Fly from Aberdeen Airport to Kirkwall, the capital of the Orkney Islands and enjoy a lively market town with a warm local welcome typical of the Scottish Islands.
Explore the mainland
With Orkney being named the ‘fourth best island in Europe’ and ‘second best in the UK’ in the 2014 TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards, there’s something for everyone from birdlife to beaches. For the adventurous, make sure you hop some of the 70 islands that make up Orkney – each with a different story to tell and things to discover.
Enjoy local produce
With its extensive coastline, Orkney is blessed with a frequent supply of delicious shellfish and fish. A vast agricultural heritage ensures the production of some of Scotland’s most flavour-rich beef and lamb. Orkney has a big reputation for cheese – be sure to sample some award-winning products of the Orkney Cheese Company during your visit. Finally, of course you can wash it all down with local wine, beer, or of course, whisky – try Highland Park, twice voted the ‘best spirit in the world’.
Viking imagery remains all throughout Orkney from its glorious past when Norse settlers arrived in the late 8th century. Join the Orkneyinga Saga Trail where you can follow in the footsteps of the Norse at key locations that include St. Magnus’ Kirk, Bishop’s Palace and Dingieshowe.
Maeshowe is a prehistoric chambered cairn that is thought to have been built over a stone circle surrounded by a ditch. Admire the impressive interior of Maeshow, try to decode the runes on the walls written by Vikings who once broke in the chamber, and see four stones of the circle incorporated into the construction.
Ring of Brodgar
Discover magical sites situated close to the village of Stenness. The Ring of Brodgar, for example, is a large circle of tall and thin stones surrounded by the sea. There is a range of mystical legends about the reasons for building the circle, from astronomic observations to religious rituals.