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Scottish Island Getaways - A Scotland Travel Blog

Updated: Feb 9, 2022

Scotland has an incredible wealth of history, friendly people and some delicious food & drink. Exploring around the mainland is great but did you know it's easy to visit many of the 900 Scottish Islands too? With many that are easy to reach and seem like a world away. Here's what you need to know about island hopping in Scotland and some of the beautiful islands you might like to visit.

On top deck of the ferry looking back to the captains booth, beyond to the sea and mainland.
On-board Calmac Ferries ©MDHarding

Scottish Island Getaways - A Scotland Travel Blog

Island Hopping In Scotland

Getting To The Islands

Caledonian MacBrayne/Calmac Ferries are the best way to see the islands. With many ports easy to reach with public transport or by car.

Onboard there is a range of services throughout the fleet, though these can be minimal depending on which route you are taking.

The new summer timetable for Calmac Ferries has been recently launched. The best way to avoid disappointment is to book your tickets in advance especially if you are taking a car onboard. Did you know you can also pre-book an island-hopping ticket?

Cars lined up by the ferry in the early morning ready to board.
Clansman Docked At Isle of Barra ©MDHarding

Isle of Harris & Lewis

The Isle of Harris and Lewis situated on the northwest coast of Scotland is said to have been a part of the Norse kingdom of Suoreyjar. Now you can see the many monuments and relics such as the finest example of standing stones “Callanish” dating back to 2900 BC.

Harris is well known for its white sandy beaches with turquoise blue waters that you just want to jump into! However, there are quite a few other places that are well worth a visit too!

Shawbost Norse Mill and Kiln, Gearrannan Blackhouse Village, Dun Carloway Broch, or take a stroll along Uig Sands beach and see where the Lewis Chessmen were discovered!
We hired a campervan and drove up from Edinburgh to Uig, Skye then took the Calmac ferry to Tarbert.

If you enjoy Gin, don't miss a visit to the home of Harris Gin. Discover more on a Journey With Gin.
Caribbean blue like waters and white sandy beach.
Beaches of Harris & Lewis ©MDHarding

Isle of Tiree