The Shetland Islands are a dream place, a point that does not have mass tourism, but that offers us landscapes that are difficult to forget. These islands are in the North Atlantic, forming part of Scotland. Its weather is humid and cool during the summer and cold and windy with a lot of rainfall in winter, which does not detract from its charm, since if we go to these islands we hope to see something as authentic as their landscapes.
Let's see what can we find in the Shetland Islands, an island paradise where we can intuit the Viking roots of its history. It is the northernmost point in the UK and the closest to Norway and the Faroe Islands. There are more than a hundred islands in Shetland but only fifteen are inhabited. But we are going to know something more about this interesting place.
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What to know about the Shetland Islands
These islands have many small islands, but as we have said only fifteen of them are inhabited. The largest is Mainland, where the capital is located, Shetland. These islands have a cold and windy climate, cool and humid in summer, so we will never find heat, but the truth is that it is not very cold due to the Gulf Stream. But it is always recommended to go to them with warm clothes and especially clothes that protect from the cold and the wind. The best time is undoubtedly summer, when temperatures are milder. But in winter, although they have few hours of daylight, there are other attractions, such as the Viking festivals that take place in January and February.
Jarlshof is one of the prehistoric sites most famous and important in the islands. This site was inhabited since 2.500 BC and the inhabitants were there until the XNUMXth century. It is amazing that in this place we can see several houses from the Bronze Age that have perfectly preserved walls. Likewise, we can walk through the corridors of the Iron Age and enjoy the remains of the Viking civilization. We can also see the old fortified house known as the Old House of Sumburgh.
This is the capital of the Shetland Islands and one of the must-see places on the islands. This capital was born around the port, which was a very important trading point for Dutch herring fishermen. Its main street is Commercial Street, a place where you can see traditional product stores. You cannot miss Fort Charlotte, a XNUMXth century fortress and you should see the lodberries, which are houses on the seafront. Everything has a unique and special charm that will not leave you indifferent. In addition, here you can find the Shetland Museum to learn more about the history and culture of the islands.
If you are a fan of Viking culture, you will have to go in January, specifically on the last Tuesday of this month, which is when the well-known Viking Festival Up Helly Aa, a festival that has been celebrated for over a hundred years. The festival lasts the whole day and continues at night. Parades, marches and songs follow, while everyone enjoys Viking costumes. It is a festival in which fire is also worshiped, we can see a Viking longship and continue with the celebrations until dawn. Without a doubt, it is a unique experience that we should enjoy.
East town was once the capital of Shetland and today it is still a place of interest in the islands so it is advisable to leave part of a day to visit it. The most significant thing about this town is its castle, built in the XNUMXth century by the Duke of Orkney. Right next to this castle is the Scalloway museum. You must not miss its beautiful port, a place where you can see a small memorial dedicated to the Shetland Bus, a transport that linked the islands with the part of Norway occupied by the Nazis.
If we have devised the Jarlshof archaeological site we can also visit this lighthouse. It is in the nature reserve of Cape Sumburgh in the southern part of the island of Mainland. The lighthouse was built in the XNUMXth century and in the surroundings we can see incredible cliffs with the sea breaking against them, a picture that must be experienced in these islands. On this visit we can also enter the lighthouse, in which there is an interpretation center. This area is important because it has one of the most accessible colonies of seabirds and it is also possible to see dolphins, killer whales and whales so it can become another unique experience of the islands.