Sun. 11th – Sat. 17th August 2019 –

Shetland Isles – active spectacular, wild nature tour

This is our grandest tour of the year and a  must for anyone into walking, nature, wildlife, coast, spectacular scenery, cliffs, beaches, history & island hopping.

 


Itinerary

7 days Shetland Isles tour

Day 1 / Sunday, 11th August 2019

We are picking up our tour participants from the Stirling & Central belt area and places along the way such as Perth/St. Andrews/Dundee/Aberdeen and on request, if there are enough participants starting from there we can also pick up from the Edinburgh and Glasgow area.

Day 1 is mainly a day to get us to Aberdeen, but pick up locations and time permitting, may allow us for a few scenic or coastal stops along the way or in the Aberdeen area, before we board the ferry.

  • Northlink ferry departure from Aberdeen 17.00 pm – overnight sailing via Orkney (anyone wishing to join the tour here and spend some time independently in Orkney before our tour may do so, as the Aberdeen to Lerwick ferry stops in Kirkwall/Orkney for 45 minutes at mid-night) – arriving Lerwick/Shetland 7am on Monday, 12th August
Day 2 / Monday, 12th August 2019

We arrive into Lerwick at 7am and for the most days (apart from day 3 at Unst) we have the flexiblity to swap our itineraries/regions, which we visit around, subject to the weather and group’s preferences, this will also enable us to get a free/extra day and on day 5 /  Thursday, 15th August we list some of the many options, which again for the most part can be swapped around if it suits the group better.

After having a look around Lerwick, Shetland’s capital, we eventually head up north and and want to take in as much as possible of the Northern (Rhona’s Voe) before taking the ferry over to the Northern Isles, Yell and Fetlar (the garden isle) and our home for 2 nights.

  • The 1st night on Shetland, we spent on the Isle of Fetlar at the Aithbank camping bods
  • The Aithbank camping bods used to be a home of a local crofter & fisherman and as so many of the younger folks of the island leave it stood empty, but has been refurbished and has the feel of a very neat, modern, clean, friendly, spacious and inviting self-catering home by the sea – all to ourselves. (We spend the first two nights here on Fetlar as our base for the Northern Isles and our visit to Unst & Hermaness / the final two nights we stay on the Shetland West Mainland at the Voe House in beautiful Walls.)

and we have this whole great spacious house to ourselves, incl.cozy fireplace and a 1 minute walk to the cliffs – just outside the house we have a spectacular coastal cliff walk with natural arches and will almost certainly seals and with some luck even otters.

Day 3 / Tuesday, 13th August 2019

Today we are taking the scenic journey over from Northern Isle of Yell to Unst – the UK’s most northerly inhabited island with the spectacular national nature reserve of the dramatic Hermaness seabird cliffs.

We will will spend the bulk of today on the Unst “the island above all”, where we have picturesque fishing villages such as Uyeasound, Baltasound and Haroldswick with a lot to explore, including beaches, the Unst boat haven & heritage centre, etc. The very reason for our visit to Unst however is the roughly 3 hours walk to visit the Hermaness nature reserve for a truly unique wilderness and wildlife experience looking down the sheer cliffs to watch thousands of seabirds – one of the UK;’s largest sea bird colony – soar. We will of course see puffins (Tammy Nories), skuas (Bonxies), guillemots, arctic terns and lots of majestic gannets as well and be able to catch a glimpse of the Muckle Flugga lighthouse and rocks – we are further north than Bergen in Norway, which is a lot closer than Aberdeen and we will  enjoy over 18 hours of daylight.

There will be plenty for us to visit on our way back south through Unst before we head back to the Isle of Yell.

Last year on the ferry we even saw 2 pods of whales, incl. 6 Risso dolphins.

 

Day 4 / Wednesday, 14th August 2019

Today we are heading towards the stunning seacliffs of Eashanes, go for some walks, marvel at natural arches and Western mainland (Walls and the stunning route towards Papa Stour with stunning views of Foula – with the UK’s highest 400 m sheer cliffs  in the distance – great views, fjords, stunning wee villages. We always see seals, but with some luck might spot some otters and whales as well.

