The Inner Hebrides are a large group of islands off the west coast, and Coll and Tiree are two of the most scenic.
Coll is west of the larger island of Mull, while Tiree, the most westerly of the Inner Hebrides, is southwest of Coll.
The two islands are known for a more exotic climate than many other Scottish locations – with Tiree even being known as the “Hawaii of the North”.
What to see
There are 20 large bays on Coll, plus a handful of smaller ones. And the sheer variety of Coll’s beaches is something special. Breachacha is flanked by two small castles, while Cornaig can be found after braving some rugged sand dunes.
The beautiful North Shore, which has views to Mull, Eigg, Ardnamurchan and Muck, wouldn’t look out of place in the Caribbean.
Tiree, meanwhile, also has its fair share of golden beaches, which perfectly complement the warm summer sunshine the island is famed for.
Crossapol is one of Tiree’s largest beaches, with a mile of beautiful sands. Balevullin is truly beautiful and a great place for dolphin spotting.
Balephuil Bay that plays host to the legendary Tiree Wave Classic, the windsurfing competition.
The six-day extravaganza attracts many supporters who pack the coast to cheer on the participants, making for a terrific atmosphere. This year’s event is from October 9-15.
Both islands are perfect for stargazing. Neither Coll nor Tiree have light pollution, so stargazing conditions couldn’t be better.
There are Dark Sky Discovery Sites at Arinagour, Arnabost and RSPB Totronald on Coll and Balevullin on Tiree.
These offer fantastic views with the crystal clear sight of the Milky Way something magical to behold.
You might even be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the breathtaking aurora borealis.
How to get there
Getting to these stunning islands is easy – the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry connects the two, making island-hopping a breeze. From the mainland, the ferry leaves from Oban, and takes two hours and 30 minutes to Coll and four hours to Tiree.
You’re even able to fly to Coll and Tiree from each other and the mainland, from both Oban and Glasgow.
After a day’s fun, there are plenty of places to eat and rest your head for the night.
Both islands have a wide variety of camping spots but if you’d rather a more comfy bed, then you have plenty of choice, too.
Alongside some excellent B&Bs and self-catering accommodation, The Lodge Hotel and the Tiree Scarinish Hotel are great places to stay – with restaurants alongside.
On Coll, the Coll Hotel is a popular spot, with the restaurant offering some of the best Scottish fare – including famous Hebridean seafood.
Whether you’re visiting for the beaches, the night sky, the Tiree Wave Classic or something else entirely, these beautiful islands serve as the perfect introduction to the Inner Hebrides, a real Scottish paradise.
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