Where to stay in Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig 2024

collage of morar, arisaig and mallaig

Welcome to our guide on finding the perfect place to stay in Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig, three stunning locations along the west coast of Scotland. In the heart of the Highlands, these areas offer breathtaking landscapes, serene beaches, and a tranquil retreat from city life. 

Finding somewhere to stay can sometimes be a problem. This may be because you’ve left it too late to book in this very popular area or you’re just wondering how to find somewhere. Almost all the information in this post applies to finding accommodation in Scotland as a whole, particularly rural areas. 

view over green hills and a loch in the distance

In this guide, I’ll take you through different accommodation options to suit every visitor’s needs, from simple campsites to something more luxurious. I’ll also give practical advice on finding and booking your ideal stay, including tips on booking directly or using a booking platform. 

Options for finding places to stay in Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig


Campsites are perfect for those who love to be close to nature. Some are near Arisaig’s gorgeous beaches, while others are set against the mountains. 

Options vary from sites with electrical hookups for caravans to more basic setups, such as simple pitches for tents. Campsites are a budget-friendly option whether you book in advance or make last-minute plans. 

Glamping Pods, Shepherd’s Huts, Gypsy Caravans and Static Caravans

Glamping pods, shepherd’s huts and gypsy caravans are ideal if you want a step up from traditional camping but still want to enjoy the great outdoors. 

These often have fantastic views but are cheaper than self-catering accommodations or B&Bs. While the facilities might be basic, the experience of staying in such unique and cosy spaces is anything but. 

wooden camping pod surrounded by green fields

Plus, some are pretty spacious, with a private bathroom and deck and maybe a small kitchen area.

Static caravans usually sleep 4-6 and have a small bedroom, kitchen, toilet and shower. Although most are on campsites, some are not.


B&Bs offer a personal touch that’s hard to find in other types of accommodation. Often, you’ll have the chance to interact with your hosts, who can provide invaluable local insights. Breakfasts, sometimes included, offer a taste of local produce and bakery items, making a great start to your day. Some may offer a packed lunch service.

Self-Catering Holiday Rentals

Self-catering holiday rentals are an excellent option for visitors who like more space and privacy. An entire home allows you to cook your own meals and come and go as you please. You can also often enjoy additional space, such as a private deck or garden. 

Self-catering rentals in Arisaig and nearby range from small, self-contained chalets to luxury lodges.


Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig have several hotels for those who like more service and convenience. Hotels provide service and amenities, including restaurants, room service, and housekeeping, making your stay comfortable and carefree. 

hotel in old building painted white

Where to stay in Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig?

Where to stay might be determined by preference, budget, availability and whether or not you have transport. 

Arisaig Village or Mallaig Village would be the easiest options if you don’t have a car or bike. They’re also good if you like to have conveniences like shops, restaurants, and bars within walking distance.

After Arisaig village, following the old coastal road, you’ll pass Kinloid and Moss of Keppoch until you get to Back of Keppoch. After that you pass the popular sites at Invercaimbe and Bunacaimbe and eventually reach Traigh. 

heather and othe greenery in foreground and sea and white beach behind on a cloudy day

Continue a mile or so further, and you come to Camusdarach. Another mile or so is Tougal, which looks over the Sands of Morar and, beyond that, the village of Morar. There are all sorts of accommodation options along this route, including some with beach access.

Mallaig is a few miles on with its own variety of options.

Choosing Between Direct Booking and Booking Platforms

When planning your stay in Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig, you can book your accommodation directly with the owner or through a booking platform. 

Many hosts prefer direct bookings, which are often cheaper for the guest. When you book through a booking platform, someone loses financially, either you, the host, or both. This is due to the platforms’ high commission rates. 

wide empty beach, hills and house in background

By booking directly, you will likely secure a more favourable rate and support local businesses more directly.

However, some hosts prefer to let only through booking platforms for various reasons. Likewise, some travellers prefer to book through a platform for convenience, a sense of security, etc.

Where to Look for Accommodation in Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig

Finding the perfect place to stay in Morar, Arisaig and Mallaig requires knowing where to look. Here are some key places to start your search.

The Road to the Isles Marketing Group

This local marketing group is an invaluable resource for those seeking accommodation in Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig. Members (hosts) can list their holiday rentals on the Road to the Isles website. Potential visitors can then browse through detailed listings, each providing a glimpse into the area’s unique offerings.

