Orkney Adventure Small Group Tour
4 day/3 night tour
The Orkney Islands is home to many outstanding historic treasures and on this absorbing tour you'll have the chance to visit ancient Neolithic sites including Skara Brae, Maeshowe and the evocative Ring of Brodgar. Discover Scapa Flow, the scene of momentous events in both World Wars and explore mighty St Magnus Cathedral, one of the finest in Europe. On the mainland you'll get to see Glen Coe, Culloden Moor and even get the chance for a cruise on Loch Ness!
Price range: £605 - £805
Small group Tour - travel in an intimate group of just 16 passengers
Northern Highlands - journey along the famous North Coast 500 route to discover amazing coastal views
Italian Chapel - visit this ornate chapel constructed by Italian prisoners-of-war
Skara Brae - step back 5,000 years to discover how life was lived during Neolithic times
Ring of Brodgar - explore this magnificent circle of monoliths one of the most significant in the United Kingdom
Movie locations - Venus Peter, The Silver Darlings and The Private life of Sherlock Holmes
Guest house accommodation included - hotel upgrade option available
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Edinburgh - Glen Coe - Fort Augustus
From Edinburgh we travel northwards into the un-rivalled beauty of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. A drive across the bleak vastness of Rannoch Moor brings us to brooding Glen Coe, scene of the infamous massacre of the MacDonald Clan in 1692. We’ll make a stop so you can soak up the atmosphere!
Fort William sits at the foot of towering Ben Nevis, Britain’s tallest mountain. From here we enter the majestic scenery of the Great Glen to reach Fort Augustus, situated by the banks of Loch Ness.
Tonight you’ll have the chance to take an evening cruise on the deep and mysterious waters of the loch.
Overnight: Fort Augustus
Day 2 - Fort Augustus - Inverness - Kirkwall (Orkney Islands)
We start the day with a drive along the entire length of Loch Ness. From Inverness we join the famed North Coast 500, Scotland’s very own Route 66. As we travel north you’ll experience some of Europe’s most spectacular coastal scenery.
At Gills Bay we board the ferry for the short crossing of the Pentland Firth. On arrival in the ancient Orkney Islands we start our exploration by discovering the naval history of Scapa Flow and visiting the moving Italian Chapel. Our first day on Orkney concludes with a visit to impressive St Magnus Cathedral and the Bishop’s & Earl’s Palaces.
Overnight: Kirkwall, Orkney Islands (2 nights)
Day 3 - Exploring the Orkney Islands
Today we explore the islands prehistoric treasures that are so important they’ve been awarded World Heritage Status. Our first visit is to Maes Howe, a triumph of the Neolithic people. This impressive burial chamber has survived for over 5,000 years and even contains some Viking graffiti!
Next are the well-preserved remains of Skara Brae, an ancient settlement overlooking the Atlantic Ocean which were occupied before the pyramids were built! This site was occupied for 500 years and during your visit you’ll see houses complete with their stone furniture presenting a fascinating insight into the daily lives of Neolithic people.
Our last visit is to the Ring of Brodgar is a magnificent circle of standing stones dramatically situated overlooking two lochs. It’s one of the best-preserved stone circles in the UK and provides hints of forgotten ritual and belief.
Back in Kirkwall there is free time to explore the many studio shops where you can see artists and craftspeople at work. It’s a great opportunity to pick up a unique souvenir of your visit to these Northern isles.
Day 4 - Kirkwall - Dunrobin Castle - Inverness
Relax in your island surroundings this morning with time for some last minute souvenir shopping before we head to the ferry. A short crossing of the Pentland Firth will return us to the Scottish mainland.
Travelling southwards, along the coastal route, we’ll make a stop so you can visit magnificent Dunrobin Castle, the ancestral home of the Dukes and Earls of Sutherland. This fairytale castle boasts impressive apartments and period treasures including a superb collection of furniture, silver and hanging tapestries. Take a stroll in the formal gardens said to have been modelled on those at Versailles.
From Dunrobin we cross the Dornoch and Cromarty Firths then make for the Black Isle. Enjoy the amazing views as we cross the Moray Firth and make our way into Inverness, our home for tonight.
Day 5 - Inverness - Culloden Moor - Edinburgh
The last day of our tour starts with a short drive to solemn Culloden Moor where we will discover the story behind the last battle fought on British soil. It was here, in 1746, that Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army was defeated by Government troops in a fierce battle.
