The best islands to visit in Scotland

Did you know that Scotland actually has 700 islands and makes up 10% of the entire European coastline? What’s more; you can take your car to most of them and even if you face an unexpected situation such as an accident you don’t need to worry. What many driving travellers experience are problems with the ABS system and other car parts, either due to the terrain of the islands or from misuse. Let’s take a look at 3 of the islands that are definitely worth a visit!

Orkney Islands

In this archipelago you will find one most important of the heritage sites of UNESCO in Europe, a Neolithic site. This is a collection of monuments dating from prehistoric times. Try standing in the middle of a stone circle to travel through time, or visit modern ancient monuments such as the Ring of Brodgar and the Standing Stenness Rocks. These two sites are thought to be used in ceremonies in the past to celebrate the relationship between living communities.

Standing Stones of Stenness
Standing Stones of Stenness

There is also Skara Brae, which seems surprisingly modern. In each underground room you will find beds and stone seats, among other things. The site is 5000 years old and was recently uncovered by a storm in 1850, in excellent condition. The Maeshowe monument is also a must-see masterpiece of Neolithic architecture. Once you enter through a mountain of grass, you will be in a perfect grave – is a magical experience!

Skara Brae
Skara Brae

Aran

This island has many Scottish characteristics. It is a great place to walk, because the crest that is called Highland Boundary Fault runs through the island and the landscape is absolutely beautiful. For those who are more adventurous there is Goatfell, the highest peak (874m) and really worth it if you are trained and the weather’s permitting. It takes about 5 hours to reach the summit from Brodick Castle, the most popular place to begin the ascent. The views are worth the effort: on a clear day you even get to see Ireland.

Highland Boundary Fault, Loch Lomond
Highland Boundary Fault, Loch Lomond

If you want another option, follow the costal route of the Isle of Arran, that is around 65 miles and gets you beaches and cliffs, caves and waterfalls. This hike takes 6 days and is the best way to see this beautiful island.

Islay

It’s very daring to name the places with the best whiskey in Scotland, but this island is definitely among the top. On the coast, you’ll find no fewer than eight distilleries. Three further on the south are the most famous: Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Adavulin. In all three sites, you will be able guided by the distilleries to learn ancient secrets of the production of this beberaje excursions. For those of you who want to give whiskey a good try, Ballygrant is the place to go. There you can sample many types of whiskey sitting comfortably next to a stove.

The Ardbeg distillery
The Ardbeg distillery

Scottish island photos by: Gregor Samsa, Tony Shertila, Joe-T-imgs, Duncan Robertson

For more on Scotland check: Summer getaway at the Highlands | Scotland, An Alternative Guide to Scotland, The most impressive castles of Scotland

By +Nikos Kontorigas