The Inner and Outer Hebrides are a dream holiday destination in Scotland – but you can explore more than one island at a time.
But why just visit one? Island hopping is an incredible way to venture across Scotland’s Western Isles. Just get on a ferry and you can take a trip to your choice of stunning and wild islands.
Here’s a guide of the islands, with the best routes to travel by sea. Prices are based on Hebridean and Clyde ferries’ island hopping tickets and are seasonal.
1. Isle of Arran
It's not quite a part of the Hebrides, but the Isle of Arran is a worthy destination. Its dramatic mountains and beautiful beaches are home to wildlife like red squirrels, eagles, basking sharks, otters and seals. The Machrie Moor Standing Stones offer a glimpse into its prehistoric past, and the Arran Distillery is a must for whisky connoisseurs. Hop from Ardrossan on the mainland over to Arran and then north to Claonaig on the Kintyre peninsula (£7pp). Photo: Getty Images via Canva Pro
2. The Inner Hebrides
If you 're feeling adventurous, the Inner Hebrides are an enchanting group of islands. The archipelago comprises 35 inhabited islands and 44 uninhabited, the biggest of which are Skye, Mull, and Islay. Official routes available include: Mull, Ardnamurchan and Skye (under £10pp); and Kennacraig to Colonsay, Jura, Islay and Oban (under £20pp). Or go rogue and explore them all! Photo: Getty Images via Canva Pro
3. Jura and Islay
The Isle of Jura is famously where George Orwell wrote 1984. With its wilderness and tranquility (deers far outnumber humans), it's easy to see why. Neighbouring Islay is worth visiting for its world famous whiskies, birdlife, and dramatic coast. You can get a ferry from Oban to Islay, explore both islands, then get another ferry from Port Ellen to Kinncraig (about £17pp). Photo: Getty Images via Canva
4. Mull and Iona
Your next stop is the Isle of Mull, a haven for wildlife like eagles, puffins, otters, dolphins, and even whales. It has white sandy beaches and charming villages, like Tobermory with its multi-coloured houses. From here, explore nearby Isle of Iona - the last resting place of Macbeth - or take a boat trip to glimpse the beautiful wildlife. You can tie in a roadtrip to Mull with one to Skye by ferryhopping (£10pp). Photo: Getty Images