Beaches

Things to Do on Islay – Visit our Beachesa photo of Islay near Port Ellen

If you have booked some Islay accommodation for that perfect holiday then you must visit some or all of our Islay beaches.

Islay is home to some of the loveliest beaches outside of the Caribbean. In fact, we love them so much that we named our cottages after them! From the shores of Loch Gruinart, the Big Strand in Laggan Bay and a 20 minute walk to Machir Bay, you will find some of the best. Saligo Bay is another favourite and only ten minutes away. Sanaigmore on the North coast is close to the excellent Gallery and Coffee House, The Outback.

Cattle on the beach on CollonsayMachir Bay

Known locally as Kilchoman, this is a wonderful expanse of sand with dunes behind.  Fifteen minute walk from Kilchoman House or Cottages, it is good surfing, but take care when swimming.

Saligo

Two miles north from Kilchoman, taking the road to the west of Loch Gorm.  Again lots of soft sand and dunes but the sea can be rough. It is a very popular spot for residents and tourists Machir Bay, viewed from the sand. The water is blue, as is the sky. We are all so very small.alike.

Sanaigmore

On the north coast, continue around Loch Gorm and turn left at the red phone box to find this beach. Here you will find a monument to the sinking of the Exmouth Castle in 1847, an emigrant ship which foundered just off the coast.  Carry on past it and there is a lovely protected cove and sandy beach.  Stop on your way back at The Outback, an interesting art gallery with great coffee and cakes.

Beach on Islay at sunset

Ardnave

Take the road past the RSPB and park at the car park beside the loch to walk over the dunes to Loch Gruinart.  Because it is shallow, the water seems much warmer here. There are also numerous lovely but colder beaches around the point overlooking Nave Island.

Kilinallan

On the opposite side of Loch Gruinart from Machir Beach, the sun rises.Ardnave, this is a wonderful beach to walk that allows you to see the magnificent dunes. There are lots of seals in this area and the kids will love to catch a glimpse of them. You will also find good mussels and cockles at low tide.

Claggain Bay

On the south east of the island, nearly at the end of the road from Port Ellen to Ardtalla you will find this picturesque bay. It is rocky with little sand but has breath-taking views over to Kintyre.Bowmore beach on a sunny day looking over to the other side of IslayA bay on Islay on a cold day

Kilnaughton Bay

Just west of Port Ellen, you will find a wide sweep of sand lies just off the road to the Oa. Carry on from here following the signpost and you will visit the “Singing Sands”.  If conditions are right the sands will “sing” for you as you walk over them. A must see!

The Big Strand

On the east shore of Lochindaal and at five miles long, this is a considerable stretch of beach. Take the track just past the airport when coming from Port Ellen and you will find it runs from Kintraw to the Laggan River.

North Lochindaal

From Blackrock round to Bruichladdich, there are long stretches of deserted beach.

Port BannA person walking on a golden sandy beach on Islay

Just before Port Charlotte, this secluded little beach is a delight for some peace and quiet

Get in touch to find out more…

If you haven’t yet booked your Islay accommodation or you would like  to know more about our stunning beaches then get in touch with us today. Call us on 01496 850 358 or email us today and we will gladly help.

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