The Isles of Mull, Iona & The Highlands 4 Day Tour from Glasgow
Discover Scotland’s wild, west coast on our four day tour from Glasgow to the outstanding islands of Mull, sacred Iona and their tranquil sister isles. This is a spectacular tour for wildlife and nature lovers, especially bird-watchers, with the chance to spot seabirds, eagles, dolphins and even whales. Explore the geological wonder of Fingal’s Cave on Staffa, walk on one of Scotland’s finest beaches and explore Tobermory’s picture-postcard harbour front with its brightly painted houses.
Main Departure Point
Buchanan Bus Station, Killermont St, Glasgow, G2 3NW
Prices From: £219.00 per person
Please note we are unable to take children under 5.
See the Details & FAQ tab for optional extra costs and further information.
Small Group Tours
Certificate of Excellence Winner 2011- 2019
Departing from Glasgow our first port of call is pretty Luss where quaint cottages stretch down to the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond. Our adventure takes us north through Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park before heading into the Highlands, alongside Loch Long, and into the foreboding ‘Arrochar Alps’. Our steep climb ends at the iconic viewpoint the ‘Rest and Be Thankful’ so named by the words etched on stone by weary soldiers who built the military road in 1750.
Your Discover Scotland Tour stops for lunch at Inveraray on Loch Fyne. Scotland’s first planned town, it was built in 1745 by the 3rd Duke of Argyll, chief of the powerful Clan Campbell. Its white-washed buildings are a great example of Scottish Georgian architecture. You can stroll around the town or explore Inveraray Castle and its resplendent gardens, where the Duke of Argyll still lives today.
Scotland’s rugged west coast calls us next, where shimmering lochs stretch for miles out to sea, mountains tower over glens and pristine sandy beaches rival any holiday destination.
From Oban – ‘The Gateway to the Isles’ – we ferry to the Isle of Mull and head for Tobermory, probably the most photographed town in Scotland with its multi-coloured houses overlooking the harbour, where we’ll stay for three nights.
From Fionnphort a small passenger ferry guides us over azure waters to the tiny sacred island of Iona. St Columba and his companions came from Ireland to establish a monastery here in 563 AD and it’s been a place of Christian worship and international pilgrimage ever since.
You can visit Iona Abbey and stand on Torr an Aba, the little hill above where St Columba is thought to have had his writing hut. Explore St Oran’s Chapel and Reilig Òdhrain, the graveyard where 48 ancient kings of Scotland, including Macbeth, are said to be buried.
At just one and a half miles wide and three miles long, it’s easy to explore. Why not ramble to Iona’s highest point at Dun I and sip from the Well of Eternal Youth, a little pool said to have been blessed by St Brigid of Ireland. You’ll be rewarded with panoramic views to other Hebridean islands such as Tiree, Coll and the Treshnish Islands. On a really clear day you’ll see Rhum, Eigg and Skye and even the coast of Ireland.
There’s an option to take a three hour boat trip to Fingal’s Cave on uninhabited Staffa, which includes an hour’s visit. The best time to see puffins is from early May to early August and you might also spot gannets, guillemots and razorbills. Dolphins and porpoises are often playing in the water and in summer look out for minke and fin whales or even the elusive basking shark whose fin breaks the water as it feeds.
Fingal’s Cave is a geological wonder with its hexagonal basalt rock columns formed millions of years ago by volcanic eruptions. Its evocative acoustics inspired Mendelssohn to compose his Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave) after he visited in 1829. One of Pink Floyd’s unreleased tracks from their 1970 Zabriskie Point soundtrack sessions is also called Fingal’s Cave.
After a full day your small group heads back to Tobermory where you can spend the evening at your leisure.
A short drive in your luxury mini coach takes you to the Kilmore standing stones above the village of Dervaig where nearby there are signs of an ancient fort and a Highland clearance village. We’ll pause at one of Scotland’s finest beaches, Calgary Bay, whose glistening white sand rivals any Caribbean destination. You might even spot a white-tailed eagle.
A one-minute ferry takes us to Ulva, an island haven for walkers and wildlife enthusiasts that’s definitely off the beaten track. Around 800 AD the Vikings landed and named it Ulfur, meaning wolf island. But they weren’t the first residents as standing stones date to around 1500 BC and artefacts suggest human occupation dating back 6,000 years.
In its heyday Ulva had around 800 residents but today there are just five. As a result it’s a truly unspoilt isle with pristine blue waters rolling onto white shell beaches and woods carpeted in billiard green moss. Keep an eye out for sea eagles, golden eagles and otters.
The Boathouse serves tasty home-baking and local oysters and there’s even a museum and heritage centre housed in the thatched ‘Sheila’s Cottage’.
Back in Tobermory you might enjoy its quaint shops, traditional Scottish pubs or a dram of single malt whisky at Tobermory Distillery.
Our Highlands and islands road trip continues with two brief ferry journeys. After a short drive to Fishnish our first ferry of the day takes us over the Sound of Mull to Lochaline in Morvern on Scotland’s mainland. This spectacular peninsula was shaped thousands of years ago by volcanoes and ice. An hour later we’re lining up for the small Corran ferry en route to our lunch stop in Glencoe where your friendly driver-guide will regale you with the history of the 1692 massacre.
Then we’ll emerge from the towering mountains into desolate Rannoch Moor, one of Europe’s last great wildernesses, and head into picturesque Killin. You’ll want to pose for selfies at the village’s dramatic rapids, the Falls of Dochart.
