How can I island hop?
Whether you fancy travelling between Scotland's islands by ferry or plane you'll find plenty of ways to tick your dream islands off your must-visit list.
Island hopping by ferry
Regular ferry connections run from the mainland to the islands on the west and north coasts of Scotland, and also between the islands themselves.
In the west of Scotland
Caledonian MacBrayne, often known as CalMac, is the largest operator of ferry services in the west of Scotland, serving the main island groups of:
In addition to the CalMac routes, there are a few smaller ferry services to some destinations. These are usually run by council-appointed operators.
In the north of Scotland
Orkney and Shetland are connected to the mainland and each other by NorthLink Ferries. In Shetland, inter-island ferry travel is operated by the council, while Orkney Ferries connect the archipelago's 13 island destinations.
Island hopping by plane
In some instances it's possible to go by plane. Some islands have a local airport where chartered flights are operated from mainland Scotland and beyond.
In addition, there are inter-island flights in:
- Outer Hebrides - flights connect Benbecula with Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis.
- Orkney - flights connect Kirkwall with North Ronaldsay and Papa Westray, and Eday, Stronsay, Sanday and Westray.
- Shetland - from Shetland Mainland, flights go to Fair Isle, Foula, Papa Stour and Skerries.