Things To See & Do
Scottish Islands are famous the world over – from the legends of Skye to the magical string of the Outer Hebrides and the ancient history of Orkney and Shetland, not to mention the whisky mecca of Islay and Scotland’s premier wildlife-spotting destination of Mull.
But among the hundreds of islands scattered off the jagged coastline lie some that are less renowned. We like to call them the “wee isles”.
The ferry port is often the busiest place on these captivating isles. Residents and visitors gather to meet and greet new arrivals then, slowly, the hustle and bustle melts away and peace is restored. If you’re looking for escapism you’ll find it here. The clearest turquoise waters lap against deserted rocky headlands and unbelievably white sandy beaches. Heather-clad hills flecked with sheep stretch into the distance and quiet single track roads and footpaths meander across the countryside, inviting exploration. Sweeping sands and dramatic sea views are softened by glimpses of seals in the water and, if you are lucky, an otter or two. There’s plenty of man-made history too with echoes of ancient civilisations in the cairns, crannogs and standing stones which dot the landscape. For more up-to-date stories, linger in the bar, chat to the locals and you’re bound to hear many more island tales.
The best way to explore these beautiful islands is to leave the car behind. Hire a bike on tiny Gigha and you can cycle along quiet flat roads to find a deserted picnic spot beside a white sand beach. Or pick up some binoculars and go looking for the elusive corncrake on hilly Colonsay, an ornithologist’s dream. Perhaps take a camera to the north of Coll to admire its pink-hued boulders and azure water or, if you are brave, learn to kite- or wind-surf on colourful Tiree.
Combine the big and small on an island-hopping journey such as our Scottish Island Odyssey or simply ask us to tailor-make the perfect combination to suit your interests.
Travelling To & Around
The logistics of travelling to any Scottish islands can be challenging – that’s why we’re here to help. Having a car can make the connections between the myriad ferry ports easier, and also a bit of flexibility on days and dates does not go amiss, as not all ferries have daily sailings. We can look at public transport options in some cases, such as a train to Oban, ferry to Mull, bus then ferry to Iona. There are flights on wee planes from Glasgow to Tiree and Oban to Coll.
Visitors cannot bring cars to Iona and you really don’t need one on Gigha or Colonsay, either – leave yours at the mainland ferry port and get into a gentler pace of life by walking or cycling (bikes can be hired locally). Coll and Tiree are a bit bigger, so a vehicle is helpful to aid proper exploration, particularly if you wish to visit both islands in the same trip.