Isle of Jura
Jura, though fairly large in size, is a sparsely populated island with a population of approximately 200 people.
Jura has a large population of red deer (it is commonly believed that the name 'Jura' was derived from 'hjörtr' - the Old Norse word for deer). Much of the island is designated as a National Scenic Area and is dominated by three conical mountains known as the Paps of Jura which rise to over 2500 feet (762 m). The west coast of Jura is currently uninhabited but is home to a number of raised beaches.
Craighouse is the island's main settlement. This is where you will find the island's only shop (run by Spar), hotel and pub. This is also where you will find the only two places to eat out on the island - the Jura Hotel and the Antlers Bistro. The village of Craighouse is also home to the island's only distillery and only functioning church.
Jura's nearest city is Glasgow.
Direct routes to Jura
A seasonal fast passenger ferry  runs from Tayvallich on the mainland (around 2.5 hours drive from Glasgow) to Craighouse on Jura, taking around 45 mins to an hour to complete the crossing and often linking up with West Coast Motors  buses from Lochgilphead. The ferry runs from Easter to the end of September with up to two crossings daily except Wednesdays. Advance booking is compulsory; tickets cost £20 each way.
In addition, a few licensed boat owners provide a private water taxi service from the Tayvallich and Crinan area, who will drop you at various points on the island.
Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac)  runs a number of vehicle ferries per day between Kennacraig (on the Kintyre peninsula, around 105 miles from Glasgow and 6 miles south of Tarbert) to Port Askaig or Port Ellen on Islay. Vehicle bookings should be made in advance as these sailings are often fully booked. The crossing takes 2 hours to Port Askaig and 2 hours and 10 minutes to Port Ellen.
For those arriving by bus, the Kennacraig ferry terminal is served by the Citylink  926 service linking Glasgow with Campbeltown, and the West Coast Motors  448 service linking Lochgilphead and/or Tarbert with Claonaig (for Arran) and Skipness. In addition, an infrequent West Coast Motors bus, service 449 (Lochgilphead - Campbeltown), stops at the end of the causeway linking the A83 with the ferry terminal.
Loganair operates two return flights per day (one on Sundays) from Glasgow International Airport to Islay, and Hebridean Air Services  operate two return flights per week from Oban to Islay via Colonsay. Public transport runs from the airport to Port Askaig.
A small car ferry operates across the Sound of Islay between Port Askaig on Islay and Feolin Ferry on Jura. The ferry runs roughly hourly from 6AM to 6:30PM every day  (though Sundays have reduced hours). The ferry often leaves up to 15 minutes before the scheduled time, so get there early! From Feolin Ferry it is 8 miles to the island's main settlement, Craighouse.
Jura lacks good public transport because of its remote nature and few roads. A public bus operated by Garelochhead Coaches  does run between Feolin and Craighouse up to four times a day, with some journeys extending to Inverlussa and/or Lagg. The bus operates only on request for some journeys, notably the 0725 from Craighouse to Feolin on school holidays and Saturdays, so you must book in advance for those journeys. It may be possible to book the bus for private hire.
Many visitors to Jura bring private cars over via the Kennacraig/Islay and Port Askaig/Feolin ferries. It is also possible to hire cars on Islay. Don't be fooled by the fact that there is no posted speed limit - you cannot reach over 40 miles an hour due to factors such as the number of bends in the road and the wild animals wandering in the road.
The single-track A846 road stretches from Feolin to Craighouse and beyond. The road continues past Craighouse and heads northwards through the smaller settlements of Lagg, Tarbert and Ardlussa and provides some stunning views of the Paps and Jura's rugged coastline.
In Ardlussa, the road splits. The right fork takes you to the hamlet of Inverlussa, where it is possible to wild camp. The left fork takes you past a sign which says 'End of Public Road 3 miles'. A private vehicle track runs from the road end to the far north of the island. This track passes Barnhill, where the writer George Orwell lived towards the end of his life and where he wrote his famous novel 'Nineteen Eighty-Four'. This track provides the best access to a footpath leading to view of the Corryvrekkan whirlpool which lies between the northern tip of Jura and the island of Scarba. (Note that it's a 7-8 mile hike from the end of the road to the view of the whirlpool.)
Cycling is a popular way to see the island and bikes can either be brought on the ferry or hired from the Jura Hotel. The island's only road is single-track and hilly in places and it can be frustrating to be progressing slowly but steadily uphill only to have to pull over when you meet a car.
It's said that hitch-hiking always comes with a risk, but Jura is probably one of the safest places in the world for this. The biggest risk generally is that you won't see another soul, especially away from Craighouse, so don't bank on it.
A selection of bed & breakfast and self catering accommodation can be found online with Jura Development . In addition: