Please note that whilst we are happy to give general advice regarding travelling to Orkney and where to stay we are not a travel agent and so are unable to make travel arrangements on your behalf. Please visit the websites of the companies below for further information.
Arrival by air
The quickest and easiest way to reach Orkney is to fly. Flybe fly to Kirkwall Airport from Aberdeen, Inverness, Edinburgh and Glasgow, with connections beyond on other Flybe services.
Arrival by ferry
Northlink Ferries have daily sailings from Scrabster near Thurso in Caithness to Stromness
They also have sailings from Aberdeen to Kirkwall and onwards to Lerwick in Shetland but this is not a daily service. The Kirkwall - Aberdeen sailing makes good connections with rail services & is probably the best route if you are using public transport, but arrives very late at night in Kirkwall and is overnight going south. It is also not a daily service, but can be used for onward travel to Shetland if you are combining your Orkney holiday with a Shetland visit.
Pentland Ferries Ltd have daily sailings from Gill's Bay near Thurso to St. Margaret's Hope, but have limited connections via public transport.
John o’ Groats Ferries offer summer sailings and foot passengers only from John O' Groats to Burwick, with connecting buses to Inverness & Kirkwall in the main season.
Just like you're doing right now, I went online and read reviews about different tour guides. It’s a bit overwhelming isn’t it? You read some reviews from people you don't know, you send some emails to some other people you don't know, you make a choice, and then you send your payment in advance. All operating on blind faith.
From the moment Pat picked us up at the airport, it was like finding a long lost friend. Clearly we were in capable hands. And clearly we were in for a grand time. Pat took charge so we could relax and just experience that amazing, unforgettable place.
Pat customized a 2-day tour based on our desire to see the neolithic sites as well as local artists, a bit of an unusual request. What a jam-packed and amazing two days it was! Apparently not only is she a master of all things archaeological, but she also seems to know everyone on Orkney! We met so many gifted local artists and their workshops and artistic process; quite an experience.
You couldn’t ask for a better tour guide or ambassador for all things Orcadian than Pat Stone. She was worth every penny! -- HIGHLY recommend.