Scotland’s Orkney Islands and Viking Heritage

From the Islands to the Stunning North Coast

Trip Level

This trip is rated Level 3, Moderate. We have daily hikes of 2-6 miles, mostly on level coastal trails, and one more strenuous hill hike to Fyrish Hill with 958 feet of elevation gain. You can expect to be hiking for 2-4 hours per day for 7 of the 8 days. Conditions and the group’s level of fitness affect travel and hiking times, which can vary, sometimes dramatically, from the anticipated times. Paths and trails in Scotland can be very rough in places, with rocky uneven terrain, and many of the hikes may be wet underfoot. As is common in Scotland, we may even hike off-trail where the terrain allows. Hiking boots with ankle support are necessary and hiking poles are highly recommended. We’ll always include time to explore historic and cultural sites and for wildlife spotting. The ferry crossing from Orkney to the mainland takes just over an hour; participants should bring medication if they suffer from motion- or sea-sickness. In Scotland, “sunshine and showers” are a common forecast. These conditions give the mountains great atmosphere and can add to the overall experience. They also mean that good raingear is a must. Bring a fully waterproof jacket and waterproof overpants as well as waterproofed hiking boots with lug soles for traction. Waterproof ponchos are NOT recommended for hiking in Scotland due to the wind.


Summer or not, Scotland is famous for changeable weather. Count on everything from cold rain, persistent fog, and mist, to brilliant warm, sunny weather. The rule here is to be prepared for any eventuality by creating a layering system that takes you from shorts and skirts to warm Gore-Tex raingear.

Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.