Jun 26, 2022 - Jul 6, 2022
Trip Type
By Land

Group Size: 10-15 travelers
Price: $5,995 per person double occupancy / $6,970 single occupancy

Activity Level

Trip Overview

This is the perfect opportunity to explore Scotland’s Northern Isles on foot and discover their wealth of geological, archaeological, and natural sites in a glorious setting. Their rocks tell the whole story, spanning almost three billion years. Orkney is a place of open skies, rounded hills, beautiful beaches, and well-kept farms. Beneath many of today's modern farms are the remains of Viking farms and, beneath that, layers of occupation stretching even further back in time. Shetland is an archipelago of islands 100 miles north of the Scottish mainland. It enjoys almost 24 hours of daylight during the summer, which brings a quality of light that is quite unlike anywhere else in Scotland. Both archipelagos also have an amazing wealth of archaeological sites and nature lovers are drawn because of the abundance of wild flowers, birds, and marine wildlife.

Schedule by Day

  • Jun 26: Depart U.S.
  • Jun 27: Arrive Aberdeen, Scotland / Kirkwall, Orkney
  • Jun 28: Neolithic Orkney
  • Jun 29: Isle of Hoy
  • Jun 30: Skara Brae / Kirkwall
  • July 1: South Mainland Shetland / Isle of Mousa
  • July 2: Fethaland / Viking Quarry
  • July 3: Isle of Unst
  • July 4Eshaness
  • July 5: Ronas Hill / Lerwick
  • July 6: Aberdeen / Return home


  • $5,995 per person double occupancy
  • $6,970 single occupancy


  • Three nights at the Lynnfield Hotel in Kirkwall, Orkney
  • Two nights on an overnight ferry 
  • Four nights at the Busta House Hotel in Busta, Shetland

What to Expect

Activity Level 4

You must be reasonably fit to participate in this tour. Hikes will be up to six miles per day, sometimes uphill (up to 800 feet of ascent), and over uneven ground. Terrain will be varied: open and rough moorland, hill, and coastal cliff tops. There are no high mountains but the tops of hills will have sub-Arctic climate—and even the low level walks will be exposed to weather from the Atlantic and the North Sea. Some hikes are in remote places with no public conveniences available. Lunches will be packed on most days and will be eaten outside during hikes.

Study Leader(s)

Frank B. Baird, Jr. Professor of History
Additional Lecture Info
Proposed lecture themes include Orkney and Shetland in Deep History; New Light on the Neolithic; and The Viking Age.

For More Information

Please email or call our office at 800-422-1636 or 617-496-0806.