You can also see the property’s amenities, photographs, and pricing. Each listing includes their website or booking link and contact details.

Not all local hosts are listed here, but it’s a good place to start, and you might find some properties that aren’t on large booking platforms.

sunset at arisaig

Search Engines

Search engines like Google can be a great way to do initial research. Try to narrow your focus with specific keywords for your preferences, like ‘Arisaig self-catering dog-friendly’ or ‘glamping pods in Morar’ to find accommodation that match your criteria. 

screenshot of google search where to stay in arisaig

Some properties sign up for Google Vacation Rentals, which allows you to book directly through Google. This is still a direct booking rather than a booking platform, so no large commissions are involved.

If you’re on Pinterest, that can also be a way to find places others have stayed at and shared.

Utilising Maps and Google Business Profiles for Accommodation

Using maps to find accommodation helps pinpoint the perfect location and opens up more information through Google Business Profiles. 

screenshot of google maps

When you navigate through Google Maps in your search for a place to stay in Mallaig, Morar and Arisaig, you’ll notice that many rentals/hotels have their own pins. 

Clicking on these pins opens the property’s Google Business Profile. It usually includes essential details about the accommodation, such as contact information, address, website, and sometimes pricing and availability. 

What makes these profiles particularly valuable, though, are the reviews from previous guests. These reviews can offer insight into others’ experiences, providing insights into the quality of the accommodation, the hospitality of the hosts, and any tips or recommendations for future guests.

screenshot of google business review

Another plus is that photos uploaded by guests give a better sense of the place than curated images on official websites or booking platforms. This combination of practical information, guest reviews, and real-life photos makes Google Business Profiles a valuable resource for people choosing where to book their stay.

As well as Business Profiles, you can also see other pins for paid platforms on online maps.

Social Media

Platforms like Instagram and Facebook can be surprisingly effective in finding accommodation. Many private rentals market themselves on these platforms. 

Here, you can see up-to-date photos and stories, get a feel for the vibe of the place, and sometimes even book directly through the platform. Social media allows for direct communication with hosts, providing a personal touch to your booking process.

Similar to search engines, you can search for hashtags like #arisaigselfcatering. Look for local tourist board accounts, as they may share posts and stories of those who list with them.

Screenshot road to the isles IG tagged posts showing accommodation and views

Local Facebook communities and pages can also be great resources to find accommodation, especially for last-minute bookings.

Booking Platforms

Disclosure: When you make a reservation through booking platform links below, I may earn commission from partners at no extra cost to you. This helps me to build the site and bring you more useful posts!

As already mentioned, some people prefer to book through a platform as they feel it provides more security and convenience, with standardised booking procedures and reviews from past guests. However, remember that prices might be higher due to commission fees.

Smart travellers often use a strategic approach to secure the best deals while exploring booking platforms such as Booking, Airbnb, VRBO and Expedia for accommodation. 

Many of these platforms include the property’s name in their listings, allowing potential guests to conduct further research. By finding the accommodation’s website or social media account, tourists can often book directly, often at lower rates. 

screenshot of airbnb booking window

Not all platforms allow the explicit listing of the accommodation’s name. In that case, guests may need to use other clues from the listing, such as photos or descriptions, to locate the accommodation’s direct contact information. Remember that not every listing will have its own website or social media presence or take direct bookings. 

This strategy takes a bit more effort, but it can save a decent amount. Another reason to look at booking platforms, even if you plan to book direct, is to read more reviews and decide whether the property is right for you. 

screenshot of booking dot com review

You can search for accommodation in Arisaig or anywhere in Scotland on platforms such as:

When searching for your stay, consider combining these resources to get a better overview of what’s available. Each has its strengths and by doing a broader yet in-depth search, you’re more likely to find the accommodation that best suits your needs and preferences.

When to book your holiday accommodation for Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig

The simple answer is as soon as you can! This is especially true for peak periods and the most popular properties. This doesn’t mean you won’t find anything if you leave it later. You might just need to do more work. This is also when booking platforms and social media can be helpful.

Peak periods are June to September, Easter break, October half-term, Christmas and New Year. 

Larachmhor gardens Arisaig

When properties open their calendars differs but some are open over a year in advance. Several properties will already have bookings for 2025 and some even for 2026!

