Scotland travel update | New tours of the UK!

sumburg head shetland

Shetland Islands Tours

Go island-hopping to Scotland’s northernmost point! Experience a unique cultural heritage, abundant natural beauty and wildlife on Nordic Visitor’s Shetland Islands tours.

view tours

Discover Scotland's Far North on Shetland Island Tours

Go for a journey off the beaten path… in fact, ditch the path altogether and hop on a boat! Do some proper island-hopping in Scotland on a tour of the Shetland Islands and experience the natural beauty, Old Norse heritage, great bird watching and UNESCO-worthy prehistoric sites of this remote region.

Located 168 km (104 mi) from Scotland’s mainland, the Shetland Islands are as far north as you get in the British Isles. Wondering about the best way to travel for Shetland Islands tours? While it’s possible to fly to Shetland from airports on mainland Scotland, a self-drive tour with ferry connections is the ultimate way to experience Scotland’s diverse scenery, wildlife and culture.

For road trips in Scotland with expertly planned routes, quality-checked accommodations and other personal touches, look to the local travel experts at Nordic Visitor. Enjoy a driving tour of the Scottish Highlands and isles with a custom-made itinerary, arranged by your own dedicated travel consultant based in Edinburgh.

Keep browsing below for our suggested Shetland Island tours and other tips about what to see and do in Shetland.



Why book with Nordic Visitor

  • Hassle-free & seamless travel experience
  • Flexible & customisable tour options
  • Value for your money
  • Professional service from local experts

Take road trip to the Shetland Islands

Take a journey through the Scottish Highlands and northern islands on these recommended self-drive tour packages. You do the driving, we handle all the accommodation booking, route planning and more.

Local travel agency

As a local travel agency, Nordic Visitor knows how to make the most of your time in Scotland. We offer a variety of tours—both independent and guided—that include the must-see attractions as well as lesser-known highlights that are hand-picked by our own Scottish travel experts. To ensure a stress-free trip, we handle all the local details for you—accommodations, activities, rental car (for self-drive tours) and other services.
Oh, and all of our itineraries can be customised! So if you decide you want to spend more than the number of days specified in the packages or add some activities, for example, your personal Nordic Visitor travel consultant will be happy to make suggestions and modify your itinerary.

Different ways you can experience Scotland

We have tours for all varieties of travel styles and interests. See our options for exploring Scotland below.


Go to Shetland to experience a place that’s ancient and wild. Of the roughly 100 islands that make up Shetland, only 15 are inhabited today. Yet Shetland has been inhabited as far back as Neolithic times – over 4000 years ago – and it has the evidence to prove it. Numerous archeological sites dot the islands, including the collective ruins of “The Crucible of Iron Age Shetland” that are tentative World Heritage Sites.

Later settlers also left an indelible mark on the islands. Shetland was under Viking rule from the 8th to the 15th centuries, which makes sense seeing as Shetland is actually closer to Norway than the Scottish mainland. Today you can still see traces of Old Norse in town names, cultural traditions and even the local dialect.

Just like its Nordic neighbours, Shetland offers an abundance of stunning scenery and wildlife experiences for visitors. Head to the rocky coastline for a glimpse of seals, otters and cliff-dwelling seabirds including Atlantic Puffins. Shetland is also home to the adorable Shetland Pony, which you can see grazing in pastures throughout the countryside.

If this all sounds good, read more about Shetland’s must-see attractions below.


For the must-see prehistoric and natural sites, here’s what our Scotland travel experts recommend to see in Shetland:

  • Lerwick: Capital of the Shetland Isles. Get to know this charming harbour town with visits to the Shetland Museum and Archives, the 17th-century Fort Charlotte, and the Shetland Textile Museum.
  • Northern Isles of Yell and Unst: The most northerly islands of Shetland, great for a day trip. On Unst, check out Britain’s most northerly castle, the 16th century Muness Castle, or head to the Hermaness National Nature Reserve on Unst to spot otters and seals. On Yell, visit the Iron Age settlements at Sellafirth and Da Birrier.
  • Jarlshof: Ancient settlement including remains of an Iron Age broch, Pictish wheelhouses, Norse dwellings, and a medieval farmstead.
  • Mousa Broch on Isle of Mousa: One of the best preserved Iron Age roundhouses, dating back to around 300 BC. Along with Jarlshof, is it part of the “Crucible of Iron Age Shetland” sites.
  • Sumburgh Head Nature Reserve: Check out its birds exhibition and famous lighthouse overlooking the cliffs. Great for spotting birds like puffins, guillemots, razorbills, kittiwakes and fulmars, as well as marine life like dolphins, harbour porpoises and killer whales.


The summer months in Scotland – June to August – are the most popular time to visit Shetland, when you can experience the best weather, hiking, wildlife encounters and availability of tourist attractions. Around late June you can even experience the “simmer dim”, the locals’ term for the nearly 24-hour daylight of midsummer.

Scotland’s winter months are not an ideal time for a road trip to Shetland – as some rural tourist attractions be off limits and the weather can make ferry trips a bit rocky – but Shetland in wintertime is still a unique experience. The Up Helly Aa festival, or “the Viking fire festival”, in January is a popular event and a great way to see Shetland’s Norse traditions in action.


