Inverness, United Kingdom

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clock-o3 days (Approx.)
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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.


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.


Viator Traveler's Reviews

9 Reviews
5 Star
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1 Star
, Aug 2017

Wonderful guide and group to travel with. We had a good bit of time at each site. Accomodations at B and B were very nice. I'm ready to go back!!

, May 2017

Pick up in Inverness was efficient, all travel arrangements went according to plan, very good driving and tour commentary from our guide, thankyou. Accommodation in Orkney was a bit hit and miss as we were scattered over a wide area. I booked B and B accommodation but had not realised that I might be parked well out of the town centre. My B and B was very good, but with hindsight I would go for a hotel. Most tour operators lodge all guests together, which for a solo traveller is less isolating.
We were advised to buy the all in one pass for attractions mine at concession rate was 15, a full price I think was 19. This should give entry to a varirty of venues without the need to pay at each, but as I only visited two of those places I don't think it was good value for me. You still had to queue up with other visitors and have your pass checked and dated by hand! which did not save much time.
The places we saw were as I anticipated having done some research in advance, especially pleased to visit Maes Howe and Skara Brae, but would have like more time in Kirkwall when things were open. Had to forego the Bishop's Palace as I wanted to visit the cathedral, and time was quite limited. Also, we did not have enough time at Skara Brae to visit the stately home which was included as part of this visit. Frequent stops for toilets and refreshments at intervals I suppose are necessary, but when you only have one full day in Orkney they eat away at the available time for the major attractions. Now I have seen Orkney, I will probably go back and spend more time there. All in all it was a good, well organised tour with the few provisos I have mentioned.

, Sep 2016

This three day trip was everything described and was a wonderful experience. The guide was knowledgeable and had a terrific sense of humor. I'd recommend this trip to anyone else who is considering a visit to the Orkney Islands.

, Jul 2016

Outstanding opportunity to see and experience many of the awesome historic sights in the Orkney Islands! Days were action-packed, but evening allowed plenty of time to relax, enjoy a good meal, and check out the pretty sea side town of Kirkwall. Our guide was knowledgeable, personable, and easy going which added to the fun of the tour. It was all that we hoped for!

, Jun 2015

Timeless! Guide was extremely knowledgeable and very entertaining. Sights were unbelievable and more than we hoped for#

, Oct 2014

Great tour guide, Mark. Kirkwall hotel not good. My VISA card was hacked.

, Sep 2014

This tour was just wonderful, nine of us on the mini van. Mark the guide was most knowledgeable and helpful. I would recommend this tour to anyone wanting to visit the Orkneys. We elected to stay at a hotel and it was good, very clean and wonderful food.

, Jul 2013

My wife and I really enjoyed this trip. Everything worked out well - the bus, hotel, sightseeing. We thought the driver was first class; nothing was too much trouble; he was cheerful, helpful, knowledgeable.

, Jul 2013

The guide from Highland Experience informed us that ours was the first trip they had conducted and we were thus "guinea pigs " for the tour. His joking persona sometimes conflicted with his sense of direction as the route was new to him. The sites visited were excellent and what we had wished to see. The addition of Broch of Gurness at my request (over view only - site not entered) and Dunnett Head and also Stromness at suggestion by others, were worthwhile and should always be included (weather permitting). Other stops left only a very short time at Culloden which was a disappointment to those returning to Edinburgh.

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Product code: 5256ORKNEY3D

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