MV Finlaggan From Tarbert To Islay

MV Finlaggan

Tarbert is not only the gateway to the stunning Kintyre Peninsula, it is also an ideal location to use as a base while island hopping around the Inner Hebrides.
Island hopping around Argyll’s Atlantic Islands is the perfect way to explore the west coast and see the rich history, wildlife and archaeological remains of this fascinating, ancient region
In time this site will cover all routes, but for now we are just popping over to the wonderful Isle of Islay.

The Isle of Islay is the southernmost island of the Inner Southern Hebrides of Scotland and lies in Argyll and Bute.
A true wildlife paradise, everywhere along the coast you can find seals, wading birds, oyster catchers, gannets, terns, gulls, ducks, shags, cormorants.
Dolphin and  basking sharks can be spotted from the coastal areas.
The farm lands are also home to lapwings, curlews, fewer corncrake and many other birds.
Buzzards, Hen Harriers, Golden Eagles and other birds of prey can also be spotted.
The Isle of Jura, the Kintyre peninsula and Northern Ireland are Islay’s neighbours and should be added to your island hopping adventures too!

You can get to Islay from Kennacraig Ferry Terminal in Tarbert.
You can read more about Finlaggan In This Presentation.
The MV Finlaggan was the first CalMac ship to have “clam shell” bow doors, that open sideways. The car deck is partially open at the stern and has a mezzanine deck capable of taking an additional 18 cars
3 passenger decks with a restaurant, shop, and two disabled lifts serving all decks.
Entering through doors on the car deck, a staircase takes you up to a lounge with a bar/coffee shop, games room and baggage storage.
Further stairs, with a statue in the middle, take you to the cafeteria and a lounge with dog areas, a kid’s play area and televisions.
Below is a video I shot today of it leaving Kennacraig and heading off to Islay, what a beautiful calm, December day for it.

When you visit Islay, you must explore Finlaggan, the ancient capital of the once powerful sea-faring kingdom, the Lordship of the Isles.

Like many of the Scottish Isles you will find Islay has many treats in store, from fascinating history, wonderful food and of course fantastic whisky from one of the 8 distilleries.
If you cannot get to Islay right now but want to sample a wee dram, try these. Drinks by the Dram Islay Whisky Tasting Set (5 x 3cl)

Bruichladdich Scottish Barley- The Classic Laddie
Bowmore 15 Year Old Darkest
Caol Ila 12 Year Old
Laphroaig Quarter Cask
Lagavulin 16 Year Old
Islay is a world-renowned whisky producing island located in the Inner Hebrides.
A collection of fine single malt Scotch whiskies best enjoyed neat or with just a splash of water.

Bruichladdich 

Made from barley harvested at Rockside Farm, Islay, in 2006 and distilled in 2007. The specially selected grain, the slow distillation and carefully considered casks were vital in creating this iconic unpeated single malt.

How To Get To Tarbert

CalMac to Kennacraig

However you choose to visit Tarbert, you are sure to enjoy the journey, by road from Glasgow you travel along the A82  to Loch Long then the A83 to Tarbert.
By car it is a beautiful drive. See the map below for details.

There are ferries from various locations, if you fancy doing some island hopping, take a look at the Caledonian MacBrayne Website for further details and to plan your journey.

There is a coach service from Buchanan Bus Station, you can book online and check the timetables on the Scottish Citylink Website.
The bus service is the Glasgow to Campbeltown 926 with West Coast Motors.
There are also flights from Glasgow to Campbeltown Airport.
The airport is just over 30 miles from Tarbert, so if you are planning a flight, you can Book a Taxi in advance.
You can contact Tarbert Taxis on 01880 820220 or 07436 288992 or 07557 373834 for a quote and to check availability.

Of course, with such a beautiful natural sheltered harbour, Tarbert is easy to get to by sea.

Lat. 55o 52′ N – Long. 5o 24.5’W

To arrange a berth you can contact Tarbert Harbour via email,VHF CH14 or telephone 01880 820 344

Tarbert Harbour