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Port Askaig is one of a few small bays on the Sound of Islay (Caol Ila and Bunnahabhain distilleries occupying two of the others). The Port was accessed via the original gap in the cliffs by a steep road, the available land has been considerably increased since 2004 when a considerable portion of the cliff has been blasted away to make room for a better queuing area for the ferry and a less steep access road.
Port Askaig has been a destination for ships from the mainland since the 1700s and the Inn that is now the Hotel has been there even longer. The Inn was originally a drovers Inn, cattle being taken to the mainland via Jura, whether the strong tides of the Sound of Islay would have permitted the usual practice of getting the cattle to swim across seems doubtful and boats would probably have had to be used most of the time.
The village of Keills has a late medieval ruined church dedicated to St Columba, close to the ancient seat of the Lords of the Isles at Finlaggan.
Port Askaig & Whisky
Port Askaig itself doesn't have a distillery, but Caol Ila is half a mile away (by sea, three times that by road) and Bunnahabhain about 4.5 miles away, again a little less by sea. The hotel has an extensive range of whiskies. Port Askaig, in common with several other parts of Islay without a distillery, has a whisky named after it - in fact a range of whiskies from the Whisky Exchange.
Port Askaig isn't big enough to be called a village, though it has more than some ferry terminals - a shop, hotel, petrol station, lifeboat station and er that's about it! The land to the south of Port Askaig is the Dunlossit Estate, 18,500 acres surrounding Dunlossit House.
There are a few villages close by - Keills (1 mile) and the distillery villages of Caol Ila and Bunnahabhain.
There's a path along the shore that leads to the next bay - between Caol Ila and Port Askaig, which once extended to Caol Ila. The 1:25,000 OS map suggests a path to Caol Ila from Brae Cottage, halfway up the hill.
Arriving & Departing
Port Askaig is served by CalMac ferry from Kennacraig Winter Summer). Getting to Kennacraig? - see main Islay page. There's also one or two sailings a week to/from Oban Winter/Summer using Port Askaig).in Summer using Port Askaig).
Port Askaig is also the port for the short crossing of the Sound of Islay to Feolin Ferry on Jura.operated by ASP Ship Management on behalf of the Argyll & Bute Council - Winter/Summer timetable.
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Port Askaig Hotel 01496 840245 @
The oldest licensed premises on Islay, there's been an Inn on the site since the 16th century.
Persabus B&B Bunnahabhain Road 01496 840243 @
They also provide Self Catering cottages
Other Self Catering Close by
Weaver's Cottage Keills 01496 840631
15 Distillery Cottages Caol Ila 07894 209678 @
Other Self Catering on Islay
Port Askaig Hotel 01496 840245
Port Askaig Hotel 01496 840245
Islay Cycles 07760 196592
Run from a house in Port Ellen, so not a shop as such, but hire, sales, accessories and repairs available - see website/ring for further details.
Brian Palmer 01496 810653 describes himself as "the only cycle repairer and spare parts person in Bowmore". Again run from his house. There's a load of cycing reated information on Brian's washingmachinepost website. See also islayinfo.com
Bike hire from Bowmore Post Office 01496 810366; Port Ellen 01496 302349.and Islay Cyces as above; Port Charlotte 01496 850488; and Port Askaig (Persabus) 01496 840753.
Nearest Cycle Shops Lochgilphead (18 miles from Kennacraig), Oban
Nevis Cycles 87 George Street, Oban 01631 566033
David Graham 13-15 Combie Street, Oban 01631 562069
Crinan Cycles 34 Argyll Street, Lochgilphead 01546 603511
Post Office: Port Askaig Stores
Check PO Branch finder (search for postcode PA46) to check opening times - currently Mon - Sat, but mornings only on Mon and Sat.
For anything else you'll need to get to Bridgend or Bowmore
Banking - Bowmore RBS, Main Street; BoS, Shore Street. Cash Machines at both.
Photos on this page were taken by me. Click on photo to enlarge. Full size versions and my other pictures of Port Askaig are available at: