Walk: Sunrise at Saligo arches

Islay | Saligo | Half day walk | ★★★

[Coastal scenery south of Saligo Bay]

Saligo Bay's magnetic pull doesn't end with its sandy beaches. The surrounding coastline is a fascinating exhibition of rock architecture, with twisted strata, cliffs and natural arches alternating for miles to the south. This figure-of-8 loop (with the start at the centre point) visits the most accessible parts of these, though the terrain is still rough and pathless at times. On a clear day, be sure to admire the prominent Paps of Jura to the east, visible from the higher parts of the route. The arch or blowhole at the southern end of the loop is actually one of the less interesting features, but makes a logical landmark for which to aim before turning back. For more photos of the beaches, check out their separate feature page (link below).

[Saligo Bay]

📌 Walk: Sunrise at Saligo arches ★★★
Start / finish by minor road bend (space for a few cars - don't block gate) at Saligo, Islay, G.R.: NR 211664 ///hello.scorched.monopoly

▶ 5 km / 3 mi | ▲ 30 m | ⌚ Half a day | Moderate
Features: Saligo Bay beach, coastline & arches
Terrain: Mix of grassy tracks, informal paths and pathless sections. Some rocky sections if you follow the coastline closely, and a few boggy areas.

Route & map

Start - Saligo Bay ★★★ main beach - north beach - return to start - natural arches at G.R.: NR 200657 by coastline - return to start by direct track

Route credit: Walkhighlands

On our visit

Wildlife: Sheep, rabbits, and hundreds of geese in nearby fields.
Weather: Clear skies and light winds after a beautiful sunrise; just above freezing with frozen ground.

Chronological photo guide

[Military defences by the track at the start]

[Frosty morning]

[Saligo Bay]

[Saligo Bay beach]

[Heading along the road for the southern part of the walk]

[Saligo River mouth]

[View north from the south part of the loop]

[Coastal scenery]

[Rocky scenery]

[Minor headland]

[Rocky scenery]

[Stunning views of the Paps of Jura from the headland]

[Rocky inlets]

[Natural arch / blowhole at the south end of the route]

[Sunrise over the Saligo bogs]

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