  • The 3rd night on Shetland, we spent on the West Mainland in beautiful Walls overlooking the sea at the Voe house camping bods
  • As we are based at a central location on the Shetland mainland this will enable us to visit a multitude of different places, also depending on the group’s preferences and the weather.
Day 5 / Thursday, 15th August 2019

We will keep the itinerary flexible and are happy to swap days around to get better weather and suit the group’s preferences.

As we are based on the Shetland mainland, any of the below scenarios are possible.

Today is the flexi-open-free time day and as there are hundreds of awesome walks and many more ferries and islands, this can for example include one or more of the places below, but it could also mean, that while we drop off some for the ferry/flight to the Fair Isle we take the others on a walking tour to Bressay & Noss followed by a visit of Whalsey for example, before in the evening picking up the others back from the Fair Isle ferry or flight, etc:

  • Visit any places, we have not yet visited and been to, incl.
  • A visit of Bressay and the ferry over to the seabird island for a cliff walk on Bressay & Noss
  • The island of Whalsey and the Out SkerriesSkerries being small isles on Shetland
  • A visit of Papa Stour
  • A visit of Mousa with the best preserved broch in the British Isles
  • Subject to the weather/ferry/small aircraft flight times – a visit of the Fair Isle
  • Subject to the weather/ferry/small aircraft flight times – a visit of Foula
  • Spend more time/re-visit some beaches, cliffs, coves, places, that we would like to go back to and spend more time at

 

  • The final 4th night on Shetland, we spent on the West Mainland in beautiful Walls overlooking the sea at the Voe house camping bods
Day 6 / Friday, 16th August 2019

Today is our last day on Shetland. We aim to be on board the ferry for 3 pm. So today we will visit the Lerwick and the South mainland of Shetland, the tombola beach of St. Ninian’s isle, Sumburgh head, the cliffs, the lighthouse and if you wish the neollithic Jarlshof settlement. Depending on your preferences, the weather and ferries, there is also the option to visit Mousa island with its best preserved broch or heading over to Bressay and Noss. Scalloway is the ancient capital of Shetland and it is stunning, beautiful and has a colourful harbour and one of the best museums on Shetland. From Hamnavoe and East & West Burra there are stunning views, walks and beaches.

  • Ferry departure from Lerwick/Shetland 17.30 pm – overnight sailing via Orkney (anyone wishing to leave the tour here and spend some time independently in Orkney after our tour may do so, as the Lerwick/Shetland to Aberdeen to Lerwick ferry stops in Kirkwall/Orkney for 45 minutes at mid-night) ) – arriving Aberdeen 7am on Saturday, 17th August
Day 7 / Saturday, 17th August 2019

The ferry arrives back into Aberdeen at 7am and depending on the weather and the group’s preferences, we can visit

  • a few places in Aberdeen (harbour, beach boulevard, Old Aberdeen, Kings College, Bridge of Don)
  • and/or travel north of Aberdeen, if you have the time and wish to visit, we also have the longest beach, sand dunes and great cliffs and  sand dunes and can visit a nature reserve with a big seal colony.
  • and/or inland route via Royal Deeside and the Cairngorm nationalpark via Glenshee back to Stirling
  • and/or there is the beautiful coastal route, but also the stunning inland mountain route back to Stirling with plenty of new places to explore along the coast, beaches (Lunan bay & St. Cyrus), cliffs north of historic Arbroath, etc.
  • or as this is our 7th day on the road, heading back the quickest way to Stirling and dropping off in Dundee/St. Andrews/Perth and other places along the way.

