Isle of Coll - Highlights of Hebridean Island

Isle of Coll – Highlights der Hebrideninsel
Isle of Coll - Highlights of Hebridean Island

Scotland. On the Hebridean island Isle of Coll you will find a lot of peace, nature and several beautiful bays with white sandy beaches. A special feature is the dark night sky and the great starry sky. Because on the whole island there are no street lights. Nothing hinders the view into the stars. Here you can find out with which highlights the Isle of Coll welcomes you and what makes it so unique.

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Schottisches Hochlandrind – Highland Cattle, Highlight der Isle of Coll
The Scottish Highland Cattle roam freely on the Isle of Coll and are a highlight of Hebridean Island.

Walk through the Harbour Town of Arinagour

The island has only 200 inhabitants. Life on Coll is therefore concentrated mainly on the main town of Arinagour. In addition to the ferry dock and fishing port, there is a church, a hotel, a youth hostel and a cosy cafe. If you have a car or bicycle at your disposal, you can explore the bays with their white beaches. Or look out for the famous Scottish Highland cattle. There are also two castles and some prehistoric sites. These include nine Crannógs. These are artificial islands made of tree trunks, stones and sand. Their origin dates back to the Middle Ages.

Sandstrand auf der Isle of Coll
The Isle of Coll has some enchanting sandy beaches. For bathing you can't imagine life without a wetsuit.
Hafen in Arinagur, Isle of Coll
In the harbour of Arinagur, the capital on the Isle of Coll, you can see many fishing tackle.
Häuser in Arinagur, Isle of Coll
The houses in Arinagur are small and look very cosy.
Jugendherberge auf der Isle of Coll
Youth hostel on the Isle of Coll - cosy, modern and highly recommended.
Kirche auf der Isle of Coll
The church on the Isle of Coll

Snorkeling with Basking Sharks - pure Adventure!

The Scottish Hebrides are known for their wild scenery, white sandy beaches and great hiking. Far less well known is the following: The Hebridean island of Isle of Coll offers a unique opportunity to snorkel with giant sharks. The Basking Sharks - as they are called in Scottish - spend the summer in the plankton-rich waters of the Hebrides. Here they can be experienced (almost) up close during the months of July to early September. Learn more about my snorkeling tour with Basking Shark Scotland in my article Snorkeling with Giant Sharks.

Schnorcheln mit Riesenhaien, Highlight der Isle of Coll
Snorkeling with basking sharks is an unforgettable experience and THE highlight of the Isle of Coll.

With Basking Shark Scotland you can also go on other excursions on the Isle of Coll. For example, (apnoea) diving and snorkeling are offered in the Fingals Cave or in the seal lagoon.

The Seal Lagoon - Snorkeling with Seals

Another highlight of my boat trip to the giant sharks was the seal lagoon of the Isle of Coll. The seal lagoon is a flat lagoon surrounded by rocks. Here a dense kelp spreads at the bottom. From time to time we see a crab or a jellyfish. And as the name of the lagoon suggests, we were immediately watched by seals.

Neugieriger Seehund, Highlight der Isle of Coll
The seals of the Isle of Coll are curious but nevertheless shy.

Just like above water, the seals also watch us under water. But always from a safe distance. As soon as I turn my gaze on them or fin in their direction, they turn away. Because they think I am an attacker. So I try to watch them from the corner of my eye and not to scare them with a wrong movement. Finally, two seals accompanied us during our entire snorkeling tour. But when I once devoted my attention to a mane jellyfish, one of them dared to get very close to me. He really looked at me. I enjoyed this special encounter with the curious animal and was grateful for the moment.

Seehund über Kelp, Isle of Coll
The seals are another highlight of the Isle of Coll.
Kelpwald vor der Isle of Coll
The kelp forest in front of the Isle of Coll swings back and forth in the waves.

Do you love seals? Then you might also be interested in my articles about sea lions in La Jolla or about a seal sanctuary.

How do I get to Coll Island?

Starting point for your trip to Coll is usually the city of Oban. This can be easily reached by train from Glasgow, for example, within three to four hours. From Oban there is a ferry to Coll once a day in the early morning. You can find the departure times on the CalMac Ferries. page. You can also book the tickets for the crossing here.

Abendstimmung an der Uferpromenade in Oban
Evening atmosphere at the promenade in Oban

What can I do before / after in Oban?

Oban is a nice, tranquil harbour town with an extremely famous whisky distillery. Here you can learn a lot about Scottish whisky on tours through the distillery. You can also take part in a whisky tasting. Oban is also a good starting point for day or multi-day excursions to other neighbouring Hebridean Islands.

Whisky-Brennerei in Oban
The whisky distillery in Oban

Here are my favorites:

  • Oban Distillery - visit of the whisky distillery and tasting afterwards
  • Boat trip to the seal colonies
  • Dunollie Castle - Ruins of a historic family residence with museum and estates
  • McCaig's Tower - vantage point with a great view over the bay
Seehunde vor Oban
The seal colony off Oban can be reached within a short time.

Book Recommendations for Scotland

You want to know where the journey goes? Then I recommend the following travel guides, which have proven themselves on my trip:

Have you yourself ever been to the Hebridean island Isle of Coll in Scotland? How did you like it and what were your highlights? Do you have any questions about my article or further suggestions? If so, please write me a comment!

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