Inner Hebrides On a Budget
SightsBegin a tour of the Inner Hebrides on the Isle of Skye where you'll find the beautiful Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls set against the ocean. At the Kilt Rock viewpoint, you'll get sweeping views of the ocean along with views of the rock named for the traditional Scottish dress, the kilt. On the northern point of Skye, you'll find Neist Point, a famous lighthouse situated on a long cliff.
From Skye, hop over to the island of Staffa to see the Basalt Columns and Fingal's Cave, a natural cathedral. Finally, make your way over to Isle of Tiree where you'll find countless ancient ruins including MacCallum's Cairn, Kirkapol Chapels, and Vaul Broch which dates back to 60 AD. After Tiree, you can spend the day island hopping to the smaller islands, wandering around their coasts to get incredible views of the surrounding area.
Among the 18 islands that comprise the Inner Hebrides, there are a few primary islands that are of major interest to visitors:
Isle of Skye: One of the most well-known islands in the Inner Hebrides, Skye features ancient landscapes and famous landmarks, including the Old Man of Storr.
Isle of Mull: The third largest island in Scotland, Mull is known for its natural beauty and fantastic artisan shops.
Eigg: A small island referred to as the "emerald of the Inner Hebrides" due to its lush green landscapes.
Islay: This small island is called the Queen of the Hebrides because of the eight whisky distilleries on the island that create some of the best whisky in the world.
Tiree: A lovely small island that features long stretches of sandy beaches and ancient architecture.
Raasay: A tiny island best known for their extensive walking trails that wind through its beautiful landscapes.
ActivitiesThe Inner Hebrides are a nature lover's paradise, offering unspoiled landscapes with countless walking and cycling trails to explore. Wander Raasay, a tranquil island featuring trails along seaside outlooks and mountain hikes up Dun Caan where you can overlook the entire island. Over on Eigg Island, you'll find three nature reserves that offer everything from ancient woodlands in the Beinne Bhuide plateau to the Sgurr, a huge rock formation. A trip to the Inner Hebrides wouldn't be complete without a hike to the Old Man of Storr, a huge rock formation that sits in The Quirang mountain range. From the summit of the formation, you'll get incredible views of the surrounding area and the islands around it. For something more relaxing, head to Tiree Island where you'll find miles and miles of incredible sandy beaches where you can swim in the paddling pools or just relax on the beach.
Food and DiningThe Inner Hebrides offer a wide range of cuisines, from Indian food on the Isle of Skye to classic fish and chips on the Isle of Mull. The area also boasts locally grown produce and fresh caught fish in many of their dishes. On Mull, you'll find many artisan restaurants, bakeries, and even a chocolate shop. When traveling to smaller islands, be sure to bring your own food as they tend to have fewer food options, if any. A must try in the Inner Hebrides is the whisky from the Isle of Islay, which has eight working distilleries that you can tour to try some of the best whisky in the world.
TransportationThere are a few ways to get into the Inner Hebrides; you can take a train, bus, or drive to the Isle of Skye, which is connected to mainland Scotland via a bridge. You can also take a ferry to most of the islands from the mainland. Larger islands offer public transport options while smaller ones do not, meaning having a car makes it a lot easier to navigate the islands. If you prefer not to rent a car, you can rely on ferries and walking trails to get around the smaller islands.
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