Two names for one island, a place where winds, cliffs and ocean make up one of Europe's best-kept secrets. Let's talk about Lewis and Harrisa wonderful (and wild) little piece of the world that develops off the west coast of Scotland and represents the main island in the Outer Hebrides.

Lewis and Harris: Useful information

The Island of Lewis and Harris welcomes visitors with its wild mountains, endless nature-filled beaches, rugged coastlines and true lunar landscapes. It is almost a world away from the destinations we are more familiar with, because here there is not the chaos and madness that is typical of many places on our continent.

As well as being one of Europe's last hidden treasures, so is Lewis and Harris The largest British island by area After Great Britain and Ireland. A small, enchanted piece of land, divided in two by a narrow isthmus that makes the northern part of the island “Lewis”, while the southern part is “Harris”, although they are often misnamed as if they were two separate islands.

Lewis: What do you see in this area of ​​the island?

The northern part, called Lewis, is relatively flat, except for the southeastern part, where it is located Ben Moore, Which reaches a height of 571 meters, and in the southwest where it is found instead Melaspal Which represents the highest point with a height of 575 meters.

And here comes life in the administrative capital of the Outer Hebrides. StornowayIt is also home to the island's airport and a busy seaport. The traveler arrives in this city and immediately falls in love with it, both thanks to the warm welcome it offers and also because of the many sights to discover.

Lewis Castle

Without a doubt, one of the interesting points not to be missed in the city is Lewis Castle. Dating back to the Victorian era, it was built between 1844 and 1851 as a 'country residence' for Sir James Matheson, and then changed ownership and function several times, becoming a picturesque wedding venue. Today it is also a place worth visiting thanks to some rooms open to the public: on the ground floor it is possible to admire the luxurious ballroom and café, as well as some apartments that are certainly no exception.

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Next to the palace stands Nan Ilin Museumwhere you can fully immerse yourself in the history and culture of the Outer Hebrides: here the six pieces of Lewis's chessboard, the most famous in the world, are jealously preserved.

Louis butt

the Louis butt It's a record-breaking place: it's even mentioned in the Guinness Book of World Records as the windiest place in the UK. But that's not all, because it's also the northernmost point you can get to in the Outer Hebrides.

So, when you get there, it's not like you're on Earth, but in one of those areas that we often think only exist in movies. However, The Butt of Lewis is a real and worthy work created by nature here Some of the oldest cliffs in EuropeWhere seabirds nest and beautiful wildflowers grow. The lighthouse it guards is also very suggestive, built of red brick.

Arnold Blackhouse

Another must-see place in Lewes is… black house arnol, Traditional old thatched house still fully furnished and with attached barn, stable and courtyard. Dating back to around 1880, it is the perfect place for anyone looking to take an amazing trip back in time.

Mangersa Beach

Mangersa Beach This Scottish island seems to have fallen straight from heaven: a stretch of white sand where the ocean hurls itself with astonishing force. To top it all off there are also crazy cliffs and a small promontory from which to admire the surrounding landscape.

The huge rocks jutting out of the sea and sea arches are home to some amazing animals, and it is here that it is possible to spot the largest concentration of vultures on our entire continent. A short distance away, you emerge from the cold water Mangerista Sea Stacksbeautiful piles that are constantly hit by wind and waves.

Aderwell Beach

Aderwell Beach It is the place where Lewis's chess pieces were found in 1831. They were made of walrus ivory, and were hidden on this vast, unspoiled white sand beach that leaves you breathless, especially at low tide, when the sea recedes for several kilometers as if it were the victim of magic. .

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Calanish standing stones

They are of unusual interest standing stones calanish, Large stones dating back about 5,000 years ago, and reaching a height of 5 metres. Thirteen of these rocks form a circle, while others are placed in multiple directions.

There are different hypotheses regarding their ancient function, but what is certain is that a good number of these stones correspond to the position of the sun and stars. A little curiosity: According to some scholars, this site is older than the more famous Stonehenge.

Black House Village

Black House Village It is an old farming village where nine traditional thatched houses still remain and have now been completely restored. In essence, it seems that time here has never passed.

Don Carloway's Handbook

Finally – but to be completely honest, there is a lot to see in the Lewes area – Don Carloway's HandbookIt is another archaeological site on the island that is distinguished by its circular dry stone walls.

It was probably built 2,000 years ago, and its function is again unclear.

Harris: What do you see in this area of ​​the island?

Even though we are on the same island, being in Harris feels like we are in the Caribbean. Of course, the weather is far from the same, but the beauty of the beaches and the colors of the sea are nothing to envy in a tropical paradise.

However, Harris is also mountainous or partly mountainous, with more than thirty hills over 300 meters high, and emphasizes pure nature and ancient history.

Tarbet

Tarbet It is a beautiful town located in a picturesque bay protected by mountains, where there are many small points of interest. An example of this is harris distillery, A distillery where you can taste Harris Gin, which to this day is considered one of the best in the world.

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The most beautiful beaches

It is without a doubt one of the most stunning beaches on the entire island luskentyre beach, Which is characterized by being pure and huge. Thanks to its very white sand, it offers a panoramic view extending from the mountains to the clear waters.

It's also definitely suggestive Celebipost BeachIt's also very large and with amazing colours, to say the least. horgapost This is another great white sand beach in Harris, and is loved because it overlooks Taransay Sound, a strait from which basking sharks can be seen.

And then there porvi beach, It has white sand and a wonderful view of the Atlantic Ocean, which in turn is surrounded by a rocky coast with distinctive red colors. in the end scaryIt is a place that is especially popular with surfers and golfers.

Golden road

there Golden road It is a wonderful route that allows you to take a scenic drive through the lunar landscape of the East Coast of Harris.

In one lane, you can drive between sharp turns and blind corners, discovering an area that looks as if it was stolen from another planet, so much so that Stanley Kubrick decided to record some scenes for his movie “2001: A Space Odyssey” here. But this is not very surprising: according to geologists, this is a cradle Some of the rarest and oldest rocks in the world. Among the stops that cannot be missed are: FloodbayIt is a beautiful bay where you can see the largest seal colony in the region.

Another absolutely must-make stop is at Church of Saint ClementIt is often considered the largest medieval building in the Outer Hebrides. It is shaped like a cross and is a treasure trove of interesting decorative elements and valuable sculptural inscriptions.

In short, behind this dual name of the single island, there is also a dual and fascinating spirit, which nevertheless retains a common denominator: an authentic nature that represents the backdrop of a perfectly preserved ancient history.

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