Why you should visit Shetland in winter

When you think about Shetland do you even know where to find it on the map? Probably not, so lets start with the basics here.

Google will tell you that it is a “subarctic archipelago that lies northeast of the island of Great Britain”. When you look at a map you will notice that it is almost closer to Norway. So what is it about this island for which you take three planes in order to get to it (at least from Vienna)?

Shetland on the map

It is absolutely beautiful as you can see for yourself when you start watching ‘Shetland‘.

Once you get  there though it is not only the rugged beauty of the land but also the immense kindness and hospitality of the people which make you fall in love.

Esha Ness Lighthouse @Shetland

Because it is not the weather which brings you here. Summer as winter it’s cold here. The average temperature is 13°C while in winter it is 3°C. So this is reason enough to visit in winter.

Also every last Tuesday in January Shetland and especially Lerwick celebrate the Up Helly Aa festival which is further reason (and was actually my motivation) to fly up. If you want to see it, please plan well in advance. Some places are booked two years ahead.

Up Helly Aa torch procession

You might also have a chance to see the Northern Lights. The season is right for this but you need a clear night sky and some sun activity beforehand. Same goes for orca sightings. You have to be in the right spot and they have to be willing to show themselves. Happily a lot of islanders provide information on where they have been spotted, still you need to be in the vicinity.

Update: A reader was so nice to send a link for guide which comes in very handy when you are looking for Northern Lights. Here we go, it’s called Wilderness Scotland.

As you can see the reasons are manifold to fly to Shetland. Once you have been up there you don’t need any reasons. The island showed itself to us from its best side with a surprising number of sunny hours, a lot of rain, immense windy conditions and a party stamina to die for. Really there is lots that we can learn from these islanders! Yours, Pollybert

Let me know what you think

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