The Cairngorm National Park is Britain’s largest and contains five of Scotland’s six highest peaks. The park provides fabulous setting to our drive through the Spey Valley. We cross through the wild Grampian Mountains and make our way into the gentler scenery of Highland Perthshire. Our last stop of the day will be in Pitlochry, a pleasant town on the River Tummel.
After time for refreshments, our travels continue towards Perth then onwards through the ancient Kingdom of Fife. We’ll get amazing views of the famous Forth Bridge before making the short drive into Edinburgh.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect on this Small Group Tour?
With an average of just 16 passengers (and never more than 20) a Small Group Tour will provide a more intimate and flexible travelling experience. These tours are carefully planned to travel off the highways so you’ll discover quaint villages and picturesque vistas that other tours just can’t access. All the small group tours that we feature are operated by purpose built luxury minicoaches that feature air-conditioning, panoramic windows, wifi, usb charging points and comfortable seating. Each group is led by an experienced driver/guide who will entertain and inform you with stories of our history, nature and folklore. Comfortable guest house accommodation with en-suite bathrooms, tv and other amenities is included in the price of all tours. You can choose to upgrade to hotel accommodation, at extra cost, if you wish. A delicious Scottish breakfast is included each morning of your stay. If you’ve got more time to spare a series of extraordinary itineraries has been created by combining one or more shorter tours. Seamless in operation these unique holidays allow you to discover even more of Scotland’s Highlands and Islands. A feature of these tours is that you will travel with a different driver/guide and fellow travellers for each portion of the itinerary.
What options are available on this tour and what is the cost?
To give you maximum flexibility the cost of admission fees and other optional extras are not included in the tour price. This gives you complete freedom to choose as the mood takes you. On this tour the optional visits are:
Following the links above will give you more information on each attraction including current admission prices. At some locations a special discount is offered to tour participants, your driver/guide will give you more information if this applies. Credit/debit cards are not always accepted so you should plan to have sufficient cash with you should you wish to make any visits.
What type of room should I choose?
There are different bedrooms types to choose from, here is what you can expect: Single room - one person sleeping in a single bed. Twin room - two people sleeping in two separate beds. Double room - two people sharing one large bed. Family room - three people sharing a room sleeping in one large bed (2 people) and one single bed (1 person). Please note that a family room can be a standard double room with either a sofa bed or a rollaway bed.
I am travelling on a budget. Can I do the same trip by public transport?
Almost certainly not! Our tours are designed to maximise your sightseeing opportunities so we frequently head off the main road and take routes where there is little or no public transport available. Please also bear in mind that the tour commentary that you will enjoy is designed to bring Scotland’s history, nature and scenic beauty to life as you travel around. Reading about your surroundings from a guide book will just not be the same!
What meals are included ?
A full Scottish breakfast is included from day 2 onwards. This hearty meal consists of fruit juice; a choice of cereal; bakery basket; cooked items such as eggs, bacon, sausage, mushrooms, tomato and, maybe, a taste of haggis! plus tea or coffee. Vegetarian and lighter Continental options are always available. Lunch and dinner are not included in the price. During the touring day there will be a stop where you can enjoy lunch in a local pub or restaurant. Your driver/guide will be happy to suggest a conveniently located restaurant where you can enjoy good food for dinner.
- 4 nights guest house or hotel accommodation
- Location: Fort Augustus (1); Kirkwall, Orkney Islands (2) and Inverness (1)
- Scottish/Continental breakfast (4)
- Transportation by luxury air-conditioned minicoach with wifi and usb charging points
- Live commentary in English
- Services of an experienced driver/guide
- Service charges and taxes
- Admission charges
- Meals, snacks or items of a personal nature
- Gratuity to your driver/guide
From 1 Parliament Square
Royal Mile/High Street
Edinburgh EH1 1RE
Check-in: 08:15 hrs
Tour Departs: 08:30 hrs
Tour Returns: 19:00 hrs
Concession discount applies to adults aged 60 years and above; students and children aged 3 to 15 years inclusive.
We’re really sorry but children aged under 3 years cannot travel on this tour.
Photo-ID may be requested to confirm discount entitlement.
The price of this tour includes guest house accommodation with en-suite bathroom. You can up-grade to hotel accommodation at extra cost during the booking process.
One medium sized suitcase/bag per person (maximum weight: 15 kilos)
In order to give you maximum flexibility admission fees are not included in the cost of this tour.
Please see the FAQ section for more information on this tour.