• Location: Inverness, United Kingdom
  • Duration: 14 hours (approx.)
From USD $ 94.02 View price calendar

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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

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

William W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2017

This is a very long day, and for those of us who have sea issues sometimes the 45 minute trip across form John O' Groats can seem longer, but it's worth it...the Orkney's have a wealth of history, sights, and views and you really get the highlights of the Islands...some fascinating history form WWII to 3500 BC...Skara Brae never gets old - just thinking about how folks lived there is really mind boggling...Ring of Brogdar ? really reminds you of Stonehenge and they are excavating new sites just down the road...loved the WWII connections, and the Church constructed by the Italian POW's is both lovely and bittersweet...really worth the , almost impossible to do this on your own...you should do this!

Shelbi B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2017

Could have used a little more time in the town but you can't control the currents in the North Sea. It was an amazing day. The tour guides did a great job and ensured we had all the pertinent information. It is a definite must see...you may want to consider an overnight here there is so much to see and do.

Carol C USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2017

Very long day, but the sights in the Orkneys are worth the trip.

Candyce C

5 star rating: Highly Recommended October 2017

Amazing place. Starting with the coach ride from Inverness to John O'Groats Ferry, you get outstanding scenery, lots of history about MacBeth and more. The Ferry ride was very pleasant with dolphins and puffins and sunshine. The temperatures on the Orkney Islands was around 70 which they say is year-around but in the winter the winds are fierce so it doesn't seem like 70. The town we stopped in was delightful with very friendly people but the history - Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar Standing Stones similar to Stonehenge is something you have to see. The historians built a replica of a stone structure that the people of 5000 years ago lived in that visitors can go into and see how they slept, where their fire was, where they stored their foods, etc. The actual village has a path around the various homes of yesterday but you can't go in those - they are in the sand and the roofs are covered with grown-over grass, etc.

kym b

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2017

Long trip on the bus, followed by a brief ferry ride to the islands.
I was fortunate to sit next to a local from the island of Hoy and he pointed out points as interest along the way as well as a standing stone on the ridge of a mountain.
There was plenty of time to spend having a wander around the town before setting off on the tour around the island a the points of interest.
The weather was atrocious but there is little that can be done about that.
The archeological sites were outstanding and very well presented. The surprise was the woolly pigs.
The driver was entertaining and informative and allowed us all plenty of time foe a wander. His patience was tried at each spot with two tourists always being late.
All in all I would thoroughly recommend this tour.

Dale B

5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2017

Our day trip to the Orkney Islands was one we will remember for a long time to come. The bus left promptly from Inverness bus station where there is plenty of parking around for those with cars. The two and one half hour bus trip was comfortable and the guide provide us with information along the way. Ferry ride from John O'Groats was smoothly organised. Our guide/bus driver, Martin in Orkney was excellent. As a local he was able to add that little bit of local knowledge and passion for his homeland which made the trip special. We had been looking forward to seeing the archaeological sites of the Ring of Brodga and Scara Brae. I would love to have stopped at the Ness of Brodga and Maeshowe just long enough to take some photos. I would also like to have passed the Ness of Brodga when there were archeologists there working on the site. I do understand that there is a lot to fit into a one day trip such as this.
Another excellent part of our trip was the bus trip back along the Scotish coast with the green fields, blue water, castes and castle ruins. All lovely. We were so lucky to get great weather although windy in parts mostly it was a sunny and warm August day. Thank you Martin for making the day memorable.

laurie W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2017

The weather was awful but overall we had a good trip. Our guide on the Island was very good. Would be fantastic on a clear day.

Gertrude M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2017

Excellent trip, highly recommended. Timing of tour well organised, saw such a lot of Orkney all on one day. Learned so much from Orkney tour guide and had beautiful weather too!

Kim Lin A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2017

Our guide Stuart Smith was great - knowledgeable, personable, and funny.

Peter T

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2017

Very good tour guides, both on the way up to John O'Groats and then around Orkney. Both gave a lot of good info along the way. Also thought that meals and bookings for Skara Brae were handled excellently so we made the most of our time on the islands. A trip that will stay long in my memory.

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