Arran: ‘Scotland in miniature’
1 July 2013, 5 days from £385pp (was £435pp)
Scenic Scottish Railways
12 July 2013, 4 days from £335pp (was 385pp)
A Taste of Orkney
12 July 2013, 4 days from £375pp (was £425pp)
The Isle of Barra
17 August 2013, 4 days from £385pp (was £425pp)
Scotland’s Royal Castles
24 June 2013, 4 days from £299pp (was £355pp)
Ask our Reservations team for details
Slipping out of Oban Bay on the ferry to Mull your stresses and strains begin to fall away; cross the sound to Iona and they disappear completely.
The Isle of Mull is a place of high, heather-clad mountains, sweeping bays, dramatic seascapes and a silence that is broken only by the calling of birds and the bleating of the sheep. From our base at the comfortable Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa, conveniently located close to the ferry terminal with superb views of the Sound of Mull, the Morvern hills and the Firth of Lorne, we will explore some of the highlights of the island.
The multi-coloured buildings that ring the harbour of the island’s principal town, Tobermory, will be familiar from a hundred calendars and travelogues and it’s a wonderful place to spend a couple of hours wandering around the local arts and crafts outlets.
Duart Castle, the 13th century home of the Chief of Clan MacLean, sits imposingly on its headland, offerin stunning views across the Firth of Lorn to Ben Cruachan. Lying just off the Ross of Mull, the sacred isle of Iona is famous the world over for its tranquil Abbey, a place of calm and contemplation, the perfect antidote to the stress of modern life. We also sail out to the little island of Staffa, whose natural cathedral of volcanic columns is one of the wonders of the west coast.
Available departure dates and prices
We depart from our designated pick up points and head for the Western Highlands, stopping en route for refreshments. On arrival in Oban we will board the late afternoon ferry for Craignure on Mull. Our base is the Isle of Mull Hotel & Spa, conveniently located close to the ferry terminal with superb views of the Sound of Mull, the Morvern Hills and, across the bay, Duart Castle. Please note this hotel now offers excellent spa and leisure facilities, including an indoor swimming pool, steam room, Norwegian Spruce Sauna and hydro foot spa. A range of reasonably priced treatments is also available.
Dinner is served in the evening.
Today we will drive along the Ross of Mull to Fionnphort, where we cross as foot passengers to the ‘sacred isle’ of Iona. Here you have the opportunity to visit the Abbey and wander over the island, taking in the atmosphere of calm and contemplation which attracts visitors from all over the world.
Dinner is served back at our hotel in the evening.
After our full Scottish breakfast we will depart for a tour of Mull, stopping first in Tobermory, the island’s ‘capital’. The multi-hued buildings that line the waterfront will be familiar from a hundred calendars, and it’s a wonderful place to spend a couple of hours wandering around the shops, which include local arts and crafts outlets. For many, a pint in the Mishnish is an essential part of any visit to the town.
In the afternoon we drive to the Ulva Ferry pier at Oskamull and depart on a cruise to the little islandof Staffa. Sailing out of Loch na Keal beneath the towering bulk of Ben More, keep an eye open for otters, seals, porpoises, dolphins and basking sharks – these waters are rich in wildlife. There are also great numbers of seabirds, with puffins, guillemots and razorbills among the most common. The Isle of Staffa was formed by volcanic eruptions over 50 million years ago and as the basaltic lava cooled it formed an extraordinary pattern of predominantly hexagonal columns which form the faces and walls of the principal caves. We will have around an hour ashore to explore the island, in particular the massive natural cathedral known as Fingal’s Cave, following in the footsteps of illustrious tourists from Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson to Jules Verne and Queen Victoria.
(Please note a reasonable degree of mobility is required to go ashore but the less adventurous are welcome to stay on board and are usually taken on a short seabird/seal-watch cruise. There is a toilet on board)
We sail back to Ulva Ferry pier and return by coach to our hotel in time for dinner.
Following breakfast we will visit Duart Castle, the 13th century home of the Chief of Clan MacLean. We can explore the dungeons, the state rooms and appreciate the strategic position of the castle from the top of the keep. Thereafter we will catch the ferry back to Oban and continue our homeward journey, arriving back at our original pick-up points during the evening.
If you would like to enjoy an extend 9 day tour of some of Scotland’s finest Islands you could combine this tour with our 6 day Grand Tour of the Outer Hebrides which departs on 3 August 2014 – please ask for details.
Included in the price
Not included (per person)
The same four-day package including flights from London (and other airports on request) to Glasgow is also available from £525pp. (single supplement £75.00pp)
PLEASE NOTE, FOR ANYONE TRAVELLING ON ANY FLIGHT, PHOTOGRAPHIC IDENTIFICATION IS REQUIRED BY THE AIRLINES AT CHECK-IN.
Departure points and times:
|Aberdeen (Skene Street, opposite Denburn Car Park)||0600||2245|
|Montrose (Railway Station)||0645||2200|
|Arbroath (Railway Station)||0705||2140|
|Dundee (outside Discovery Point)||0730||2115|
|Perth (Bus stop on Canal Street, Tay Street end)||0800||2045|
|Kinross (Kinross Services)||0900||1945|
|Dunfermline (outside Carnegie College)||0915||1930|
|Edinburgh (Marriott Hotel, Glasgow Road)||0930||1915|
|Glasgow (Millennium, George Square)||1045||1800|
Please note all timings are approximate and may be changed. They will be confirmed when the joining instructions are sent out, approximately ten days prior to departure.
Our Driver Alastair was a calm and excellent driver, our room and the food at the hotel on Mull was very good, indeed the whole holiday was flawless, thank you so much.Mr Lamont, East Kilbride
Excellent trip, loved Iona and Duart Castle - made new friends and had a lovely time.Alex and Edith Hunter, London
Really enjoyed the tour - Staffa was the highlight - Wullie's driving skillful and patient.Mr and Mrs Crammond, Motherwell