PANORAMIC TOUR OF WESTERN MAINLAND
This panoramic tour will take us to explore the western region of the island of Mainland - from the marvels of the Neolithic past to the charming town of Stromness down to the remains of the First and Second World Wars. Discover an island with a wealth of breathtaking views, interesting stories and treasures from the past.
What we will see
- Scenic coastal road
- Views on the islands of Rousay and Eynhallow
- Birsay Bay and Brough of Birsay
- Ring of Brodgar and Standing Stones of Stennes
- Scapa Flow bay
What we will do
- We set off from Kirkwall and drive along the scenic coastal road taking us to the north of the island of Mainland.
- On our way there, we can admire picture postcard views stretching as far as the nearby island of Rousay and including the spectacular rapids generated by tidal waters on both sides of the mysterious island of Eynhallow, where the North Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean.
- Upon reaching the northern tip of the island, we head West towards Birsay Bay, from where we can glimpse the sandy dunes of Marwick Head, a natural reserve populated by numerous species of sea birds.
- The Brough of Birsay is located just off the bay. It is a tidal island close to the north-western tip of Mainland with the outline of the white lighthouse built in 1925 standing out in the distance. * Keep your eyes peeled while we pass by, as seals are often spotted nearby.
- We proceed towards Stromness, the second largest city in the Orkney Islands overlooking the bay of Scapa Flow, the main naval base of the British Navy during the First and Second World Wars. We stop for some photos in the charming harbour and continue on our tour.
- We cross the countryside headed towards the so-called Heart of Neolithic Orkney, i.e. a group of monuments dating back to the Stone Age declared a Unesco World Heritage Site.
- We visit the Ring of Brodgar, the third largest monolithic ring complex of the British Isles which was probably built even before the more famous Stonehenge.
- We then continue on our tour and will spot the Standing Stones of Stennes from our windows. Dating back more than 5,000 years, this archaeological treasure is one of the oldest stone circles in Great Britain.
- Finally, we ride along the historic bay of Scapa Flow while our tour guide tells us the dramatic war stories which make this natural port one of the most well-known in the world. * We return to our ship moored in Kirkwall.
What you need to know
- We recommend that you book early because only a limited number of places are available.
- This excursion is conducted in English.