PANORAMIC TOUR OF THE SHETLAND ISLANDS AND JARLSHOF
This tour is an opportunity to enjoy the unique, evocative landscape of the Shetland islands with a visit to one of the most important archaeological sites in Europe and one of the most accessible sea bird colonies in the United Kingdom, where hundreds of puffins and other birds may be observed at close range during most of the spring and summer.
What we will see
- Island of Mousa
- Archaeological site of Jarlshof
- Sumburgh Head RSPB nature reserve
What we will do
- We disembark in the town of Lerwick, the administrative centre of the Shetland Islands and the town with the highest population, for a brief tour. Established in the 17th century, it grew and developed as a result of the fishing industry and its role as a port. The Lodberries, houses and warehouses built by merchants, and the closses, narrow streets starting at the port that lead to the newer part of the town, bear witness to the town's origins. Another interesting feature is the fact that it was built from stone to protect it from the fierce winter storms.
- We continue our excursion, heading to the south of the island where we can admire the magnificent landscape that surrounds us, with a sea view on one side and the gentle hills of South Mainland on the other. Having arrived at our destination we can enjoy a spectacular view of the nearby Mousa Island, home to the broch, a prehistoric tower from the iron age, one of the best preserved in Great Britain.
- We then arrive at the most southerly point of the island, marked by the small town of Sumburgh, from where we access the Jarlshof archaeological site, which contains some of the most interesting remains of early human settlements, not only in the Shetland islands, but in the whole of Scotland. We can observe the remains of habitations from various eras from the bronze age to the 16th century.
- Leaving Jarlshof and continuing along the coast, we head for the Sumburgh Head RSPB nature reserve located at the southernmost point of the Shetlands. At Sumburgh Head there is a colony of around 5,000 birds, mostly sea birds, all reared between the rocks and the steep grassy banks that lead to Shetland's first lighthouse. These picturesque rocks are the ideal place to observe puffins at close range (from May to mid-August). Below in the water, with a bit of luck we can spot grey seals, porpoises, white dolphins, killer whales, minke whales and even humpback whales.
What you need to know
- Places on this excursion are limited. We recommend booking early.
- We recommend wearing comfortable shoes.