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Ultimate Guide to Fingal’s Cave (Scotland) (Tours, Pricing, History)

Ultimate Guide to Fingal’s Cave (Scotland) (Tours, Pricing, History)

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One of the most popular tourist attractions in Scotland, Fingal’s Cave is a massive sea cave that was discovered by accident. The crystal clear water inside creates amazing reflections and beautiful colors on the walls of this natural wonder.

Ultimate Guide to Fingal's Cave (Scotland) (Tours, Pricing, History)

It is located near Staffa Island off the coast of Mull, which means it is accessible to tourists who are traveling around Scotland. This guide will give an overview of Fingal’s Cave with information about tours, pricing, and history to help you decide if it would be worth visiting!

Ultimate Guide to Fingal’s Cave (Scotland) (Tours, Pricing, History)


Fingal’s cave was formed uniquely and also has a unique shape. Seeing it is on an uninhabited island, the rock formation on it was constantly bashed by the water (waves) until the opening of the cave we now see was formed. The island was not a popular region, and only after Banks discovered it that way, it brought to the attention of those who were enthused by research and nature.

Fingal’s Cave is found in Staffa, an uninhabited island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. The cave is owned by Scotland’s National Trust and categorized as a national nature reserve.

Fingal’s Cave is a sea cave located on the uninhabited island of Staffa, in Argyll and Bute. It was formed as molten lava from an ancient volcano cooled into solid rock that later eroded away leaving this natural wonder. This location has become popular because it holds similarities to what some believe are seen on Asteroid Yavin IV, which is home to Luke Skywalker’s Jedi Academy where he trains with other students before going off to fight in Episode IV: Star Wars – A New Hope.

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History of Fingal’s Cave

Fingal’s Cave was discovered in 1772 by a British Navy ship called the HMS Fowey, which had stopped at Staffa to get fresh water. The sailors were exploring around when they stumbled across this beautiful cavern that is just under 100 feet long and 30 feet high.

The cave got its name after its connection with the legendary 18th-century Scots poet-historian James Macpherson. It was originally brought to light in the English-speaking world in 1772 by naturalist/botanist Sir Joseph Banks.

Interestingly, the name Fingal means white stranger and is associated with the poetic history of the earlier centuries. However, it has many myths surrounding the same name as back in 250 AD Finn Mac Cumhaill, or Fingal, was an Irish general.

He had many band warriors with him who were pretty faithful, and with his many contributions to Scotland after returning to the land, they thought it necessary to name a lot of land after him.

Fingal’s Cave is a sea cave on the island of Staffa in the Inner Hebrides. It is formed from hexagonally-jointed basalt columns similar to the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland. The Giant’s Causeway and Fingal’s Cave were both formed by the same lava flow 60 million years ago.

Fingal’s Cave Fun Facts

  • Tourists can visit Fingal’s Cave by boat, or once they are on the island, they can easily access it via foot.
  • The cave sits on an uninhabited island in Scotland that has a deep connection to the sea.
  • Fingal’s Cave has a rich connection with art and literature as it has appeared in many literary pieces of history.
  • It is one of the most intriguing sea caves found in the world.
  • The cave is made from lots of basalt columns originally caused by the past’s volcanic actions.
  • The cave is said to be approximately 66 to 75 feet deep and roughly 279 feet long. The widest portion of the cave is said to be around 40 feet wide.
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Fingal’s Cave Wildlife

Being a sea cave, it is a little different than what you might be used to. Fingal’s Cave is home to sea urchins, starfish, and other marine life that live on the shore but there is so. much. more.

Visiting Fingal’s Cave, you may come across wildlife such as puffins, common shags, black-legged kittiwakes, and gulls. There is also marine wildlife in the region, such as dolphins, sharks, pilot whales, minke, and grey seals. Researchers noted they spotted three red deer on the island back in earlier times, which was later replaced by goats and then by cattle.

