According to ethnicityology, the Orkney Islands (Orcaden, English: Orkney Islands) are a group of approximately 200 islands located north of Scotland (Europe). The Orkney Islands are part of Scotland (United Kingdom). The largest and most famous islands that belong to the Orkney Islands are: Mainland, South Ronaldsay, Burray, Hoy, Flotta, Eday, Egilsay, North Ronaldsay, Rousay, Westray, Papa Westray, Sanday, Stronsay, Shapinsay and Wyre. The capital of the Orkney Islands is Kirkwall. Two other major towns on the Orkney Islands are Stromness and St. Margaret’s Hope.
The Orkney Islands are a group of islands with a long history. Traces of the Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age have been found. Remnants and ruins from these times can still be found in many places on the islands. In addition, there are also some castles. The landscape of the Orkney Islands is green and hilly. There are few buildings and the coastlines are characterized by steep cliffs interspersed with a few sandy beaches. The island’s economy is largely based on agriculture, tourism, fishing and oil transport (extraction in the North Sea).
Where are the Orkney Islands?
Travel information of Orkney Islands
Official name: Orkney Islands
Area: 990 km²
Country code: GB, GBR
Population: 22,190 inhabitants (2017)
Form of government: Self-government
Highest point: 481 m (Ward Hill)
Distance (Amsterdam – Kirkwall): 884 km
Current status: No special security risks.
Current color code: Green.
Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), there may be (temporary) measures in place on the Orkney Islands that you as a tourist may have to deal with. For the most up-to-date corona travel advice, please refer to our special coronavirus travel advice page. For the number of current corona infections, number of deaths and various corona-related graphs of the Orkney islands, please visit Countryaah.
On our travel offer page you will find an overview of reliable travel organizations that offer complete trips and holidays to the Orkney Islands. In addition, you will find an overview of separate travel components (hotels and airline tickets) with which you can compile your ideal trip yourself.
Travel guides and maps
Are you looking for a travel guide, map, walking map, cycling map, book or DVD about the Orkney Islands?
Weather and climate
The Orkney Islands have a temperate maritime climate. The temperatures are around 5 degrees during the winter months and around 10 to 15 degrees during the summer months.
The current weather (weather forecast) and a weather forecast for the Orkney Islands can be found on our extensive weather page.
Detailed information about the climate of the Orkney Islands can be found at Climate info.
May, June, July and August are the best months to travel to the Orkney Islands. In these months you have the best chance of pleasant temperatures and you will also find a large number of birds on the islands.
English and Scots are both official languages in the Orkney Islands.
Would you like to translate from or into English for free? Use the Google translator for this.
You must have a valid passport.
A visa is not necessary.
Embassies and consulates
Below is an overview of relevant diplomatic representations, including addresses and contact details.
Netherlands Embassy in the United Kingdom:
Dutch consulates in the United Kingdom:
Embassy of the United Kingdom in the Netherlands: ukinnl.fco.gov.uk.
United Kingdom Consulate in the Netherlands: ukinnl.fco.gov.uk.
For urgent assistance, you can contact the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 24/7 on +31247247247.
You do not need any vaccinations for a visit to the Orkney Islands.
Money and Currency
On the Orkney Islands, people pay with the British pound (GBP).
The current position of this currency (currency, currency) can be found on our exchange rate page.
An overview of all ATMs on the Orkney Islands can be found on our ATMs page.
The prices on the Orkney Islands are a bit lower than in the Netherlands. The price difference with the Netherlands is -2% on average. Some examples are: restaurants (5% cheaper), food (0.5% more expensive), imported beer in catering (20% more expensive), cigarettes (66% more expensive) and public transport (4% cheaper). Please note that the price difference in tourist areas, especially during high season, may vary.
In the Orkney Islands it is customary to tip. If this has not already been included in the bill, it is customary to tip approximately 10%.
On the Orkney Islands it is 1 hour earlier than in the Netherlands.
Summer time on the Orkney Islands is equal to that in the Netherlands.
Find the local time, date and time zone for Orkney Islands on our time difference page.
Traffic and route
On the Orkney Islands you must drive on the left.
You do not need an international driver’s license to drive and/or rent a motor vehicle on the Orkney Islands.
Information on public transport in the Orkney Islands can be found on Orkney.com.
With the Google route planner you can compile a route description from, to or within the Orkney Islands.
On the Orkney Islands you need a travel plug.
More information about common plugs and sockets on the Orkney Islands can be found on our electricity page (see United Kingdom below).
If you need help from the police, fire brigade and/or ambulance in an emergency, you can use the emergency numbers below.
– Police: 999 or 112
– Fire: 999 or 112
– Ambulance: 999 or 112
Tap water is safe to drink.
News and newspapers
The latest news related to the Orkney Islands can be found on Google news.
An overview of the newspapers from the Orkney Islands can be found on Abyznewslinks.
Websites from the Orkney Islands end in.co.uk.
Official websites of the Orkney Islands: orkney.com and visitscotland.com.
The country code (international access code) to call someone on the Orkney Islands is 0044 or +44.
Do you want to call the Netherlands from the Orkney Islands? Then use the Dutch country code 0031 or +31.
(If using a country code, omit the leading 0 of the number to be called)
Photos and videos
On Flickr you will find a nice collection of photos of the Orkney Islands.
On Youtube you will find a nice collection of videos from the Orkney Islands.
An overview of all public holidays on the Orkney Islands can be found on Beleven.org.
Reviews and travel experiences
On Zoover and TripAdvisor you will find reviews from travelers about accommodations (eg hotels and holiday homes), restaurants and destinations on the Orkney Islands, supplemented with photos, videos and places of interest.
Are you looking for a travelogue about the Orkney Islands?
Here you will find travel reports and experiences of travelers who have previously visited the Orkney Islands. It is also possible to keep a free diary of your trip for family and/or friends.
Nature and World Heritage
An overview of the protected nature areas (including national parks, reserves and wildlife parks) on the Orkney Islands can be found on Protected Planet.
An overview of the world heritage sites on the Orkney Islands can be found on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Do you want to know how much you are allowed to import and export when traveling to the Orkney Islands? On the IATA website you will find an overview with the maximum quantities of cigarettes, alcohol, money and perfume, among other things. If you stick to these quantities, you don’t have to declare anything to customs. You will also find the laws and regulations regarding the entry of pets on this website.
Entrepreneurship and doing business
If you intend to do business on or do business with the Orkney Islands, it is wise to prepare well. The Netherlands Enterprise Agency can help you with this. On PaulSourcing.com you will find a large amount of information about the Orkney Islands, including: opportunities, import and export regulations, trade figures, do’s and don’ts, product requirements, business partners and subsidies.
Below you will find relevant legislation and regulations that you may encounter during your visit to the Orkney Islands.
– Alcohol: Buying and/or drinking from the age of 18.
– Alcohol and traffic: The maximum permitted alcohol content is 0.8.
– Tobacco: Buy from the age of 18, smoke from the age of 16.
– Smoking ban: In public places.
– Homosexuality: Allowed
Did you know…
…The Orkney Islands were the center of Viking civilization in Britain?
…The Orkney Islands were given to Scotland as a dowry by the Vikings?
…The Orkney Islands played an important role in both world wars?
…There is a flight of only 1.5 minutes to the Orkney Islands?
…The Orkney Islands were discovered by a Greek?
…A large part of the Orkney Islands is a World Heritage Site?