The Hidden Gems of Shetland: A 5-Day Itinerary

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Advisor - Lizz Callaway
Curated By

Lizz Callaway

  • England

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • Couples Travel

  • Group Travel

  • International Travel

  • Nature Escapes

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Solo Travel

  • Coastal

  • Outdoors

  • Local Culture

boats in the water during daytime
Curator’s statement

Shetland is a remote and rugged group of islands located off the northeast coast of Scotland. It's a place of incredible natural beauty and rich cultural heritage, with a fascinating history that stretches back thousands of years.

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Day 1: Explore Lerwick

large stone building during sunset

Take a stroll through the charming town of Lerwick, the capital of the Shetland Islands. Start at Fort Charlotte, a historic fort built in the 18th century, then wander down Commercial Street to see the colorful houses and shops. Don't miss the Shetland Museum and Archives, which tells the story of the islands' history and culture.

Day 2: Visit Jarlshof

body of water next to beach during daytime

Travel to the southern end of the mainland to visit Jarlshof, an incredible archaeological site that spans over 4,000 years of human history. Continue on to Sumburgh Head, a dramatic cliff-top promontory that is home to a lighthouse, bird observatory and visitor center.

Day 3: Boat Tour of the Islands

body of water with an island in the distance

Embark on a boat tour of the islands to see the rugged coastline, wildlife and seabirds. Keep your eyes peeled for seals, whales and dolphins. Bundle up! It will be chilly out there on the water! A warm hat, jacket and scarf will serve you well on the boat!

Day 4: Go Hiking

green landscape during daytime

Explore the stunning landscape of Shetland on foot with a hike. There are plenty of trails to choose from, ranging from easy coastal walks to more challenging hill climbs.

Day 5: Explore Unst

rocky coastline during daytime

Take a ferry to Unst, the northernmost inhabited island in the UK. Here you can visit the Viking longhouse, Hermaness Nature Reserve and the lighthouse at Muckle Flugga, which sits on the northernmost point of the British Isles.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out The City of Love: A Perfect 5-Day Paris Itinerary.

Advisor - Lizz Callaway

Travel Advisor

Lizz Callaway

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to England.