Shorter Cruises : West of Scotland


SHORTER BREAKS (Pictured below Totaig, Wester Ross)

Totaig, wester RossWe welcome customers who would like to come for less than a week, particularly in Mid and Low season and this page is for those of you who are wondering which of the many attractive places in the area you can fit into your short break. Part week bookings (minimum price is for a1/2 week) usually work out as a good value option as, unless you are returning on a Friday or Saturday, the yacht doesn’t need to be back at Armadale with you ready to disembark until the afternoon on your day of return.

Although people have found it possible to get round Skye in three days we don’t recommend it! Not only do you end up sailing 12 hours per day and thus not seeing any of the shoreside attractions, there is a risk that you might get stuck somewhere and not be able to get the boat back in time. Four days is slightly better but it would be hard work so if you are here for a relaxing break, we recommend that you stick to either the North or South options.



As with our other suggested itineraries, where you go will depend on whether you want to eat onboard or ashore. The local options for your first night are described on several other pages – Armadale/Ardvasar, Doune, Isle Ornsay, Mallaig and Loch Nevis, also Rum if the weather is OK and there is enough daylight left after the handover. If the wind is favourable and the forecast good the following day it is probably worth starting your with a long sail (30 plus miles or so) perhaps to Loch Harport, Coll, Tobermory, Ulva or Goemetra with a view to zig zagging your way back through the delightful Small Isles. Ariisaig is also attractive but the tidal constraints required to get in and out might take up more time than have in a short break.

Rum and Canna are both well worth a visit and are described elsewhere in this section. Eigg (which has now been owned by the Community for ten years) is always attractive to walkers/runners who want to tackle the Sgurr of Eigg and there is a very nice café/restaurant and shop at the pier. Since the new ferry pier was completed, anchoring at Eigg is very limited with the tide sweeping through the anchorage at high speed so we can only recommend it for a lunchtime stop. Muck does have a sheltered anchorage (although it can get very busy in High Season) and has a tea room and pleasant walking ashore. Although not technically part of the “Small Isles”, Soay could be fitted into your three or four day trip with a visit to Loch Scavaig/Coruisk. All the Small Isles also have temporary lunchtime anchorages which we don’t have room to describe here.

A fourth day might allow you to take in Loch Moidart (a pilotage challenge), or explore further up Loch Nevis.


Please bear in mind that if you decided to go North which is more sheltered and has more dining out options, you have to get the tide right through Kylerhea. If you decide (or the forecast decides for you) that you would prefer to go North, the first night is likely to be spent at Isle Ornsay/Duisdale or if you get an early start to the charter and the tide is right Kyleakin or Kyle of Lochalsh or Totaig which are mentioned in some of our other suggested itineraries.

Once again it probably is sensible to get your long sail in on the first full day then you can return to base in a more leisurely fashion. Should you be heading through Kylerhea in the morning then the options (30 plus miles or so) include; Portree, Rona, Loch Torridon or Eileann Fladday, Raasay. If you are on a three day break then you will probably be heading back either to Plockton, Loch Duich or Loch Hourn for the third night depending on what the tide is doing and what your own arrangements are for timing your return home.

Lunchtime options for day two include; Poll Creada, Poll Domhain, Applecross, the Crowlins, or Toscaig so there are a variety of interesting options with dramatic views of the Cuillins and mountains of Torridon that you might like to have a look at. If you have a fourth day then you could take advantage of one of the other further away options – for example a trip through the Sound of (Caol) Rona would give you an interesting sail between the mainland and island options. Gairloch is also a popular option if you have a fourth day.

There are many other choices available for both North and South trips but part of the fun of sailing is planning your trip so we hope that these suggestions will give a few places to think about. If you want to plan your passages in advance of your trip, we suggest you obtain a copy of the Imray chart C66 "Mallaig to Rudha Reidh and Outer Hebrides".

We do hope that you will come and enjoy your few days so much that you will be keen to come back and explore more of the area which has virtually limitless sailing opportunities.

Mallaig Pontoons
Mallaig Pontoons