(Gaelic name meaning: Skalli’s Bay)

SGALASAIG

Colonsay and Oronsay are quite a small island pair, but absolutely bursting with beauty. From the vast expanse of golden sand at Kiloran beach to the pretty gardens at Colonsay House; the peaceful priory on Oronsay and the clamorous noise of the nesting birds at Pig’s Paradise; every inch is worth exploring.

Scalasaig is the main village and where you arrive on the ferry. Spend some time here taking in the view; it has a lovely outlook and even from the shelter of the ferry waiting room you can gaze out across the sea. Bottlenose dolphins are occasional visitors, and harbour porpoises can be spotted fleeting through the waves. A short walk round the bay will give you different view points, and more chances to spot something wondrous.

A bit about the site

Scalasaig is welcoming as soon as you set foot ashore. Here you will find local shops, galleries and plenty of friendly faces. Ferries arrive in Scalasaig from Oban and Islay and there is no public transport on the island. Visit in May to take part in the excellent Spring Festival - three weeks of arts, nature activities and events.

 
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Getting here
Ferries from Oban and Islay

Accessibility
Fully accessible

Useful links
Visit Colonsay
Spring Festival Visit Scotland - Colonsay
Responsible Access

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Wondrous creatures in the waters

Look out for

Basking sharks
Harbour porpoise
Bottlenose dolphin
Seals
Otters
Great Northern Divers Gannets Guillimots

Check out the latest sightings on HWDT Whale Track

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The mighty fin

There are a few species that are seen frequently from Colonsay - harbour porpoise, bottlenose dolphins and minke whales. However, much like the rest of the Hebrides, the occasional rare creature will turn up. Back in 2017 the body of a mighty fin whale washed ashore on the pristine sand of Kiloran Bay on the other side of the island. Fin whales are the second largest animal on earth, and can grow up to 27 metres long!

 
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Let there be Light

Take a walk around the bay and you will come across a rather odd structure - an old minor light. It looks a bit like a giant milk bottle but this used to be a mini lighthouse shining out to guide passing ships. The minor light was lit using whale oil, and if you visit the Colonsay and Oronsay Heritage Centre you will find one of the original cans of sperm whale oil on display.

 

Fin Whale photograph © Tom Benson