Interestingly, through the years, the summer saw the island being a grazing field for animals, but after 1997, this practice was stopped to facilitate the vegetation of the land growing back. Of course, they are protected animals and can lead to problems if you harm them.

Fingals Cave Geological Formations

Fingal’s Cave Geological Formations

Fingal’s Cave is formed uniquely with an arched entrance that is filled by the sea. As we have mentioned already, the formation of this cave came from volcanic actions cooling off and forming the vertical formation of the rocks.

The cave is a little different from many others as it relates to stalactites and stalagmites. The seawater flows through the cave, and as such, the base of the cave is mainly water, but there are rocks on which visitors can move around. However, there are different formations in the rocks found in the cave.

You will see the hexagonally jointed basalt columns within that Paleocene lava flow.

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Fingal’s Cave Tours

Getting to the small island is not as hard as many people would believe, as there are numerous boat rides offered by locals, which can get you to the cave to explore a part of nature’s best. In general, most boat rides are done from Mull of Iona and take roughly 45 minutes to get there. You can also purchase your tickets through Staffa Tours who offers daily boat rides. The rides vary, and contacting the tour teams will help determine which option is best for you.

However, you have to be mindful that due to the preservation of the eroding rocks, there might be some limitations on tours. Therefore, getting the full information is important before booking your tours.

Here is a tour we found for 45 Euro that runs only from Early August to late September.

Arriving at Staffa you will enjoy a landing visit upon the island, where you can spend up to 1hr15mins to explore and venture into the world-famous Fingal’s Cave, nowhere else is there a sea cave formed completely in hexagonally jointed basalt. Its appeal lies in the size, the sounds, the colours, and the remarkable symmetry of this 227 foot cavern.

Along the way there is the opportunity, not only to learn of the landmarks, but to search for wildlife encounters with the Common Bottlenose Dolphins present to the waters year round, as well as Basking Sharks and Minke Whales that can still be sighted until they migrate to warmer waters come October. The trip offers ample time to go in search of the wonderful wildlife that shares home with us; including the magnificent White-tailed Sea Eagle and Golden Eagle.

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Map to Fingal's Cave

Fingal’s Cave Prices and Discounts

The pricing for tours to Staffa Island depends on which location you are coming from and the amenities you desire to have on your rides. Bear in mind, if you are on another island, the price for the cruise or boat rides across may vary, and it is best to speak with your booking agency on the different packages available.

Where to Stay Near Fingal’s Cave

So, where should you stay when in the area? Here are some of the coolest spots to stick around as you await the glorious tours of a land like no other…

Perle Oban Hotel

Located at Station Square, Oban PA34 Scotland, you are in for a treat and an experience like no other. The hotel features a Victorian charm and modern style with a touch of local cuisine and a beautiful environment. They boast one of the most comfortable lodging areas that creates a scenic view. It provides a serene environment that caters to your relaxation needs and creates an environment your children will be free to explore. The rooms are designed to give some amazing views, from ocean views to city views. Give them a call today, and you will have no regrets.

Old Library Lodge and Restaurant

Old Library Lodge and Restaurant is located Road to the Isles, Arisaig PH39 4NH Scotland, and is a family-operated restaurant and lounge. It features six bedrooms that provide you with a sea-view experience and an amazing backdrop of the Isles of Eigg, Rum, and Skye. You will love everything about this quiet nature-infused spot as it gives the feeling of home. Interestingly, it is not far from some of the country’s most attractive locations.

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Fingal’s Cave Details

  • Length: 279 Feet Long
  • Time recommended: 3 Hours
  • Trail Type:
  • Difficulty: Moderate
  • Kid-Friendly: Yes
  • Dog-Friendly: Yes
  • Accessibility: Boat Ride or Cruise
  • Fee/Permit: Varies
  • Hours: Varies

How to Get to Fingal’s Cave

Getting to Fingal’s Cave is quite easy and stress-free, and you will enjoy the ride there no matter the location you are coming from. It is located on an uninhabited island in Scotland that can be reached by boat from another island or by foot if you are already on the island.

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