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Iona and Mull or Skye

I have never been to Scotland and hoping to visit in either May or September. Looking at various tours with Heart of Scotland and Rabbies. If I need to choose either 3 day to Skye or 3 day to Mull and Iona does anyone want to share a preference based on their knowledge/experience. If I can work out a way to take a longer tour looks like Rabbies has one that goes to all 3. Thanks for any information.

Posted by
904 posts

Mull and Iona can be done as a day trip from Oban. Oban is a small town so if you go there just to see Mull/Iona then three days might be too long depending on the itinerary. Skye is a lot farther away (if you are starting from Glasgow or Edinburgh), and I think three days to get there and back wouldn't do it justice. My preference would be for Skye if I had to pick, simply because of the amazing scenery, but I would want more time.

Posted by
69 posts

The Isle of Skye is possibly one of my favorite places in the UK. We are planning a longer trip there in the future, but I'd highly recommend it. I think you'd get more out of 3 days there than Mull and Iona.

Posted by
5678 posts

I spent three days on Mull and could easily have spent another day. I stayed in Tobermorey. On one of the days I drove down to Fionnphort to take the boats to Staffa and Iona. On another day I toured the castles. And on the third day I went for a driving tour. I think if I went back I would do one of the wild life tours. I think if you do one of the day trips you skim the surface. I missed the tour of the distillery on Mull. The history on Mull dates from the Viking era. It's easy to picture the long ships and galley's coming up the sound.

I spent a week on Skye on a photo workshop. There's a lot to see there as well. There is the Broch and Dunvegan, but I like Duart Castle better. There are lots of walks. Of course, you can tour Talisker--really like that single malt! Skye is the romantic one with Bonnie Prince Charlie stories.

You won't go wrong with either. Skye is wilder, but there is wildlife on Mull. I think that there is a bit more history on Mull. Both have painted houses. You can say that Staffa and Iona are unique and interesting, but on Skye you can marvel at the Old Man of Storr or Kilt rock. So, again you'll enjoy either one.


Posted by
99 posts

I've been to both and they each have their merits. Both Oban and Inverness are nice nearby towns, with Oban feeling a little smaller (Oban Whiskey tour in town is excellent - just like the single malt - yum!) but with an excellent waterfront walking area. We really enjoyed this scenic little place. We took a one-day tour with "Staffa." One day is enough to ride their bus across beautiful Mull (no stopping except for the Highland Coos/Cows (awesome). You hop on the boat for the tour to Staffa (be sure to take your own lunch from Oban). Chances are, Rabbies might book you on those tours. After an hour or so, they drop you on Iona with plenty of time to explore. So, with this option you get a boat tour on the water, lots of history, and great scenics. We went on a stunningly beautiful day so feel slightly inclined to this one. Hopefully, Rabbies includes another location in this tour as well. Skye is is associated with mystery and geological sights. It poured rain when we were there in September so that was a bummer. We enjoyed touring Talisker whiskey, the castle, and listening to Celtic/Scottish music out of a tiny town pub. We enjoyed Skye and visited enough places to make it memorable. The weather didn't allow for much in the way of hikes and walking.

Posted by
163 posts

Thank you for your replies much appreciated. Both options sound sooo appealing. Weather wise overall the impression from other posts in the past is that it is variable with rain and sun. Would anyone venture as to any projection of going in May vs September?

Posted by
23 posts

We were there in June. Still variable weather, rain on the coast and sun inland.
If you go to Oban, across from the Oban distillery (worth the tour through another distillery, they are all so different)
There was, in 2008, a little restaurant Named "Julie's" The best hot chocolate I have ever had the pleasure to drink! Food was good too.

Posted by
1302 posts

May everytime ,the days are much longer, there's about 5 hours of real darkness.
Not too bad a guess,checked online and there's 17 hours of daylight

Posted by
318 posts

I can't help re: the weather in May vs. September, but I second the comment about daylight hours in May. I was there in June, and got to see a lot because I could go back out after dinner and explore some more before dark.