Discovering Shetland Islands Tourism - Travel - Travel Reviews


Discovering Shetland Islands Tourism   by Ivor Mouat

in Travel / Travel Reviews    (submitted 2010-10-28)

Discover Shetland islands tourism opportunities for yourself this year. You will be in fine company, for more and more people are heading north to discover that Shetland today is not a forgotten island group locked in its own past, but a dynamic gem where the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean meet. This land of untouched landscapes and spectacular coastal scenery has more uninhabited islands than inhabited islands. Only 15 of the 100 or so isles have people on them, but those 15 islands have a world of diversity. Each is unique and different from the rest, but all are distinctly Shetland.

Shetland islands tourism initiatives over the years have paid off well. The northern isles are firmly on the North Sea cruise ship map with dozens of liners arriving every summer season, chiefly in Lerwick, the main town of the islands. However, most tourists arrive through the main transport links of air and sea. The main airport at Sumburgh, twenty-five miles south of Lerwick lying just below impressive Sumburgh head with its iconic lighthouse, serves the majority of Shetland's air traffic. From Aberdeen there is a nightly ferry service to Shetland, with another leaving Lerwick also nightly.

Bird watching is one popular pastime here. The rugged coastal scenery with high many rearing cliffs make ideal homes to thousands of sea birds. Migratory bird also use these island as a convenient stop over on occasion, and sometimes very rare birds alight, only to be pursued by intrepid twitchers who only want to tick them off a list. The islands are also ideal for freshwater angling as the land is dotted by a myriad of azure lochs where trout abound. Sea angling is also very possible from low lying rocks or one of the many sandy beaches.

Apart from three inhabited islands, all the islands are connected to Mainland, the largest island in Shetland, by an integrated inter-island ferry service. The ferry boats carry cars as well as passengers, which makes it the ideal way to explore with a car. And if you have a love for nature and wildlife, keep a close eye on the ferry terminals, especially the stone built breakwaters, as these are beloved by otters who often explore the gaps between rocks, and swim among the long waving plantations of seaweed to be found there.

Shetland islands tourism opportunities are enhanced by excellent accommodation possibilities through out the islands. In the larger population centres there are splendid hotels and guest houses. The villages in the more remote areas usually have a bed and breakfast or two, and there are a number of camping sites for those who enjoy that kind of life. Discover Shetland islands tourism opportunities for yourself and be amazed and the sheer diversity of it all.