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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 and the 12th-century St Magnus Cathedral in Kirkwall.
Note: This tour operates during the summer months.


  • 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
  • Visit to the Italian Chapel

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. 
Once you’ve landed back in Inverness, you’re returned to the bus station where your day trip ends.

Customer Reviews

Kathy K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

While the bus ride from Inverness to John O'Groats was a bit long, we had some beautiful views along the way and our tour guides kept us entertained with plenty of historical information. We enjoyed the ferry across to the islands, the time in Kirkwall St. Magness Cathedral, Bishop's and Earl's Castles and, the main attractions of Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodgar with spectacular mounds of heather and the Standing Stones of Stenness.. A lot was packed into that one day.

Jerri C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2016

This is a long day trip but well worth the time. The trip up the north east coast of Scotland is breathtaking. John O'Groats is a lovely little town where we waited for the ferry to the Orkney's There is a nice gift shop and a good little food stand to grab something to eat while waiting, and the food can be pre-ordered on the bus. The ferry ride was beautiful. Then you will stop at Kirkwall a very lovely town. St Magnus is well worth a visit. Skara Brea is fascinating and there is a lovely beach there as well. There are many beautiful thing to see. Too many to mention here. Time is limited because there are so many things to see and do, but as they tell you this is but a taste of the Orkney's its one of the best day trips that I have taken in Scotland. The Orkney Islands are really beautiful.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Great tour guide/bus driver on Orkney, lovely scenery and very interesting history.

Lisa B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Orkney is amazing! This was a highlight of our 8 days in Scotland. The island is beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing Skara Brae, Kirkwall, the stones. Our tour guide on the island, Alan, was simply the best. Great stories and he entertained us every step of the way. We had a traffic issue on the bus on the way up oil truck got stuck that blocked the road for over an hour but they managed to hold the ferry so our tour wasn't ruined. I cannot recommend this tour enough.

Jim C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Quite splendid. Very helpful and entertaining crew, Scara Brae et al was wholly impressive, and the whole day was wonderful, especially as we had fine sunny weather. I'd happily do this trip again and have recommended it to others.

E. Charlotte S

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Absolutely wonderful, long tour day. The bus was comfortable, the ferry ride was bracing, and the bus driver on the island was both knowledgeable and a terrific, humorous story teller. We particularly enjoyed the World War 2 stories and artifacts, as well as the amazing prehistoric sites.

SANDRA Victoria E United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

It was great and considering I was not well I can still say it was a suberb trip.
It was a long trip but we will be back. The most interesting trip I have ever had and we have traveled a lot including Canada and America. The commentery was first class.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Very nice tour. It would be helpful if the guide on the first segment of the trip would review the day's itinerary. As an example most people didn't understand that a second guide would meet us once we disembarked the ferry from John O' Groats. Otherwise this tour was very well run. The drivers were knowledgeable and very helpful.

Ina V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

This trip was fantastic. The boat ride was terrific.

Suzanne T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Amazing! Orkney tour guide was great. The bus tour picked us up from the ferry dock and provided commentary throughout the whole tour. Ring of Brodgar and Skara Brae was awesome to see. So much history and places to see on these small islands.
Highly recommended

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