Fingal’s Cave is possibly the world’s most famous sea cave. Located on the west coast of Scotland, it has a place in Galiec mythology that is related to the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland. The cave has appeared in numerous works of fiction, and it has been immortalized in music. One of the natural treasures of Scotland, it is a hugely popular tourist destination, especially in warmer weather when the cave is more easily accessed by boat.
Northwestern Scotland is an ancient and mysterious place, and Fingal’s Cave was probably considered sacred even before the arrival of the Romans. It was explored by Joseph Banks in 1772. It was later featured in works by authors and poets, including Tennyson, Keats and, most famously, Jules Verne (the cave appears in Journey to the Center of the Earth). The most famous passage of Felix Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture is the movement known as Fingal’s Cave.
Fingal’s Cave is a geological oddity closely related to the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. Like the Giant’s Causeway, the cave is packed inside and out with hexagonal basalt columns, with an additional strip of columns forming a ramp into the sea (it was once believed that this originally connected Scotland to Northern Ireland). The cave is large enough for small boats to enter when the tide is right.
Fingal’s Cave is simultaneously beloved and also very difficult to reach. The entrance can be reached on land by climbing over very steep and treacherous basalt columns, but most visitors sail to the entrance by boat. Small boats can navigate for a short distance into the cave. Web: www.southernhebrides.com/isle-of-staffa-and-fingals-cave (official website).