COVID-19. Find the latest information, plus We’re Open and Good to Go (Covid-safe) businesses.

Shetland & Orkney Islands tour

Price on Request

Departure days

  • M
  • T
  • W
  • T
  • F
  • S
  • S

April — April

We're Open

The ultimate for nature, history & wildlife lovers, we will be island hopping to the Orkney & Shetland Isles experiencing wild & remote nature, wildlife & spectacular coastal scenery - beaches, cliffs, standing stones circles, Viking heritage & more

Orkney & Shetland Islands Easter tour

(travel to the Scottish islands - coronavirus update 21st April 2021 News updates - Unicorn Tours)

Price to be confirmed based on season and passenger numbers

(prices are estimates only based on 2019 pre-Covid levels)

  • £16.61 per student / £18.45 per adult for the Scrabster/Scottish mainland to Stromness/Orkney ferry
  • £17.50 pp for the optional Kirkwall SYHA hostel
  • £15.12 per student / £16.80 per adult for the Kirkwall/Orkney to Lerwick/Shetland overnight ferry
  • £12 for each night x 2 nights = £24 per person for the recommended central & cosy Sail Loft hostel in stunning Voe on Shetland
  • £25.20 per student / £28 per adult for the Lerwick/Shetland to Aberdeen/Scottish mainland overnight ferry* (see further info, ferry times, which nights we stay where, your opt out option, etc. further below)

FAQs

Guaranteed pick up/drop off always from the Stirling area, places along the way, anywhere on private tours & outwith the Forth Valley on request depending on distance & booking numbers

Tourstyle:

  • short distance multi-stop day tours from our centrally based Shetland mainland base (Sail Loft in Voe)
  • allowing for lots of free time, flexible activities, nature, walks, coast, cliffs, beaches, seabirds, seals, wildlife, possibly whales and otters, island hopping, ancient sites (Jarlshof, brochs, etc.), lighthouses, Viking heritage & more

Is this the right tour for me?

How to book and pay for a special tour?

What to bring?

Option & discount to join us later/leave us early, if you don’t have so much time

Please note, if you don’t have enough time, we offer the option, to just visit Orkney or just visit Shetland on this tour for a discount and you then travel one way by public transport.

  • The ultimate for nature & wildlife lovers, we will be island hopping to Unst for a walk to Hermaness the UK’s most northerly cliffs experiencing wild & remote nature, beaches, cliffs, wildlife galore, Eshaness cliffs, Sumburgh, ancient Jarlshof, Vikings, absolutely beautiful Scalloway (Shetland’s ancient capital), lots of islands, fjords, peninsulas great beaches, cliffs, wildlife, walks with 16 hours of daylight to explore

 

  • Shetland is a lot bigger and has a lot more to offer than you might imagine and with its indented coastline and countless fjords and penninsulas, there are few places which can match Shetland for its tremendous wealth of coastal scenery, stunning bays, coves, inlets, beaches, cliffs, fjords are around every corner.
  • Including the short Shetland mainland to Yell and Yell to Unst ferries, it would take you over 4 hours to drive from the very south at Sumburgh head to the far north of Unst
  • The Shetland archipelago comprises about 300 islands and skerries, of which 16 are inhabited.
  • Shetland is around 170 kilometres (110 mi) north of mainland Scotland, covers an area of 1,468 square kilometres (567 sq mi) and has a coastline 2,702 kilometres (1,679 mi) long.
  • The largest of the islands is called the Shetland mainland. It has an area of 374 square miles (970 km2), making it the third-largest Scottish island (after Lewis & Harris and Skye).

 

  • Departure from Stirling (*with additional pick up/drop off locations on request see further down)

Shetland consists of over 100 islands, we will be based centrally on the Shetland “mainland”, at 60 degrees northern lattitude it is at the same level as Greenland, Shetland is as close to Norway as it is to Scotland

Itinerary6 days Shetland & Orkney Isles tourDay 1

From Stirling to Scrabster on the Northcoast/Pentland Firth, we will have a great choice of many places to stop along the way or drive past, subject to the groups preferences

* Gleneagles golf hotel, most expensive in Scotland drive by

* Victorian Pitlochry drive through

* Faskally fairy tale / Enchanted forest

* Blair Castle

* House of Bruar

* Dalwhinnie whisky distillery (good one for WC/coffee)

* Awesome 300 year Carrbridge (from the time before Culloden)

* Cairngorm nationalpark

* Clava Cairns/Craig na Dunn

* Culloden battle field (ideal also for lunch/WC)

* Kessoch bridge over Moray/Beauly Firth to Black Isle

* Historic Dornoch and casthedral (Madonna the Popstar got her son baptised

there)

