Isle of Iona
Isle of Iona

Grand Tour of the Inner Hebrides

7 days From £1,545

29 September 2019

Complementing our Grand Tour of the Outer Hebrides, this equally grand yet relaxing tour takes in the principal Inner Hebridean isles of Mull, Islay and Jura as well as the famous little island gems of Staffa and Iona.

We begin on the Isle of Mull, with a visit to the colourful ‘capital’ Tobermory, followed by an exciting boat trip to the tiny island of Staffa and its famous Fingal’s Cave, an amazing natural cathedral of basalt columns. A full day is given over to the wonderfully peaceful island of Iona, with its famous Abbey and beautiful beaches. A highly scenic cruise follows as we sail on the Caledonian-Macbrayne ferry from Oban, calling in briefly at Colonsay and continuing to Islay. We will explore the island, with visits to historic Loch Finlaggan, the Bowmore Distillery and the Museum of Islay Life, and we will also visit Jura, Islay’s sparsely populated and rather mysterious neighbour.

What's included?

  •  Accommodation
  •  Services of a professional tour manager
  •  Comfortable coach travel throughout
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
  •  Ferry crossings
Book Now £1,545 Deposit: £100 Single supplement: £240

Tour highlights:

  • Wildlife cruise featuring dolphins, seals and basking sharks
  • The amazing spectacle of Fingal’s Cave
  • Moments of peaceful contemplation at Iona Abbey
  • Scenic ferry sailing from Oban to Islay
  • The pungent aroma of fermenting barley at Bowmore distillery

Tour details

Dates 29 September 2019 - 5 October 2019
Duration 7 days
Cost £1,545 Deposit: £100 Single supplement: £240 Balance due by 7 July 2019
Activity Level Moderate
Tour code BWGTI19D

Departure Points

Location Depart Return
Aberdeen 0600 2145
Dundee 0730 2015
Perth 0800 1945
Kinross 0900 1845
Dunfermline 0915 1830
Edinburgh 0930 1815
Glasgow 1045 1700

Please note all pick-ups are subject to minimum numbers and all timings are approximate and may be changed. They will be confirmed when the joining instructions are sent out, approximately ten days prior to departure.

Book Now or call 01334 657155 if you have any questions

29 September 2019: Itinerary

We depart from our designated pick up points and head for the Western Highlands, stopping en route for refreshments (not included). On arrival in Oban we will board the late afternoon ferry for Craignure on Mull.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: Isle of Mull Hotel, Craignure

This morning after breakfast we will depart for Tobermory, the island’s ‘capital’, whose multi-hued buildings lining the waterfront will be familiar from a hundred calendars. This is the starting point for our wildlife cruise to the Treshnish Isles and Staffa, during which we can expect sightings of Whales, Dolphins, Basking Sharks, Puffins and Sea Eagles. After a one-hour sail we land at the geological wonder of Staffa, which was formed by volcanic eruptions over 50 million years ago. As the basaltic lava cooled it formed an extraordinary pattern of predominantly hexagonal columns which form the faces and walls of the principal caves. We will have around an hour ashore to explore the island, in particular the massive natural cathedral known as Fingal’s Cave, following in the footsteps of illustrious tourists from Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson to Jules Verne and Queen Victoria.

We then take the short 15 minute crossing to the idyllic Isle of Lunga, the largest of the Treshnish Isles, where we will have two hours ashore to explore. Surrounded by wildflowers and stunning scenery, the main attraction that can be seen close up is the large Puffin colony nesting in burrows in the grassy hillside. These comical birds are incredibly inquisitive and will come within a few metres of you. Lunga is also a popular habitat to an ever increasing number of Guillemot, Razorbill, Kittiwake, Fulmar, Shag, Great Skua and a Seal colony.

We sail back to Tobermory and return by coach to our hotel in time for dinner.

All meals included

Hotel: Isle of Mull Hotel, Craignure

Today we will drive along the Ross of Mull to Fionnphort, where we cross as foot passengers to the ‘sacred isle’ of Iona. Here you have the opportunity to visit the Abbey and wander over the island, taking in the atmosphere of calm and contemplation which attracts visitors from all over the world.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Isle of Mull Hotel, Craignure

Following breakfast we will visit Duart Castle, the 13th century home of the Chief of Clan MacLean. We can explore the dungeons, the state rooms and appreciate the strategic position of the castle from the top of the keep. Following our visit we will catch the lunchtime ferry back to Oban, where there will be time for a quick stroll before we board the afternoon ferry to Islay. The wonderfully scenic three-and-a-half hour passage takes us south along the Firth of Lorn, stopping briefly at the island of Colonsay before continuing to Port Askaig on Islay. Our hotel is conveniently situated next to the harbour and dinner will be served once we have checked in and freshened up.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Port Askaig Hotel, Islay

This morning, following breakfast, our first visit will be to Loch Finlaggan which was once the centre of the ‘Lordship of the Isles’. It was here that the installation of the Lords of the Isles took place, and the western seaboard of Scotland was ruled.

We will then visit the Bowmore Distillery. This is the oldest distillery on the island and has stood on the shores of Loch Indaal since 1779. Here we will see how this unique whisky is produced by hand, by the Maltman, before maturing in Spanish and American oak casks which give it its unique flavours.

After an opportunity for lunch (not included) we will visit the Museum of Islay Life. Housed in a former church, there are over 1600 items in the main Museum collection, covering all ages from the Mesolithic (around 8000 BC) to the 1950s. The Victorian and Edwardian ages are especially well represented, with exhibits showing what it was like to live in a simple house as well as how the laird lived at the same time.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Port Askaig Hotel, Islay

This morning, after breakfast, we travel to the neighbouring island of Jura, an island which has a record of habitation stretching back over 5000 years. The island, with approximately 200 inhabitants, is 30 miles long and 7 miles wide and is a naturalist’s paradise. It is dominated by the three mountains known as the “Paps of Jura”, the highest being 2576ft. The northern end of the island was home to George Orwell, who wrote his masterpiece 1984 while living here at Barnhill.

We will enjoy a scenic tour before having some free time in Craighouse, a lovely little village and the main settlement on the island with a shop, tearoom, and Jura's distillery.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Port Askaig Hotel, Islay

After breakfast we check out of the hotel and take the morning ferry to Kennacraig on the mainland. We then continue our homeward journey, stopping for refreshments (not included) in Inveraray, arriving back at our original pick-up points during the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast

29 September 2019: Additional Info

29 September 2019: Accommodation

Situated on the crescent of Craignure Bay, The Isle of Mull Hotel and Spa has stunning views over to Morvern and the west coast. The main ferry terminal is just a few hundred yards away, with a shoreline path leading to the hotel.

Most of the rooms at The Isle of Mull Hotel and Spa have views of the scenic surroundings, and guests can also make use of the extensive leisure facilities and spa.

Within the spa is the Rasul mud room, a specialist full-body cleansing treatment. Other spa therapies and beauty treatments are available by appointment.

There is an indoor heated swimming pool, a children’s pool, foot spa, gym, sauna and steam room, all of which are free to hotel guests.

This property is 1 minute walk from the beach. Situated in Port Askaig, Port Askaig Hotel offers 2-star accommodation with a garden and a shared lounge. Boasting luggage storage space, this property also provides guests with a restaurant. The accommodation provides evening entertainment and free WiFi.

All guest rooms in the hotel are equipped with a kettle. Rooms are complete with a private bathroom fitted with a shower, while certain units at Port Askaig Hotel also provide guests with a seating area.

29 September 2019: Enquiries

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