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Outer Hebrides

 Explore the best of the Outer Hebrides 

Visit the rugged Western Isles, exploring the best secluded anchorages, experiencing spectacular scenery in some of the most unspoilt sailing grounds in Europe. Abundant bird and marine life and breathtaking landscapes provide a memorable voyage. 

Mallaig is known as the gateway to the Western Isles, with endless fantastic locations to explore and reach even within a short trip. 

Eda Frandsen will sail from Mallaig this summer with fantastic sailing adventures to the Outer Hebrides, Small Isles and potentially out to St Kilda if weather and conditions allow. Larger wooden sailing ships Bessie Ellen and Leader will be generally based further south in Oban, but Bessie Ellen has some longer voyages to the Outer Hebrides and the Faroes.



Sailing & Wildlife Voyages - We call them expeditions

These sailing voyages lead to sparsely inhabited islands, tiny fishing villages, deep lochs and rugged cliffs that will be appealing to nature lovers looking for puffin, sea and white tailed eagles, whales and other cetaceans.

The hundreds of islands of the Hebrides have their own character, are very isolated and therefore communities are entirely self-reliant. This area is rich in seabirds, which usually breed on the steep cliff faces. You will visit unique places that cannot be reached by anything but boat or ship.

The waters surrounding the Hebrides and St Kilda are rich in plankton and fish. During the crossings between the different islands the chances are high that you will spot whales and seals.

Sailing Breaks to the Outer Hebrides 

Thirty miles off the North West coast of Scotland lie the Outer Hebrides, an idyllic chain of over 40 islands that offers spectacular coastline, stunning mountain scenery, abundant wildlife and a rich and vibrant culture. Each holds its own individual charm and rich history. The Atlantic facing coast is home to some of the finest white sandy beaches while the east coast is deeply indented with a maze of impressive lochs and anchorages.

Visit the mountainous landscape of Harris or North Uist famous for its stunning beaches and rich birdlife.  South Uist offers impressive lochs, dispersed crofts and endless beaches.

Lewis has a captivating history and rich in culture and traditions, with many small lochs and moorlands. The Shiant Islands are rich in birdlife, with thousands arriving in summer to breed. Barra and Vatesay lie on the southern tip and are famous for beautiful beaches. A special place to visit by boat, it has become a favourite of many sailors. The impressive anchorage between Helisay and Gighay is a great location. The secluded entrance opens up to reveal fantastic mountain vistas.

"Sailing in the Western Isles of Scotland is one of the best ways of exploring these remote islands. You do not have to worry about accommodation, it’s close to nature but cosier than camping!"

The Islands of the Outer Hebrides

Lewis and Harris on the Isle of Harris

Basically Lewis is the northern part of the Isle of Harris and Harris is in the South.

They form the biggest island in the Outer Hebrides.

They have them sot amazing pre-historic stone circle, the Callanish Standing Stones, a real rival to Stonehenge.

Lewis and Harris have been named as the Best Islands in Western Europa by Trip Advisor following a poll by its customers.

Stornoway is the capital town of the Isle of Lewis and form the main ferry route to the mainland.


South of the Isle of Lewis is Uist with its convoluted coastline and tiny harbours and anchorages. It in turn is made of three islands linked by road bridges. North Uist, South Uist and in between Benbeculla.


South again to Barra the smallest inhabited link in the Outer Hebrides.

Other Outer Hebridean Islands

Flannan Isles, Fuday, Vatersay, Sandray too mention but a few.

Sailing is the only way to see many of these islands, there are no roads but plenty of anchorages.

Read more about Scotland as a sailing destination

The warm waters of the Gulf Stream mean that we regularly see dolphins, seals, whales and basking sharks in the waters around the Western Isles. The area is rich in seabirds including gannets, shearwaters, puffins, fulmars, guillemots, razorbills, sea eagles, gulls and terns. On land keep an eye for soaring Gold and white tailed eagles around the cliffs, deer and otters.

The Hebrides derive their name from the Norse (Viking) word Havbrodoy meaning on the edge of the sea, but they were inhabited long before the Norse Era. Pliny called them Hebudes, and Ptolemy in the 2nd century wrote of the Eboudai islands above Ivernia (Ireland).

Enjoy the novelty of being onboard only have a handful of yachts visit them each year, and some uninhabited islands which are a haven for seabirds.

Like the Great Barrier Reef, the chain of Outer Hebridean islands runs parallel to the Scottish mainland and protects it from ocean storms. The Atlantic facing coast is an almost continuous strand of sand dunes and machair (grass) whilst the east coast is deeply indented with a maze of islets and anchorages.

Read More About St Kilda

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