We will spend two nights in Oban unless it is recommended to stay on Mull. We have heard so many good things about the 3-island tour out of Oban. We plan to do that or take the ferry over to Mull and spend time there on our own. Can anyone comment on the better choice? We go to Skye for the next two days after that. Thank you.
As far as accommodation, we stayed at the Kathmore Guest House in Oban. It's just on the south end of town, and is very comfortable, with a large private car park. It's a five minute walk to the nearby Tesco, and a ten minute walk in to the center of town. Absolutely wonderful staff, and excellent value.
On Mull, we've stayed at the Caol-Ithe B&B in Fionnphort, and the Park Lodge hotel in Tobermory. Both were reasonably priced, and comfortable, with excellent breakfasts.
Personally, I'd stay on Mull, and take the Staffa trip from Fionnphort. I'd also take the short ferry trip from Fionnphort to Iona, which gives you as much time on Iona as you need.
If you're going directly to Skye, you could take the Tobermory to Kilchoan ferry, then make your way north to join the A830 at Lochailort, which leaves you only a few miles from Mallaig for your ferry to Skye. However, if you need to visit Fort William and Glenfinnan, you'd need to go from Mull to Skye via Oban.
I hope that helps you to decide.
I liked staying on Mull. I did have three nights though. I stayed up in Tobermory which was wonderful. I liked being on the Island. I drove down to Fionnphort one day to get the boat to Staffa and Iona. On the first day, I went to Duart Castle which was wonderful. I just wandered one day. So, a two-night stay would probably work. I liked Tobermory because of the Mish and other restaurants. Everyone was quite lovely. I was there over the 9/11 attacks.
Thank you so much for your help.
In reviewing this, I find myself asking for more advice!
We will travel from Stirling, past Loch Lomond, to Oban on Friday the 20th of September. I think we would be able to do that and still ferry to Mull. I also think we would enjoy being on the island the next day and going to Iona. I’m concerned, however, that we should possibly return to Oban later that next day. We probably should be on our way to Skye by mid morning on Sunday. Does that make sense? Also, is weather a concern when scheduling the ferry to Mull....since we have a car I know you advise reservations. Am I correct that we would not be back to Oban before about 11 a.m. Sunday?
What a crazy list of concerns but with such knowledgeable advisors I thought I’d ask!
Hi again, jsss72,
You should have more than enough time to travel from Stirling to Oban by way of Loch Lomond, and still be able to catch the ferry for Craignure. The last ferry departs Oban at 9:45 p.m. on Friday. However, you should try to make the 6:10 ferry, as the 8:00 p.m. ferry doesn't sail during the time that you'll be there.
On Sunday, the first ferry leaves Craignure at 9:30 a.m., arriving in Oban at 10:25. The next ferry leaves at 11:00 a.m., arriving Oban at 11:50. It's the better part of three hours from Oban to Mallaig, if you're taking the ferry from Mallaig to Armadale. Considerably more if you're heading for the Skye bridge.
Reservations are pretty much mandatory for Friday and Sunday sailings, due to the weekend traffic.
If you're going directly to Skye, you may want to consider the Tobermory to Kilchoan ferry. The first one leaves Tobermory at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday, arriving Kilchoan at 10:05. That would get you a lot closer to Skye, with much nicer scenery. It's approximately 60 miles from Kilchoan to Mallaig, so you could be in Mallaig in time to catch the 1:00 p.m. ferry. The Fishnish to Lochaline ferry would also be a possibility, but it involves a bit more driving on the mainland end.
All ferries are subject to weather and tidal conditions. The Firth of Lorne is a bit more sheltered than the Sound of Sleat. You should check the weather forecast a couple of days before your departure. It usually takes a gale to stop CalMac.