5 Day Shetland and Highlands Private Tour from Inverness

5 Day Shetland and Highlands Private Tour

5 Day Shetland and Highlands Private Tour from Inverness

A stunning five day private tour from Inverness through the East Highlands to the Shetland Islands.

Day 1 – Departing from Inverness we spend the morning exploring the four thousand-year-old burial cairns and standing stones at Clava, along with a visit to Culloden Battlefield and visitors centre. Our journey east includes the stunning seven hundred year old ruins of Elgin Cathedral and the Pictish standing stones of the area. We arrive at Aberdeen harbour by the late afternoon in time to board overnight sailing to Lerwick in Shetland (departing at either 5pm or 7pm depending on travel dates).

Day 2 – Arriving in Lerwick harbour in the early morning (7.30am), we enjoy breakfast on the ferry before exploring the south mainland of Shetland. Sumburgh Head is our first stop – a haven for seabirds (including puffins from mid-May to July). Next is Jarlshof Prehistoric and Norse settlement which spans over four thousand years. The afternoon takes us on a beautiful coastal drive to the breath-taking St Ninian's Isle where you can hike across the sands to the island before we return north to Lerwick for our overnight stay.

Day 3 – A day to explore the most northernly inhabited island in Scotland – Unst. Departing from Lerwick we drive north to catch the 20-minute ferry crossing to Yell. After a scenic drive through Yell we take the short 10-minute ferry crossing to Unst. We spend the late morning and early afternoon exploring the island, with visits to Muness Castle, Haroldswick, Burra Firth and Saxa Vord, before our return to Lerwick in the late afternoon.

Day 4 – Departing from Lerwick we head towards the north Shetland mainland. Arriving at Eshaness we savour the dramatic cliffs and sea stacks of Shetland’s stunning coastal landscape. We then enjoy a scenic drive around Scalloway and Burra before returning to Lerwick. The afternoon includes a visit the Shetland Museum and some free time to meander through Lerwick town and harbour. In the late afternoon we board the ferry from Lerwick for an overnight sailing to Aberdeen (departing at either 5.30pm or 7pm depending on travel dates).

Day 5 – Arriving in Aberdeen harbour in the early morning (7am), we enjoy breakfast on the ferry before heading south to explore the dramatic ruins of Dunnottar Castle. Our journey back to the Highlands takes us through Speyside where we enjoy a tour and tasting at Glenlivet malt whisky distillery (optional) before our arrival back in Inverness by the mid-afternoon.

What to expect on a private tour to Shetland...

All the video clips shown above were taken during tours to Shetland and your tour will include all these wonderful views... though maybe not the weather – we are the land of four seasons in one day!

Private Tour Price (per tour)

May to September:    £4200

(Off-season tours in April and early October)

Tour Information

Depart Inverness
Return Inverness
(5 Days)

Tours are exclusively for your private group only (up to 3 persons) and prices are per tour. We only offer private tours and do not combine individuals or separate groups – if your group size is less than 3 the advertised tour price still applies. Prices include standard ferry tickets, all taxes and a driver/guide (John Alasdair Macdonald) but exclude your accommodation costs, overnight ferry cabin costs (details below), entrance fees and meals.

Accommodation Options
We recommend that you book accommodation in Lerwick (Day 2 and 3) to make the most of your trip. Whilst we do not book accommodation for you, accommodation suggestions for the most popular local hotels and guest houses used by previous clients for our tour locations are listed here.

During this tour we will take two overnight ferry sailings where you can book overnight en-suite cabins. Prices depend on your cabin choice (for example, a twin outer cabin is between £131 and £167 per cabin depending on class). The tour quote will include full details of the cabin options and their current prices. More information about the cabin choices can be found on the Northlink Ferries Website.

Tour Itinerary
The tour itinerary is based on experience, previous clients feedback and timings. However, we have some flexibility and the tour itinerary can be adapted (in advance) to suit specific requests if possible. Please let us know any requests through the 'Extra Information' section when completing a Tour Enquiry Form.

For those that have enjoyed the Shetland TV series, many of the sites we visit have been shown across the episodes, and along with plenty of time in Lerwick to explore familiar views, no trip to Shetland would be complete without a walk along the waterfront past DI Jimmy Perez's house!

Ferry Sailings
Shetland is in the North Atlantic and the seas can be choppy during ferry sailings even in the summer months. Ferry sailings are generally reliable in the summer months, but delays and cancellations can occasionally occur. While we cannot be responsible for any extra accommodation, food or other costs that clients may incur due to ferry delays and cancellations, we will make every effort to adapt the tour to minimise disruption. Please note that no refunds will be given for tour and itinerary changes due to ferry changes and cancellations.

The Scottish Highlands and Islands are renowned for changeable weather and even in the summer months we are likely to experience some wet and windy weather conditions on tours. Shetland, in particular though, is a land of 'four seasons in one day'! As such we always recommend a light waterproof jacket for all tours and decent footwear that you do not mind getting a little bit muddy or wet.