Images of our past tours to the Shetland Isles:

£239  per person


  • Early booking discount – pay 3 months early by 11th June and get 1/3% off and save £80  = £159 pp for the tour
  • Early booking discount – pay 2 months early by 11th June and get 25 % off and save £60 = £179 pp for the tour
  • Early booking discount – pay 1 month early by 11th July and get 12.5% off and save £30 = £209 pp for the tour

⇔ Please note you can only chose to take advantage of either or of these two types of discounts and this discount can’t be combined with the usual discounts  as the whole tour is already sold at a much lower rate for its travel season⇔

  • Friends booking together at the same time saving – 4 or more – get 1/3% off and save £80 = £159 pp for the tour
  • Friends booking together at the same time saving – 3 or more – get 25% off and save £60 = £179 pp for the tour
  • Friends booking together at the same time saving – 2 – get 12.5% off and save £30 = £209 pp for the tour

Option & discount to join us later/leave us early, if you don’t have so much time
  • For our longer multi-day tours on request we offer a per person per day rate to enable you to opt out of or opt in the tour to join and arrive later, to depart and leave earlier or to stay away for longer and allow for more flexibility to accommodate your personal circumstances and preferences. This rate is £35 per person per day on this tour.

 

  • This would for example allow you, if you don’t quite have so much time, to just visit the Shetland Isles for a shorter period and we pick you/drop you off at either Sumburgh airport or the Lerwick or Yell/Fetlar/Unst ferry terminal and you have less time on Shetland

This would also enable you to also visit the Orkney Isles

  • either before our tour and you join us on the 11th August at 23.45 pm at Kirkwall on the northbound ferry
  • or after the tour and you leave us on the 16th August at midnight at Kirkwall on the southbound ferry

 

  • This is also meant to help those of you, who really would like to join our tour, but can’t make the first or last day and the discount will go somewhat in paying for your public transport costs to join us on our tour. We happily advise your options.
  • Anyone who is already staying on Shetland is welcome to join us on a daily basis subject to seat availability.

Extras to pay:

Northlink ferries

£68 return per adult for the Aberdeen to Lerwick/Shetland ferry

(+currently we have pre-booked you for a reclining sleeping bod for £36 return per person, but you can either opt out and chose a chair for about £7 return or a cabin at a higher price)

Shetland camping bods

4 nights x £12 per person = £48 per person

Shetland ferries

£5.40 per crossing, we will be taking a minimum of 4 internal ferries (Shetland mainland  via Yell – 1 – Fetlar – 2 – Unst – 3 – Fetlar – 4 – via Yell to Shetland mainland)


FAQs

Guaranteed pick up/drop off always from the Stirling area, places along the way, anywhere on private tours & outwith the Forth Valley on request depending on distance & booking numbers

Tourstyle:

  • short distance multi-stop day tours from our (2 nights at the Aithbank camping bods house on the Isle of Fetlar as our base for the Northern Isles) and (2 nights at the centrally based Shetland mainland base Voe house in Walls)
  • allowing for lots of free time, flexible activities, nature, walks, coast, cliffs, beaches, seabirds, seals, wildlife, possibly whales and otters, island hopping, ancient sites (Jarlshof, brochs, etc.), lighthouses, Viking heritage & more
  • this tour as nature & wildlife based would be ideally suited for active people who like walking

View our Scottish tour photos by region

Is this the right tour for me?

VisitScotland link for this tour

How to book and pay for a special tour?

What to bring?


Please note, if you don’t have enough time, we offer the option, to just visit Orkney or just visit Shetland on this tour for a discount and you then travel one way by public transport.

  • The ultimate for nature & wildlife lovers, we will be island hopping to Unst for a walk to Hermaness  the UK’s most northerly cliffs experiencing wild & remote nature, beaches, cliffs, wildlife galore, Eshaness cliffs, Sumburgh, ancient Jarlshof, Vikings, absolutely beautiful Scalloway (Shetland’s ancient capital), lots of islands, fjords, peninsulas great beaches, cliffs, wildlife, walks with 16 hours of daylight to explore

 

  • Shetland is a lot bigger and has a lot more to offer than you might imagine and with its indented coastline and countless  fjords and penninsulas, there are few places which can match Shetland for its tremendous wealth of coastal scenery, stunning bays, coves, inlets, beaches, cliffs, fjords are around every corner.
  • Including the short Shetland mainland to Yell and Yell to Unst ferries, it would take you over 4 hours to drive from the very south at Sumburgh head to the far north of Unst
  • The Shetland archipelago comprises about 300 islands and skerries, of which 16 are inhabited.
  • Shetland is around 170 kilometres (110 mi) north of mainland Scotland, covers an area of 1,468 square kilometres (567 sq mi) and has a coastline 2,702 kilometres (1,679 mi) long.
  • The largest of the islands is called the Shetland mainland. It has an area of 374 square miles (970 km2), making it the third-largest Scottish island (after Lewis & Harris and Skye).

