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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 5,000 year-old Skara Brae and landmarks like the Lamb Holm Italian Chapel and St Magnus Cathedral.


  • 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 Stromness 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 5,000-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


5 star rating: Highly Recommended December 2016

excellent tour, guide was very amusing and professional. Highly recomended


5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

Our driver/tour guide was wonderful. So knowledgeable, funny and well spoken. A keeper.

Yvonne K

5 star rating: Highly Recommended September 2016

A brilliant trip, well organised perfect if you only have one day to try to see everything. The coach driver Stuart was very knowledgeable and made the trip with his commentary


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

One of two favorite tours during a recent month in the UK, mostly in Scotland. Granted, its not classy capitol city fare but the bus driver was excellent - quite moving to learn about how WWII affected the area, to see the stark landscape and understand more about Neolithic times and when people from Scandanavia came through these lands into the Scottish mainland.


5 star rating: Highly Recommended August 2016

Great day loved the trip. The boat was late and consequently the trip was a bit rushed making up time.

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.


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.

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