Up Helly Aa

Few have heard of it, let alone been. Our destination is the remote islands of Shetland in the far north of Scotland for one of the most incredible festivals in Europe. On the last Tuesday of January this traditional winter festival marks the lengthening of the days and the dawn of another year. Classic Scottish dancing, traditional Shetland music, the boat burning ceremony and torchlight procession makes for an unforgettable experience.

  • Duration: 6 Days
  • Guaranteed Departure: Yes
  • For lovers of:
  • Physical rating: Average
  • Accommodation standard:   Not Rated%
  • Traveller Tour Rating: 0%  
  • Your Guide: English speaking
  • Supplier Tour ID/Link Tour Code: XF1/199123
  • Starts: Edinburgh, United Kingdom
  • Finishes: Edinburgh,
You will Visit
  • Lerwick
  • Edinburgh



Day 1:

Leaving our capital city of Edinburgh we stop to view the Forth Bridge, opened in 1890 for the passage of trains heading north. We then travel on through the Kingdom of Fife with its stunning coastal scenery before stopping at the ancient university town of St Andrews. Known as the Home of Golf, the town also boasts the magnificent ruins of a 12th Century Cathedral. We then travel on to Aberdeen via Dunottar Castle, perched dramatically on the edge of the North Sea, and board the ferry for the overnight journey to the Shetland Islands.


Day 2

After sailing into Lerwick we spend the morning enjoying the main town of Shetland including a visit to Clickimin Broch. After a visit to Scalloway Castle we then spend the afternoon in the north of the island exploring the fantastic coastal areas of Lunna and Eshaness before we return for a night out in the Shetland capital!


Day 3:

In the west of Shetland we will visit the islands of Burra and Trondra before heading to the stunning beach at St Ninian's Isle. We then visit Jarslhoff, one of Scotland's finest prehistoric sites, before moving onto the stunning cliffs and sea views at Sumburgh in the far south of the island . We return to Lerwick to prepare for the main event with some celebrations in town with the locals


Day 4:

The big day! You get to watch the junior Jarl Squad (young Vikings) have their own parade before the main event. Vikings make their way through the streets culminating in the ceremonial burning of a full size replica Viking Long Ship. Your Guide will be available throughout the day to make sure you don’t miss any of the world famous festival.


Day 5:

After breakfast, we venture north taking in the ancient Tingwall Parliament and explore the west of the Island. A return to Lerwick allows free time for souvenir shopping or a visit to the Shetland Museum before boarding our overnight ferry back to mainland Scotland.


Day 6:

We make our way through Royal Deeside and pass Crathie Kirk where the Royal Family worships when at their Highland residence. We also visit the resting place of John Brown, ghillie to Queen Victoria and made famous in the movie Mrs Brown starring Billy Connolly. We will then have ample time to visit Braemar for lunch.  Our return journey passes through the Cairngorms National Park and Royal Braemar before arriving back in Edinburgh.

    • 2 overnights ferry (twin-share cabin)
    • 3 nights hotel (twin-share)
    • Local Scottish Guide
    • 3 full Scottish breakfasts
    • Free time in Lerwick
    • Guided tour of Shetland
    • Souvenir Map
    • Audio Guides Available
    • Twin-share ferry cabin and twin/double Grand Hotel, Lerwick - 2018
    • Duble Grand Hotel, Lerwick - 2018
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Tour Highlights:
  • Viking parade and longboat burning
  • Royal Braemar
  • Time in Lerwick to visit the Shetland Museum
  • Breath taking scenery of the Shetland Islands
  • St Andrews, home of golf
  • Traditional music sessions