Day trip

From John O'Groats: Orkney Islands Day Trip

Activity provider:John O’Groats Ferries
Day trip

From John O'Groats: Orkney Islands Day Trip

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

From US$ 104.94 per person

Likely to sell out

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

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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
  • Bus tour
  • Entrance fee to Skara Brae (stone age village)
  • Entrance fees
  • Food and drinks
  • Entrance fee to Italian Chapel (payable on-site)
  • Tips
Not suitable for
  • Wheelchair users

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Meeting point

Go to John O'Groats Harbour to board the ferry to Orkney. The name of the ferry is MV Pentland Venture. You can use the free car park in John O'Groats on the right-hand side after entering.

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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

4.8 /5

based on 224 reviews

Review summary

  • Guide
  • Transportation
  • Value for money

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Star rating:

Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable, and had a good sense of humor. He ensured that we stayed on time and made the return ferry back. Although he said he was just a bus driver, he made an excellent tour guide. The tour was an excellent showcase of Orkney highlights.

May 24, 2023

It was amazing trip. Transport was on schedule and bus tour guide (Murray) was exceptional. Only thing I didn’t like the size of ferry. Sea was very rough and I have seen many people feeling sick including me. I think little big size ferry can help here but overall I strongly recommend.

May 15, 2023

Darren was an exceptional guide, that had a wealth of knowledge and passion of the islands. His humour was second to none! Lost count of how many jokes he told, made the day more interesting and memorable. Calm crossing over to Orkney but a slight choppy one coming back so be warned in high winds can make a rock crossing.

May 5, 2023

Product ID: 305413