Isle of Iona
Isle of Iona

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

Today's Price

Deposit: $150 Single supplement: $450

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 June 3 2020 - June 8 2020
Duration 6 days
Today's Price
Deposit: $150 Single supplement: $450 Balance due by March 11 2020
Activity Level
Tour code BGIH200603

Departure Points

Location Depart Return
Dundee 0500 2130
Perth 0530 2100
Kinross 0630 2000
Dunfermline 0645 1945
Edinburgh 0715 1915
Glasgow 0830 1800

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 1-800-782-0295 if you have any questions

June 3 2020: Itinerary

We depart from our local pick-up points and head for Kintyre in western Argyll, in time to catch the early afternoon ferry from Kennacraig to Port Askaig, Islay. The ferry journey takes just over two hours and refreshments are available on board (not included). On arrival on Islay we transfer (a very short distance) to our comfortable accommodation at the Port Askaig Hotel, which has a superb location overlooking the harbour. All rooms have private facilities.

Dinner will be served in the evening.

Meals include: 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.

Dinner will be served at the hotel in the evening.

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.

Later we will return to our hotel where dinner will be served in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Port Askaig Hotel, Islay

Following breakfast we will check out of our hotel and take the ferry from Port Askaig to Oban. On arrival in Oban we will have some free time before we board the early evening ferry to Craignure on Mull. Our base is the Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa, conveniently located close to the ferry terminal with superb views of the Sound of Mull, the Morvern Hills and, across the bay, Duart Castle. The hotel offers excellent spa and leisure facilities, including an indoor swimming pool, steam room, Norwegian Spruce Sauna and hydro foot spa. A range of reasonably priced treatments is also available. Dinner will be served in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa, 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.

(Please note a reasonable degree of mobility is required to go ashore but the less adventurous are welcome to stay on board. There is a toilet on board and a packed lunch is included.)

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

All meals included

Hotel: Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa, 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 we will visit the Abbey and wander over the island, taking in the atmosphere of calm and contemplation which attracts visitors from all over the world.

Dinner is served back at our hotel in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa, Craignure

This morning after 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. We then return to Craignure where we will take the ferry back to Oban and begin our journey home, arriving back at our original departure points in the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast

June 3 2020: Additional Info

June 3 2020: Accommodation

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.

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.

June 3 2020: Enquiries

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