Puffin at Sumburgh Head nature reserve, Shetland
South Mainland Tour
Rerwick beach, Shetland
St Ninian&
Jarlshof -  prehistoric archaeological site in Shetland, Scotland
Jarlshof -  prehistoric archaeological site in Shetland, Scotland
Jarlshof -  prehistoric archaeological site in Shetland, Scotland
Crofthouse museum, Shetland
Sumburgh Head lighthouse, Shetland
60 degrees north signpost
Fladdabister sign
Fladdabister, Shetland
Fladdabister, Shetland
Fladdabister, Shetland
South Mainland Tour
Aithsetter, Shetland
Cunningsburgh, Shetland
Hoswick, Shetland
Building in Hoswick, Shetland
Colsay, Shetland

South Mainland Tour

Regular price £350.00
Tax included.


4 hours


Shetland’s South Mainland is brimming with fascinating history and beautiful vistas. From the ancient settlement of Jarlshof and the wonderful wildlife at Sumburgh Head to the spectacular tombolo of St Ninian’s Isle, this is one of our most popular tours. This is a private tour for up to 3 people. Larger numbers can be accommodated but price will vary.


South Mainland Tour Highlights

View the world’s best preserved Iron Age Broch

Mousa Broch, Shetland

Our tour starts in Lerwick, the capital of Shetland. Heading south, we pass several smaller communities including Gulberwick, the fertile limestone community of Fladdabister and the growing district of Sandwick. We will stop to view and take photos of the world’s best preserved 2,000-year-old Iron Age Broch, on the island of Mousa.  

See the spectacular tombolo at St Ninian’s

St Ninian's Beach, Shetland

Crossing over the 60˚ North line of latitude, we head to the Atlantic coast. Here we find the spectacular tombolo beach that takes you to St Ninian’s Isle. As well as plenty of photo opportunities, we’ll tell you about the buried Pictish treasure discovered by a local schoolboy in the 1950s. You’ll also have a photo opportunity from the cliffs above Rerwick beach, a popular bathing spot for seals.

Delve into 5,000 years of history

Jarlshof -  prehistoric archaeological site in Shetland, Scotland

​We then head further south to Jarlshof, one of Europe’s biggest and most complex archaeological sites. You will be transported through 5,000 years of history, ranging from Neolithic times up to the 1600s. There is also a visitor centre and gift shop on site.

Witness the wildlife at Sumburgh Head

Puffin at Sumburgh Head, Shetland

Sumburgh Head is the southernmost tip of the Shetland Mainland. Visit Sumburgh Head Lighthouse and see the various seabirds that reside on the cliffs. The birds come ashore to breed during the summer months (April to August), including the famous Puffins (or Tammie Norie as they’re known locally), as well as Guillemots, Fulmars and Kittiwakes.

As there is a lot to see in the South Mainland of Shetland, we would be happy to turn your half day experience into a full day adventure and see some of the other sites. If you wish to do this, please get in touch.

Our tours will begin in Lerwick at 9am unless otherwise agreed. We will collect you from your accommodation or meet you at the Diana Fountain on Victoria Pier. If you are staying out with Lerwick, please let us know and we can make alternative arrangements for collecting you for the tour.


Useful information you need to know ahead of your tour and visit to Shetland:

Group Size

Our small group tours are for groups of up to 4 people. If your group is more than 4 people, please get in touch for further options. We can easily accommodate larger groups subject to vehicle availability.


Vehicles used will be a Kia Sportage. If your group is larger than 4 people, it is possible to hire a larger vehicle to accommodate your group. It is also possible to hire a vehicle suitable for wheelchair access. 


If you require wheelchair access, please contact us to discuss your requirements. Some elements of the tours are not suitable for wheelchair users.

Some walking will be required on all tours, but this can be kept to a minimum if necessary.


The only thing predictable about Shetland weather is that it is unpredictable! Please dress for the outdoors and wear suitable footwear.

Occasionally, it is not always possible to do the tour as described due to the weather. We will contact you in advance should there be any issues.

Exclusive Tours

All tours will be private unless otherwise specified in the tour description. We will not sell tickets to other people as there is no way to socially distance at this time. This also gives us more options if you wish to make the tour longer and tailored to suit your needs.


All entrance fees are included in the price, however, food/drink is an additional cost. If you would like to extend the length of the tour and include refreshments/lunch, please do not hesitate to ask.

Cancellation Policy

If cancellations are made within 24 hours of the tour beginning, the full amount of the tour will be charged.

If you cancel more than 24 hours before the start of the tour, your payment will be refunded minus £25 per transaction to cover commission and admin fees.

Cruise ship passengers:

Please note if your ship fails to call to Lerwick due to bad weather or itinerary changes, this will be treated as a late cancellation and the full cost of your tour will be charged.

We will continue to follow all guidelines, if any, as set by the Scottish Government.

Currently, there is no requirement to wear a face covering. If you wish to wear one and also wish for myself to wear one, please just ask.

Island Vista will ensure that:

  • Hand sanitiser is available throughout the tour.
  • The vehicle is thoroughly cleaned before and after the tour.
  • Windows will be open where possible to ensure ventilation.
  • Hand wipes and gloves are available if required.


Exclusive Tours

Tailored to suit your needs

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Tour Team

Meet the Team

Quality Tours

Bespoke experiences

From our customers

While we were staying in Lerwick with our vessel, Jolene and her staff took care of all shore excursions and the complete organisation to my complete satisfaction. From the planning phase long before our arrival until the support during our actual stay, everything was perfect! It was a great pleasure working with Island Vista.

Magrit Distler

MV “Nordstjernen”

We had an absolutely brilliant day out with Island Vista yesterday! We did the 6h mystery tour of shetland, stopping for coffee and cake along the way. Jolene is a brilliant guide, really knowledgeable and fun :-) . Great day out even for locals, we learned so much about Shetland's history. Thanks for a great day Jolene and Paula!

Donna Simpson
The toll booth in Lerwick, Shetland