3 (or 4) Day Orkney and Highlands Tour
A stunning three (or four) day private tour from Inverness to Orkney. Explore a Neolithic village, chambered tombs and standing stones, an Iron Age broch and a medieval cathedral and palace... all with stunning Highland scenery!
Day 1 - Departing Inverness with a morning drive to the far North of Scotland and our ferry port of Scrabster, near Thurso. The drive north covers wonderful coastal scenery and normally takes around 3-4 hours including photo stops and a brief visit to the historic town of Dornoch. Our 1½ hour ferry journey includes a great view of the Old Man of Hoy before our arrival in Orkney where we visit Skara Brae, a 5000 year old Neolithic village settlement. This is one of the highlights of the tour before our arrival in Kirkwall for our overnight stop.
Day 2 - A full day on the Orkney mainland that includes a visit to Maeshowe one of the best Neolithic chambered tombs in Europe (I love the 12th century Viking graffiti in the tomb!). We then explore the Neolithic standing stones of Stenness, the magnificent stone circle at the Ring of Brodgar and the 2000 year old Broch of Gurness, along with lunch at the Orkney Brewery. After visiting the Italian Chapel, the Churchill Barriers and Scapa Flow, the late afternoon is spent in Kirkwall enjoying the stunning 12th century St Magnus Cathedral along with the ruins of the Bishop’s and Earl’s palaces before our overnight stop.
Day 3 - Leaving Kirkwall we visit Stromness where we have a little time to explore this picturesque fishing town before our mid-morning ferry across the Pentland Firth to Scrabster on the Scottish mainland. We then enjoy a beautiful coastal tour back towards Inverness including a late afternoon visit to explore the breath-taking Dunrobin Castle with its wonderful gardens (or the Castle of Mey if you prefer).
4 Day Tour Option – During our time in the Orkney we include an additional day and overnight stay in Kirkwall. The extra day allows for a more relaxed pace across the four days, with a little extra free time in Kirkwall, along with an afternoon exploring Orkney's wonderful coastline with a short hike out to Yesnaby, and (tides and weather premitting) a walk out to the Brough of Birsay to explore its viking and medieval ruins... and if we are lucky maybe catch sight of the local puffins!
Tour company information
The Hebridean Explorer
The Hebridean Explorer (John Alasdair Macdonald) has been an independent private tour guide for over fifteen years specialising in private guided tours for small groups (up to 3) from Inverness covering the Scottish Highlands and Islands including the Outer Hebrides, Isle of Skye, Orkney and Shetland.
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