Great Canadian Adventurers

McLeod, Joan & Philip – Orkney, Shetland and the Faroe Islands

January 31, 2019 | Andrea Rempel

We have just returned from a trip to the Northern Isles and The Faroes.  This complicated trip was organized by Allison Silvaggio using three different service providers and offering three different experiences:  a small group Walking Tour in the Orkneys;  a self-directed tour of The Shetlands, and a Self-Drive tour of the Faroes.   Getting to each of the islands required flights to and from Scotland and Iceland,  but the whole trip went extremely smoothly,  and Allison was on top of a flight change mid-trip.  We have taken several trips to the North,  organized by Allison through GCTC and they have all provided us with access to the beauty of the places and interaction with local people.  This recent trip was no exception.  We had time to enjoy nature ( flora and fauna),  the food and interact with the  inhabitants of the three very different islands.

The Walking Tour organized through Wilderness Scotland included walks from 9-15km each day,  and balanced scenery, history and wildlife viewing.  It was a small group of eight,  which was perfect.  We travelled by mini-van to the start of our walks which were on several of the Orkney Islands and often finished the day at a local restaurant where we enjoyed delicious local food – lots of fish!.

Our self-drive tour of the Shetlands was based in Lerwick,  but the car enabled us to visit most of the larger islands of this chain, and include our own hikes each day.  The scenery was rugged and gorgeous, and services excellent, although coffee shops are few and far between.

The Faroes trip was also a self drive,  but we drove to different parts of this island chain and stayed for a couple of days on three islands.  Distances are not great on the Faroes except for the 2 hour ferry trip to Suduroy the southern most island.  There are a number of hikes here,  but  a guide is essential because of the terrain.  We were content to explore the islands on short walks and enjoy amazing vistas en-route.

These islands are very unspoilt,  but are rich in history and culture.