Standing on the northwestern coast of Morar in Highland Council Area, Mallaig faces out over the Sound of Sleat to the Isle of Skye. It is the main west coast port and transport hub between Ullapool and Oban and represents the end of the West Highland Railway Line. Car ferries link Mallaig and Armadale on Skye and with the 'small islands' of Rum, Eigg, Muck and Canna.
Once dependent on its herring fishing, a fishing fleet still exists but now prawns and lobsters are the principal catch.
In 1746 Prince Charles Edward Stuart landed here on his flight from Skye. He would have been captured had he not hidden under a plaid at the bottom of his boat. Comprising only a few houses at that time, Mallaig subsequently developed with the introduction of the railway, the building of the pier and the development of the herring fishery.
The hill of Cara a' Ghobhair rises about 3 miles (5 km) east of the village and gives splendid views of Lochs Morar and Nevis, and over the Sound of Sleat to Skye and Rum.