Scotland's Orkney Islands

Trip Code: BWSO

Why we love it

The Orkney Islands are teeming with historic sites to explore. The Neolithic township of Skara Brae, the renowned Ring of Brodgar and 12th-century St Magnus Cathedral – it’s like you’ve been transported back in time!, Join your group leader on a walking tour of Kirkwall – Orkney’s main centre. They’ll be able to share with you the history and traditions behind the game of ‘Ba’ in town., Spend the morning discovering the island of Shapinsay on a coastal walking tour, full of rich heritage and small-town quirks. You might even spot some resident seals!, What’s Scotland without a tipple? Be sure to join your local leader and group of travellers throughout the trip at a corner pub, tasting some of the finest whiskies on offer., With plenty of time dedicated to exploring at your own pace, you can dial up the history, or instead, balance it all out with some distillery visits. You’ve got the power to choose.

Is this trip right for me?

Please ensure you consult your local government’s advice regarding domestic travel prior to booking this trip.

This trip is new to our range this year. And while we have thoroughly researched every detail of the logistics, new destinations and working with new partners can sometimes throw us some unexpected surprises. More often than not, it’ll be a great surprise. But every now and again there might be a hiccup. We like to think that’s what puts the ‘adventure’ in ‘adventure travel’.

Scotland can be cold at night throughout the year, especially at the start and end of the season. Please bring appropriate clothing for adverse weather conditions, including base layers, hat, gloves, scarf, waterproof clothes/umbrella and anything else that you think may be applicable.

As accommodation on this trip is twin share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same gender. This trip is a great opportunity to get to know other like-minded people, so embrace it while you can. However, if you’d prefer not to share, a single room supplement is available at an additional charge (some exceptions may apply). Please ask your travel consultant for more details. Also, hotels in Europe can seem small by Australian or American standards, and often don't have double beds, but rather two single beds that can be pushed together/apart.

Important information

1.A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.
2.This trip starts at 1pm in the ticket hall of Inverness Railway Station on Day 1. Afterwards, your group will immediately depart for Kirkwall. This trip finishes upon arrival in Inverness on Day 5 at approximately 5pm. Please consider this when booking onward travel.
3.Please note that the journey from Inverness to the Orkney Islands and vice versa is quite long (approx 7.5 hours), involving a train, taxi, ferry and local bus. Our arrival into Kirkwall on day 1 will be at around 9:30pm and arrival back into Inverness on the last day will be at around 5pm.

What to bring/pack

PACKING
On this trip you must pack as lightly as possible because you will be expected to carry your own bag and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we strongly recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb. Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps to accommodate the cobbled streets, uneven surfaces, stairs and steps you are likely to encounter while carrying your luggage. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips. You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list., https://www.intrepidtravel.com/packing-list, TRAVELLING ON LOCAL TRANSPORT
It's important that your bags can be locked, as on local transport it may be necessary that your luggage gets stowed separately (and unattended). The smaller your bag the better for you and other passengers. To ensure maximum comfort, try to pack small and light., WATER BOTTLE
Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. Although it can be difficult to avoid bottled water when travelling, please use the water dispensers which are provided on some of our vehicles and at some of our accommodation. Your leader will advise whether tap water is safe to drink in your destination, if it is you can simply refill with tap water. When unable to avoid bottled water it is better to buy the largest available and distribute into your smaller bottle for the day., WHITE NIGHTS
The closer you travel to the second half of June, the shorter the nights are in this part of the world. As many of our accommodations may not have suitable curtains to block out light you may want to consider bringing an eye-mask, especially if you are a light sleeper.

CLOTHING & CLIMATE
The climate in this region is extremely varied. In shoulder season (April, May, September, October and beyond) you can expect temperatures to vary between single digits and warm sunny days, while from June until September temperatures can reach well above 30 C. It is always a good idea to bring a warm windproof jacket, a hat and waterproof footwear. No matter which time of year you decide to travel, it can get quite cool at night especially when in the countryside, so we recommend that you bring a warm jacket or fleece.

Physical rating

 
2

This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. Some trips may have individual inclusions that may be of a higher physical rating compared to the overall rating of the trip. Please read the day-to-day itinerary carefully to find out more details on each day's activities, and whether they are suitable for you. Activities can be opted out of if you don't want to participate.

INCLUDED ACTIVITIES
This trip includes a hike on Shapinsay Island. While the hike isn't strenuous, the activity can be opted out from should you wish not to partake. Your leader will be at hand to facilitate alternative arrangements for you.

Joining your group

Inverness Railway Station, Academy Street, IV2 3PY, Inverness, UNITED KINGDOM

Joining instructions

The group meeting on day 1 will take place at 1pm in the ticket hall of Inverness Railway Station. Please look out for your leader who will be waiting in the fixed seating area and holding a sign with the Intrepid logo. Please make sure you are on time for this important meeting, as the group will leave Inverness straight after. If you can't find a flight or train that arrives on time we recommend you book an additional night in Inverness prior to the start of the trip.

Inverness has an international airport (airport code INV), or alternatively there are frequent train connections from Edinburgh and beyond. There is even a daily direct train from London Kings Cross.

Finishing your trip

Inverness Railway Station, Academy Street, IV2 3PY, Inverness, UNITED KINGDOM

Arrival into Inverness Railway Station on the last day of the trips is scheduled for around 5pm. Consider a later evening travel connection or perhaps stay an extra night in Inverness.

Meals & dietary information

Breakfasts included: 4

Lunches included: 1

Dinners included: 

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

BREAKFASTS
There are some continental breakfasts included on this trip which may simply include bread/toast or pastries, butter, jam, coffee/tea/juice (or similar).

Climate & seasonal information

The areas visited on this trip can be cold throughout the year, especially at the start and end of the season, and at night. Rain is possible at any time of year. Winter temperatures frequently drop below freezing, and snow fall is common. Summers on the other hand are quite pleasant, but temperatures rarely exceed 20 C. Please familiarize yourself with what climate to expect and bring appropriate clothing for adverse weather conditions, including base layers, hat, rain coat and anything else that you think may be applicable.

In case of emergency

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. Please do be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is completed, so informing us while still travelling will give us the opportunity to resolve the issue in real-time.

For general contact details please use the following page: http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/contact/

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local office on the number below:

Intrepid's Local Operator: +44 (0)1479 420 020 or +44 (0)7766 794 640

Accommodations

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION
The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances.

TWIN SHARE BASIS
Accommodation on this trip is on a twin share basis (unless noted otherwise in the day-to-day itinerary). Please note there may be times where facilities will be shared rather than ensuite.

FACILITIES
Your accommodation may not always have private en suite facilities or air-conditioning. European hotels generally don't provide kettles or fridges.

Transportation

TRANSPORT IN EUROPE
Half the fun of travel is the travelling itself, that's why we like to travel the local way – whether that means mingling with commuters on a local train, watching the scenery roll by from the window of a long distance bus, arriving on a high speed train in the city centre of your next destination, or navigating each city's public transport system. In Europe, you are guaranteed to travel by genuine local public transport wherever possible, which puts you right in the centre of the action.


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