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Across Scotland’s Atlantic coastline, 600 islands delicately rise from the sea.

The West Coast Islands are a retreat.  They take a little effort to get to, but the experience is worth the travel.  The lifestyle and friendly hospitality of the islanders on these Scottish Isles is genuine and fun.  Regular ferries run all year and those rides are a delight in themselves.

  • Jura:

    The wildest and least visited of the Hebrides islands, Jura is overrun with red deer, and has not been effected much by modern civilization.  (This may be your idea of paradise.) A solitary road ties the main town of Craighouse to the ferry port.  If you are looking for a place to let the world fall away, visit Jura.  The walks are amazing and there is plenty of room to get back to who you are, and remember what you want.  George Orwell stayed at a remote cottage on Jura and worked on his final, and most famous, novel there—1984.

  • Islay:

    8 Scotch whisky distilleries, producing a peaty brew, exist on this thriving island. The island’s capital, Bowmore, has a unique circular church that was designed so the devil couldn’t find any corners to hide in!  One of the UK’s most impressive 8th century Celtic cross is in the town of Kildalton.  Get out the binoculars… More than 250 species of birds have been recorded.

  • Colonsay & Oronsay:

    Since the Bronze Age in Scotland, Colonsay has been farmed and the home of many.  Ancient tombs and mysterious standing stones remain.  Old traditions live on here, making Colonsay a strong crafting and fishing community.  Wildflowers and birds also love it here. The coastline, with its mix of broad and secret beaches attracts visitors.  Check the tides. When it’s low, you can walk to the small island of Oronsay and admire its ruined priory.  How many people can say they’ve walked to an island?  Great experience!

  • Staffa:

    Fingal’s Cave is Scotland’s greatest natural wonder.  It was formed by thousands of basalt “organ pipes,” and they inspired Mendelssohn to compose his “Hebrides Overture.”  They are truly amazing.

  • Skye:

    Skye’s dramatic scenery, combined with an ancient castle, a delicious distillery, and plenty of attractions gives more than enough reason to visit this island.

  • Barra:

    This small island is all the charm of the Hebrides:  Dazzling beaches, Gaelic culture, peace, and the right-of-way to sheep.  The 11th century Kisimul Castle poses on nearby island.  As are all the islands, it is a soothing place to unwind.

  • Tiree:

    This island boasts some of the finest Atlantic surfing, and it also has the largest number of sunshine hours in Britain. That’s a pretty great combination!

  • Gigha:

    The “Isle of God” island is a small slice of heaven for those who love cheese—they produce some of the finest gourmet cheese in Scotland. There is also an abundance of fine, tender plants and flowers, especially in Achamore Garden.

  • Eriskay:

    This is the scene of the Whisky Galore wreck in 1941.  It is also the dream island of the Hebrides.  Beaches, crafting villages, hills–everything is as romantic as you might picture it.

  • Lismore:

    This was once an important church island.  The lush vegetation of the Scottish Islands surprises many, and Lismore, green and fertile, is said to mean “great garden.”  The surrounding scenery is splendid.

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