If you don't have a lot of time or if you just wish to sample the very best of Shetland's wildlife before continuing your travels independently, our Shetland Experience holiday makes an ideal short break. Our daily itinerary is as follows...

Grey Seal


Storm Petrel


Red-necked Phalarope

Killer Whale

Hermaness gannetry

Red-throated Diver


DAY 1  Saturday - Seabirds, Selkies & Storm Petrels

Our first morning together sees us sailing to the seabird cities of Noss National Nature Reserve. Along the way, we explore the fascinating coastline of Bressay and weather permitting, we'll visit huge sea caves and hidden coves. You'll discover what the climate was like 370 million years ago, see traces of ancient glaciers and volcanic explosions, hear about Vikings, the Press Gang, treasure ships, smugglers and deserted villages. We also visit Common and Grey Seal colonies. No promises, but we sometimes see Minke and Killer Whales! The highlight of the morning will be the sights, sounds and smells of 20,000 Gannets, 40,000 Guillemots, 5,000 Kittiwakes and hundreds of Puffins, Razorbills, Shags and Black Guillemots - an experience that will remain etched in your mind forever! After lunch, we head for the south Mainland to look for breeding Arctic Skua, Great Skua, Arctic Tern, Curlew, Red-throated Diver and Whimbrel. Wild flowers also feature prominently on the agenda. After dinner at Sumburgh, we drive to Sandwick and make a short sea crossing over to the island of Mousa. As darkness falls we'll witness the thrilling sight of hundreds of Storm Petrels returning to their nests in the spectacular Iron Age broch. We may also be lucky enough to spot an Otter or a small party of Harbour Porpoise. We overnight at Sumburgh Hotel.

DAY 2  Sunday - The Garden of Shetland

We spend the morning in the crystalline limestone valley of Tingwall where we hope to observe our first Red-throated Divers, Red-breasted Mergansers and Britain's only breeding Whooper Swans! Arctic Hare is also a Tingwall speciality and we would hope to encounter several individuals in the upper reaches of the valley. We continue through the central Mainland to Toft to take the ferry to the island of Yell. We stop to look for Otters and Red-throated Divers. After lunch, we take another ferry to the bird-rich island of Fetlar. The prize here will be the handsome Red-necked Phalarope, famous for its breeding role reversal. Fetlar holds over 90% of the British breeding population, although the birds' stay on the island is a brief one - they generally arrive during the third week of May and are gone by the end of July! We should also see a wide variety of other breeding birds including Red-throated Diver, Whimbrel, Golden Plover, Dunlin and if we're lucky, a summering Great Northern Diver. We'll also search the north shore of the island for Otters. Fetlar's fertile land produces a dazzling display of wild flowers and we should find several species of Orchid with ease. We overnight at the Baltasound Hotel, Unst.

DAY 3  Monday - Hermaness and Keen of Hamar

Our third morning takes us to Britain's most northerly nature reserve - Hermaness. The moorland is home to 800 pairs of Great Skuas - the second largest 'Bonxie' colony in the world - and the cliffs house 50,000 Puffins, 40,000 Guillemots, 28,000 Fulmars and over 20,000 Gannets! The cacophony of bird cries and the smell of guano make this an overwhelming wildlife experience! Amidst the tapestry of Heather, Crowberry, Bog Bilberry and Bog Cotton we'll search for the carnivorous Sundew and Butterwort. In the afternoon we'll visit Keen of Hamar National Nature Reserve. Hiking on this barren serpentine fell-field has been likened to walking on the Moon but, as we explore this unique habitat, a diverse eco-system appears. The reserve is home to an array of rare wild flowers including Arctic Sandwort, Frog Orchid and Shetland Mouse-Ear Chickweed - found here but nowhere else in the world! We return to Yell late in the afternoon and then on to Mainland, where we overnight at Sumburgh Hotel.

DAY 4  Tuesday

After breakfast we'll transfer you to Sumburgh airport, or make arrangements for you to travel to your onward destination in Shetland.

Holiday Information 2019 Operating Dates


Sat 11th May


Tues 14th May





Single Supplement






Sat 18th May


Tues 21st May


Sat 25th May


Tues 28th May


Sat 1st June


Tues 4th June


Sat 8th June


Tues 11th June


Sat 15th June


Tues 18th June


Sat 22nd June


Tues 25th June


Sat 29th June


Tues 2nd July


Sat 6th July


Tues 9th July


*** Call our office for details of our exclusive family holidays! ***
Group Size - maximum 8 travellers


Puffins – tens of thousands!
Storm Petrels
Red-throated Divers
Great Northern Divers
King Eider
Whooper Swans
Red-necked Phalaropes
Black-tailed Godwits
Tawny Pipit
Thrush Nightingale
Subalpine Warbler
Red-backed Shrikes

Otters - lots!
Killer Whales
Minke Whales
White-beaked Dolphins
White-sided Dolphins
Risso's Dolphins
Harbour Porpoise
Grey Seals
Harbour Seals
Arctic Hare - lots!

Frog Orchid
Northern Marsh Orchid
Early Purple Orchid
Fragrant Orchid
Shetland Mouse-ear
Arctic Sandwort
Northern Rockcress
Hoary Whitlow-grass


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