Best European island for: empty beaches
Arrival by sea sets the tone – surreal slips of mythical scenery rise from the water as you pass the Isle of Mull pushing out to the tiny Hebridean island of Colonsay. The ferry brings in visitors bound for the island’s one, eponymous hotel, as well as the post and everyday items for the 135 inhabitants. The small population produces a rich bounty of widely praised wildflower honey, oysters, lobster and botanical gin. Pick up your supplies at the General Store – the best wee shop in the Hebrides – where you’ll happily overlook the fact that the newspapers are a few days out of date. It’s far removed from the rest of the world: run about on the empty white sands of Kiloran Bay, where crystal waters are backed by crags and dunes, and hike through sheltered woodlands to Colonsay House and its famed rhododendron gardens. Thanks to a unique microclimate, the island is also among the sunniest places in Scotland.
Getting to Colonsay: Glasgow is the closest international airport. From there it’s three hours by train to Oban, where the CalMac ferry service departs for Colonsay, taking 2 hours 20 minutes.
Where to stay: colonsay.org.uk
Keep scrolling for more pictures of the best secret islands in Europe
In order to see this embed, you must give consent to Social Media cookies. Open my cookie preferences.
Like this? Now read:
The best beach holidays in Europe
The best beaches in Europe for 2020
The best secret beach hotels in Europe
The best beach hotels in Europe
The best private islands in the world
The world’s most incredible private islands