Adventure of the Week, Drive & hike, Macs Adventure, Walking

Adventure of the Week – Walking & Wildlife on Mull and Iona

23 Aug , 2017  

I normally try to write nice, balanced articles for the Adventure of the Week, but this time I am going full bias! If you are looking for an adventure in the most beautiful place on earth, then look no further!

white bay with clear turquoise sea, Iona Scotland

Typical Iona Scene

In a nutshell

Walking & Wildlife on Mull and Iona lets you explore three of Scotlands most beautiful, wild islands. While small, they are packed full of history, wildlife and more natural beauty than it is possible to drink in. These are landscapes with no equal and are a joy to spend time in.

Distance: This is a drive and hike trip, with suggested daily walks of between 5-10 miles so the distance you walk each day is entirely up to you.
Grade: Moderate. This is at the upper end of the suggested walks.  Obviously, if you want to take it completely easy, the walking will not be graded at Moderate, but to explore some of the best places on the islands, occasionally proves a little more challenging.

huge headland juts over road on Mull Scotland

Western road around Mull, ideal for wildlife spotting

Where?

The tour starts with your ferry trip from Oban to Mull and then a drive over the southern part of the island to reach Fionnphort, where you catch the ferry to Iona. Once over the short ferry ride, you have a couple of days to explore this haven of tranquillity and beauty. There is a trip out to Staffa included in this section, before you head back to the wilds of Mull, to delve deeper into its rugged landscapes.

Why Walk Here?

Ok, so it is purely personal opinion, but Iona is the most beautiful spot on earth. There is such subtlety and finesse in the colours of the island that you feel like you are lost in a painting. The sea can flicker between Caribbean glazed beauty, to foreboding chalky blue in the flicker of an eyelid. Each stone, shell and boulder add to the subtle palate of the island, a real artists dream. However, no camera can do it justice, it has to be seen to be believed.

 

white beach on Iona Scotland

The North End of Iona. Check those colours

 

With magical names like the North End and The Bay at the Back of the Ocean, you will feel like you are living in an idealised book about the Scottish Islands. The locals add to this colour too. Their friendliness and willingness to help are second to none. The Abbey on the island is world famous and draws pilgrims from around the world. You can see the graves of the Kings of Scotland outside the abbey and if you ask the locals, they might even let you know where the spring of eternal youth comes out.  If you find it, I recommend mixing this with a Tobermory whisky, to start your eternal life with a bang!

Staffa is a contrast in many ways.  A stark reminder of the power of the earth, it stands proudly in the sea, foreboding and otherworldly.  Staffa is made of columnar basalt, the same geometric structures that make up the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland.  Indeed, the story goes that the two are linked and that giants lived at either end. While Fingal’s Cave (Fingal is one of the giants) and the surrounding geological splendour is great to see, the real stars of the island are the friendly Puffins.

Columnar Basalt columns form an island in Staffa Scotland

Columnar Basalt on Staffa

Compared to the other two islands, Mull is a big rough brute of an island. However, it is still stunningly beautiful and much of the promised wildlife is incumbent on this island. Seals, Red Deer, Sea Eagles, Golden Eagles, Otters, just to name a few.  There are some great guides to be bought on the subject in Tobermory and again, talk to the locals, they will be able to help you with the best areas to spot some of these majestic beasts.

Two puffins on the Isle of Staffa, Scotland

The residents of Staffa. An amazingly friendly bunch.

Planning and preparation

Oban is accessible from Glasgow by train and by road. All of the ferry trips are included in the cost of the trip, so all you have to do is turn up, and enjoy.

The weather in this part of the world can be massively unpredictable, so take a waterproof even on a sunny day, just to be safe.

If you want to find out more about the trip, contact [email protected] for further information.

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Ewan By
A member of Macs Adventure's amazing marketing team, my passion in life is Snowboarding (apart from my family of course, should they happen to read this!) and have taken up mountain biking to fill the seasonal gap and keep me fit enough to spend as much time on the slopes as I can, come winter.