Formed by volcanic fire, glacial ice and the shifting of continents, Shetland is 100 islands, washed by the turbulent North Sea and the mighty Atlantic Ocean It is home to almost 23,000 people living on 15 different islands.

​Lying at the crossroads between Scotland, the Faroe Islands and Norway, it has been home for people for almost 6,000 years. Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age - the evidence is still all around: from humble round houses to towering brochs. 

​To Shetlanders, the sea was not a barrier, but a highway. Shetland was a stepping stone for Viking voyages to Iceland, Greenland and America. The islands were under Norse rule for almost 600 years - reflected in much of our culture today.

​Throughout its history, the sea has been Shetland's driving force - from medieval German merchants, through huge Dutch fishing fleets, the Haaf fishermen in their open boats defying wind and wave, the Herring boom years, to the modern fishing, aquaculture and oil industries.

​Two World Wars left their mark on the islands as they were strategically important in combating German U-Boats. In World War Two, Norwegian fishermen carried out clandestine operations from here to Nazi-occupied Norway. These seamen in their fishing boats became the legendary Shetland Bus. Wartime forged bonds still strong today.

​​​ABOUT THE SHETLAND ISLES - by your Shetland Tourist Guide

​History is not all these islands have to offer the tourist on a guided tour of Shetland. There are also: long summer evenings that never get dark; the Fire Festival of Up-Helly-Aa; the winter display of the Aurora Borealis; dramatic cliffs and sea stacks; peaceful, sandy beaches with crystal clear water; walking on primeval  sea-beds; looking into the inside of an ancient volcano; a strong musical culture with its various festivals; myriads of birds; seals basking on the shore; migrating whales.



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