Some people like to book at the last minute to get a good deal, but given the area’s popularity in the summer and other school holidays, deals aren’t that common.

If it’s campsites you’re looking at, these can often be booked later.

Best Time to Visit Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig

Deciding when to visit Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig depends on what you’re looking for in your Scottish Highlands experience. These areas offer stunning scenery year-round, with each season offering something different. 

Winter (November to February) is the quiet season when the dramatic landscape takes on a stark, beautiful silence. Snow isn’t frequent, but it can get very cold and windy. You often get beautiful days with blue skies though.

late winter loch morar

It’s important to note that this period is quieter for local businesses, with many closing down, especially in January. This could be the perfect time for those seeking tranquillity away from the crowds. 

In Spring (March to May), the area begins to awaken, with local businesses reopening and the landscape starts to become alive with colour. The weather improves, making it a great time for hiking and outdoor activities without the summer crowds. 

lambs in spring at morar

Summer (June to September) is peak season, especially July and August, which coincide with school holidays. This is when the weather is often at its best, ideal for exploring the stunning beaches, hiking trails, and local culture. 

Summer is also the season for the local Highland Games in Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig. These games offer tourists a glimpse into some Scottish traditions, sports and community spirit. They are great fun and a must-see for visitors, combining Scottish sports, dancing, piping, barrel races and food.

arisaig highland games

In Autumn (October to early November), as the crowds disperse, autumn presents a spectacular display of colours across the landscapes of Arisaig, Morar, and Mallaig. The cooler weather and quieter setting make it an excellent time for those looking to enjoy the natural beauty in solitude. 

My favourite months are May, September, and October, as they’re quieter and the weather tends to be good. (I’m not giving any guarantees, though!)

For those interested in exploring beyond the mainland, consider timing your visit with events happening on the Small Isles. These islands are easily accessible for day trips from these areas and host a variety of events and music festivals. You can find out more about these on the islands’ social media accounts.

How Long to Stay in Arisaig, Morar, and Mallaig

Spending a week in Arisaig, Morar, and Mallaig is perfect for enjoying the stunning beauty of the area, taking a trip to a nearby island, enjoying local activities and still having time to relax. Let me warn you, though – you won’t want to leave!

sunset at Invercaimbe Arisaig

Many people nowadays book shorter stays though and combine it with another nearby destination like the Isle of Skye, Eigg, Rum or Canna. Many holiday rentals have minimum stays so if you’re planning to stay one or two nights, you might need to look at B&Bs or hotels.

Understanding STLL, Licences and EPC in Scottish Short-term Lets

While searching for where to stay in Arisaig, you might see mention of licences or terms like STLL (short-term let licence). To regulate short-term lets, the Scottish Government introduced a licensing system for all short-term rental accommodations across Scotland. Since 2023, hosts now have to apply for a Short-Term Let Licence. 

Scottish flag Photo by Garvit Nama on Unsplash

By law, hosts must list their licence number on any form of advertising, but due to a significant backlog, many hosts have not yet received their licence. In this case, you may see ‘provisional licence’ or ‘pending determination’. 

Highland Council, which issues licences in this region, has shown considerable support for hosts in rural areas. While many full licences have already been granted, many more still need to be processed, hence the provisional number or ‘pending determination’ status.

Another regulatory requirement is that the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating be displayed alongside the licence number in all advertisements for short-term rentals. This rating is not relevant to short-term visitors, so it’s not something to worry about. 

Wrap-up on where to stay in Arisaig, Morar, and Mallaig

Choosing the right place to stay in Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig can transform a simple trip into an unforgettable journey through the Scottish Highlands. From the serenity of beachside campsites to the cosy warmth of B&Bs and the independence offered by self-catering cottages, each accommodation option invites you to experience the Highlands in your own unique way. 

As you plan your visit, consider what matters most to you – location, budget, type of accommodation and method of booking. In this enchanting area of Scotland, every visitor can find a home away from home, surrounded by the unparalleled beauty of Scotland’s west coast. Now, it’s time to begin your search for your perfect Highland escape!

What to read next? 39 Best Things to do in Arisaig, Morar and Mallaig or Where to eat in Arisaig or 13 Great Places to Visit on the Way to Mallaig.

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