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The alluring Islands of Orkney are tucked away off the North Coast of mainland Scotland and are just waiting to be explored. This archipelago is a haven for tourists looking for an experience off the beaten path because of its fascinating history, stunning scenery, and distinctive character.
The Orkney Islands are located exactly 20km north of the Scottish Mainland. Here is everything you need to know if you want to make your way across the magical sub-islands and the Orkney Mainland, where the ancient and the modern coexist and the ocean tells tales of bygone eras.
Also Read: The Ultimate Guide To Aberdeen, Scotland
Travel Tips: Useful Information
Currency used: Pounds (GBP)
Country Code: +44 1856
Time Zone: BST (GMT+1)
Perfect For: History aficionados, art lovers, adventurers, families
Best Time To Visit The Orkney Islands
The Orkney Islands can be visited at any time of the year, however, they tend to get quite cold and damp during the winters, so we don’t recommend traveling then. The time period between Easter and the end of autumn is the best time to visit the islands.
Within this period, the most popular months are from late May to early September.
We should also point out that if you visit sometime during autumn or winter, there are chances of you being able to experience magnificent views of the northern lights from here.
We recommend researching in advance and even checking with people working in different accommodation options there when the best time period for viewing the northern lights that year is.
Cost Of Visiting The Orkney Islands
As a traveler, you should expect to spend around £128 per person per day in Orkney, based on average tourist expenditure. The average price of a 7-day trip here would be around $1,600 for a solo traveler and $2,700 for a couple. You can find a good hotel priced between $120 to $160 a night.
Orkney Islands Guide
The Orkney Mainland: Unveiling Neolithic Wonders
The Orkney Mainland is the beating heart of Neolithic Orkney. Both history buffs and nature lovers will find their senses stimulated by the wonders that await them here. The majestic coastal cliffs, which tower against the backdrop of the North Coast, are a masterpiece of nature.
Get lost in the world of Skara Brae, an ancient settlement that has been frozen in time. Imagine life in this Neolithic hamlet as you stroll around the historic stone houses. Travel from Skara Brae to the mysterious Ring of Brodgar, a stone circle steeped in legend and mystery. Feel the aura that emanates from the worn stones, taking you back in time.
Also Read: The Ultimate Guide To The National Museum Of Scotland
The North Isles: Untamed Beauty Unveiled
Prepare to be enchanted by the North Isles’ untamed beauty and remote appeal as you sail near them. Every island has something special to offer, beckoning you to discover its untouched landscapes. The fascinating puffins that live on Westray, the queen of the North Isles, can be seen there.
Observe the incredible diversity of animals that coexists peacefully with the unadulterated beauty of nature in this region.
Upon traveling further, you would arrive at the East Mainland, where Lamb Holm with its rich military past awaits. Visit the Italian Chapel, which Italian prisoners of war built during World War II as a symbol of the human soul’s tenacious spirit.
Step into this tiny refuge to feel the impact of its moving past. It has been adorned with exquisite artwork.
The West Mainland: Landscapes Painted by Nature
Be awed by the scenic beauty of the area, which provides stunning vistas, as you travel down the west coast. Uninhabited islands can be seen in the distance, their beauty luring in those with an adventurous soul to explore their rugged coastlines.
Admire the enormous sea stacks that the North Sea’s unrelenting might has sculpted over centuries.
The centre of Neolithic Orkney, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is located in this area. The Neolithic chambered tomb Maeshowe, which is embellished with ancient runic sculptures, is home to several archaeological marvels.
Allow the atmosphere of the Standing Stones of Stenness and the mysterious Tomb of the Eagles to take you back in time to a period of forgotten traditions.
Tidal Island: A Dance with the Elements
As soon as you set foot on the tidal island of North Ronaldsay, your voyage would take a fascinating turn. This island, which is surrounded by the North Sea’s tides, exhibits a distinctive way of life.
Watch how tough, seaweed-eating sheep freely walk the beach under the guidance of age-old stone dykes. Enjoy the exquisite peace of a location where time seems to have stopped.
The South Isles: Where Tranquility Meets Coastal Charms
The gorgeous South Isles would be the destination of your Orkney journey’s last stage. The largest of the group, South Ronaldsay, offers a beautiful blend of serenity and coastal delights. Let the salty wind awaken your senses as you stroll along gorgeous beaches where waves caress the golden dunes.
How many islands are there in Orkney?
The Orkney Islands are composed of over 70 individual islands out of which only around 20 are inhabitable.
What islands are in the Orkney Islands?
Some of the Orkney Islands are Mainland Orkney, South Ronaldsay, Lamb Holm, Westray, and several others.
Are the Orkney Islands worth seeing?
The Neolithic Orkney centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in addition to understanding the history of the islands, you can also experience the beautiful beaches on the other islands and travel by ferry boat amongst them. They are most certainly worth visiting.
How do you get to Orkney island?
You can get to Orkney Mainland by either flight or ferry.
How long is the ferry ride to the Orkney Islands?
The ferry ride from Northern Mainland Scotland to the Orkney Islands is about 30 minutes and runs 6 days a week.
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