This walking holiday will give you the chance to explore Scotland’s wild and magical Atlantic Coast! The Hebridean Islands Staffa, Mull, Iona will offer unforgettable walking, history and wildlife adventure!
Scotland’s wild Atlantic coast has been sculpted into a spectacular landscape by deep fjord like sea lochs and the green beautiful islands of the Inner Hebrides whilst the surrounding alpine mountains of the Highlands complete a dramatic scenery and are home to a wide variety of wildlife.
Discover Neolithic Stone Circles, explore Castles and magnificent Rhododendron Gardens, visit a Buddhist community on a remote island, watch for sea eagles and otters, sit among the delightful puffins on their rock in the sea and hike along ruggedly beautiful coastal paths between mountains, sea and sky.
The West Coast was home to Scotland’s first people who left many traces of their culture, some up to 5000 year old, in the valleys, along the shore and on hill tops. Later, in the 5th century, the first Scottish Kings arrived from Ireland establishing their Kingdom of Dalriada. St. Columba settled on the tiny island Iona around the same time and undertook the Christianization of Scotland. To this day, Iona is the home of a thriving ecumenical community and the lovingly restored Abbey in its remote coastal setting a feast for eye and spirit.
Accommodation on Hebridean islands
For your comfort we have chosen and tested good quality, cosy and hospitable 3 star accommodation in hotels and guesthouses.
The local pub is an excellent place to celebrate your day’s adventures in the evenings – with delicious ale and good food in the company of your group of fellow travelers.
Walking on Hebridean islands
This versatile trip to the Inner Hebrides offers stunning outdoor experiences, a day with an expert wildlife guide on the Isle of Mull, an awesome boat trip to a Puffin colony, unexpected cultural delights and accommodation in truly idyllic and authentic small island hotels and guesthouses. Hiking is easy to moderate and the days’ pace such that you can enjoy and truly take in what is around you.
The sea and wild landscapes offer superb opportunities for observing wild birds and sea mammals in their natural environments. Learn to distinguish between eagles, buzzards and ospreys and follow the trail of otters on land. A special island expedition takes you into the amazing world of Atlantic seabirds to the Isle of Lunga where you spend time with puffins, gannets, fulmars, razorbills and manx shearwaters. The early summer is breeding time and so quite special.
Your walking group of no more than 8 allows flexibility and a friendly, personal ambience. You are accompanied throughout by an experienced and knowledgeable guide who will endeavor to make your holiday a wonderful and enjoyable experience.
Hebridean Islands walking holiday itinerary
Day 1 – Journey to the Isle of Arran
We meet at Glasgow Central Station at 10 am and 15 minutes after at Glasgow Airport and head for Ardrossan Harbour (1 hrs drive) to catch the ferry to Arran (1 hour). The Isle of Arran lies in the huge estuary of the Glasgow River Clyde and is surrounded by mainland on three sides and only in the south open to the ocean. Often called miniature Scotland, the island’s northern half has stunning volcanic mountains and in the south rolling green fields. We explore Brodick Castle and its extensive and beautiful Rhododendron Gardens. Following lunch on the castle terrace with breathtaking views to the mainland we make our way to the impressive neolithic site in Machrie Moor. Its stone circles and unusual dolmens are particularly mystical in the early evening light.
Day 2 – Arran’s Holy Isle – Early Christianity, Buddhism & Natural Delights
This small rocky island lying off Arran’s eastern shore has been called holy since the 6th century when it became St Molaise’s solitary retreat. Today, the island belongs to the Scotland based Samye Ling Buddhist Community who has created a modern andenvironmentally designed retreat and centre for world peace and health. We take a small ferry across and are welcome with a cup of tea and introduction so that we can fully enjoy the island’s enchanting atmosphere and natural beauty: wild goats, ponies and sheep roam the island, Tibetan paintings adorn the rocks by the shore and the rare Whitebeam tree can be found here. The views are wonderful and you may just like to stay …
Day 3 – Island studded Atlantic Coast & Historic Neolithic Landscapes
We leave Arran via its northern harbour Lochranza und drive along the scenic and island dooted coastline of Argyll. At Kilmartin, we find a wealth of prehistoric monuments. On foot, we discover 5000 year old burial cairns, standing stones and amazing rock carvings and explore Dunadd Fort, where the first Scottish Kings were crowned 500 BC. The day provides a fascinating insight into a lesser known part of Scottish history. Later this afternoon, we will travel by ferry from Oban to the Isle of Mull en route to Iona. Our home for 2 nights is the charming Argyll Hotel with a relaxing garden, grand views and an excellent restaurant.
Day 4 – Idyllic Isle of Iona, Scotland’s Cradle of Christianity
Probably Scotland’s most important early Christian historical monument is Iona Abbey. Founded by St Columba along with 12 monks in the 6th century Columba undertook the task of christianizing Scotland. There are 12th century ruins, artful celtic crosses and the well restored and quite special building of the Abbey to explore. Not to be missed is a walk along the island’s wonderful white beaches and green meadows and a minisule hill for a gigantic view.
Day 5 – Exploring the green Island of Ulva
We leave Iona for the Isle of Mull – a green paradise with valleys, hills, a rocky coast and an abundance of wildlife. Ruth, our island expert, will take us right into the world of eagles, otters, ancient history and wonderful landscapes with lots of interesting stories. The tiny island Ulva is an almost uninhabited paradise which will be our roaming ground for the day. We will spend time watching for wildlife and looking at plants – all at a slow pace.
Day 6 – Staffa’s Sea Cave and Puffins on Lunga
This is a highlight of your holiday: we take a boat to the Treshnish Isles where we discover the magnificent Final’s Cave which inspired Mendelssohn to write his famous Hebrides Ouverture. The neighboring island Lunga is home to an amazing number of breeding Puffins who are so busy flying in and out of their nests, looking after their brood that they hardly notice us. We are awe – inspired! There are many other birds – Razorbills, Guillemots, Gannets and Shags – all living together in protective harmony for the breeding season.
Day 7 – Whisky in Oban and Journey to Glasgow
We say good bye to Mull. In Oban you can visit the local whisky distillery for a quick delicious taste or simply stroll along the busy promenade with an ice cream! We arrive in Glasgow at around 17 hours where your trip ends.
Dates and Availability
Private tours for 2020 – price on request
Single supplement is available at £195.-
Please contact the holiday provider, through the contact form below, for more information.