Portvoller (in Gaelic, Port Mholair) is a small village on the north tip of the Eye Peninsula (also known as Point), on the Isle of Lewis in northwestern Scotland. It is 9 miles (14 km) from the Outer Hebrides' only town, Stornoway.
About the village
Portvoller contains a butcher and a nursery, but its most prominent feature is the Tiumpan Head Lighthouse, which is located at the northernmost tip of the village. The village also has two churches, one practicing the Free Church faith and the other Church of Scotland (although the latter has now been decommissioned).
Portvoller is also near some of the Western Isles' best fishing waters, especially rock fishing or beach casting. The headlands that are most popular for these pursuits are known locally as Billy Mor and Foitelair. These two fishing hotspots are found about five minutes' walk from the now ruined Portvoller slipway—a walk that can be a treacherous clamber after a squall or downpour. The Portvoller slipway is also near to small and secluded Shinega beach.
There has been a recent influx of wealthy mainland Scots and English incomers to the village, attracted by the stunning scenery, relatively low property prices, and very low crime rate. Sometimes those who were brought up on Lewis as children return to retire after they have made their fortune elsewhere.
The village name probably originates from the Old Norse word voller (the plural of vollen, still used in some dialects of Norwegian, which denotes a hill that slants upwards gradually). Indeed, this is a quite appropriate description of the village of Portvoller.
In the period from the ninth to the twelfth century, Viking raids on the island would have been commonplace. When Norway occupied Lewis before the Treaty of Perth and the Battle of Largs, Portvoller would have been a principal landing place for arrivals from Norway.
The village has several others surrounding it, including Portnaguran, Aird, Broker and Flesherin, all of which are served by the one post office, off-licence and shop. All the aforenamed villages are served by the Western Isles Council in terms of public transport and other services.