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Orkney Isles Extension

An ancient northern realm of myth, mystery, and the magic of the isles’ natural beauty
This 4-day extension to the Orkney Islands offers an encounter with another side of Scotland, more Norse than Gaelic. The Orkneys are a collection of about 70 small islands and skerries that lie due north off the Scottish mainland. The low-lying isles are a gently rolling landscape of green fields, heather moorland and lochs where ancient Celtic cultures and Viking influence have intertwined over centuries. Human habitation here dates back thousands of years, and a fascinating historical tapestry remains. The Orkneys' treasure trove of archaeological sites includes the Stone Age village of Scara Brae; Maes Howe, a 5,000-year-old chambered cairn; and the Ring of Brodgar, the finest late-Neolithic stone circle in Britain. The islands are also renowned for their wealth of nature. Sandstone cliffs, home to myriad seabirds, rise along a wild and scenic coastline, while whales and seals are frequently spotted off shore.

Trip Highlights

  • Encounter the Orkneys' rich prehistoric legacy as we visit Stone Age ruins including the Ring of Brodgar, the finest late-Neolithic stone circle in Britain
  • Explore natural Orkney, home to huge colonies of nesting seabirds, seals basking on rocky skerries, and whales spouting offshore
  • Discover the Orkneys' WWII heritage at the Italian Chapel, an intricately painted masterpiece built by Italian prisoners of war
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