About the Isle of Gigha
The Isle of Gigha is clearly visible from the Kintyre Peninsula and a short 20 minute ferry ride across the Sound of Gigha is all that separates the two.
The little lump of land was originally named Gudey by the Norse King Hakon. The name meaning Good Isle or God's Isle was later adjusted by the Gaels to Gigha (pronounced Geeea).
There aren't many Scottish Islands that you can feasibly visit and explore widely in 1 or 2 days but the community owned Isle of Gigha is one of the exceptions. It is an ideal destination for those looking to experience a little piece of Hebridean paradise in a short amount of time thanks to its close proximity to the mainland and its bijou size.
It is the most southerly Hebridean Island and is only 7 miles long by 1 1/2 miles at its widest point, with one main road dissecting its length. Although you could visit with a car, its small size means it is equally possible to explore by bike (bike hire is available locally) or on foot.
There are not many man-made attractions on Gigha but the beautiful natural scenery is the real draw. Although there are no museums, the history of the island is told through the objects that intertwine the landscape from the standing stones to the modern 'Dancing Ladies' wind turbines.
The island has seen many inhabitants and owners over the centuries, including the Scots, Vikings, various clans and private individuals.
However, Gigha has been community owned since 2002 and many of the facilities are owned or run by the Isle of Gigha Heritage Trust. By visiting and supporting these ventures, you are directly supporting the future of a Scottish island community.
Where is the Isle of Gigha?
The little red marker is Gigha, nestled off the west coast of Scotland between the Kintyre Peninsula and Islay which are both famed for their excellent whisky distilleries.
A combined trip to the Kintyre Peninsula and Gigha is a great choice for those that like to take the road less travelled. This combination also makes a great detour on your Scotland itinerary if you plan to explore the west coast north to Oban.
Kintyre is also the starting point for a Hebridean island hopping adventure to Islay, Colonsay and Jura. Gigha makes an easy addition to this route if bagging some Scottish islands are on your travel agenda. You can also travel to Arran from Kintyre which offers another island hopping possibility.
You might want to check out my blog post with my travel guide to Kintyre for more ideas of things to do in this underrated part of the country.
How to get the ferry to Gigha
The ferry to Gigha departs from Tayinloan on the west coast of the Kintyre Peninsula. The crossing takes approx. 20 minutes and vehicles are permitted on the ferry.
There is no need to book in advance as this is a fairly quiet route but I do recommend turning up in plenty of time for your sailing to make sure you get a place if you do plan to take a vehicle. There is a cafe at the ferry terminal so you can park up in the queue early and grab a coffee while you wait.
You can find the ferry timetable on the CalMac website.
Tayinloan is around 120 miles from Glasgow and the drive takes about 3 hours. There is also the option to take the Campbeltown bus from Glasgow which stops at Tayinloan. I recommend using the Traveline website for planning public transport journeys in Scotland.
My recommended things to do on Gigha
Beaches, archaeology, natural scenery, wildlife, gardens, walks and historical sites are some of the things to see and do on a trip to Gigha. I've listed some of the places I been to that I think are worth exploring and a few other ideas of things that I haven't managed to do yet.
Whether you explore them all or just enjoy the chance to switch off from the hustle and bustle, Gigha makes a great wee alternative to its bigger and busier Hebridean neighbours.
HEAD TO ONE OF THE BEAUTIFUL BEACHES
Follow my Scotland travel adventures on social media
If you have found my blog useful and would like to support me in creating future Scottish travel content, you can by me a coffee on my Ko-fi page. All 'coffee' donations are hugely appreciated