These are all separate islands, except Lewis and Harris which together form one island.
Towns and villages
The Outer Hebrides are a fascinating destination. The scenery is beautiful. The landscape is rocky and mountainous, but also lush and verdant - due in no small part to the large amounts of rain which tend to fall. It is easy to find a quiet peaceful spot.
The Gaelic language and culture is appealing. At a practical level this means that place names on road signs are in Gaelic, but the bus timetables use the English names!
Religion still plays an important part in many people’s lives. In Lewis and Harris this is often in the form of Protestant Free Presbyterian Churches. As a result the Sabbath (Sunday) is respected, so you are unlikely to find shops etc open on a Sunday. Activities happening on a Sunday often are opposed locally. In contrast Barra and South Uist are mainly Catholic, and Sunday opening is much more likely.
Caledonian MacBrayne  is the national ferry service. Citylink coaches generally connect with the ferries on the mainland. Details for Summer 2006:
In the Outer Hebrides, there are airports in Stornoway in Lewis, Benbecula and Barra. These airports provide direct flights to Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. The airport in Barra is one of the most spectacular in the world, with planes landing on a three-mile beach at low tide, but this does mean that the flight times vary with the tide.
There are good bus services during the day Mon - Sat, but little in the evening and no buses on a Sunday.
Many of the islands are linked by road causeways and bridges, which have progressively been built over the last 50 years or so. Most recently causeways have been built to Eriskay from South Uist, and to Berneray from North Uist.
The Outer Hebrides are popular for cycle tourists, generally taking around a week to cycle from Barra to Stornoway.
There are many fine sandy beaches, mainly on the Western shores of the islands.
Historic Scotland Properties:
Stay== Collam Villa, Scott road, Tarbert, Isle of Harris, ☎ 01859550367, . checkin: 16.00; checkout: 10.00. Collam Villa is a renovated 4 Bedroom Villa overlooking the village of Tarbert on the beautiful Isle of Harris. With views East to the Isle of Skye and West to the Atlantic Ocean, this self catering villa is ideal for families, groups or even couples who wish to holiday on the Isle of Harris. This property can comfortably hold from 2 people wanting the property to themselves to a family or group of 9 people + cot, within a newly furnished high specification surrounding. Collam Villa’s location provides it with an ideal central position from which to explore the beaches, bays and hills of the Isle of Harris as well as giving simple access to the sites of interest in the Isle of Lewis. Call or see our details at www.binspiredbyharris.com