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12 finest locations to go to within the Scottish Islands – hand baggage solely

The Hebrides are a breathtaking part of Scotland. not least because of its pristine beauty. Now there are many small islands to visit in Scotland and each has its own charm (and long history) to discover. That's what makes Scotland so special! This is especially true when you think of the best places in the Scottish Islands that you shouldn't miss.

This is exactly why I focus on the inner (and outer) Hebrides of Scotland. Of course, you can also visit Shetland and the Orkney Islands. Each has its own charm and character that are absolutely adorable.

From the beautiful and most popular islands like Skye to the uninhabited islands of the Outer Hebrides, there is a huge mix of the best places in the Scottish Islands no matter where you visit.

You see, the whole area is full of some of Scotland's most beautiful hiking trails, absolutely breathtaking castles and cute little villages.

Now it can be difficult to get to all of the Hebridean islands, especially when some are quite remote. That being said, with a little bit of planning, you can surely see a few favorites. Simply plan in advance, determine your routes in advance and book your boats or ferries in advance (if possible).

The Hebrides are a breathtaking area of ​​Scotland.

best places to see in the scottish islands

With this in mind, check out the best places in the Scottish Islands.

1.) Explore the western Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye is probably the most famous of the Inner Hebrides and beautiful to visit. Better yet, you don't have to take a ferry or a flight to get here! After crossing the bridge, head over one of the larger islands in Scotland to explore some of the epic activities.

After exploring some of the eastern parts of the Isle of Skye, you should stop by the western edge. Here you see a completely different side of the island and can experience its rugged charm.

When you get here, be sure to visit Neist Point, which is an icon. Oh, and quiraing too. It is so iconic on the island and a must.

Finally, make a stop at the Fairy Glen, which is beautiful. The latter attracts some visitors in summer. So, drop in early in the morning if you want the place to yourself.

It is really one of the best places in the Scottish Islands.

Read more: Best walks in Scotland

2.) Lunga Island

One of the main reasons why you see Lunga Island is because of its famous residents. Puffin!

At certain times of the year, Lunga Island is full of puffins that are too beautiful to miss! Yes, they may not be the most graceful flyers, but they are absolutely adorable and cannot be overlooked.

On this protected island you can also see gray seals and a bunch of razor blades.

Now you can probably only see Lunga Island in the summer months (via the Ulva ferry tours).

Read more: Our itinerary to explore the Scottish Highlands

3.) Eastern Isle of Skye

Best hikes in Scotland (10)

Do you remember I said Skye was one of the larger islands in Scotland? So I divided it into two parts.

There is simply no way to really bypass Skye on a short (day) trip. If you are only on the island for a day, you can still see some jewels.

Visit Portree and take a stroll through the beautiful little harbor to find some of the best places in the Scottish Islands. It is a typical Scottish village that is so beautiful. Oh, and don't forget a visit, Armadale Castle.

We drove here when we left Skye on the southern ferry arriving in Mallaig.

Oh, and do a little hike towards Storr. It’s totally amazing.

Read More: Best Castles To Visit In Scotland

4.) St. Kilda

St. Kilda is a totally dramatic island hit by the harsh elements of the Atlantic. This makes it totally dramatic to see and one of the best places in the Scottish Islands if you love nature.

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site and national reserve, it is a place worth visiting.

Now it should be noted that it is quite remote. Visit companies like GoTo St Kilda who organize day trips from the Isle of Skye themselves.

Expect tickets to cost more than your average 1-hour trip, but it's definitely worth it if you want to see this remote part of Scotland.

Read more: Best walks in Scotland

5.) Harris (Isle of Lewis and Harris)

The Isle of Harris is a completely untouched area of ​​the Hebrides, which is best reached by boat from the Isle of Skye (via Uig) or by plane. Now that it is another of the larger islands in Scotland, you need to plan a few days on the island to get a good feeling.

When you get here you should definitely visit Scalpay and see the white sandy beach of Luskentyre and also explore the beach at Seilebost. They are beautiful and incredible places for a walk or a hike on a summer day.