* Loch Fleet seal colony

* Dunrobin castle

* Ancient cairns

* Duncansby cliffs

* Dunnet and other beaches

We will be catching the 7pm ferry from Scrabster/near Thurso to Stromness on Orkney

Day 2

We stay in quaint and historic Kirkwall or Stromness with a full day on the Orkney mainland plus all the other connected islands along the Churchill barriers and Scapa Flow, the stone circles of Brodgar and Stenness , Skara Brae, the Yesnaeby sea cliffs, the broch of Birsay tidal islands with Neolithic, Pictish & Viking history, visit the stunning cathedral and top landmark in Kirkwall, Orkney’s capital, the almost 900 years old stunning St. Magnus cathedral dedicated to Orkney’s own saint, beaches, willdlife and a lot more

We will be taking the 23.45 pm Kirkwall / Orkney to Lerwick/Shetland ferry, arriving at 7am.

Day 3

Our ferry is due to arrive at 7am into Lerwick and today we will visit the South mainland of Shetland, the tombola beach of St. Ninian’s isle, Sumburgh head, the cliffs, the lighthouse and if you wish the neollithic Jarlshof settlement. Depending on your preferences, the weather and ferries, there is also the option to visit Mousa island with its best preserved broch or heading over to Bressay and Noss. Scalloway is the ancient capital of Shetland and it is stunning, beautiful and has a colourful harbour and one of the best museums on Shetland. From Hamnavoe and East & West Burra there are stunning views, walks and beaches.

We are heading north on a spectacular route towards the beautiful village of Voe, near to shops and facilities, as our base for the next 2 nights. The Sail Loft Camping Bods in Voe

is also just across the road from the local pub.

Day 4

Today we are taking the scenic journey over to the Northern Isles of Yell and Unst and will spend the bulk of today on the UK’s most northerly island, where we have picturesque fishing villages such as Uyeasound, Baltasound and Haroldswick with a lot to explore, including beaches, the Unst boat haven & heritage centre, etc. The very reason for our visit to Unst however is the roughly 3 hours walk to visit the Hermaness nature reserve for a truly unique wilderness and wildlife experience looking down the sheer cliffs to watch thousands of seabirds – one of the UK;’s largest sea bird colony – soar. We will of course see puffins (Tammy Nories), skuas (Bonxies), guillemots, arctic terns and lots of majestic gannets as well and be able to catch a glimpse of the Muckle Flugga lighthouse and rocks – we are further north than Bergen in Norway, which is a lot closer than Aberdeen and we will enjoy over 18 hours of daylight.

There will be plenty for us to visit on our way back south through Unst, Yell and back to the Northern mainland of Shetland.

As we are centrally located at the Sail Loft in Voe on the Shetland mainland, we try to keep our itinerary as flexible as possible also depending on the weather and the group’s preferences.

Optional/on request

Shetland is a lot, lot bigger and there is a lot more than you might have imagined, but if there are any requests, the weather is fine and there is time to include we are flexible enough to include

As we are based on the Shetland mainland, any of the below scenarios are possible.

awesome walks and many more ferries and islands, this can for example include one or more of the places below, but it could also mean, that while we drop off some for the ferry/flight to the Fair Isle we take the others on a walking tour to Bressay & Noss followed by a visit of Whalsey for example, before in the evening picking up the others back from the Fair Isle ferry or flight, etc:

  • Visit any places, we have not yet visited and been to, incl.
  • A visit of Bressay and the ferry over to the seabird island for a cliff walk on Bressay & Noss
  • The island of Whalsey and the Out SkerriesSkerries being small isles on Shetland
  • A visit of Papa Stour
  • A visit of Mousa with the best preserved broch in the British Isles
  • Subject to the weather/ferry/small aircraft flight times – a visit of the Fair Isle 
  • Subject to the weather/ferry/small aircraft flight times – a visit of Foula
  • Please note, anyone going to Fair Isle and Foula would most likely have to give up the full day we have on Unst and the Hermaness bird cliffs.
  • Spend more time/re-visit some beaches, cliffs, coves, places, that we would like to go back to and spend more time at
Tonight is our second night at the recommended Sail Loft Camping Bods in Voe


Day 5

Today we are heading towards the stunning seacliffs of Eashanes, go for some walks, marvel at natural arches and want to take in as much as possible of the Northern (Rhona’s Voe,) and Western mainland (Walls and the stunning route towards Papa Stour with stunning views of Foula – with the UK’s highest 400 m sheer cliffs in the distance – , great views, fjords, stunning wee villages. We always see seals, but with some luck might spot some otters and whales as well. In the early afternoon we are heading back towards the Lerwick area to catch our overnight ferry.