If you’re picking up your rental car in Edinburgh, start your journey up the east coast through Fife and Aberdeenshire. This route allows you to stop in the historic city of St Andrews and take in the old royal residences along the popular “Castle Trail”. From the city of Aberdeen, take an overnight ferry to the port town of Lerwick on the Shetland Mainland.

Instead of reversing the same route back to Edinburgh, why not do some more island-hopping? Take a ferry from Shetland to the Orkney Islands and spend a few days exploring the “Neolithic Heart of Orkney” World Heritage Sites. From Orkney, ferry back to the mainland and drive the stunning North Coast 500 route – aka "Scotland’s Route 66".

Then travel down from the northern Highlands, maybe with a detour to the Isle of Skye and further west to the Isles of Harris and Lewis. On the way back to Edinburgh, take in some of Scotland’s most famous sites, like Eilean Donan castle, Loch Ness and Trossachs National Park. Back in Edinburgh, enjoy city landmarks like the Royal Mile and Edinburgh Castle.

Nordic Visitor offers a wide range of tours in Scotland that can be tailored to your liking, with extra nights, day tours and more added to your itinerary on request. We can also arrange privately guided tours for individuals and small groups.



Fun facts about Shetland Islands

  • The Shetland Pony was domesticated around 500 B.C.
  • Shetlanders call the Northern Lights “Mirrie Dancers”
  • Chilly? Pick up a Fair Isle knitted sweater, a top Shetland souvenir

What do our customers say?

The reviews speak for themselves. See what Nordic Visitor travellers said about their experience with us.


Highlights of Scotland, October 2020

A very good tour with a great information pack.

A very good tour with good information and map with highlighted attractions and a very good information pack.


Express Scotland, October 2019

Absolutely love working with Nordic Visitor!

I have already traveled twice with Nordic Visitor, and am already in the process of booking a third trip! Absolutely love working with you! Every bed and breakfast we stayed at was amazing. The hosts were so welcoming with great suggestions of things to do and places to eat. The rooms were very comfortable, and the amenities were awesome! 


Scottish Highlands & Isle of Skye, September 2020

The best holidays we have ever had!

Superb!! Our first ever 'touring' holiday and right up there with the best holidays we have ever had. We are not youngsters, so this was taken on with a bit of trepidation, but were soon put at ease by the sheer quality of accommodation provided along with the superb travel itinerary book (yes, it's that thick and detailed) and map. Even though we often used local recommendations, these became our trusted companions throughout the week - and are now valued reminders of an exceptional holiday - Thankyou Nordic Visitor, we will be back!

Crystal, United States

Classic Scotland & The Orkney islands, September 2019

Wonderful experience!

Thank you so much! Our experience in Scotland was wonderful! We felt prepared for what to expect, particularly as it relates to making dinner reservations on the islands we visited. The food recommendations were excellent , the accommodations were cozy, and the recommendations for sites and attractions greatly appreciated. A special thank you to Agne who answered all my inquiries, helped us make dinner reservations and confirmed all our dates and meeting times - she was a pleasure to work with!  


Classic Scotland, September 2020

Excellent trip

All accommodations were excellent with very friendly hosts. Car rental pickup was very quick and easy and car was excellent. Rebecca was excellent, she took all our requirements and made a personal tour for us. Her attention to detail was excellent.The documents at our first hotel were excellent especially the map with everything marked on for us.


Scottish Highlands & Isle of Skye, June 2019

A positive experience, beginning to end!

This tour was a positive experience for us, beginning to end. The planning by Nordic Visitor was complete, thoughtful, and worked flawlessly. Scotland was stunning and most interesting - we just wish we had more time. To Nordic Visitor: Great Job! We'll be back!

Gary, Canada

Scotland Winter World, November 2019

The accommodations, destinations and car were great!

The tour went very well. All the accommodation was excellent. We are very pleased with all the arrangements and communications that we had with Rebecca. The accommodations, destinations and car were great. Our only wish is that we would have had more time at some of the locations. We had a hard time packing it all in!


Express Scotland, July 2019

Nothing but great words to say about Nordic Visitor!

We were thrilled with all of our accommodations. All hosts/hostesses were very friendly and we felt very welcomed. The rental car service was also very good and thorough. And we felt as though everyone had a good working relationship as the businesses had nothing but great words to say about Nordic Visitor so we felt good that everyone was working together to make our visit a great one!

Research Your Trip

Find out where to go, what to know, and more: read our Scotland travel guides.

Our Services

Whether you travel independently or with a guide in your Nordic Visitor package, you will receive personalised service from a designated travel consultant and high-quality travel documents. What's more, all self-drive clients receive a hand-marked map that outlines the driving route, overnights and highlights along the way. Travel with ease knowing that Nordic Visitor has close professional relationships with local service providers, which are carefully selected by our staff for their consistently high standards.

Book With Confidence

  • Protect your money & plans with our flexible booking terms  .
  • 97% of customers say they’d recommend us to friends.
  • We work closely with trusted, high-quality suppliers.
  • Enjoy personal service from Scotland travel experts.
  • Get peace of mind with a 24/7 helpline during your stay.
  • We’re here for you in case of unforeseen circumstances.

Contact us

Whether you’re looking to add a night in Edinburgh, want restaurant recommendations or have questions about your tour, we’re happy to help so get in touch with our friendly team to answer any of your travel queries


Our main phone number is
+354 578 20 80


How about a live chat with one of our local travel experts

We are here to help

Whether you have a single question or a special request, we're here for you.

here to help