Hop over to the west coast this Easter
So many possibilities
But where shall you go? Our CalMac network stretches from Arran and Kintyre in the south, to Lewis in the north. We make an average of 160,000 sailings here per year. There are so many possibilities on where to go and what to experience.That's one of the reasons we've designed our Island Hopping tickets - allowing you to take in multiple destinations in one trip. You can design your own itinerary, on a route and schedule that suits you and your interests best. Or, you can enjoy a relaxing few days exploring an idyllic island of your own choice - taking in the beautiful coastal surroundings. Some of our most tranquil locations are less than an hour's ferry ride away, which means that some parts of the west coast work well for a day trip with a difference, as well as a longer break. Whatever time you have this Easter, you can make it count on the west coast, and we've mapped out a few ideas for you.
Day trips with a difference
If you're looking to plan a memorable day trip into your spring break - then some parts of the west coast are ideal for this. The Isle of Cumbrae, also known as Great Cumbrae, is just a 10-minute sail from the mainland. At four miles long and two miles wide, it's long been a great destination for a day of walking and cycling around the 10-mile circular loop, taking in some stunning coastal views as you travel. You can try your hand at sea and freshwater fishing, spot all sorts of marine wildlife, or stop off at the Field Studies Council to learn more about local species. You can even uncover the island's smuggling tales of the past by popping into Garrison House, home to the Museum of the Cumbraes.
Bute is another great choice for a day full of adventure. Easily accessible from the central belt - the ferry crossing takes just 45 minutes from Wemyss Bay. Once you're there however, you feel like you're a world away. Enjoy the castle, museum and characterful Victorian promenade of Rothesay. Take your bikes and pedal your way to the island's beautiful bays - from the white cockle shells of St. Ninian's Bay to the golden sands of Ettrick Bay, with its glorious views of Argyll in the distance.
You can also set sail from Oban and enjoy a variety of to Mull and beyond, where you can explore picture-perfect landscapes and Scotland's ancient history.
Outdoors on the Outer Hebrides
Perhaps you'll live life on the edge this Easter with a longer trip to the Outer Hebrides, our most far flung destination. The islands that make up this archipelago offer beauty and tranquillity to those who visit - a unique environment with beautiful wildlife to discover and seascapes to explore. It's an incredible spot for those who enjoy outdoor sports of all levels - from walking along the endless white sands of the Hebridean beaches to kayaking or surfing, or indeed learning to do so in their crisp turquoise waters.
Why not whisky yourselves away on a distillery themed trip? Two of Scotland's five famous whisky regions lie on our network - Campbeltown and Islay. A break on the west coast this Easter means you are perfectly placed to take in both destinations on one of our whisky hopscotch tickets. You can hop from Arran, to Kintyre, then over to Islay and on to Oban, stopping at all the famous distilleries on the way - on the one ticket.
Or travel to Skye and take in its other worldly scenery, before visiting Tallisker and Torabhaig - the island's two whisky distilleries. Hop over to neighbouring Raasay with another of our Island Hopping tickets to spend time in one of Scotland's newest distilleries, due to release its first malt this year.
Step back in time
Step right back in time, all the way back to the beginnings of Christianity in 563AD with a trip to the tiny island of Iona, lying ten minutes off the coast of Mull. The island is the burial place of ancient royalty - it's cemetery, Reilig Odhráin is reputed to hold the remains of up to 60 kings - 48 from Scotland, eight from Norway, and four from Ireland. Although none of the monuments remain to mark the resting places - when you visit, you'll be following in the footsteps of names like Kenneth McAlpin, first King of Scots through to the infamous Macbeth. This part of the world might be tranquil now, but it witnessed some fascinating events in Scottish History.
Iona is easily accessible from Oban and Mull. A wonderful location for a longer break, or it can also be reached using on of day adventure packages. Follow the links below for more details.
It's the perfect time to visit
Not only are there plenty of places to visit, it's also a special time of year to join us on the west coast. Wherever you land, and for however long you stay, you'll be able to enjoy the scenery of the west coast, which offers something new with each changing season.
In spring, nature reawakens, landscapes offer fresh perspectives with their changing colours and new life emerges amongst wildlife and fauna. Even for our most regular visitors, the west coast is a perfect place to enjoy the arrival of a new season, and a well-earned rest. We're looking forward to welcoming you on board.
From the Firth of Clyde to the Outer Hebrides, you will find an Easter adventure that ticks all the boxes! Discover your next west coast getaway on our Destinations page.