They say patience is a virtue, and patience is certainly required when travelling to one of Scotland’s smallest and wildest islands, where deer outnumber the people who call the Isle of Jura home.
After a lengthy yet scenic ferry to Port Askaig in Islay and a brisk five-minute boat journey across to Jura, you are immediately welcomed to the quaint island by the three towering mountains of the Paps of Jura.
Everyone can enjoy the island, whether you’re a keen or amateur walker, a cyclist and or on a family holiday. Jura is the place for anyone looking to escape the daily stresses of modern life and to experience the tranquility of island living.
Craighouse is the main village on the island and apart from the odd bothy and house beyond the welcome sign; Jura is as remote as they come. The vast majority of the island is uninhabited apart from the roaming wild stags and deer – truly a hill walkers dream.
Despite the rural location there is a lot to do on this little island, which is home to no more than 200 people – even fewer when the summer season has finished.
Cycling and walking tours meander through the idyllic village and mystical forest along to the house where George Orwell wrote 1984. You can also see the Paps, Jura’s mountains, which complete the island’s breathtakingly beautiful scenery.
After a day of walking, hunger pangs can be relieved in the newly refurbished Jura Hotel and pub. The establishment’s fine dining menu boasts fresh Jura venison steak, served pink in a chocolate and chilli sauce, scallops and lobster tail. The food alone is a reason to visit the island.
The Jura Distillery
A tour of the world-famous Jura Distillery that produces the iconic Jura whiskies – Elixir, Origin, Superstition, Prophecy and Diurach’s Own – cannot be missed. Open to visitors aged eight and over, a guide of the distillery (for only £6 a head) is highly recommended.
Visitors can see how the whisky is made in the distillery’s six towering copper stills and transformed from a grain into the smooth liquor that’s loved across the world. You can even enjoy a sample for free at the end of the tour.
The island is as beautiful as it is remote and you will always find the lucky few who call it home enjoying a dram of Jura in their only pub welcoming you.
For more info on staying in Jura and walking routes visit the Jura Hotel. Rooms with a see view at the hotel start from £60 per night.
Families and groups can rent a cottage across the island or get involved with wild camping – visit the Jura Development website.