It will be a stunning journey again past the South mainland and in the early hours we will pass the magical Fair Isle again on the way back.

We will be taking the 19.00 pm Lerwick/Shetland to Aberdeen ferry arriving at 7.30 am.

Day 6

The ferry arrives back into Aberdeen at 7am and depending on the weather and the group’s preferences, we can visit

  • a few places in Aberdeen (harbour, beach boulevard, Old Aberdeen, Kings College, Bridge of Don)
  • and/or travel north of Aberdeen, if you have the time and wish to visit, we also have the longest beach, sand dunes and great cliffs and sand dunes and can visit a nature reserve with a big seal colony.
  • and/or inland route via Royal Deeside and the Cairngorm nationalpark via Glenshee back to Stirling
  • and/or there is the beautiful coastal route, but also the stunning inland mountain route back to Stirling with plenty of new places to explore along the coast, beaches (Lunan bay & St. Cyrus), cliffs north of historic Arbroath, etc.
  • or as this is our 6th day on the road, heading back the quickest way to Stirling and dropping off in Dundee/St. Andrews/Perth, etc. along the way.

EXTRAS TO PAY:

  • Optional recommended budget hostel type accommodation , see below

* food, drink, entrance fees (castles, museums, attractions, etc. – for example the Scalloway museum, the Unst boat haven & heritage centre)

* Inter-islander Shetland ferries

£5.40 per passenger return journey

we will be taking at least 2 of those (Shetland mainland – Yell & Yell – Unst) and possibly more.

  • Accommodation on Orkney:

1 night pre-booked SYHA hostel in Kirkwall

https://www.hostellingscotland.org.uk/hostels/kirkwall/

* Accommodation on the Shetland Isles:

2 nights pre-booked and confirmed for £12 per person per night:

Voe Sail Loft Shetland Camping bod

(or alternatively you might wish to book your own alternative accommodation in Voe)

– hostel type bunk house sleeping bag required – (if you don’t have a sleeping bag, I you would have to bring your home bedding – duvet, sheet, etc.)

Facilities

Showers, toilet facilities, water heater, solid fuel fire, crockery, basic cooking utensils, fridge, microwave, kettle, compact cooker with grill, oven and 2 hotplates.

Please note that electricity is provided by a coin meter which accepts £1.00 coins only. Guests are required to pay for their own electricity.

Extras to pay:

  • £16.61 per student / £18.45 per adult for the Scrabster/Scottish mainland to Stromness/Orkney ferry on the 1st night
  • £17.50 pp for the 2nd night to the optional SYHA hostel
  • £15.12 per student / £16.80 per adult for the Kirkwall/Orkney to Lerwick/Shetland overnight ferry on the 3rd night *
  • £12 for each night x 2 nights = £24 per person for the optional central & cosy Sail Loft hostel in stunning Voe on Shetland for the 4th & 5th night
  • £25.20 per student / £28 per adult for the Lerwick/Shetland to Aberdeen/Scottish mainland overnight (6th night) ferry*

*On top of the ferry fare, you might opt for a sleeping pod or a cabin, alternatively just a reclining seat is fine

  • 2 overnight ferries (Orkney to Shetland and Shetland to Aberdeen):optional accommodation choices on top of the ferry fare:


* cheapest option = reclining seats £3.50 oneway x 2 = £7

* sleeping pod £18 oneway x 2 = £36

* bed in shared outer 2 berth cabin £52 x 2 = £104

* bed in shared inner 4 berth cabin £34.50 x 2 = £69

* inner 2 berth £72 x 2 = £144

* inner 4 berth £100 x 2 = £200

* 4 berth with TV £110 x 2 = £220

* Outer 2 berth £103 x 2 = £206

* Executive cabin £131 x 2 = £262

* Premium Outer 2 berth £131 x 2 = £262

(These overnight accommodation prices are based on the May 2018 rates – for up-to-date info check https://www.northlinkferries.co.uk/)

Accommodation

  • Accommodation on Orkney:

1 night optional SYHA hostel in Kirkwall

https://www.hostellingscotland.org.uk/hostels/kirkwall/

* Accommodation on the Shetland Isles:

2 nights optional, recommended budget accommodation £12 per person per night:

Voe Sail Loft Shetland Camping bod

(or alternatively you might wish to book your own alternative accommodation in Voe)

– hostel type bunk house sleeping bag required – (if you don’t have a sleeping bag, I you would have to bring your home bedding – duvet, sheet, etc.)

Facilities

Showers, toilet facilities, water heater, solid fuel fire, crockery, basic cooking utensils, fridge, microwave, kettle, compact cooker with grill, oven and 2 hotplates.

