Guided Tours of Scotland
Island hopping on Scotland's West Coast
A Hebrides Tour is an island hopping trip Scottish style! It allows you to explore Scotland's Western Isles at your own pace, a chance to discover world class beaches, the freshest seafood and perhaps meet some of the local marine life. These islands are as rich in history as they are in the variety of landscapes, from the peaks of the Cuillin Mountains on Skye to the flat windswept beaches of Tiree, the Vikings and the Celts have shaped the culture of the Hebridean archipelago. If you enjoy unspoilt places with a real 'edge of the world' feel you will love a Hebrides Tour.
The Hebrides islands are split into two geographical groups; the Outer Hebrides and the Inner Hebrides. The Outer Hebrides, also known as the Western Isles, or Na h-Innse Gall in gaelic - the indigenous language of this archipelago, principally consist of Vatersay, Barra, Eriskay, South Uist, Benbecula, North Uist, Berneray, Harris and Lewis, plus hundreds of other small islands and skerries, most of which are uninhabited. The second group, the Inner Hebrides are split into two sub groups; North & South. The Northern Hebrides are principally made up of Skye, Raasay and the Small Isles, a mini archipelago with an archipelago which includes Eigg, Muck, Rúm and Canna, where (non-natives')cars are forbidden traffic so it's walking tours only here! Lastly, the Southern Hebrides are primarily made up of Mull, Iona, Lismore, Tiree, Coll, Islay, Jura, Colonsay and Gigha. Each group of islands has a very different feel to the others and each isle has its own distinct character so island hopping in the West Highlands never feels repetitive.
There are so many islands that there are endless permutations of itinerary options. A sample grand tour, which would take most of the main islands from the Southern Hebrides to the Outer Hebrides and on to the Northern Hebrides, would look something like this:
Glasgow/Edinburgh >> Kennacraig >> Islay >>Jura >> Islay >> Colonsay >> Oban >> Mull >> Iona >> Mull >> Kilchoan >> Mallaig >> South Uist >> Eriskay >> Barra >> Eriskay >> South Uist >> Benbecula >> North Uist >> Berneray >> Harris/Lewis >> Skye >> Raasay >> Glasgow/Edinburgh
A trip of this length would require 7 to 14 days, or 10 - 21 days if including Orkney and/or Shetland in the Northern Isles. My guided island hopping tours are conducted in a relaxed no-rush manner, which is perfect because the pace of life in the Hebrides and Northern Isles is much slower than the mainland and this makes them the perfect place for that 'getaway from it all' type of vacation.
For those looking for a unique island whisky tour it would be easy to incorporate visits to Islay, Scotland's 'whisky island', Jura, Mull, Skye and Orkney, visiting distilleries such as Laphroaig, Jura, Tobermory, Talisker, Highland Park, with the occasional Highland distillery, such as Oban, thrown in for good measure, to create a combined Highlands and islands whisky tour.
Of course I can tailor make an island tour for you from anything from one day (eg. Arran or Isle of Bute day trip), two/three days (eg. Islay/Jura, Mull, Skye) or a multi-day tour (eg. Outer Hebrides, Orkney and Shetland) or as many island as you can fit into two or three weeks - my record, so far, in one trip is 17 islands!