Orkney Explorer – escape to Scotland’s northern extremes.
A tour to treasure for a lifetime. Highlights of the tour are the magical beauty and prehistoric history of the Orkney archipelago, the rugged extremes of Scotland’s northern coastline, Loch Ness and the Caledonian forests of the Cairngorm National Park. Visit the northernmost point on the British mainland, John O'Groats. Board the 45 minute ferry for the Orkney Islands. Visit Stromness and head for Skara Brae, where you see the fascinating remains of a 5,000 year old Neolithic village. See the Ring of Brodgar, the "Stonehenge" of the Orkneys, and visit Kirkwall, the town with the Viking flavor highlighted by an impressive red sandstone cathedral.
*This tour visits Culloden and Clava Cairns as featured in "Outlander" - based on the books by Diana Gabaldon.
Stay 2 nights in Kirkwall, Orkney with a night in Inverness and Ullapool before and after.
Day 1 takes you northwest past Stirling into the Highlands, travelling through the dramatic landscape of Rannoch Moor and Glencoe. Your afternoon’s highlights include passing Ben Nevis, travelling the full length of Loch Ness including Fort Augustus and Urquhart Castle, before arriving in Inverness for the night
Day 2 takes you north through the Black Isle, past the imposing Dunrobin Castle, before crossing the Pentland Firth from near John o’ Groats to the Orkney Isles. You stay in the Viking town and capital of Orkney, Kirkwall for 2 nights.
Day 3 is your chance to explore this fantastic ancient island; a land of contrasts where fertile green pastures are fringed by shores of golden sands washed by waters of the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean. Highlights include a visit to Skara Brae, the mystical prehistoric stone circle at Brodgar, the standing stones of Stenness, and Maeshowe, where in the 12th century the Vikings left one of the largest collections of Norse runic inscriptions.
Day 4 takes you back across the water to the cliffs and sandy beaches of Scotland’s dramatic northern coastline, passing Ben Loyal, Ben Hope, Durness and Assynt with a visit to the 15th century Ardvreck Castle, and staying overnight in the whitewashed fishing village of Ullapool.
Day 5 your morning includes visits to Corrieshalloch Gorge, the ancient Clava Cairns and the more recent bloody history of the Culloden battlefield (as featured in the recent "Outlander" series based on the books by Diana Gabaldon), before returning south through the grandeur of the Cairngorm National Park, the ancient Caledonian pine forest and Highland Perthshire to Edinburgh.
Depart from Edinburgh Bus Station at St. Andrew Sq. EH2 2AD.
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