4 (or 5) Day Shetland Tour
A stunning four (or 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 5.30pm 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 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. Returning north we end the day at the Clickimin Broch before our overnight stay in Lerwick.
Day 3 – 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 on the Scottish mainland.
Day 4 – 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 Benromach malt whisky distillery (optional) before our arrival back in Inverness by the mid-afternoon.
5 Day Tour Option
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.
We recommend that you book accommodation in Lerwick (Day 2 – and Day 3 for the 5 Day Tour) to make the most of your trip. Whilst we do not book accommodation for you we are happy to help with advice on where to stay and eat. The tour quote will include a list of accommodation recommendations and suggestions for overnight locations.
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 £120 and £155 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.
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.
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 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.