Inverness, United Kingdom
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Overview

Discover the mystic and dramatic beauty of the far-flung Orkney Islands on this 3-day excursion from Inverness. With a friendly guide, journey across the Pentland Firth to wind-swept Orkney archipelago, bursting with wildlife and picture-perfect vistas. Visit villages steeped in Viking mystery and landmarks like the Lamb Holm Italian Chapel and the UNESCO-listed Standing Stones of Stenness. Two evenings in a 3-star hotel or B&B and daily breakfast included.
  • 3-day trip from Inverness to Scotland’s Orkney Islands
  • Travel with an expert guide and see all the top Orkney attractions
  • Visit the Orkney Island’s Italian Chapel and see the famous Churchill Barriers
  • See the monuments that comprise the Heart of Neolithic Orkney: Maeshowe, the Standing Stones of Stenness, Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae
  • Admire St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall and learn about the Norwegian bell ringing that takes place there
  • Overnight accommodation in your choice of 3-star B&B or 3-star hotel
Your 3-day excursion through the Orkney Islands begins in Inverness, where you’ll meet your guide in the morning and set off by ferry across the blustery North Sea to port in Stromness.

During the next days, you’ll travel by minibus through the sparsely inhabited Orkney Isles – an ancient archipelago comprised of around 70 islands. Savor the unspoiled scenery and touches of history that surround you such as the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, a collection of Viking monuments including ancient standing stones, tombs and the prehistoric village of Skara Brae. See other fascinating sites like St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall and the famous Italian Chapel, built during WWII by Italian prisoners of war. Spend your days on fun guided tours and your evenings relaxing or independently exploring Kirkwall, where your accommodation is located.

Your tour includes round-trip transport, two nights stay in a 3-star hotel or B&B and daily breakfasts.

Itinerary

Day 1: Inverness – Orkney Islands
Hop on board your luxury minibus and head north from Inverness, to the coastal town of Wick. From here, board your ferry and cross the North Sea to Scotland’s mysterious Orkney Islands (or ‘Orkney Isles’ as the Scots know them) – just northeast of the mainland. After a crossing of roughly 90 minutes, arrive into Stromness – the main port. 

After a break for lunch (own expense), your tour winds its way north through Orkney’s gorgeous countryside, to the Italian Chapel in Lamb Holm. Hear how it was built by Italian prisoners of war when the island was uninhabited, and admire its intricately built architecture. Your guide will also point out the famous Churchill Barriers – a series of causeways that acted as a naval defense during WWII. Your evening is then spent at leisure in the Orkney capital of Kirkwall.

Overnight: 3-star bed and breakfast or 3-star hotel accommodation in Kirkwall

Day 2: Kirkwall – Heart of Neolithic Orkney (B)
After a relaxing breakfast in your hotel, meet your guide for an action-packed day, exploring the Orkney Islands and learning about their intriguing history. Take a walk around Kirkwall, admiring its quaint craft shops, and then set out by minibus to discover four of the island’s prehistoric marvels: Maeshowe chambered cairn (tomb), Standing Stones of Stenness, Ring of Brodgar and the Neolithic village of Skara Brae. Known collectively as the Heart of Neolithic Orkney, this incredible group of monuments achieved UNESCO World Heritage status in 1999. 

Your day finishes with a visit to St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall to marvel at its distinctive yellow and red brickwork and to learn about its Norwegian style of bell ringing– proof of the strong Viking influence on the islands. Dine out in the town at your own expense, and then the night is yours to spend at leisure.

Overnight: 3-star bed and breakfast or 3-star hotel accommodation in Kirkwall

Day 3: Orkney Islands – Inverness (B)

Rise early for breakfast and then head straight to the port for an early ferry ride back to the Scottish mainland. Arriving at Wick, hop back on board your minibus and then journey south, winding through a diverse landscape of hilly crags and windswept coastal roads. The drive back to Inverness takes roughly 4 hours, but there are plenty of stops along the way to stretch your legs or grab lunch (own expense). Arrive back to Inverness in the afternoon.
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