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Visiting the Isle of Eigg: What You Need to Know

A ten mile boat ride off the west coast of Scotland is the beautiful Isle of Eigg. This Hebridean island is only five miles long and three miles wide: no matter where you are staying on the island, you won’t have to walk far to be near the ocean.

If you love the sea, the sky and an abundance of nature, Eigg is the perfect place to get away from it all, especially if you’re looking for amazing Scotland staycations.

Not only can you see wildlife, including puffins and seals; you can also enjoy a swim in the crystal-blue waters. The white sand beaches are as beautiful as any Caribbean island, and the hospitality from the 100 residents of the island is always welcoming.

If you’re thinking of visiting the Isle of Eigg, here’s what you need to know.

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Photo by Kevin Walsh via Flickr.

Getting to Eigg

Visiting the Isle of Eigg is definitely part of the experience – there are no cars on the island, so you can enjoy the quiet life.

You will first need to travel to either Mallaig or Arisaig on the west coast of Scotland to get the ferry across to Eigg. Allow yourself plenty of time to park your car before getting on board (it is advisable to arrange this in advance).

You can also get the train to both Mallaig and Arisaig. The journey on the West Highland Line is simply stunning – sections of it you may recognise from the Harry Potter movies.

An alternative to the ferry is arranging to charter one of the local boats, such as the yacht, Selkie, to bring you over.

Visiting the Isle of Eigg
Laig Bay, Eigg. Photo by Odd Wellies via Flickr.

Reasons to visit the Isle of Eigg

The wildlife

The wildlife on and around the Isle of Eigg is one of the best reasons to visit. The coastal land, bogs, moorland and scrub is extremely diverse, providing an essential habitat for a wide range of species.

In the ocean, you will regularly see dolphins, seals, Minke whales and otters, particularly between June and September.

There is also an abundance of birdlife, including arctic terns and puffins, and several different species of birds of prey, including hen harriers and the incredible golden eagle.

Visiting the Isle of Eigg
Summit of the Sgurr of Eigg. Photo by Odd Wellies via Flickr.

The beaches

The Singing Sands near Cleadale are the perfect place to have a swim in the summer months. From the cove, there are wonderful views over to the Island of Rum. The beach is named for the grains of sand made of quartz – they make a delightful squeaking noise underfoot as you walk across them.

It is important to only swim if you are a good swimmer – the weather can be very changeable, even in summer. Always swim with someone else, and don’t stay in the sea too long.

It is also worth noting that there are no lifeguards on the beach, so make sure you are confident in your swimming abilities and know the risks of swimming in natural settings before you get in the water.

Another great place to go for a swim in the summer is Loch Nam Ban Mora – it is northwest of Sgurr. The loch is clear and calm – just look out for the midges.

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