Please sign in to post.

Whale watching tour vs. Mull & Iona Tour

Hi !

Just wondering if anyone has done these tours? My friend and I want to do a whale watching tour to see, hopefully, some whales and wildlife. I've read that it's more likely than not, we wont see any whales but maybe some other wildlife. Would we see any wildlife on the Mull and Iona tour? I'm sure the scenery is beautiful either way. We just want to see the best of everything we can see on one of these tours.

Thanks for any responses!!

Posted by
683 posts

You might see otters on Mull, though they are pretty shy. For sure you would see lots of great birds, if you are interested in birds (you can reserve to see White-tailed Sea Eagles at their nest). I'd recommend Mull and Iona, since you can go on totally reliable whale-watching excursions off the US (or view cetaceans from shore in some parts of Maine and New Brunswick), whereas the picturesque villages of Mull, and especially the amazing, beautiful ancient buildings and ruins on Iona are way different from anything in the US. Also, the beaches on Iona are gorgeous.

Posted by
1376 posts

Hi, Kathy,

Agree with Joel. Not only Iona, but the island of Ulva, off Mull's west coast, is well worth visiting. In addition, the B8073 out of Tobermory, via Dervaig and Calgary, is one of the most spectacular island roads in Scotland. The beach at Calgary is stunning. Plus Glengorm Castle (just north of Tobermory) does lodging.

You can do a whale/dolphin/seal watch with AquaXplore, out of Elgol on Skye. They have excursions of several lengths. It's the same folks who do the Bella Jane cruises to Loch Coruisk.

If you're passing through Mull on your way to Skye, you could take the Tobermory to Kilchoan ferry, then travel through Ardnamurchan and Moidart for even more spectacular scenery.


Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
95 posts

What time of year will you be there? We just did the Mull/iona/Staffa Three Isles tour with West Coast Tours from Oban two weeks ago. I'm not an organized tour person but loved it. We didn't see a ton of wildlife but that was't our intent. If you are going from May to early August you will see puffins on Staffa. On my next trip to Scotland I will make sure I go during puffin time.

Posted by
14097 posts

Just be aware these can be weather dependent. I was on an RS tour in June and we barely made the ferry over to Iona and back as they were going to suspend service after the 3PM boat due to high winds. They did and the ferry service was suspended the next AM as well. I don't know what your plans are but I'd give yourselves 3 nights in Oban so you've got 2 full days. Try to do your tour the 1st day but you'll have day 2 as a back up for weather.

Posted by
233 posts

Hi erodgreg and Pam,

Thanks for the advice! We are planning on going @ Mid June 2019. We are still planning trip(or at least I am). Every time I read something else about Scotland, I want to change plans and try something else:)) I have read a lot about the weather and am looking into waterproof jackets and shoes for rainy weather. If seas are rough, I'll watch wildlife from shore. I have no interest in being sea sick or possibly taking a dunk in the water!!


Posted by
8444 posts

Another vote for the West Coast Tours, 3 island tour that includes Staffa. So much fun to visit with the Puffins!

Posted by
3247 posts

Another vote for West Coast tours! It was a highlight of our 12 day trip to Scotland. We got so close to Puffins and had dolphins right next to our boat! We did not see whales.