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Orkney Islands Day Trip from John O'Groats

star-4.5320 Reviews
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John o' Groats, United Kingdom
Orkney Islands Day Trip from John O'Groats

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Free cancellation
Up to 24 hours in advance. Learn more
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Safety measures
icon10 hours  (approx.)
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English

Overview

Escape the mainland for a full-day tour of the far-flung Orkney Islands from John O’Groats. Journey by ferry across the Pentland Firth to the Orkney archipelago, bursting with postcard-perfect natural vistas and mystical landmarks. With a local guide, cruise along the Churchill Barriers to visit villages steeped in Viking mystery like 5,000-year-old Skara Brae and landmarks like the Lamb Holm Italian Chapel and St. Magnus Cathedral.
  • Day trip from John O’Groats to the Orkney Islands
  • Cross the Churchill Barriers
  • Ferry boat ride across Pentland Firth
  • Watch for seals and whales
  • Visit the villages of Stromness and Skara Brae
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Ferry crossing
English speaking guide
Transport by coach
Entrance fee to Skara Brae (stoneage village)
Optional gratuities
Hotel pickup and drop off
Food and drinks, unless specified
Entrance fee to Italian chapel
John o' Groats Harbour , Unnamed Road, John o' Groats, Wick KW1 4YR, UK

Board MV Pentland Venture (ferry) at the harbour. Last boarding 8.40am.

8:45 AM
This activity will end right where it started.
Your trip through the Orkney Islands begins in John O'Groats Harbor, where you set off by ferry in the morning across the Pentland Firth to port in Burwick. After your cruise, transfer to a comfortable coach for a guided tour of remarkable local attractions.

Savor unspoiled scenery as you travel along the Churchill Barriers (the extensive island causeway system). Hug the Scapa Flow (meaning ‘bay of the long isthmus’ in Old Norse), where you may spot swooping seabirds, bobbing seals and whales. Stop in Stromness, the last port of all before the Americas, and Kirkwall to see the lovely St. Magnus Cathedral—nearly a millennia old! 

Soak up mysterious Viking history as you visit ancient monuments including prehistoric standing stones, tombs and the more than 5,000-year-old village of Skara Brae. Cap your day with a stop at the famous Italian Chapel, built during WWII by Italian prisoners of war. Admire the beauty and ingenuity of the chapel, made of only basic raw materials, then re-board your coach for the ride back to port.

Your tour concludes back at John o’Groats Harbor in the evening.
Itinerary
Stop At:  
John O'Groats Ferries
Depart from John O'Groats on the ferry. Shortest sea crossing, only 40 mins to Orkney Islands. Look out for wildlife on the way even orcas if you are lucky and puffins. Luxury coach awaits you on Orkney. Enjoy a guided tour of the islands.
Duration: 40 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Skara Brae
An amazing 5000 year old stoneage village older than the pyramids part of Orkney's World Heritage Site. Only discovered 150 years ago. Entry payable by card at site.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Included
Stop At:  
The Italian Chapel
See the beautiful Italian Chapel, built by Italian prisoners of war using basic materials.
Duration: 15 minutes
Admission Ticket Not Included
Stop At:  
Saint Magnus Cathedral
Visit the town of Kirkwall with its magnificent Cathedral. See also shops, harbour and museum.
Duration: 1 hour 
Admission Ticket Free
Stop At:  
Ring of Brodgar
See the mystical Ring of Brodgar, an impressive stone circle.
Duration: 30 minutes
Admission Ticket Free
Pass By:  
Standing Stones of Stenness
Small group of standing stones.
Pass By:  
Scapa Flow
Drive round Scapa Flow, home to the Grand Fleet during the wars. See the block ships as you cross the Churchill Barriers.
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • Stroller accessible
  • Service animals allowed
  • Near public transportation
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Sorry no dogs on tour
  • Tour returns 6.15pm to John O'Groats
  • This tour/activity will have a maximum of 40 travelers
  • OPERATED BY John O'Groats Ferries
You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
  • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

Learn more about cancellations.

The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What is the policy on sanitization during Orkney Islands Day Trip from John O'Groats?
A:The policies on sanitization are:

  • Hand sanitizer available to travelers and staff
  • Regularly sanitized high-traffic areas
  • Gear/equipment sanitized between use
  • Transportation vehicles regularly sanitized
See all safety measures taken by Orkney Islands Day Trip from John O'Groats.

