Explore Scotland's wild west coast on this adventurous 7-day guided tour. Discover the remote Inner Hebridean isles of Mull, Staffa, and Iona, where you'll go in search of rare wildlife and take in spectacular Atlantic scenery. With two nights in the seaside village of Port Appin and four days based on the Isle of Mull, this trip provides an unforgettable journey around these unique islands and a fascinating insight into the creatures that inhabit them. Your knowledgeable guide will help you spot the area's diverse bird and sea life, including white-tailed sea eagles, puffins, whales, dolphins, and seals. The time of year determines the species you'll encounter; birdlife such as puffins are prevalent in spring, while marine mammals are seen later in the summer.

Highlights

  • Search for the white-tailed eagle & other rare sea birds
  • Explore Fingal's Cave on a boat trip to Staffa & the Treshnish Isles
  • Spot marine wildlife including seals, dolphins or whales
  • Visit the spiritual Isle of Iona
  • Enjoy a fully guided tour with a qualified guide

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 The West Coast: Oban & Castle Stalker Oban
Day 2 Bridge Over the Atlantic & the Isle of Seil Oban
Day 3 Search for Sea Eagles on Mull Craignure
Day 4 Wildlife & Whiskey Craignure
Day 5 Staffa & the Treshnish Isles Craignure
Day 6 The Isle of Iona Craignure
Day 7 Depart Craignure for Oban  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: The West Coast: Oban & Castle Stalker

Castle Stalker guarding its own private island.
Castle Stalker guards its own private island

Make your way to Scotlands’s rugged west coast, where you'll meet your guide at Oban train station. Travel a short distance north to take a scenic boat trip to Castle Stalker—a historic island fortress that dates back to the 15th century. A member of the Stewart Allward family (the castle’s current owners) will guide you on a tour through its fascinating history. The island location also gives you the perfect opportunity to look out for seals, dolphins, and seabirds. Head back to Oban this evening to settle into your accommodation and enjoy dinner overlooking the beautiful Scottish scenery.

Day 2: Bridge Over the Atlantic & the Isle of Seil

Clachan Bridge links the Scottish mainland to the island of Seil.
Clachan Bridge links the Scottish mainland to the island of Seil

This morning, enjoy a coastal hike on the Isle of Seil. You’ll cross the Clachan Bridge (the “Bridge over the Atlantic”) and continue to Seil to enjoy sweeping views over the rugged mountains of Mull. The coastline here is a great place to watch statuesque herons fishing, and the pristine rock pools are fascinating to explore. If you’re lucky, you might even spot otters playing in the waves.

Day 3: Search for Sea Eagles on Mull

A white-tailed Sea Eagle returning to its nest.
A white-tailed sea eagle returning to its nest

Today you’ll take the ferry to the Isle of Mull, home to a large variety of rare and endangered birdlife, including breeding raptors. Your guide will handle all the logistics and driving, while you get to sit back and enjoy the views.

Upon landing, enjoy lunch before going in search of some of Mull’s best-known residents: white-tailed or sea eagles. Take a short hike to a perfectly positioned hide, and depending on the time of year, you may see them in the nest or spot fledglings exploring the skies.

Plan your trip to Scotland
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 4: Wildlife & Whiskey

Beautiful views on the way to the Whisky Cave of Mull.
Beautiful views on the way to the Whisky Cave of Mull

The highlight of today is a beautiful circular walk along Mull's coastline,  which offers stunning clifftop scenery and a chance to see various birdlife such as merlins, buzzards, and hen harriers. Even rarer species such as marsh harriers are also sometimes spotted here. Explore the Whisky Cave where foundations of illicit stills are still visible, and listen for the sounds of song thrushes and skylarks as you walk through the ruins of the once-thriving village of Crackaig, abandoned since the early 1900s.

Day 5: Staffa & the Treshnish Isles

The remarkable basalt columns of Final's Cave.
The dramatic basalt columns of Final's Cave

Take an early morning-covered boat to the Isle of Staffa, home to breathtaking basalt columns and the famous Fingal’s Cave. The cavern's natural acoustics create haunting melodies and harmonies—Mendelssohn's "Hebrides Overture" was inspired by the remarkable sounds. Spend the morning ashore, watching the sea birds exploring the cliffs and diving into the ocean to fish.

You’ll then set sail through the archipelago of the remote Treshnish Isles, a haven for birdlife. Travel back to Mull in the afternoon, keeping your eyes peeled for dolphins, porpoises, minke whales, and basking sharks.

Day 6: The Isle of Iona

Clear skies and brilliant sunshine over Iona Abbey.
Clear skies and brilliant sunshine over Iona Abbey

This morning takes you aboard a short passenger ferry from Mull to the tiny island of Iona. The monk Columba founded a monastery here in 563 CE that played a crucial role in converting the Pictish tribes to Christianity. Soak in the quiet spirituality of Iona Abbey, the Nunnery, and Saint Oran's Chapel—thought to be the final resting place of 48 ancient kings of Scotland. In the evening, enjoy reflecting on your trip highlights over your last dinner in these extraordinary isles.

Day 7: Depart Craignure for Oban

Grey seals bask along the Mull coastline.
Gray seals bask along the Mull coastline

Take your last island hike to an Iron Age fort this morning, passing through native woodland, moors, and grasslands, which teem with a variety of small birdlife. When you’re ready to depart, catch the ferry back to the mainland before saying your farewells in Oban.

More Great Scotland Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to Scotland? Check out these other Scotland itineraries, with outdoor adventures, castle visits, and best-of tours to hit the highlights or explore different ways to spend a week in Scotland.

Map

Map of Scottish Wildlife Adventure: Mull, Staffa & Iona - Fully Guided - 7 Days
Map of Scottish Wildlife Adventure: Mull, Staffa & Iona - Fully Guided - 7 Days