If you want to find wildlife, visit the North Harris Eagle Observatory, which is well worth a visit. But be patient!

6.) Lewis (Isle of Lewis and Harris)

Well, the Isle of Harris and Lewis actually come from an island that is the largest of the outer Hebrides. Sounds confusing, doesn't it?

The easiest way to imagine this is that the Lewis part of the island is the lower lying (southern) regions. While the "Harris" is part of the highland and northern regions of the island.

However, Lewis is absolutely stunning to visit and very easy to explore, especially if you are already heading towards Harris. When you get here, be sure to visit the restored Blackhouse Village in Garenin before heading further inland to enjoy the view of the island.

Then take a trip to Stornoway and take a short break (or two) and head to Digby Chick for dinner.

Read more: Our itinerary to explore the Scottish Highlands

7.) Arran Island

Nestled in the Firth of Clyde, exploring the Isle of Arran is one of the best places in the Scottish Islands if you love breathtaking landscapes.

The easiest way to get here is by ferry from; Ardrossan to Brodick. It's super easy and well worth it for a few days on the island.

When you get here, be sure to visit Glen Rosa (near Goat Fell) and hike easily from the main road near Brodick. Take waterproof shoes with you, it can get muddy here! However, you could be rewarded and even spot a deer (or two).

If you fancy a coastal walk, follow the Arran Coastal Way, which also goes past Brodick Castle. It’s so great.

Read More: Best Places To Visit In Edinburgh

8.) Kerrera Island

The most famous place on the island of Kerrera is Gylen Castle. It's so beautiful and you can only imagine what it was like before it fell into ruins.

Now it's really easy to get to Kerrera, especially with the small Kerrera ferry that crosses the fourth. It only takes about 600 meters to cross the IT and only takes a few minutes. At most 10!

In the summer months you can also stop at the Kerrera Tea Garden. It's so nice to warm up with a pot of tea and cake after a long day on the island.

Read more: Best walks in Scotland

9.) Iona Island & Isle of Mull

Best hikes in Scotland (15)

Iona Island is just off the Isle of Mull. You can take the Fionnphort ferry to Iona. When you get here, go to Iona Abbey and see the ruins of the Iona Nunnery.

Oh, and don't forget to see some of the beaches here. The island has a bunch of white sand coves where you can relax!

Then spend a few days exploring the much larger Isle of Mull. After all, you have to go through here before returning to mainland Scotland. Duart Castle is a must on Mull! It is wonderful.

It is really one of the best places in the Scottish Islands.

Read more: Our itinerary to explore the Scottish Highlands

10.) Jura Island

Now it's actually pretty easy to visit the Isle of Islay and the Isle of Jura together. Yes, they're a separate island, but they're so close and connected by the shortest boat ride.

When you get to Jura Island, keep your eyes peeled for deer and head to Isle of Jura Distillery Co to purchase an award-winning Scotch Whiskey.

If that's not your thing, take a tour of the Paps of Jura (mountains). The island is completely untouched and worth exploring if you are looking for a more remote island in Scotland that is easy to get to.

Read More: Best Places To Visit In Edinburgh

11.) Isle of Coll

Step back into old Scotland at Crathes Castle (37)

The Isle of Coll is probably one of the most desolate islands in the Hebrides and a beautiful place if you want to get away from it all. After arriving by boat, visit New Breachacha Castle and the secluded coastline that is so beautiful.

Now is it likely that you want to stay on the island when you are here? If so, visit the Coll Bunkhouse and book a room. It's a tiny little island and a perfect haven from the hustle and bustle of city life.

Read More: Best Castles To Visit In Scotland

12.) Staffa Island

The Isle of Staffa is probably one of the smaller islands that are just off the Isle of Mull. One of the easiest ways to get here is by boat tours starting from Fionnphort.

If you are on the boat tour, you should definitely see Fingal's cave. Depending on the time of year you go, you can also spot puffins.

Oh, and be warned, you'll be dipped in sea spray while sailing to the island! Although it is beautiful and certainly one of the best places in the Scottish Islands.

Read more: Our itinerary to explore the Scottish Highlands

Your essential travel route for the Scottish highlands

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