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18 Photos That Will Make You Say "I Can't Believe That's In Scotland"

Who needs the Caribbean? We've got the Outer Hebrides.

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1. Australia?

ARCFYG / Alamy

This stunning view might look like something you'd see on the Great Ocean Road near Melbourne, but this sea stack is actually Am Buachaille near Cape Wrath and Sandwood Bay in the very far north-west of mainland Scotland.

2. Barbados?

Alamy

These colourful boats are actually perched on the edge of Achmelvich Bay, one of the most beautiful and secluded beaches in the north-west Highlands. To reach it, visitors have to drive along a single track road near Lairg for several miles.

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3. Portugal?

Flickr: cosmicherb70 / Creative Commons

Nope! This is Dalbeg Beach, a pretty cove on the Isle of Lewis surrounded by cliffs. It's popular with surfers thanks to its strong tides, and is right beside a loch that fills with water lilies every summer: Try finding that in the Algarve.

4. Cornwall?

Phil Seale / Alamy

No, this sun-soaked photo was actualy taken at Balephuil Bay on the Isle of Tiree. The white, sandy beach is a mile long and is one of several beautiful spots on the island, which is one of the sunniest places in the UK.

5. Turkey?

Flickr: myneur / Creative Commons

This amazing bay looks like a Mediterranean lagoon, but it's actually part of Loch Nan Leachd, a clear, blue sea loch on the Isle of Skye. This photo was taken from nearby hill Sgùrr na Stri, which means "the peak of strife."

6. Croatia?

Flickr: paulspace / Creative Commons

This beautiful photo might look like a postcard from the Adriatic Coast, but it's slightly less exotic. It was taken at Knockvologan Beach on the Isle of Mull, a stunning natural lagoon that's very popular with wild swimmers.

7. Malta?

Flickr: emmajane / Creative Commons

Not quite! This turquoise sea is actually in Calgary Bay on the north-west coast of the Isle of Mull. Its pure white sands and relative accessibility have led it to become one of the most photographed beaches in Scotland.

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8. The Seychelles?

Flickr: gordon_watt / Creative Commons

All this photo needs is a palm tree to make it look exactly like a tropical resport. It was taken at Lon Liath beach just north of Arisaig, a Highland village near Fort William. The area is known as "The Road To The Isles", as you can catch ferries to Muck, Eigg, and Rum.

9. The south of France?

Alamy

This isn't a secluded cove in Normandy, it's actually Sango Bay in Sutherland, which offers panoramic views of the North Minch: A strait that separates the Highlands from the northern Inner Hebrides. It's also not far from the famous Smoo Cave.

11. Polynesia?

Alamy

This gorgeous scene looks like something you'd find in the middle of the Pacific, but you don't have to travel quite as far to get there. This is scenic Balnakeil Bay in the remote and sparsely populated parish of Durness in Sutherland.

12. Spain?

Flickr: sustainable-rural / Creative Commons

This scene certainly looks exotic, but it's actually secluded Traigh na Beirghe (Reef Beach) on the Isle of Lewis, a mile-long stretch of sand with a beautiful view of the Isle of Pabbay. In the summer, the surrounding fields fill with wild flowers and orchids.

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13. The South Pacific?

blickwinkel / Alamy Stock Photo

This gorgeous stretch of sand does look a bit like a deserted tropical island, but it’s actually Oldshoremore Bay in the remote north-west of Scotland. The headland in the photo is Eilean na h-Aiteig, which translates as "isle of the shy girl".

14. Sardinia?

Paul Tompkins / Visit Scotland

This gorgeous bay is Luskentyre (Losgantir in Gaelic), one of the largest and most spectacular beaches on the Hebridean isle of Harris. It stretches for miles, and its white sand and deep blue-green sea are truly dazzling on a sunny day.

15. The Bahamas?

Flickr: europealacarte / Creative Commons

This narrow strip of white sand is actually the largest active sand tombolo in Britain. A tombolo is a narrow spit of sand that connects the mainland to an island: in this case, St Ninian’s Isle in Shetland. It's certainly a bit chillier than the Bahamas, but just as beautiful.

16. New Zealand?

Flickr: johanwieland / Creative Commons

This dramatic cove looks very similar to parts of Tehapu on the west coast of New Zealand thanks to its bright blue-green seas, but it's actually Camas More in Torridon and Gairloch in the north-west Highlands.

17. Hawaii?

blickwinkel / Alamy

This stretch of sand in Wester Ross is a dead ringer for Maninowaii beach in Hawaii, but it's a lot closer to home. It's Firemore beach near Uig in the Highlands, near the hamlet of Poolewe. The sub-tropical style Inverewe Gardens are also nearby.

18. The Maldives?

ARV / Alamy

This tropical-looking scene is actually the Isle of Vatersay in the Hebrides, although the ice-white sand and sapphire sea certainly look like something you'd find in the Indian Ocean. Who needs to travel abroad when we have beaches like this in the U.K.?

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