The television series Outlander has generated a hyper-romantic love for the highlands of Scotland, and for good reason. It is a magical place with over 30,000 square miles to explore. Not all parts are inhabited, but all are nevertheless spectacular to view. In addition to its rolling hills, most people don’t realize that Scotland is also home to over 900 islands. Now that Scotland has been thrust into the public eye, some of these islands have made it onto peoples’ bucket lists.
Isle of Skye
Arguably Scotland’s most famous island, the Isle of Skye is famous for its breathtaking scenery and landscapes. The island is easily accessible by road and it features a variety of lodging options from campsites to vacation cottages and hotels. Scotland is known for its magnificent castles, so be sure to take the time to visit Eilean Donan Castle, Dunvegan Castle & Gardens, and the notorious Fairy Pools. There are no shortage of hiking trails around the island, and it is sprinkled with adorable small towns throughout.
Isle of Lewis
Fans of the television show Outlander will definitely want to put the Isle of Lewis on their list. While it is true that the time-traveling stone circle of Craigh na Dun is a fictional place, the structure was modeled after the 5,000-year-old Callanish Stones located on the Isle of Lewis. The island splits into two parts known as Lewis and Harris, and both are charmingly accessible via ferry. It is an intense, ruggedly romantic place, with wind-swept beaches and plenty of trails to explore. Like many other parts of Scotland, there are beautiful standing stones There are many beaches to choose from, but Garry Beach is a crowd favorite because it is the starting point for the Tolsta Heritage Trail.
Isle of Islay
For whiskey aficionados, this might be a good island to visit since Islay is home to multiple whiskey distilleries. Three of the most well-known ones are Laphroaig, Ardbeg, and Lagavulin, and travelers can bundle their tours into one trip known as the Three Distilleries Pathway. In addition to the distilleries, Islay is the proud host of several entertaining options, such as fishing, cycling, hiking, and golf, in addition to hosting an annual jazz festival. The island is highly accessible with choices by either ferry or plane.