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Also, the Isles and the Highlands

Because of the history, I feel a need to visit Iona. Because everyone recommends it, I feel we should visit Skye. Darling Companion so far does not have a preference. How doable is visiting both?

Also, we'd welcome any recommendations on seeing and doing in the Highlands.

Thank you!
Marjie

Posted by
4760 posts

How long do you have? When is the trip?

I presume you will be hiring a car? What do you want to do in the Highlands?

Posted by
912 posts

Doing both is absolutely doable! Obviously on different days. On Skye stay in Portree. See Dunvegan Castle and Gardens, and there is a variety of ruins and hikes to do also. Do the Caladonian McBray tour where they ferry you across to Mull, a bus takes you across Mull, and then another boat to Iona and Fingals Cave. Wonderful full day out from Oban! While in Oban we also did Dunstaffnage Castle. Can you give us more direction on areas and things you like for the highlands?

Posted by
1188 posts

Non Residents can not take a car on Iona. There is no direct connection from Oban to Iona. However, you can do walk on the Ferry to Craigmore Terminal on Mull, then walk to Terminal, catch bus to Fionphort Post Office, walk to Mull Ferry Terminal, take Mull Ferry to Oban Ferry Terminal. ride bus around Iona. Reverse trip back. You may have to buy a ticket for each portion, or check to see if there is a Scottish Transit Pass available that would cover you. Or Book a Day Tour. Look at Visit Scotland Web Site. You can drive over bridge to Skye. If you plan to stay on Skye book well in advance. You can stay in Ft William and drive to Skye as a day trip. Having been to Scotland, I understand that you have to see the "Highlands". Since you are interested in History, you may want look at which periods interest you. The Middle Ages had a lot happening in the South nearer the Borders with Castles and the Abbeys. The Rennaissance, with Mary Queen of Scots, in Lithinglow, Edinburgh, Sterling, etc. "1745" Culloden in the North. Be sure visit Loch Ness so you can call up Nessie at Urquart Castle. How much time do you have?

Posted by
5562 posts

So, I love Skye, but I love other parts of Scotland as well. If I wanted to see Iona and Skye I would consider the bits in between. I would go from Skye and take the ferry to Mailaig. But instead of going to Fort William and down to Oban to catch the ferry to Oban, I would head for Ardnamurchan. This will take you off the beaten track and let you see part of Scotland that is not seen by many Americans. I go to see some of it a few years ago and know people who love it. I would take the ferry from Kilchoan to Tobermory. You can drive to Fionnphort to take the boat to Iona. I recommend visiting Staffa as well.

Pam

Posted by
69 posts

We are going in mid-May 2022. For the Isles and Highlands, we'll have 5 nights. All of the advice so far is absolutely terrific!

Posted by
69 posts

Also, we'll be 69 and are in pretty good shape; however, actual hikes really aren't for us!
We can do plane, train, and automobile, so recommendations welcome...

Posted by
5562 posts

Yep, at 68(??) I get the need to not go crazy. That's why I love find the crazy driving alternatives that can give me space for shorter but still wildly enjoyable walks.

Posted by
228 posts

Rather than doing Skye, Why not concentrate on Iona and Mull? It saves the hassle of driving to Skye and is also makes much better use of the time you have. Scenically Mull is as good as Skye (and I have to admit I prefer it) although it lacks the glamour of the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie, Fiona MacDonald and the Skye Boat Song... It also tends to be quieter too. There is less accommodation, so think and plan in advance.

Iona is a 10 minute ferry ride from Mull and you might even consider spending a night there.