Scotland undoubtedly holds a bounty of riches for travellers and explorers visiting the country, from the historic and bustling cities of Glasgow and Edinburgh to the majestic highlands and our world famous exports.
But only a short jaunt away from the shopping, nightlife and modernity of the central belt, travellers can uncover a trove of thriving towns and communities along Scotland’s West Coast. Blending seamlessly into modern cosmopolitan Scotland, the islands of the West Coast offer an insight into more traditional Scottish culture, and boast some of the rarest and most sought after experiences in the world.
Set against the backdrop of Ben More, one of Scotland’s most famous Munros, the Isle of Mull is renowned for its incredible wildlife and nature. Eagles, otters, dolphins and whales adorn the landscape, providing a unique experience for naturists and hillwalkers alike.
The island’s capital, Tobermory, is popular among tourists for its great coffee shops and famous colourful houses, as well as the beautiful Aros Waterfall. The famed Tobermory topper gives tourists a fully-guided coastal tour from Craignure to Tobermory.
With the weather on your side, make the most of Mull’s distinct beaches and coastal views; the clear waters and white sands of Calgary Bay can match the best in the world.
Located just west of Mull, Staffa is known as Scotland’s ‘magic isle’. Despite covering less than a quarter of a square mile, Staffa impacts tourists and prominent cultural figures alike, from the artist JMW Turner to composer Mendelssohn.
The most awe-inspiring feature of Staffa is certainly Fingals Cave. Part of a great network of sea caves, the ‘Cave of Melody’ (An Uamh Binn in Gaelic) was formed over 50 million years ago in the same lava flow that shaped the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.
Surrouned by a mass of sea birds and flanked by the imposing basalt columns, the entrance to Fingals cave is both a geological and ornithological marvel.
Visiting the island you’ll also learn of the mystery and myth that surrounds 3rd century Irish general Finn MacCumhail and his warriors, for whom they say the cave is named.
Known for its peace, tranquillity and stunning landscape, small Iona has a mysterious and spiritual past. Revered by many, the ‘holy isle’ is said to be the final resting place of over 50 Scottish, Norwegian and Irish kings.
The island is peppered with spiritual sites, mainly from early Christianity, with stunning celtic crosses and the beautifully restored Iona abbey. The island is also believed to be where the famous celtic crosses were first created.
You can also sample some of the freshest and most delicious seafood Scotland has to offer.
Over the summer months the town of Oban turns into a bustling hive of activity, with tourists flocking from all over the world to make the most of the unbeatable views, excellent cuisine and inviting atmosphere.
Known as the ‘Gateway to the Isles’, Oban is superbly located to make the most of the surrounding islands with a number of fantastic, widely varying tours available.
Venturing beyond Scotland’s contemporary urban sprawl is a must for any traveller and explorer. Scotland’s west coast offers unparalleled experiences that have inspired some of the most important cultural works in its history.
With daily tours and trips available from Oban (only 2 hours from Glasgow), there’s a unique experience to be had for every traveller and explorer of Scotland’s west coast.