The top four beaches in Europe are all on islands – and one of those is in the Western Isles.
That’s the verdict of the definitive travel guide Lonely Planet, which has published its top 20 European beaches alongside reams of Covid guidance and updates on world travel restrictions.
West Beach in Berneray - anciently in Harris, now regarded as linked to North Uist - sits at number three, alongside beaches on Norway’s Lofoten Island, Sardinia’s east coast and Napoleon’s home island of Corsica.
Lonely Planet travel writer Kerry Christiani said: “Out on a limb in the wild North Atlantic, the Outer Hebrides stash away some of Europe’s remotest beaches. Singling one out is tough, but West Beach on the wee isle of Berneray is divine.
“Through dunes and wind-bent machair grasses, you reach this ravishing three-mile expanse of white sand, sliding gently into a turquoise sea. It’s often empty but for seabirds trilling overhead and the occasional porpoise or otter.”
The Outer Hebrides tourism organisation has welcomed the inclusion of Berneray’s unassuming West Beach in the list, recalling that, in 2009, the Thai Tourist Board mistakenly used the image in a brochure promoting Kai Bae Beach.
Image VisitOuterHebrides/Esther Sinmiraranadie.