Port Askaig is a main Calmac ferry port on Islay. From Port Askaig, ferry services to Jura, Oban (Colonsay) and Kennacraig are maintained. The ferry to Jura is operated by Argyll and Bute Council, more below. Apart from a ferry terminal, Port Askaig also has a fishing harbour. Quite a few boats land their catch here with crab, lobster and langoustines.
It can be a busy place when the Calmac ferry arrives but quiet and peaceful at other times. It’s great to wander around the harbour and to enjoy the views over the Sound of Islay towards Jura. The Sound of Islay is the narrow sea passage between Islay and Jura. The water sometimes flows at great speed, pushed in and out by the tides. Because of its sheltered position Port Askaig is sometimes used as an alternative ferry port for Port Ellen when the weather is rough.
Around Port Askaig
This is one of the smallest settlements on Islay with only a few houses, a shop and petrol station, the RNLI Lifeboat station and Port Askaig Hotel. The latter is here in this location since 400 years and started off as an Inn. Nowadays the hotel has around 10 rooms, a restaurant and a bar with live music from time to time. There is a nice beer garden in front of the hotel where you can enjoy a drink and stunning views.
There are some lovely walks to be made in the area. My favourite one is the walk to Lilly Loch which starts at the top of the hill on the left. It connects with the Ballygrant to Keills Walk on Dunlossit Estate. Another lovely walk is the road up to Bunnahabhain. Start at Persabus Pottery and walk on the single track road enjoying the stunning views over Heather House, the Sound of Islay and the Paps of Jura. Halfway, at Ardnahoe, is Ardnahoe Loch and Distillery where you can stop for a drink and a bite to eat.
Just before you arrive on the Ferry to Port Askaig you can see Dunlossit House on the top of the hill. This stately house is home to Baron Bruno L Schroder who, together with his sister Charmaine, donated £675,000 to help fund the £1.4 million lifeboat for Islay, contributed in memory of his late father. There is an interesting article about Bruno Schroder here.
Years ago Arra and Iomhar Fletcher ran the Persabus Potter at Persabus Farm, just outside Port Askaig on the right. They created beautiful Islay themed vases, dinner services, mugs, cups and lots more. A couple of years ago Rosemary Fletcher took over the Pottery and she now creates beautiful hand painted pottery in her own island themed style. Visitors are always welcome, the pottery studio is open in the afternoon, not on Sunday. For more info visit www.persabuspottery.com
Islay Lifeboat Station Port Askaig
Port Askaig is home to the RNLI Islay Lifeboat, the Helmut Schroder of Dunlossit II. It’s the only lifeboat station on Islay. They cover a large area of the Scottish (west) coast. The current lifeboat station was newly built and completed in 2013. The station also has a shop. For more info and opening hours visit their website
Isle of Jura Ferry
The Jura Ferry runs between Port Askaig on Islay and Feolin on Jura. It’s a car and passenger ferry and you don’t need to book it in advance, just show up in time for the sailing. It sails roughly every half hour to hour from 7.30am to 6.30pm, Sundays from 8.30pm. Sailing time is 5 minutes. A car and one driver return ticket is £25. Addition adults are £4.40 return, children £2.40 Info & timetable here
There are a few Self Catering cottages in the area, please check Islay Info. Port Askaig Hotel is next to the Ferry Terminal and Persabus Pottery offers B&B and Self Catering. You can even pitch a tent here, but do check in advance.
Buy Prints of Port Askaig
Bare Tree£28.00 – £48.00 Select options
Colourful Clouds£28.00 – £48.00 Select options
Heatherhouse£28.00 – £38.00 Select options
Islay Winter Landscape£28.00 – £48.00 Select options
Lighthouse at Sunrise£28.00 – £48.00 Select options
Loch Indaal Dawn£28.00 – £48.00 Select options
Loch Indaal House Sunrise£39.00 – £58.00 Select options
Paps at Sunrise£35.00 – £55.00 Select options