The islands of Canna, Eigg, Muck and Rum lie just south of the Isle of Skye, sitting between the west coast Scottish mainland and the Western Isles. Each island has an abundance of wildlife, rich heritage and incredible landscapes but, while they are close together, each island feels very different. One thing they have in common is they each generate their own electricity from renewable sources.
The Small Isles are accessible by boat or ferry from the mainland with a year round service available from Mallaig and summer sailings available from Arisaig (to Eigg and Muck) and Elgol, Isle of Skye (to Canna, Rum and Eigg). Please note that visitors are not permitted to take cars onto the islands (with specific exceptions). Part of the joy in visiting the Small isles is leaving the car behind.
From time to time inclement weather can disrupt travel plans. Scroll down to the bottom of page for further information.
More detailed travel information can be found in this post.
Caledonian MacBrayne (Calmac) operate a year round service to the Small Isles from Mallaig. The ferry does not visit every island every day. Timetables vary from summer to winter. The most recent timetable can be found here. [Top tip - make sure to scroll down the full page as additional sailings/ tidal change details are often contained below the main timetable].
Luggage - Please note that you must be in a position to transport all of your own luggage onto the boat. Please contact the Mallaig office if you wish to take large items such as paddle-boards/ kayaks. or require help with luggage. (firstname.lastname@example.org or 01687 310240 (option 2)
Travelling from Arisaig
Sheerwater operates a passenger boat from Arisaig Marina to Eigg and Muck from April - mid September. Please check here for the most up to date timetable.
Please contact them directly to inquire about additional equipment such as bikes/ paddleboards.
Bella Jane and Aqua Explore boat trips run regular day trips to the Small Isles throughout the summer months. (This season will commence 1st April 2023, weather permitting). Various Small Isles trips are detailed on their website.
They can also offer a flexible pick up and drop off service to those wishing to stay on the islands.
Private Boat Charter
Minch Adventures can provide a private sea taxi service to the Small Isles. Please visit their website for more details.
The MV Lochan (Isle of Muck) may be available for private charters to the islands and group wildlife trips. Contact Colin MacEwen for prices/ availability t: 01687 462362 email@example.com
Private charter trips are also available from Elgol on the Isle of Skye through Bella Jane boat trips.
Living on an island does mean that we are at the mercy of the weather and when a big storm rolls in, sailings can be cancelled and both residents and visitors can find themselves stranded either on the mainland or the islands themselves.
Click here for some helpful tips if your travel plans are disrupted.