Destinations and maps

Shetland

An archipelago made up of more than 100 islands, 15 of which are uninhabited, the Shetland Isles are closer to Norway than mainland Scotland.

Scotland meets Scandinavia

The same goes for Shetlander's unique cultural heritage. The Old Norse language crops up everywhere, from practically every place name to the local dialect spoken with a distinctive Scandinavian lilt, while fantastically preserved archaeological sites and the spectacular Up Helly Aa festival are vivid reminders of the islands' Viking past.

Over 6,000 years of history

It's not just the Vikings who left their mark on Shetland. Traces of ancient peoples stretching as far back as the islands' earliest Neolithic settlers are laid bare at astoundingly well-preserved archaeological sites and ruins. From Iron Age brochs to mysterious standing stones, from Pictish wheelhouses to traditional crofthouses, we invite you to delve into the lives of Shetland's inhabitants through the ages.

Scenic drama

Ruggedly handsome and wonderfully secluded, the Shetland Islands boast a landscape quite unlike anywhere else in the world. Think miles of breathtaking coastline fringed by pristine beaches and crystal-clear, vivid blue shores. Not to mention the glistening sea lochs, heather-clad moorlands, monumental rock formations and towering clifftops sculpted by millennia of wind, sea and sand.

Travel in Shetland

Getting here

Shetland may be the most northerly point of the British Isles, but a range of transport options make it surprisingly accessible. Direct flights to Sumburgh Airport are available from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness and Kirkwall in Orkney and take under two hours. You can also take the Northlink ferry from Aberdeen which takes around 12 hours.

Get to Shetland now!

Getting around

Getting from A to B in Shetland is simple. In fact, when it comes to jumping on a plane, hopping between the isles on a ferry, or whizzing around empty roads by car or bike, the journey is just as fun as the destination itself.

Shetland is part of the National Cycling Network and the North Sea Cycle Route passes through the islands, and the inter-ferry service and flights which take off from Tingwall are frequent, fast and used as much by the locals as they are visitors.

Plan your trip around Shetland

Cookie Policy

VisitScotland uses cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By using our website you consent to our use of cookies. Please read our new privacy and cookies statement for more information.