 

  • Departure from Stirling (*with additional pick up/drop off locations on request see further down)

Shetland consists of over 100 islands, we will be based centrally on the Shetland “mainland”, at 60 degrees northern latitude it is at the same level as Greenland, Shetland is as close to Norway as it is to Scotland

EXTRAS TO PAY:

  • Already prepaid and pre-booked accommodation by Unicorn Tours for yourself, see below

(Unicorn Tours has pre-booked and pre-paid 9 spaces at the Orkney & Shetland hostel already, so as to be able to offer and guarantee the running of this tour – you don’t have to worry about arranging the accommodation yourself, you just pay us. However if you rather prefer some alternative accommodation, we offer you to opt out and you are then free to chose any other accommodation of your choice for those nights)

* food, drink, entrance fees (castles, museums, attractions, etc. – for example the Scalloway museum, the Unst boat haven & heritage centre)

* Inter-islander Shetland ferries
£5.40 per passenger return journey
we will be taking at least 2 return ferries–(Shetland mainland – Yell & Yell – Unst) and possibly one or two more optional ferry crossings.

* Accommodation on the Shetland Isles:

  • 2 nights at the Aithbank camping bods on the Isle of Fetlar for £12 per person per night

Camping bods are

– hostel type bunk house sleeping bag required – (if you don’t have a sleeping bag, I you would have to bring your home bedding – duvet, sheet, etc.)
Facilities
Showers, toilet facilities, water heater, solid fuel fire, crockery, basic cooking utensils, fridge, microwave, kettle, compact cooker with grill, oven and 2 hotplates.
Please note that electricity is provided by a coin meter which accepts £1.00 coins only. Guests are required to pay for their own electricity.

  • 2 nights pre-booked and confirmed for £12 per person per night:
    Voe house in Walls

(or alternatively you might wish to book your own alternative accommodation in Voe)
– hostel type bunk house sleeping bag required – (if you don’t have a sleeping bag, I you would have to bring your home bedding – duvet, sheet, etc.)
Facilities
Showers, toilet facilities, water heater, solid fuel fire, crockery, basic cooking utensils, fridge, microwave, kettle, compact cooker with grill, oven and 2 hotplates.
Please note that electricity is provided by a coin meter which accepts £1.00 coins only. Guests are required to pay for their own electricity.

Extras to pay:

Inter-islander Shetland ferries
£5.40 per passenger return journey
we will be taking at least 2 return ferries–(Shetland mainland – Yell & Yell – Unst) and possibly one or two more optional ferry crossings.

* Accommodation on the Shetland Isles:

  • 2 nights at the Aithbank camping bods on the Isle of Fetlar for £12 per person per night
  • 2 nights pre-booked and confirmed for £12 per person per night:
    Voe house in Walls
  • £68 return per adult (there is a slightly lower student/senior citizen rate) for the Aberdeen to Lerwick return ferry
  • Optional, you may opt out, as these are going to be busy crossings due to it being at the height of the peak tourist season and during the Orkney agricultural week (remember our ferry travels both ways via Kirkwall/Orkney, this will also mean, that on our route there is a good chance to see Fair Isle, which we will pass north- and southbound) – sleeping pods/fully reclining chair with extra space to sleep in,  provisionally reserved for all 9 seats, which is £36 return per person, but you may opt out of this and save yourself the £36 and then just has a seat to sleep on or roll out your sleeping bag on the carpet.
  • *On top of the ferry fare and/or sleeping pod, you might opt for a r a cabin, alternatively just a reclining seat is fine for example:

