The Hebrides are a totally stunning part of Scotland to visit; not least because of their unspoilt beauty. Now, there are loads of tiny little islands in Scotland to visit and each has its own charm (and long history) to discover. After all, that’s what makes Scotland so special! This is especially true when you think of all the best places in the Scottish Islands that you shouldn’t miss.
This is exactly why I’m focusing on the inner (and outer) Hebrides of Scotland to visit. Though, you can certainly head to the likes of Shetland and the Orkney Isles, too. Each has its own charm and distinct character which are totally gorgeous.
From the beautiful, and more popular islands like Skye, to the uninhabited islands of the outer Hebrides, there’s a huge mix of the best places in the Scottish Islands no matter where you’re visiting.
Now, it can be tricky to get around to all of the islands in the Hebrides, especially when some are pretty remote. That being said, with a little bit of planning, you can certainly see a fair few favourites. Just make sure to plan ahead, figure out your routes in advance and make sure to book your boats or ferry in advance (where possible).
The Hebrides is a totally stunning area of Scotland.
With that in mind, take a look at the best places in the Scottish Islands.
1.) Explore the Western Isle of Skye
Probably the most famous of the inner Hebrides, the Isle of Skye is totally gorgeous to visit. Better still, there’s no need to catch a ferry or a flight to get here! After crossing the bridge, make your way across one of the larger islands in Scotland to explore some of the epic things to do.
Now, after exploring some of the eastern parts of the Isle of Skye, make sure to pop on over to the western fringes. Here, you’ll see a totally different side of the island and get to experience its rugged charm.
Once here, make sure to visit Neist Point that is totally iconic. Oh, and the Quiraing, too. It’s so iconic on the island and a must-see.
Finally, stop off at the Fairy Glen that’s totally beautiful. Now, the latter does attract some crowds in the summer, so pop over early in the morning if you want the place to yourself.
It really is one of the best places in the Scottish Islands.
2.) Lunga Island
Now, one of the main reasons you see Lunga Island is for its famous residents; puffins!
At certain times of the year, Lunga Island is totally swamped with puffins that are too beautiful to miss! Yeah, they might not be the most graceful of flyers but they’re totally adorable and can’t be missed.
Also, on this protected island, you’ll get to see grey seals and a heap of razorbills, too.
Now, it’s likely you’ll only be able to see Lunga Island in the summer months (via the Ulva Ferry tours).
3.) Eastern Isle of Skye
Now, remember I said that Skye was one of the larger islands in Scotland? Well, this is why I’ve split it into two.
There’s just no way you can really get around Skye in one short (day) trip. Though, if you are only on the island for a day, you can still see some total gems.
For some of the best places in the Scottish Islands, make sure to visit Portree and take a stroll around its gorgeous little harbour. It’s a quintessential Scottish village that’s so lovely. Oh, and don’t forget a visit, to Armadale Castle.
We headed here as we left Skye via the southern ferry that arrived in Mallaig.
Oh, and make sure to take a little hike towards the Storr, too. It’s totally stunning.
4.) St Kilda
St Kilda is a totally dramatic island that’s been thrashed 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.
Being a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a national reserve, it’s a place that’s well worth a little visit.
Expect tickets to cost more than your average 1-hour trip but it’s totally worth it if you want to see this isolated part of Scotland.
5.) Harris (Isle of Lewis and Harris)
Best reached by boat from the Isle of Skye (via Uig) or by plane, the Isle of Harris is a totally unspoilt area of the Hebrides to see. Now, being another one of the larger islands in Scotland, you’ll need to plan a few days on the island to start to get a good feel.
Once here, make sure to visit Scalpay, see the white sandy beach of Luskentyre and explore Seilebost beach, too. They’re totally beautiful and incredible places for a stroll or hike on a summer day.
Also, if you want to find some wildlife, pop over to the North Harris Eagle Observatory that’s well worth a visit. Though, be patient!
6.) Lewis (Isle of Lewis and Harris)
Now, the Isle of Harris and Lewis actually from one island that’s the largest in all of the outer Hebrides. Sounds confusing, right?
Well, the easiest way to think of it is that the ‘Lewis’ part of the island is the lower-lying (southern) region. Whereas, the ‘Harris’ forms part of the more upland and northerly regions of the island.
Whatever the case, Lewis is totally stunning to visit and really easy to explore, especially if you’re already heading towards Harris, too. Once here, make sure to see the restored Blackhouse Village in Garenin before heading further inland to see the views across the island.
Afterwards, take a trip over to Stornoway stop off for a little tipple (or two) and head for one of the best fish and chips on the island at Camerons Chip Shop.
7.) Isle of Arran
Nestled within the Firth of Clyde, exploring the Isle of Arran is one of the best places in the Scottish Islands if you love stunning landscapes.
Now, the easiest way to get here is via the ferry from; Ardrossan to Brodick. It’s super easy and well worth it for a few days on the island itself.
Once here, make sure to visit Glen Rosa (near Goat Fell) and easy to hike from the main road near Brodick. Just make sure to take some waterproof shoes, it can get boggy here! Though, you might be rewarded and even spot a stag (or two).
If you fancy a coastal walk, follow the Arran Coastal Way which passes Brodick Castle, too. It’s totally gorgeous.
8.) Isle of Kerrera
Probably the most famous place on the Isle of Kerrera is Gylen Castle. It’s so beautiful and you can only imagine what this was like before it fell into ruins.
Now, it’s really easy to get across to Kerrera, especially with the dinky little Kerrera Ferry that crosses the forth. It’s only about 600 metres to cross and takes a matter of minutes. 10 at most!
In the summer months, stop off at the Kerrera Tea Garden, too. It’s so nice to warm up with a pot of tea and cake after a long day exploring the island.
9.) Iona Island & Isle of Mull
Iona Island is just off the Isle of Mull, you can head across to Iona via Fionnphort ferry. Once here, make sure to the 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 heap of white sandy bays that are lovely to chill on!
Afterwards, make sure to spend a few days exploring the, much larger, Isle of Mull, too. After all, you must go through here before returning to mainland Scotland. On Mull, Duart Castle is a must-see! It’s gorgeous.
It really is one of the best places in the Scottish Islands.
10.) Isle of Jura
Now, it’s actually pretty easy to visit the Isle of Islay and the Isle of Jura together. Yes, they’re separate islands but they are so close and connected by the shortest boat ride.
Once on the Isle of Jura, make sure to keep your eyes peeled for red deer and head across to the Isle of Jura Distillery Co. for some award-winning Scotch Whisky.
If that’s not your thing, head for a ramble around the Paps of Jura(mountains). The island is totally unspoilt and well worth exploring if you want to find a more remote island in Scotland that’s easily accessible.
11.) Isle of Coll
Probably one of the more desolate islands in the Hebrides, the Isle of Coll is a gorgeous spot to visit if you want to get away from it all. After arriving via boat, head over to see New Breachacha Castle and the secluded coastline that’s so lovely.
Now, it’s likely you might wanna stay on the island once you’re ere. If so, pop into the Coll Bunkhouse and book a room. It’s a tiny little island and a perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of city life.
12.) Isle of Staffa
The Isle of Staffa is probably one of the smaller islands to see that’s just off the Isle of Mull. Now, one of the easiest ways to get here is via the boat tours that leave from Fionnphort.
Whilst on the boat tour, make sure to see Fingal’s Cave. Depending on what time of year you go, you might also spot the puffins, too.
Oh, and be warned, you will get doused in sea spray whilst sailing over to the island! Though it’s totally gorgeous and one of the best places in the Scottish Islands for sure.