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AITO Tour Operator of The Year 2016 - Gold Award

Mull & Iona, Isles of Enchantment

Experience the very different atmospheres of two captivating islands, separated by a narrow strip of water

Your twin-centre break begins with three nights on the Isle of Mull – either right in the heart of Tobermory’s stunning harbourfront or you could choose a beautiful Scottish castle perched by the coastline. From either spot, you are well-placed to explore the island  – from the sweeping sandy beaches at Calgary and Ardalanish to hikes inland in search of waterfalls, ruins and wildlife. We’ll provide plenty of recommendations tailored to your interests. Mull is renowned for its diverse wildlife: minke whales, as well as basking sharks, dolphins and porpoise, frequent these waters throughout the season. You could choose to take a guided boat trip, or alternatively a land-based wildlife safari in search of otters and eagles – do ask us to pre-book to ensure you don’t miss out.

There’s no better way to round-off a holiday than a couple of nights soaking up the spiritual atmosphere of tiny Iona. Most people visit on a day-trip to see the abbey, the birthplace of Christianity in Scotland thanks to Saint Columba. Staying overnight is therefore a rare privilege to experience the island at is tranquil best. Long summer evenings are perfect for a gentle stroll to the evocatively-named Beach at the Back of the Ocean, while sunsets can be spectacular.

If you’re interested in photography as well as wildlife, then take a look at our unique Island Photography & Wildlife Safari holiday, where you can learn how to capture Hebridean light and landscapes then find otters and eagles on the Isle of Mull.


At A Glance

Best Time To Go

Mar - Oct

Why not...

add in a boat trip or guided wildlife trip?

Prices From

£460

No of Nights

5

Speak to Us

Office Hours 9am-5.30pm UK Time (Mon-Fri)

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Details

Day One – By Sea to the Isle of Mull

You start your journey by ferry from the port of Oban to Mull, with glorious views in all directions as you cross to Craignure.  Your hotel is in the main island village, around 30 minutes’ drive.

Your Mull Accommodation

Choose between a quaint hotel on Tobermory’s harbourfront or a classic Scottish castle right by the coastline.

Basking in the picture-postcard charm of Tobermory’s stunning waterfront, this family-owned hotel has been cleverly converted from a row of fisherman’s cottages into a delightful establishment.  Comfortable lounges and cosy bedrooms offer a warm welcome just a stone’s throw from one of the world’s prettiest working harbours.

Alternatively, take a short drive beyond Tobermory to the impressive Victorian castle at Glengorm. Highland cattle may greet you as you head up the driveway towards this turreted pile. The huge open fireplaces, creaking wooden boards and many a nook and cranny give the place a wonderfully authentic feel. Pleasingly, there is no need to stand on ceremony as this is still very much a family home. Surrounded by many acres of highland estate, including Victorian bathing pools by the shore, a tearoom and coffee shop plus an extinct volcano, you’ll have plenty to explore right on your doorstep.

The Isle of Mull

A paradise for lovers of Scotland’s natural heritage, Mull is an island gem with an enviable diversity of wildlife thriving everywhere from dense woodland glens to the grassy slopes of Ben More.  Its many miles of coastline boast fantastic sandy beaches – particularly at Calgary and Ardalanish – whilst off-shore is one of Europe’s prime habitats for whales and dolphins.  You can also take a boat to visit the famous – and inspirational for Mendelsson – Fingal’s cave on Staffa. Meanwhile, lively Tobermory has a bustling vitality and is a great place.  Brightly painted houses provide a colourful backdrop to the picture-postcard harbour and the ‘craic’ in waterfront bars rivals anything on the mainland.

Day Four – The Island of Iona

A scenic drive from one side of Mull to the other will take you to the tiny ferry port of Fionnphort, in the south west where you will leave your car behind and catch the next ferry to this very special island.

Your Iona Hotel

Iona ‘s popularity as a daytrip destination is in stark contrast to the numbers of people who stay there overnight, and this is an ideal way to experience the peace and even mysticism of an island which has played a notable role on Scottish society for hundreds of years. The hotel was built in 1868 as the village inn and has two comfortable lounges with open fires, a plant filled sun lounge and a spacious dining room with antiques and family portraits; all overlook the Sound of Iona to the pink and blue hills of Mull.  There are only fifteen cosy bedrooms with en suite facilities, as well as period furniture and original paintings.  The hotel lies within walking distance of the Abbey and only 200 yards from the jetty. They serve freshly prepared real home cooking using many of their own organically grown vegetables.  Dishes include local produce such as wild Mull salmon, venison, Scottish lamb, Tobermory smoked trout and cheeses.

Exploring Iona

A world away from Mull – but in reality just a short ferry ride across the Sound of Iona – this tiny island is a deeply spiritual place, a historic Christian pilgrimage that has drawn travellers to its enigmatic shores for more than a thousand years.  The brilliant blue-green waters and clear light here have inspired poets, painters and pilgrims for centuries. Iona’s historical and spiritual significance dates back to the time of St. Columba, who founded a monastery here and helped to spread Christianity throughout Scotland.  The present Iona Abbey dates from the eleventh century and is a true sanctuary, where services and special events are held every day throughout the summer months.  The island is also noted for its wonderful sandy beaches and dramatic cliffs, offering picturesque views over to Mull.  As you explore this enchanting wilderness, whether on foot or bicycle, keep an eye out for some stunning wild flowers and rare birds, including corncrakes, sparrowhawks and buzzards.

Day Six

Return home by small ferry from Iona to Mull, then by larger ferry from Mull back to Oban.


Location

Map Mull Iona

The two centres for this Scottish holiday are the enchanting islands of Mull and its tiny near neighbour, Iona.


Pricing

Option A: Staying in Tobermory & Iona: £460 per person for March, £500 for April & October, £560 for May to August, and £540 for September.

Option B: Staying in Glengorm Castle & Iona: £508 per person for March, £548 for April & October, £608 for May to August and £588 for September.

Prices based on two people sharing double rooms ensuite for three nights on Mull and two nights on Iona, on a bed & breakfast basis. Price includes return ferry travel for a car and two passengers to and from Mull, and to Iona as foot passengers only.

We would also be happy to arrange a whole range of wildlife and boat trips for your holiday, including trips to Staffa, puffin and whale-watching (in season). Ask for more details – advance booking strongly recommended.

Before your departure, you will receive personalised holiday information including full directions, recommended routes, and suggestions on places to visit depending on your interests and our local knowledge to help you get the most from your holiday.

All itineraries and room types are presented subject to availability at specific hotels.

The McKinlay Kidd Guarantee

All our holiday prices include a service charge of £9 per person per night towards the costs we incur in researching, planning and designing your holiday.

We guarantee to refund this service charge if you believe that arranging your holiday through McKinlay Kidd has not met your expectations for value. All we ask is that you write to us within 7 days of your return and explain your reason for claiming the refund. This will ensure that we can improve the experience for all our future guests.

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Check availability for Mull & Iona, Isles of Enchantment

This holiday is available from late March to end October

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