Day trip

From John O'Groats: Orkney Islands Day Trip

4.9 / 5

71 reviews

Activity provider: John O’Groats Ferries

From John O'Groats: Orkney Islands Day Trip

Activity provider: John O’Groats Ferries
Likely to sell out
Likely to sell out

From US$ 95.61 per person

Enjoy a day tour from John O'Groats to the Orkney Islands, traveling 40 minutes by ferry and via a luxury coach. Discover the highlights of Orkney and visit the Stone Age site of Skara Brae.

About this activity

Free cancellation
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Covid-19 precautions
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Duration 1 day
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Live tour guide


  • Visit the World Heritage Island of Orkney on a day-trip from John O'Groats
  • Experience the mystical stone circle at the Ring of Brodgar
  • Marvel at the magnificent Cathedral of St Magnus and the beautiful little Italian Chapel
  • Admire the neolithic sight of Skara Brae which is older than the Pyramids
Full description

Start the tour by boarding the ferry at John O'Groats. Depart 8.45am. Take the 40-minute ferry crossing, keeping a lookout for marine wildlife including puffins and orcas on the way. When you arrive on Orkney, board a luxury coach which will be waiting for you to begin your tour of the island. As you set off, enjoy the commentary from a local guide. First, see the Churchill Barriers built during the First World War. Stop in Kirkwall which is Orkney's capital city and discover St Magnus Cathedral, shops, the museum, and the scenic harbor. 

Continue along the northern coast of Scapa Flow and admire the beautiful views of the Hoy hills. Then, arrive in Stromness, one of Britain's most picturesque towns. Stroll through the winding street, visit the museum, and find plenty of places to eat lunch.  Next, set off for the neolithic village of Skara Brae, established in around 2,500 BC and which has been hidden under sand dunes, perfectly preserved for thousands of years.

Follow the route onwards along a narrow tongue of land between the lochs of Harray and Stenness, making a stop at the mystical Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stones of Stenness. Finally, board the return ferry, and make a stop at the Italian Chapel which is beautifully decorated inside 2 Nissen huts. Return to John O'Groats 6.15pm with incredible memories of your excursion.

  • Return ferry crossing
  • Coach tour
  • Entrance fee to Skara Brae (stoneage village)
  • Entrance fees
  • Food and drinks
  • Gratuities
  • Entrance fee to Italian Chapel (payable on-site)
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users
Covid-19 precautions
Safety measures in place
  • All areas that customers touch are frequently cleaned
Traveler requirements
  • Masks are required while indoors

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Meeting point

John O’ Groats Ferry Terminal, John o' Groats, Wick KW1 4YR, UK. The name of the ferry is MV Pentland Venture.

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Important information

Know before you go

  • No special walking shoes are required
  • There will be numerous food, drink and toilet stop opportunities along the way
  • There is a large, free car park in John O'Groats
Customer reviews

Overall rating

4.9 /5

based on 71 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money

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Star rating:

This is a great value for money day tour of Orkney. Visited loads of the top places and it gives you a great overview of life on the islands. Our driver/tour guide Darren kept up a great commentary which gave us loads of information about places we were driving past or stopping at. I’d loved to have longer at each stop but there was so much to see it wouldn’t have been possible.

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June 23, 2022

The day trip was well organised with coaches waiting for us at the Orkneys after the sea journey. The visits were well explained and we had free time to explore in the main with guidance where essential. There were restaurant opportunities if required plus seating for those with sandwiches thus catering for everyone. The visit was filled with visits to important locations and we were back at John O Groats at the specified time. The day was brilliant. Thank you.

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June 17, 2022

This was an excellent trip. Darren, our driver, was very knowledgeable about the area and sites. We saw all the highlights of the islands and had plenty of time at each location to see everything we needed. I would recommend this trip to anyone who is on a tight timeline and have only a day to explore Orkney.

June 13, 2022

Product ID: 305413