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Three Isle tours from Oban

Hi All,

We are beginning to map out our trip this year to Scotland in mid-September. This is our third trip, and our first actually driving -- which we're really excited about.

We have 6 days in Scotland this time around. We fly into Glasgow (we're spending a little time in southwest England first) and we are thinking of starting out in Oban and going out on the 3 Isles -- Mull, Iona, and Staffa. We know the Puffins will be gone by then, but wondering if that's still worth the trip.

Monday is getting to Oban, Tuesday to the isles, and then Wednesday into the highlands. We fly out of Glasgow the following Sunday and want to spend some time in the highlands as well, along with getting to the Scone Palace. The only isle we've been to so far is Skye, and only for a few hours.

So, what do people think? Is the three Isle tour worth that day without the puffins? Or are we better off heading further north, spending some time on Skye or another isle?

Posted by
940 posts

Hi, Steve,

If you only have six days in Scotland, and want to see Scone Palace and the Highlands, you should skip Mull and Oban. You'd be heading off in the opposite direction. If you had 10 to 14 days, then I'd say go for it. If you keep Mull in the plans, you've already taken up two of your six days.

As Scone Palace is on your to do list, you should go there either first or last, as it's closest to Glasgow. If you go there first, you can then head up toward Inverness, then start your tour of the Highlands. Or you could head over to Glencoe, then drive up the Great Glen to Inverness. From Inverness, you could drive part of the North Coast 500, for a true appreciation of the Highlands, or you could return to Skye and spend more time there.

If you're really committed to visiting Mull, there is one option you may want to consider, as you'll have a car: You could drive to Oban on Monday, and catch the ferry for Craignure; spend Monday night in Fionnphort; visit Iona on Tuesday morning, and if you have enough time, take a boat trip out to Staffa; spend Tuesday night in Tobermory (or catch the last ferry from Tobermory to Kilchoan); and on Wednesday, head north on the Ardnamurchan Peninsula and through Moidart to the A830 (if you miss the last ferry from Tobermory, catch the first one on Wednesday - no reservation required for that route). That would then give you the choice of going back to Skye (A830 to Mallaig; ferry to Skye; back out on the A87, and north from Lochcarron on the A890/A896), or heading to Fort William and then north to Inverness. That would give you most of Wednesday, and all of Thursday and Friday, to tour the Highlands, before making your way south on Saturday.

Hope you have a wonderful time!

Mike (auchterless)

p.s.: Would you be visiting Port Isaac in England?

Posted by
3479 posts

Haven't been to Staffa, but Mull and Iona are definitely worth a trip. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous in addition to the wealth of history. Oban has some of the best seafood anywhere and is definitely worth two nights -- one for the islands and one for Oban itself.