Holiday inspiration currently loading...

Apologies, to get the best experience from this website please enable JavaScript in your web browser. You can do this via the settings/preferences menu.

The Guardian Travel Awards Winner Logo

Wee Scottish Islands

We’ve dubbed some of the smallest inhabited isles in Scotland our “wee Scottish islands”.

If you are looking for fresh air, fresh food, and perhaps even a fresh perspective on life, our wee Scottish islands really do offer an escape from the ordinary, everyday routine. We promise you’ll find it hard to return to the mainland!

Top Tips for your Wee Scottish Islands Holiday

Take a picnic to Kiloran Bay on Colonsay - one of the loveliest beaches in the Hebrides.

Climb to the top of Ben Hogh on the Isle of Coll - although only 106 metres high, it offers spectacular views of Scottish islands, big and wee.

Visit the shore station for the Skerryvore Lighthouse on Tiree and learn about the huge effort required to build the lighthouse 12 miles out to sea.

Explore Achamore Gardens on Gigha: a rambling 50-acre delight of rhododendrons, azaleas and majestic trees, nurtured by the warm Gulf Stream current.

Request Proposal

Speak to Us

Office Hours 9am-5.30pm UK Time (Mon-Fri)

Request a Call BackCall Back

Things To See & Do

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.

Travelling To & Around

The logistics of travelling to the wee 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.

Other Scottish Islands to Inspire You