Very few places in the world enjoy so harmonious a marriage of landscape and seascape as does Orkney, and very few can boast such a profusion of archaeological wonders and variety of wildlife. Orkney consists of some 70 islands in total, of which only 17 of them are inhabited. However, they have been inhabited for more than 5000 years and can boast Northern Europe 's greatest concentration of prehistoric monuments. For the lover of archaeology Orkney is paradise, offering an uninterrupted continuum of mute stones ranging from the Neolithic period of about 4500 BC, through the Bronze and Iron Ages unto about AD700. The following centuries continue this line providing us with evidence for successive occupation of the islands by Celts and Vikings.
Skara Brae, for example, is one of the best-preserved Stone Age settlements in Europe, and scattered across the islands are literally hundreds of chambered tombs, stone circles and Iron Age brochs.