A holiday designed to give you the chance to see the best of Shetland, described by "Lonely Planet" in 2011 as one of the top places to visit in the world. This option is based on the comfortable overnight ferry services from Aberdeen.
Ferry departs Aberdeen early evening, giving you a chance to enjoy dinner on board before retiring to your cabin.
Arrival at Shetland's capital, Lerwick at 0730 so plenty of time to start exploring today, before taking a short ferry ride to your first base.
You will stay for the next two nights in a unique and award winning guesthouse which is also Shetland’s first and only spa. Set on the small island of Bressay, the house is just a short and easily accessible 5 minute ferry ride from Lerwick. From a modern house built in the traditional Shetland style, guests will appreciate the expansive views across the sound to the islands beyond, particularly enjoyable from the wooden deck. As you enter the guesthouse an air of calm relaxation pervades the Swedish- influenced interior and the friendly owners have created a comfortable, almost soothing haven. They believe in an holistic approach to care and well-being and this shines through everything they offer, from the seasonal, organic local produce and home made goodies they serve, to the gentle lighting, candles, restful bedrooms – just four – and congenial dining arrangements. Should you decide to treat yourself, there is a tempting range of alternative therapies to choose from and the excellent spa facilities include a Hydro Spa, Infrared Detox Sauna, Aromatherapy Hot Tub, Floatation Therapy Room, Turkish Steam Room, Sauna and Hot Hydro Pool - perfect after a day spent enjoying the local Shetland countryside. A mini spa session is included in your stay - please note the minimum age for guests is 18 years.
A full day to relax or tour some of the highlights, with a trip by small ferry to the island of Mousa included, famous for its wildlife and its 2000 year old broch - a prehistoric dwelling, one of the best preserved in Scotland.
Your touring today will take you to the west of the islands, perhaps to the dramatic coastline of Eshaness and the newly established Geopark.
Your second hotel is set on the edge of a village overlooking a peaceful bay. The original, historic building dates from the 1500’s and has benefited from many tasteful additions throughout the centuries. Low ceilings, winding corridors, steep steps and sloping floors all add to the characterful ambience of the place which, rumour has it, includes its' very own ghost. Guests comment on the friendly welcome and traditional service they have received here and the hotel even has royal connections: the Queen of England once took afternoon tea in the library. Less regal guests can enjoy meals in the hotel bar or restaurant, both of which offer high quality, locally-sourced produce. All the bedrooms are individually decorated and named after the surrounding isles, and have views of the bay or the gardens, complete with trees – a rare and welcome occurrence on Shetland.
We would recommend taking a day trip to the northern islands of Yell and Unst, the most northerly parts of the British mainland, using the regular ferry services. These contrasting islands are still vibrant communities: Yell has wonderful sandy beaches, while Unst has over a third of Shetland's pony population - watch out for them as they behave like sheep on the roads! To the north of Unst lies Muckle Flugga, with its famous lighthouse at the very far north of Great Britain.
Another day to explore, with options including the beautiful St Ninian's Isle and its unusual "tombola" sandy beach, the ancient settlement of Jarlshof and Sumburgh head, a nesting place for puffins until early August.
Your ferry departs late afternoon or early evening for Aberdeen, arriving the next morning.