Up Helly Aa

© Highland Explorer Tours

Lerwick, Shetland

6 Day Up Helly Aa

Few have heard of it, let alone been. Our destination is the remote islands of Shetland in the far north of Scotland for one of the most incredible festivals in Europe, Up Helly Aa Viking Fire Festival.

Departure 22nd January 2022

Leaving our capital city of Edinburgh at 08.30am we stop to view the Forth Bridge, opened in 1890 for the passage of trains heading north. We then travel on through the Kingdom of Fife with its stunning coastal scenery before stopping at the ancient university town of St Andrews. Known as the Home of Golf, the town also boasts the magnificent ruins of a 12th-century Cathedral. We then travel on to Aberdeen via Dunottar Castle, perched dramatically on the edge of the North Sea, and board the ferry for the overnight journey to the Shetland Islands. (Overnight: Ferry)


After sailing into Lerwick we spend the morning enjoying the main town of Shetland including a visit to Clickimin Broch. After a visit to Scalloway Castle, we then spend the afternoon in the north of the island exploring the fantastic coastal areas of Lunna and Eshaness before we return for a night out in the Shetland capital! (Overnight: Lerwick)


In the west of Shetland we will visit the islands of Burra and Trondra before heading to the stunning beach at St Ninian's Isle. We then visit Jarslhoff, one of Scotland's finest prehistoric sites, before moving on to the stunning cliffs and sea views at Sumburgh in the far south of the island. We return to Lerwick to prepare for the main event with some celebrations in town with the locals. (Overnight: Lerwick)


The big day! You get to watch the junior Jarl Squad (young Vikings) have their own parade before the main event. Vikings make their way through the streets culminating in the ceremonial burning of a full-size replica Viking Long Ship. Your Guide will be available throughout the day to make sure you don’t miss any of the world-famous festival. (Overnight: Lerwick)


After breakfast, we venture north taking in the ancient Tingwall Parliament and explore the west of the Island. A return to Lerwick allows free time for souvenir shopping or a visit to the Shetland Museum before boarding our overnight ferry back to mainland Scotland. (Overnight: Ferry)


We make our way through Royal Deeside and pass Crathie Kirk where the Royal Family worships when at their Highland residence. We also visit the resting place of John Brown, ghillie to Queen Victoria and made famous in the movie Mrs Brownstarring Billy Connolly and have ample time to visit Braemar for lunch. Our return journey takes us through the Cairngorms National Park and Royal Braemar before arriving back in Edinburgh at 5.30pm.

COVID-19 information

Safe Travels

This business has confirmed that they have implemented, and will ensure ongoing compliance with, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) Safe Travels protocols. The Safe Travels stamp is based on self-assessment and it is not a certification.

From £945 per adult

Departure days

  • Monday
  • Tuesday
  • Wednesday
  • Thursday
  • Friday
  • Saturday
  • Sunday

January — January

Contact details

Highland Explorer Tours

Highland Explorer Tours
60 High Street
The Royal Mile

Tour information


  • Edinburgh
  • Edinburgh & The Lothians
  • Edinburgh - City Centre


6 Days


  • Driver guide
  • Small coach


  • Medium Group (17-30)


  • English


  • Adventure
  • Ancestry
  • Castles
  • Food and drink
  • History
  • Island Hopping
  • Landscapes
  • Music
  • Photography

Covid 19 Facilities

  • COVID-19 risk assessment completed
  • COVID-19 staff training completed
  • Contactless payment possible
  • Deep cleaning between visitors
  • Regularly sanitised high-traffic areas
  • Staff required to regularly wash hands

Tour prices

From £945 Per Adult

Book now

Prices are subject to change depending on season

Tour Stops

Highland Explorer Tours

Tour company information

Highland Explorer Tours

Scotland's landscape is stunningly beautiful with a magnificent history and culture that deserves to be told by the Scottish experts, our Guides. They will bring this heritage to life while ensuring you get to explore our nation's most breathtaking landscapes. Whether you are planning a day trip or a longer visit, our range of tours will give you an unforgettable insight into our country and its people, leaving memories that will last a lifetime.

Opening times

Our shop on the Royal Mile is open Monday-Sunday 8 am - 4.30 pm. You can also contact us by telephone, email, and Facebook messenger during these times.

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