Please note that electricity is provided by a coin meter which accepts £1.00 coins only. Guests are required to pay for their own electricity.

  • 2 overnight ferries (Orkney to Shetland and Shetland to Aberdeen):


* cheapest option = reclining seats £3.50 oneway x 2 = £7

* sleeping pod £18 oneway x 2 = £36

* bed in shared outer 2 berth cabin £52 x 2 = £104

* bed in shared inner 4 berth cabin £34.50 x 2 = £69

* inner 2 berth £72 x 2 = £144

* inner 4 berth £100 x 2 = £200

* 4 berth with TV £110 x 2 = £220

* Outer 2 berth £103 x 2 = £206

* Executive cabin £131 x 2 = £262

* Premium Outer 2 berth £131 x 2 = £262

(These overnight accommodation prices are based on the May 2019 rates – for up-to-date info check https://www.northlinkferries.co.uk/)

Accommodation on our special tours (2 days & longer):

Our optional recommended accommodation is a general rule is budget dormitory youth hostel bunk-bed type accommodation in a central and convenient location and depending on where and when typically costs between £12 – £25 per person per night.

We always give you the option to opt-out and find your own private B&B or hotel accommodation nearby, in which case you should advise us early, so we can release those pre-booked bed-spaces.

The tour throughout the day will remain the same, no matter if we pick you up in the morning /drop you off at night at a 5* hotel or hostel, this allows you to pay as little or as much for your accommodation as you like.

Check for additional accommodation info.

  

Orkney

Guide to Orkney

Orkney – things to do & see

Skara Brae

Ring of Brodgar

Kirkwall

About Shetland

Shetland Isles

Guide to Shetland

Yell, Unst & Fetlar

Shetland heritage & culture

Hermaness national nature reserve

April to July seabird breeding – Puffin season!

Hermaness walk

North mainland Shetland

Eshaness walk

West mainland Shetland

Whalsey

Bressay & Noss

Lerwick

Scalloway

Scalloway museum

Shetland South mainland

Jarlshof

RSBP Sumburgh head nature reserve

Sumburgh head lighthouse

Foula

Fair Isle

BBC weather Lerwick


How to enquire, book & pay

  • If you are interested in this tour, you let us know by either emailing contact@unicorntours.co.uk, use our enquiry form or text or phone us 07429251980. This also gives you a chance to ask any questions, you may have.
  • Once the minimum number of interested individuals has been reached, we contact everyone, if they are ready to book and pay. 
  • Once the minimum number of individuals have paid, the tour is then a guaranteed departure.

  • If the minimum number of seats has not been reached by the booking deadline, any money already paid will be refunded back to you in full

     

    COVID-19 information

    In recognition that this business has confirmed that they have followed government and industry COVID-19 guidelines, ensuring processes are in place to maintain cleanliness and aid social/physical distancing.

    Contact details

    Unicorn Tours
    42 Bridge Terrace
    Alloa
    (* close to Falkirk, Dunfermline, Stirling & its University; * 45 minutes from Edinburgh, Glasgow & Perth; * just 1 hour from Dundee, St. Andrews & anywhere across the Central Belt)
    Clackmannanshire
    Scotland
    FK10 1HY
    Starting
    Aberdeen City Centre Alloa Arbroath Dundee City Dunfermline and West Fife Falkirk & Forth Valley Inverness Perth Area St Andrews Stirling
    Length
    6
    Days
    Transport
    Minibus
    Type
    Small Group (1-16)
    Languages
    English French German
    Themes
    History Island Hopping Landscapes Outdoor Activities Walking Wildlife

    COVID-19 facilities

    • Advance booking essential
    • COVID-19 measures in place
    • COVID-19 staff training completed
    • Deep cleaning between visitors
    • Face mask essential (provided)
    • Hand sanitiser available to visitors & staff
    • Socially distanced spaced seating
    • Staff required to regularly wash hands

    Attractions

    Tour company information

    Unicorn Tours

    * 100s of the best routes to cover every corner of Scotland * Small group Highlands & Islands adventure tours * Personalised, flexible customised tours to suit your interests * Spectacular tailormade, flexible small group adventure & specialist interest 1 day & multi-day tours (nature, wildlife, history, walking, culture, whisky, activities, island-hopping, etc.) & routes all over Scotland, including the most spectacular off-the beaten track routes, where large coaches won't travel * Our maximum passenger number is 8 and so long as social distancing rules are in place 4.

    Opening times

    Monday - Sunday
    6am to 10pm
    (06:00 - 22:00)

    Social Channels

    Other tours from this company