3 day / 2 night tour
The captivating Orkney Islands boast ancient treasures and a colourful Viking legacy. On this tour you will have the chance to visit two of the most famous prehistoric sites - the stone-age village of Skara Brae and the burial chamber of Maeshowe. Learn the naval history of Scapa Flow and see intricate workmanship of the Italian Chapel. There is so much to discover on this wonderful 3-day tour.
Price range: £340 - £450
Northern Highlands - see rolling countryside, stunning seascapes and historic fishing villages which hug the coast as we head for the Far North
Italian Chapel - visit this moving legacy from World War II
Skara Brae - step back 5,000 years to explore this pre-historic village
Kirkwall - enjoy a two-night stay in the bustling Capital of the Orkney Islands
Ring of Brodgar - explore the magical stones that make up this impressive circle
Movie locations - Venus Peter, The Silver Darlings and Winter Solstice
Guest house accommodation included - hotel upgrade option available
Full Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Inverness - Scapa Flow -Kirkwall (Orkney Islands)
From Inverness we travel through the Black Isle, and past Andrew Carnegie's Skibo Castle. From here we drive along the northeast Highland coastline, travelling into some of Scotland's most dramatic scenery. This is some of Europe's oldest landscapes and here we have the chance to see wildlife such as Golden Eagles and red deer.
We board the ferry, crossing the Pentland Firth into the Orkney Archipelago.
On our arrival it is a short drive to the famous Italian Chapel where few will fail to be moved by the dedicated workmanship of the Italian prisoners of war who crafted this place of worship from a humble Nissen hut. Their story and many others will be told as we view Scapa Flow, the scene of momentous events during both World Wars. The Viking stronghold of Kirkwall, is our home for the next 2 nights.
Overnight: Kirkwall (2 nights)
Day 2 - Exploring the Orkney Islands
Orkney is home to many outstanding historic treasures and today will be a unique day of discovery. On our itinerary today are visits to Maeshowe, a magnificent tomb built almost 5,000 years ago and the Ring of Brodgar, a stone circle that once comprised of 60 megaliths. Today with 27 stones still standing, some over 5 metres tall, it takes little imagination to visualise the extent of this historic monument.
Uncovered by a storm in 1850 Skara Brae is one of the best preserved groups of Stone Age houses in Western Europe and our visit will reveal the stone furniture, hearths and drains that present such a remarkable picture of Neolithic life.
The day will finish with a visit to beautiful St Magnus Cathedral, one of Europe’s great architectural achievements and over 800 years old.
Day 3 - Kirkwall - Helmsdale - Inverness
It’s an early start as we board the ferry and bid a farewell to the Orkneys. It’s a short 60 minute crossing to the mainland and during our journey we may well pass whirlpools and eddies, depending on the tides and winds. One such whirlpool just north of Stroma is the Swelkie which according to Viking legend is caused by a sea witch turning the mill wheels to grind the salt to keep the sea salty. On our arrival on the mainland we travel through the little fishing villages that hug this storm-swept coastline. These attractive communities are a reminder of the importance of the Herring fishing industry during the 19th Century. As we travel through Helmsdale which sits at the mouth of the River Helmsdale, one of the best Salmon fishing rivers in Scotland you’ll start to hear some of the heart-breaking stories that are connected with the Highland Clearances. One of the most energetic participants in this sad era in Scotland’s history was the Duke of Sutherland who, it is said, evicted 15,000 tenants from his land to make way for sheep. We’ll pass his grand castle at Dunrobin and, in Golspie, see a statue to him towering over the surrounding countryside. This area abounds in wildlife so look out for the seals as we cross the Dornoch and Cromarty Firths. Travel through the Black Isle and enjoy wonderful views of the Moray Firth as we cross the impressive Kessock Bridge and make our way into Inverness.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I expect on this Signature Multi-day Tour?
For the discerning traveller a Signature Multi-day Tour offers amazing value for money, comfortable accommodation, well-paced sightseeing and luxury travel. All of this combines to create the definitive Scottish experience. Each tour is hosted by a professional driver/guide, who has been chosen for their extensive knowledge as well as their driving skills. And being locals you are sure to get that extra insight. If you should have any problems during your stay, they’ll go out of their way to help. You will want to see as much as possible, but you don’t want to be rushed. Our tours are carefully planned to strike the right balance, and as well as comfortable mini/midicoach travel many feature memorable railway or ferry journeys. Having somewhere pleasant to stay after an exciting day of discovery is an important part of your holiday experience. Comfortable guest house accommodation with en-suite bathrooms, tv and other amenities is included in the price of all tours. On many tours you can choose to upgrade to hotel accommodation, at extra cost, if you wish. A tasty 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 are the optional extras on this tour and how much do they 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 extras are: ( ) Please note these prices are given for guidance only and may be subject to change without notice. The age limit for child discounts can vary. Credit/debit cards are not always accepted so you should plan to have sufficient cash with you should you wish to purchase any of these optional extras.
Tell me about my accommodation and which type of room should I choose?
The cost of accommodation is included in the price of your tour. On this tour you can choose between Guesthouse/B&B or Hotel accommodation: Guesthouse and B&B. The guesthouses and B&Bs are family run and offer comfortable accommodation in bedrooms that have en-suite bathrooms, tv, tea/coffee making facilities and other facilities. Bedding, towels and basic toiletries are provided. Some guesthouses and B&B’s offer enhanced facilities such as a resident’s lounge where you can relax with other guests. Hotel. We select comfortable hotels that are a minimum of 3 stars with bedrooms featuring en-suite bathrooms, television, tea and coffee making facilities and other amenities. Most have restaurants offering a selection of Scottish and international dishes as well as comfortable bars where you can relax and un-wind. Accommodation is spread throughout the communities that we stay in and are seldom more than a 10/15 minute walk from the town or village centre.
Can I reserve specific seats on the coach?
Seating on this tour is on a first come, first served basis and cannot be pre-booked. If you are travelling as part of a group please make sure that all members of the party arrive at the departure point together.
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.
- 2 nights guest house or hotel accommodation
- Location: Kirkwall, Orkney Islands (2)
- Scottish/Continental breakfast (2)
- Transportation by luxury air-conditioned mini/midicoach
- Ferry to the Orkney Islands
- 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 Platform 7
Inverness Bus Station
Inverness IV1 1LT
Check-in: 08:45 hrs
Tour Departs: 09:00 hrs
Tour Returns: 18:30 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.