If you wish to drive for as much of the journey as possible head north to the ferry ports of either Aberdeen, Scrabster, Gills Bay or John o' Groats.
NorthLink Ferries and Pentland Ferries allow you to take your car, so you can drive around Orkney.
You can find out up-to-date traffic information from Traffic Scotland, and plan your route with Transport Direct.
Citylink buses run to Aberdeen, Thurso and Gills Bay, with ongoing ferry connections to Orkney. From June to the start of September, there is the option of the Orkney Bus, which journeys direct from Inverness to Kirkwall, utilising the John O’Groats Ferry link.
Travel by train to Aberdeen or Thurso, where you can catch a ferry to Orkney from the harbours. More information on train timetables can be found on the ScotRail or National Rail websites.
Unless you are travelling by plane, you will complete your journey to Orkney by ferry.
NorthLink Ferries has services between Aberdeen and Kirkwall (6 hrs) and Scrabster and Stromness (90 mins). Pentland Ferries operates from Gills Bay to St Margaret’s Hope (60 mins). In the summer, there is also a John O’Groats Ferry passenger-only service between John O’Groats and Burwick in South Ronaldsay (40 mins). The frequency of sailings depends on the season, so please check the ferry operators’ websites before starting off.