Sailing Holiday in the Orkney Islands

Welcome to Sail Orkney, a captivating sailing adventure that awaits you in the heart of Scotland’s magnificent Orkney archipelago. Nestled at the crossroads of the Atlantic and the North Sea, Orkney is a place where history, culture, and stunning natural beauty converge, offering an unparalleled sailing experience. Whether you’re an experienced sailor or trying it for the first time, Sail Orkney invites you to explore its breathtaking landscapes, rich history, and vibrant wildlife from the unique vantage point of its surrounding waters.

Discovering Orkney’s charm

Orkney comprises over 70 islands, each with its own character and story. Sailing around these islands provides an opportunity to discover hidden bays, secluded beaches, and ancient ruins that are not easily accessible by land. The main island, known as Mainland, is home to Kirkwall and Stromness – two charming towns that serve as gateways to your sailing adventure.

What makes Sail Orkney unique compared to other sailing destinations?

Sail Orkney is unique due to its combination of historical significance dating back over 5 millennia with diverse wildlife including seals and puffins amidst breathtaking landscapes; all accessible through an intimate sailing experience.

Navigating your journey

Sail Orkney offers a variety of options for sailors of all levels. You can charter a yacht with or without a skipper, join a guided tour or even enroll in sailing courses if you’re looking to improve your skills. The calm waters during summer make it an ideal time for beginners, while more experienced sailors can challenge themselves against the stronger winds and currents found outside of this season.

What to see and do

While on your sailing journey around Orkney, there are several must-see sites that should not be missed. The Old Man of Hoy, a towering sea stack off the coast of Hoy Island, is an iconic landmark. Wildlife enthusiasts will delight in spotting seals, puffins, and maybe even orcas! Historical sites like Skara Brae on Mainland offer a glimpse into Neolithic life over 5,000 years ago.

Preparing for your trip

Before setting sail around Orkney’s islands, it’s important to prepare adequately. This includes checking weather forecasts regularly and being equipped with suitable clothing and safety gear. Local marinas provide support services such as fueling stations and mooring spots which are essential for planning your journey.

Cultural experiences onshore

Your Sail Orkney adventure doesn’t end at sea; the islands offer rich cultural experiences too. From traditional music sessions in local pubs to exploring contemporary art galleries in Stromness – there’s something for everyone. Annual events like the St Magnus Festival bring together musicians from around the world in celebration of Orkney’s cultural heritage.


  • Explore over 70 distinct islands each with their own character.
  • Options available for both experienced sailors and beginners including yacht charters with or without skippers.
  • Must-see landmarks such as The Old Man of Hoy and ancient ruins like Skara Brae.
  • Rich wildlife viewing opportunities including seals, puffins, and potentially orcas.
  • Cultural experiences onshore including traditional music sessions and art galleries.
  • Supportive local marinas providing essential services for sailors.

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