Traveler Photos

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Traveler Tips


  • "There are plenty of stops along the way too, sobit breaks up the day." See review
  • "The passenger ferry runs like clockwork and the crossing takes about 40 minutes." See review

Reviews by Viator travelers.  We perform checks on reviews

Reviews

4.5
star-4.5
320 Reviews

Reviews by Viator travelers

We perform checks on reviews

Showing 1-10 of 320 reviews
star-3
Not worth the money!
Debbie_G
, Aug 2022
Very expensive to be dropped off in places for an hour plus, with nothing to see apart from shops. Skara Brae Prehistoric Village was amazing, so would have liked much longer here. Coach driver needed to calm down (traffic, babies, other drivers etc).
star-5
a grand day out
Christa_V
, Aug 2022
we got a lot of information, saw many different sites, had enough tim to go exploring a bit, a great tour guide Darren.
star-5
Not what I thought!
Lynn_B
, Aug 2022
Liked the whole experience, even though we had terrible weather. I didn’t know what to expect but Orkney was a pleasant surprise. All the staff were very helpful and friendly.
star-5
Magically delightful.
Dan_F
, Aug 2022
This day trip to Orkney was fast, furious, and extremely enjoyable. Our driver was passionate, knowledgeable, and courteous. I loved standing where families flourished 7,000 years ago. The islands were magical in every way.
star-5
Well worth it!
Rachel_C
, Jul 2022
Mike the coach driver was brilliant as he lives on Orkney he was a wealth of extra information Scapa Flow and Scara Brae were my personak highlights but seeing a hen harrier was magical
star-5
The best way to see Orkney
COLINANDREW_M
, Jul 2022
Great trip at good pace. Driver and guide Darren was superb. Good detail and with excellent rapport. Visited all the best bits of the island and had plenty of time to view.
star-4
Unforgettable history
Rochelle_B
, Jul 2022
Seeing Skara Brae was fantastic, a little more time here would have been great. We spent time in both Kirkwall and Stromness and really you could just do one and not the other.
star-5
Wonderful dayout
Gill_M
, Jul 2022
Seeing puffins and lotsof other birds as we went over on the ferry Having a very good coach driver who was very knowledgable of the island Excellent efficiency and packing as much into the day as possible
star-5
A great trip, definitely recommend
Karen_P
, Jul 2022
Skara Brae was stunning; the stone circle and standing stones intriguing; Kirkwall was surprising with St Magnus Cathedral and the Bishop and Earl Palace both a must see (and there was a good coffee at The Daily Scoop nearby); Scapa Flow and the Churchill barriers really interesting; and we had great commentary by our guide. The ferry trip to and from Orkney also really enjoyable and easy parking at JoG with our Motorhome. It rained a lot but it didn’t matter, we had a great trip and want to go back again. We don’t usually do guided tours but definitely recommend this one.
star-4
Great trip well worth the time
Tim_V
, Jul 2022
Good experience, if you make it to John Ogroats you really owe to yourself to go to Orkney. Good coach, pleasant driver, enough time at each stop. Well worth the trip. Recommended.
star-5
Knowledgeable driver.
Janice_B
, Jul 2022
Loved it, what a beautiful island. Darren was a great guide/driver. His jokes made me laugh and his knowledge was second to none.
star-5
Excellent day trip
Gordon_P
, Jul 2022
Excellent day. The ferry journey was lovely and our bus driver/ guide (Darren) was excellent. He was entertaining, knowledgeable and helpful We enjoyed all the sites we visited, particularly Skara Brae
star-5
Well worth a visit
Lisa_W
, Jul 2022
We had done the tour of orkneys, did feel though it would of been better to have more time to spend here rather than some of the other stops as it was a bit rushed, we did enjoy our visit though, interesting place!
star-5
Recommend it
Ciarar_o
, Jul 2022
Really enjoyed the trip. Driver was very knowledgeable and a great storyteller. We were very lucky with the weather as it only rained for a beer inside the bus. Really great trip great value for money.
star-5
Fantastic day trip to the Orkney Isles
sandicalton
, Jun 2022
The whole trip was amazing! Weather was really good so managed to appreciate all the sights. Coach driver was very informative and knowledgeable of the Isles. Boat crossings were a bit rough but was to be expected. Would definitely recommend this trip
star-5
Would definitely recommend this trip
Margaret_M
, Jun 2022
Our guide Darren could not have done more to make this excursion a worthwhile trip. The weather was beautiful and it felt as if we spent very little time on the coach.
star-5
Amazing expierence
Violeta_B
, Jun 2022
All trip was nice, thanks for ferry staff and friendly driver. He told lots of nice history's about Orkney.
star-3
Trip to see Chapel
Carol_M
, Jun 2022
Italian Chapel which really was what We wanted to see. Towns were not that memorable. Slats Brae was good. Coach driver/guide was excellent.
star-5
Worth a go
Jiann_L
, Jun 2022
Value for money, humourous tour guide, important places are covered, itinerary is appropriately timed
star-5
Orkney is beautiful
Doreen_M
, Jun 2022
The Italian Chapel. It was beautiful. Orkney Island was lovely and clean. The trip was very interesting..

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