Shetland: Land of the Simmer Dim
A feast of wonderful wildlife in one of Europe's last truly wild places.
If you watched Simon King’s Shetland Diaries on BBC2, you’ll know why Shetland has always been a favourite among Aigas guests. At this time of year there is virtually no darkness – giving wonderful viewing and photographic opportunities for scenery and wildlife. Otters, killer whales and dolphins are all regularly spotted around Shetland in June. You will be met at Sumburgh airport by an Aigas Ranger who will welcome you to Shetland before driving you to your hotel.
Please note: due to the rugged nature of the landscape, participants must be capable of climbing stiles and walking a few miles per day over uneven ground.
The Shetland programme is led by Jonathan Willet, a one-time Aigas ranger who is now our Senior Consultant Guide and runs his own guiding service. Jonathan is a fount of knowledge on all sorts of subjects; from wildlife to geology and history. He has led the Shetland programme for us a number of times and always recieves high praise from our guests.
To stand on the cliffs here and witness 10,000 gannets wheeling and haggling below you in a vast slum of evenly-spaced nests, while puffins land beside you and slip in and out of burrows only three feet away; to smell the acrid stench of guano on the keen salt air is to experience the very essence of this remarkable seabird phenomenon.
Keen of Hamar is a unique nature reserve boasting some of Britain’s rarest flowers like the tiny Edmontson’s chickweed and the exquisite Norwegian sandwort.
Noss boasts a vast gannetry. In fair weather the boat can idle immediately beneath the towering cliffs where thousands of guillemots, razorbills, shags and kittiwakes perch rowdily on cliff ledges.
The island of Fetlar, run by the RSPB, is where red-necked phalaropes can be found and occasionally a snowy owl! The phalaropes appear to be almost entirely unafraid of human presence. If you sit still at the edge of their loch they will swim up to only a few feet away.
Mousa, a tiny island just off the Mainland coast, boasts the finest example of an Iron Age broch in the world. There is fine wildlife here too including great and arctic skuas, arctic terns, common and grey seals, and wonderful wildflowers carpeting the cliffs and moors. Be sure not to miss out on one of the most remarkable experiences in the natural world.
Eshaness is located on the most westerly point of the Northern mainland and is a place of towering basalt cliffs, magnificent natural arches and even staggering geos and blow holes all with fabulous names like: The Drongs, holes of Scraada, etc.
Sumburgh Head is where Simon King sat amongst the puffins. Stand on the cliffs here and watch in amazement as these tiny comical birds wheel in to their burrows below. Keep an eye on the sea though as this is a hot spot for passing whales and dolphins!
Don’t worry we’ll have time to shop too and we’ll make a few brief visits to the tiny winding streets and old family-run shops which make up the charming bustling port of Lerwick.
A visit to Shetland is a memorable experience, let us take you there in 2014 and show you some of the last truly wild places in Europe.
This itinerary is all inclusive (ex flights.) The single supplement on this programme is £150.