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Scotland Backpacker Trips

Up Helly Aa in Shetlands Scotland

Destination is the remote Shetland Islands in the far north of Scotland for one of the most incredible festivals in Europe. Up Helly Aa is a fantastic celebration of Shetland history and triumphant demonstration of the islanders' skills and spirit

Up Helly Aa is a lot more than a sub-arctic bonfire and booze-up. It's a superb spectacle, a celebration of Shetland history, and a triumphant demonstration of the islanders' skills and spirit. Fifty horny-helmeted Vikings, a burning Norse galley and an all-night party. Un-missable


Price: £289
Edinburgh Departure:
Ask us about early booking discounts


Departs Edinburgh 26th January 2018. All inclusive!


Tour Highlights:

Viking parade and longboat burning
All-night party with the locals
St Andrews, home of golf
Full tour of the Shetland Islands
Traditional Music

Few have heard of it, let alone been. Our destination is the remote Shetland Islands in the far north of Scotland for one of the most incredible festivals in Europe. On the last Tuesday of January, the town of Lerwick goes more than a little mad

Day 1: Edinburgh to Shetland
North across the shimmering River Forth and through beautiful Perthshire. A stop at Royal Braemar, then past Crathie Kirk where the Royal Family worship when at their Highland residence. We also visit the resting place of John Brown, ghillie to Queen Victoria and made famous in the movie starring Billy Connolly
To the east coast, heading for Aberdeen and from here the adventure really begins as we board the ferry and embark upon our voyage on the North Sea. This overnight journey, via Kirkwall in the Orkney Islands, will arrive in Lerwick the next morning

Day 2: Shetland
We explore the island, taking in Scalloway, the original capital of Shetland then onto the Scalloway islands with their gorgeous beaches and quaint villages
We sample the scenery of the south of the island and climb amongst the huge bird population within the Nature Reserve of Sumburgh Head. We then visit the ancient site of 'Jarlshof', named by Sir Walter Scott. There will undoubtedly be some revelling in town with the locals in preparation for tomorrow’s festivities

Day 3: Up Helly Aa
The big day dawns! The morning sees the Viking procession and a chance to have your picture taken beside this year’s 'Jarl' (Chief Viking). In the afternoon there is a celebration of Shetland folk music and a good chance to get warmed up with a dance (and perhaps try some whisky) for the long night ahead
The evening starts with the Junior Jarl Squad procession which is the youngster’s version of the full blown affair. After a torchlight street procession of up to a thousand ‘guizers’ (local performers), the festival reaches a crescendo as a full-size replica Viking longship is ceremonially burnt. More

Day 4: Return to Edinburgh

After docking into Aberdeen, we’ll head south through stunning scenery, castles and whisky country, stopping along the way to appreciate the beautiful wintry Scottish scenery. A visit to the ancient university town of St. Andrews with time to explore the home of golf before our return to Edinburgh

26th January 2017
Departs, High Street Edinburgh
Check In 8.30am
Every Saturday

Where you stay on tour:
Quality places to sleep are key to a great tour experience. We are not tied exclusively to any hostel chain, so are free to select the very best places to stay and choose ones packed full of character, from rustic cottages and farms to castles and country houses
All have great facilities, provide free linen, (you don't need a sleeping bag) and have top quality self-catering kitchens, security, and laundry facilities
Dorm accommodation is guaranteed, simply pay as you go. Below is a selection of some of the great places we stay. All are guaranteed (but optional) and range from £18 to £23 per night

Accommodation Upgrades
If you want to treat yourselves or enjoy more privacy, private, twin and double rooms are available in most locations. Please let us know when making your reservation as we cannot guarantee availability. The cost per person is £25 to £45 depending on the season

Additional Information
Free time
Try whisky at an optional Highland distillery visit
Go monster spotting on a Loch Ness cruise
Enjoy a free day and hire bikes to get onto the forest trails
Try the best black pudding in the world in Stornoway, the tastiest fish and chips in Ullapool or even some haggis

Your legendary local Guide
Free dram of Highland whisky
Transport on one of the famous yellow buses
All ferries
Free Lonely Planet guidebook

Are there any age restrictions
We are the leading youth travel tour operator in Scotland so the majority of our passengers are in the 18 to 35 age bracket and our style of travel reflects this
The minimum age on all tours is 17. There is no maximum age. As long as you are reasonably fit and have a good sense of fun, we are sure you will have a fantastic time
Will there be people travelling on their own
Whilst we regularly get couples and friends travelling together, every tour has loads of people travelling on their own and down to our style of travel, you'll get to know everyone soon enough

Discover the REAL Scotland.............


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