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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

Gabriel A

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Great way to spend the day.From the booking to finding the harbour everything was easy to find.The tour was guided by the driver/commentator who was a very informed and funny guy who knew a joke or two :) The time spent at each stop was appropriate and we saw every and #34;must see and #34; attraction of Orkneys!

Brian M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Excellent tour. The driver/guide was 1st class. He was knowledgeable, informative and amusing..

Lisa L USA

5 star rating: Highly Recommended July 2016

Amazing day! Really glad I booked this tour vs taking the car ferry over. There was enough time at each place. I think the shorter tour would not have have been enough time. The guide was very knowledgeable and friendly. He even stopped at a few places not listed on the itinerary for photo ops which was lovely.

morbeys

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Excellent trip, well organised, comfortable coach and very good tour guide who had interesting and informed local knowledge. If you only have a day to spare like us I would fully recommend this tour

Nancy C United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

This was a great tour. They managed to fit in an acceptable amount of time at each stop considering the shorter day that had to be scheduled in May. We really enjoyed the driver's comments and historical narrative as he drove between stops. It is absolutely beautiful country and there was such a variety of history from prehistoric to current. This was one of the highlights of our trip to Scotland. Wish we had had another day to go back and further explore.

gillian m

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

It certainly came up to my expectation and more. the Italian chapel was an inspiration and the highlight of the trip for me..

George M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

Loved the whole experience.Very well organised.Coach driver was very knowledgeable and funny.great day on Orkney.Thankyou.

Helen H

5 star rating: Highly Recommended June 2016

After a smooth crossing on the ferry we stepped straight on to the coach which was waiting for us. Stuart, our driver, provided an entertaining commentary as he took us to the various sites, along with anecdotes which we would have missed if we had travelled alone. We were fortunate that the sites were not overcrowded and we enjoyed a lively lunch at the Ferry Inn in Stromness. The only drawback for us was the biting cold, which meant an uncomfortable visit at Skara Brae and the Ring of Brodgar, but that's something you cannot legislate for. I would thoroughly recommend this trip.

Colleen M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended May 2016

Excellent, driver/tour guide was excellent. I would recommend this tour.

FABRIZIO L

5 star rating: Highly Recommended November 2015

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

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