Steeped in history, beauty, archaeology and wildlife, Argyll’s breathtaking Atlantic Islands are the perfect destination for those looking to get off the beaten track and discover something new. You will find that the rich waters around these islands attract many marine species such as porpoises, dolphins and minke whales, and many of the beautiful plants, birds and animals, are rarely seen outside these islands.
Discover Islay’s distinct cultural heritage and explore Finlaggan, the ancient capital of the once powerful sea-faring kingdom, the Lordship of the Isles. Uncover the ninth century Kildalton High Cross and over a hundred species of bird.
Jura’s spectacular landscape, including the Paps of Jura at 2,572 ft (784m) is a haven for hillwalkers and wildlife alike. Visit Iron Age Forts, standing stones and where George Orwell wrote part of his seminal novel Nineteen Eighty Four.
To the west, on Colonsay, you will find otters and golden eagles. Stroll along Kiloran bay beach, ranked as one of the country’s most beautiful and the tidal stretch of land to Oronsay, one of the best spots to watch grey seals with their pups and wading birds.
A short ferry trip away is Gigha, the first community bought island in Scotland. Washed by the mild, warm Gulf Stream the island supports spectacular plant life including many tropical species, which can be seen at the famous Achamore Gardens.
In the heart of the Firth of Clyde is the Isle of Bute with its scenic sheltered coves and sandy beaches. A great way to see this area is on the PS Waverley, the last ocean-going paddle steamer in the world. Bute offers a serene island haven with its sheltered coves, sandy bays and rugged open spaces dominated by peaks that offer spectacular vistas to the north. Warmed by the North Atlantic Drift, the waterfront at Rothesay is lined with palm trees as well as bistros, cafés and old-fashioned ice cream parlours, while Ettrick Bay is an ideal place to enjoy a summer picnic.