  • 2 overnight ferries (Aberdeen to Shetland and Shetland to Aberdeen) optional accommodation choices on top of the ferry fare:

* cheapest option = reclining seats £3.50 oneway x 2 = £7
* sleeping pod £18 oneway x 2 = £36
* bed in shared outer 2 berth cabin £52 x 2 = £104
* bed in shared inner 4 berth cabin £34.50 x 2 = £69
* inner 2 berth £72 x 2 = £144
* inner 4 berth £100 x 2 = £200
* 4 berth with TV £110 x 2 = £220
* Outer 2 berth £103 x 2 = £206
* Executive cabin £131 x 2 = £262
* Premium Outer 2 berth £131 x 2 = £262

(These overnight accommodation prices are based on the May 2018 rates – for up-to-date info check https://www.northlinkferries.co.uk/)


Accommodation

Accommodation on the Shetland Isles:

  • 2 nights at the Aithbank camping bods on the Isle of Fetlar for £12 per person per night
  • 2 nights pre-booked and confirmed for £12 per person per night:
    Voe house in Walls

You are ok to opt out and chose and book your own alternative B&B or hotel accommodation.

+ 2 nights outbound and return on the ferry

(Unicorn Tours has pre-booked and pre-paid 9 spaces at the Orkney & Shetland hostel already, so as to be able to offer and guarantee the running of this tour – you don’t have to worry about arranging the accommodation yourself, you just pay us. However if you rather prefer some alternative accommodation, we offer you to opt out and you are then free to chose any other accommodation of your choice for those nights)

The pre-booked and guaranteed accommodation is  a general rule is budget dormitory youth hostel bunk-bed type accommodation in a central and convenient location and depending on where and when typically costs between £12 – £25 per person per night.

We always give you the option to opt-out and find your own private B&B or hotel accommodation nearby, in which case you should advise us early, so we can release those pre-booked bed-spaces.

The tour throughout the day will remain the same, no matter if we pick you up in the morning /drop you off at night at a 5* hotel or hostel, this allows you to pay as little or as much for your accommodation as you like.

Check for additional accommodation info.


 

About Shetland

Shetland Isles

Guide to Shetland

Yell, Unst & Fetlar

Shetland heritage & culture

Hermaness national nature reserve

Hermaness walk

North mainland Shetland

Eshaness walk

West mainland Shetland

Whalsey

Bressay & Noss

Lerwick

Scalloway

Scalloway museum

Shetland South mainland

Jarlshof

RSBP Sumburgh head nature reserve

Sumburgh head lighthouse

Foula

Fair Isle

BBC weather Lerwick


Status of this tour 

Minimum number of paid/booked individual spaces to guarantee the running of this tour

  • 4
  • not yet reached
  • last update on 25th March @ noon

How to enquire, book & pay

  1. If you are interested in this tour, you let us know by either emailing contact@unicorntravel.co.uk, use our enquiry form or text or phone us 07429251980. This also gives you a chance to ask any questions, you may have.
  2. Once the minimum number of interested individuals has been reached, we contact everyone, if they still wish to join the tour and are ready to book and pay.
  3. Once the minimum number of individuals have paid, the tour is then a guaranteed departure.
  • Payment/booking deadline: Mon. 22nd July @ 3.30 pm

Please note for all of our multi-day tours we have already pre-booked and pre-paid 9 hostel beds for each night, but you can opt out of this and chose your own accommodation.

If the minimum number of seats has not been reached by the booking deadline, any money already paid will be refunded back to you in full (and on our end we will then cancel multi-day tour prepaid accommodation which we had to book, in order to be able to advertise and offer the tour in the first place).


VisitScotland Info Link for this tour in German

VisitScotland link for this tour in French / en francais

VisitScotland link for this tour in Spanish / Espagnol

VisitScotland link for this tour in Italian / Italiano

VisitScotland link for this tour in Dutch / Nederlands

About Unicorn Tours in Chinese – Polish – Russian – Czech

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