Our adventure continues passed Loch Lubnaig, through the Pass of Leny and Callander to another favourite photo stop at mysterious Doune Castle. Dating from around the 14th century you’ll see why it’s a film-makers favourite and starred in Outlander as Castle Leoch, Game of Thrones as Winterfell and in cult comedy Monty Python as Swamp Castle, Castle Anthrax and Camelot.
Our return to Glasgow is via Edinburgh and via the Kelpies, the world’s largest equine sculptures. Standing over 30 metres high, these two giant steel horse heads are a monument to Scotland’s horse-powered industrial heritage.
Images of Inveraray, Cal Mac Ferry, Buachaille Etive Mor, the Falls of Dochart and The Kelpies © Visit Scotland
Departure & Return Information
This tour will depart from Buchanan Bus Station, Killermont St, Glasgow, G2 3NW.
At the end of this tour you can return to Glasgow or Edinburgh. All you need to do is email us (include your booking reference number) at email@example.com and we will arrange this with your tour driver-guide.
Every Monday from May 6th – 21st Oct 2019
Check in 09.15
Please note if you are late in arriving at your departure point and as a consequence miss your tour you will not be entitled to a refund.
Costs are for transportation by air-conditioned 16 seat mini-coach and the services of an English speaking driver-guide.
All ferry fares are included in the price, except the Staffa boat trip.
Accommodation, lunch, refreshments and entry fees to visitor attractions.
We regret that we do not carry children under the age of 5 on our scheduled tours.
Luggage is restricted to one medium sized suitcase/ bag (maximum weight 15 kg) and one small carry-on bag per person.
Unfortunately we do not offer a hotel pick up service on our multi-day tours.
Luss, Loch Lomond, Rest and be Thankful, Inveraray, Oban, Ferry to Mull & Tobermory.
The Isle of Iona, Iona Abbey, Boat trip to Fingal's Cave & Staffa.
Dervaig, Calgary Bay, The Island of Ulva & Tobermory Distillery.
Ferry from Fishnish to Lochaline, The Corran Ferry, Glencoe, Falls of Dochart, Doune Castle & the Kelpies.
Please note we may visit some attractions on a different day due to weather etc.
Students £11.00 (with valid ID)
Summer 2020 Update: Following the COVID-19 outbreak Historic Environment Scotland who operate Iona Abbey have not yet been able to confirm a reopening date. The Abbey therefore remains closed until further notice. Passengers will still be able to take photographs from the outside and walk around the area.
Staffa Boat Trip (Boat trip lasts 3 hours)
Children (5- 15) £35.00
Includes a dram of Tobermory 10 year old at the end of your tour.
Children (5-17) £8.00
All payable in cash on the day.
Where does the tour stay overnight?
We stay in Tobermory for all 3 nights of our tour.
The village has some restaurants for evening dining and a shop should you require any necessities.
Can you reserve my accommodation?
Yes, we can reserve both B&B & hostel accommodation for you. There is an option to request your preferred accommodation when booking. You will then receive a confirmation email containing details of your accommodation provider & the exact cost of your stay.
Payment is made directly to the accommodation provider on arrival.
Summer 2020 Update: The hostel dorm rooms have not yet reopened following the COVID-19 outbreak. The shared nature of the hostel buildings makes social distancing more difficult to implement. Some hostels may opt to open for private rooms only whereas others many remain closed until the guidance changes. Therefore, please note that if you intend to travel prior to March 2021 that B&B or a private Hostel room may be the only option available.
What is the price for accommodation?
The guide price for accommodation is as follows:
B&B double/twin room: £90.00 - £110.00 per room per night based on 2 people sharing.
B&B single occupancy: £80.00 - £90.00 per room per night
Hostel: £18.50 - £26.00 for a mixed dorm bed.
We provide a guide price as each establishment has their own pricing structure. Our accommodation is allocated on a first come first serve basis so an exact cost will not be known until you have booked and we can confirm what is available.
Can I book my own accommodation?
You can self-book your accommodation should you wish to. The accommodation must be in Tobermory and we ask that you let the accommodation provider know that you are travelling with us.
If you choose to book your own accommodation, please inform us where you are staying as soon as possible.
How much luggage can we bring?
Our luggage allowance is medium suitcase weighing no more than 15kg per person plus a small handbag/laptop bag which can be brought on to the coach. This allowance is set based on the overall weight limit of the coach and therefore can not be altered.
There are left luggage facilities in both Glasgow and Edinburgh Train Stations and Edinburgh Bus Station if you require to store luggage while you are on tour.
Will we be dropped off and picked up at our accommodation on Mull?
Yes while on Mull, your Tour Leader will drop you off each evening and collect you at a designated time each morning.
Please ensure you are ready in plenty of time each morning.
What can we do if we don’t want to participate in an optional extra?
All attractions are optional. Should you wish not to visit an attraction then your Tour Leader will provide you with information of any alternative options in the area, this may be local walks or the location of a nearby coffee shop.
Will I be able to pay by credit card while on tour?
In the Scottish Highlands many businesses do not accept card, particularly in rural areas where mobile signals are not very strong. Optional extras are also paid in cash to your driver. Therefore, it is best to bring cash with you.
There are cash machines on route should you require to take out money while on tour.
Check in 09.15: Departs 09.30 - Returns 19.30