Whenever travel writers compare Scottish beaches to the exotic ones of Caribbean, they are usually talking about the beautiful set of 200 islands in a 130 mile archipelago called Outer Hebrides.
Explore Luskentyre Beach on Harris which blue-green waters shimmers in the right light and its sands are like talcum powder. With a backdrop of low, stark mountains this two miles long beach offers a truly sublime vista.
To the southwest of the isle is Scarista Beach. Dotted with shells and driftwood, this three miles long beach boasts similarly startling colours while the big Atlantic swells regularly attracts many surfers.
The north coast of North Uist is a non-stop stretch of virgin white sands and shallow, crystalline seas backed by dunes, machair and wild-flowers. Traigh Lingeigh and Traigh Hornais are the highlights but it’s the west coast and the more exposed Hosta Beach, known as well as Traigh Stir, that is Uist’s surfing hot spot. Visit South Uist and enjoy one of the longest coastal walks, as the beaches stretch continuously along the coast here for over 20 miles.
Did you know that the tiny island of Berneray with the 3 miles of blissful solitude at the West Beach is reportedly Prince Charles’s favourite Scottish island? A mecca for beach connoisseurs and for wildlife enthusiasts too, it doesn’t fail to impress even the most demanding visitors.
While on Barra, head to Tangasdale Beach on Halaman Bay on the west coast. Enjoy the peace and tranquility of this classic Hebridean strand with powder sand and deep blue seas - it’s a great spot to watch the sunset and you’re likely to have it all to yourself.
If landing on a beach sounds interesting then Traigh Mhor at the north end of Barra is the world’s only airport on a beach and was voted the world's most stunning landing spot in a global survery of pilots and travellers. Firmly packed with sand, the beach doubles as a runway, but visitors can still enjoy its immaculate 2 mile strand when planes are not landing or taking off.
Use the information listings to find beaches in the Outer Hebrides, which are well worth visiting on your island break.