This article has been written with the support of CalMac.
Go wild on the Scottish islands
Take a ferry to the Hebrides and get lost in picturesque wilderness
The Scottish islands are famous for their wild landscapes, towering mountain ranges, glorious beaches and picture perfect waterfalls. And the best way to experience these remote areas of natural beauty in to get right in amongst them, whether that's wild swimming in the Fairy Pools on Skye, walking the stunning white beaches on Harris or becoming a wild camper, which is like a happy camper, only more rugged. All of which are just a ferry ride away.
Wild swim on Skye
Located under the towering Black Cuillins near Glenbrittle are Skye's famous Fairy Pools, home to tribes of teeny Tinkerbell-like creatures. Just kidding, it's a series of waterfalls and pools where the water is beautifully clear. Those wanting to keep dry can enjoy the well marked 2.4km walk along the side of the pools, where you're guaranteed to get some awesome snaps, like the one above.
Daredevil types can take the literal plunge into the pools to enjoy a wild swim in the great outdoors. One spot even features an underwater arch to swim through, you don't get that down the local leisure centre. But don't forget a wetsuit, that water is p-r-e-t-t-y n-i-p-p-y.
Get the ferry to Skye from Mallaig on the mainland, or Lochmaddy (North Uist) and Tarbert (Harris).
Wild camp on Islay
What better way to enjoy the glorious landscapes on the islands than to pitch a tent in the midst of it and watch the sun set over the sea. Like being in a summer cider advert.
Wild camping in Scotland is legal and well accepted if you do it responsibly – meaning not like you're at T in the Park. Set up camp away from homes, take your litter away and don't stay more than a couple of nights. Pitch a tent on the flat grassy verge at Laggan Bay and enjoy glorious views of the beach from the comfort of your sleeping bag, with perhaps one of Islay's single malt whiskies, or an Islay Botanist gin, to toast the sunset.
Get the ferry to Islay from Kennacraig on Kintyre, landing at either Port Ellen or Port Askaig.
Walk the wild beaches of Harris
The isle of Harris comes highly rated, voted the best island in Europe by travel behemoth TripAdvisor. Way to go Harris, we voted for you. The coastline boasts glorious beaches, with sprawling white sand and bright blue waters Caribbean style.
Yeah. That really is Scotland.
The spectacular beach at Luskentyre is the largest of all the beaches on the island, take a dog here and they will love you forever. Traigh Noisaboist on the west coast has extensive views across the Sound of Taransay and Traigh Seilebost has a small camping site alongside the beach, with excellent views of Luskentyre.
Get the ferry to Harris direct ferry from Uig (Skye) or take the Ullapool ferry to Stornaway (Lewis) and drive south.
Go campervanning across Mull
Handy quiz fact: the isle of Mull is the second largest island in the Inner Hebrides. And with 300 miles of dramatic coastline, there's plenty to visit. Hire a campervan or motorhome to explore the island at your own pace, with the kettle right at hand for cuppa emergencies.
Take a walk to the stunning Carsaig Arches or climb the island's sole munro Ben More (that's 'big hill' in Gaelic – they're literal folk). Mull is also the gateway to the petite island of Iona, park up the van at the terminal and take the passenger ferry for a day trip to the history rich island.
It's only a mile across but good things come in small packages. Here you can explore Iona Abbey, where early Scottish Kings were buried, or climb Dùn Ì for unrivalled views across Mull, Tiree and Coll. And, of course, from Iona you can get the ferry to Staffa for a view of this beauty.
Fingal's Cave, ftw.
Get the ferry to Mull from Oban. You can also get to Mull from Lochaline and Kilchoan on Morvern and Ardnamurchan.