

Duncan M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Very complete coverage of all major sites, except distilleries unfortunately -. Excellent driver/guide named Stuart/Stewart

dkedwards

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Trip to Orkney was excellent! Only negative was that there was a bit of rain and wind - but it is a long way north! Our coach driver, young Stuart, was very knowledgable and we got extra info due to his studies in archeology! We learnt so much about Orkney! Extra purchase of a ticket to Skara Brae is a must!

Merle K Australia

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Great trip with lots to see and good amount of time at each stop. Our driver Bain gave us great commentary and details of everything there was to see and where and he recommended we the order we do each stop to get the best value from our time on the islands. I would have no hesitation in recommending this tour to anyone.

lloyd g

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2015

Skara Brae and the Scapa Flow story stick out. Would have liked a little more on the farming. Great day.

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Tour code: 2746MAXIDAY

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