Green and lush these islands are a universe to themselves. Experience life in the Hebrides, pristine nature and wildlife. Enjoy the delightful Puffins on their bird colony island Lunga, meander through Victorian gardens, medieval castles and Bronze Age stone circles, roam amidst rugged hills and lonely glens on this enjoyable relaxed journey.
*One trip departure date only.
A delightful trip for those who enjoy the outdoors in a more leisurely way and a sense of curiosity, exploring remote nature, wild landscapes and wildlife, beaches, sea cliffs and coves interspersed with cultural delights such as Victorian gardens, medieval castles and extraordinary prehistoric sites and stone circles.
Scotland’s intricate Atlantic west coast has been sculpted into a spectacular landscape by deep fjord-like sea lochs with green beautiful islands surrounded by the alpine mountains of mainland Highlands, a dramatic seascape and home to a wide variety of wildlife.
The West Coast was once a busy seafaring route and home to Scotland’s first people who left many traces of their culture, some up to 5000 years old, in the valleys, along the shore and on hilltops. Later, in the 5th century, the first Scottish Kings arrived from Ireland establishing their Kingdom of Dalriada. St. Columba settled on the tiny island of Iona around the same time and undertook the Christianization of Scotland. To this day, Iona is the spiritual home of a thriving ecumenical community and the lovingly restored Abbey in its remote coastal setting is a feast for eye and spirit.
The Hebrides offer superb opportunities for wildlife observation: look out for sea eagles, gannets, guillemots and otters, sit among the delightful puffins on their rock in the sea and hike along ruggedly beautiful coastal paths meandering between mountains, sea and sky accompanied by a myriad of seabirds.
For those with an interest in history, our journey takes us past traces of the islanders’ past livelihoods and circumstances that led to the famous ‘clearances’, we discover magnificent bronze age stone circles, and enjoy views from ruined medieval cliff-top castles and other surprises.
For your comfort, we have chosen and tested good quality, cosy and warmly 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 travellers.
You’ll be hiking in a small group of no more than 8 which allows flexibility and a friendly, personal ambience. You are accompanied by an experienced and knowledgeable guide who will endeavour to make your holiday a wonderful and enjoyable experience.
We meet in Glasgow at a prearranged meeting point around 10 am heading north along famous lake Loch Lomond and into the Highland mountains. Our first walking break near the north end of Loch Lomond takes us onto Scotland’s famous West Highland Way for a picnic lunch on top of a rock with grand view. The journey continues west arriving in the lively fishing port Oban to catch the ferry to the Isle of Mull..
*Driving 3 h, Ferry 1 hour, walking/ exploring 2 hours/ Overnight Isle of Mull
The western shores of Mull are a remote landscape created by a heavily indented coastline and imposing cliffs. Old oak and hazel forests line the many coves and beaches. The path takes us over green pastures to ruined old crofting settlements where we may sit a while waiting for an otter or spot one of Mull’s famous white eagles.
*Walking 8km, 4 hours, easy/ Overnight Isle of Mull
A highlight of your trip: we take a boat to the Treshnish Isles where we discover the magnificent Fingal’s Cave which inspired Mendelssohn to write his famous Hebrides Overture.
The neighbouring 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 barely notice us. We are awe – inspired!
There are many other amazing birds – Razorbills, Guillemots, Gannets and Shags – all living together in protective harmony for the breeding season.
*Sea journey 3 hours in total, walking as you please/ Overnight Isle of Mull
The tiny settlement of Lochbuie sits in a beautiful bay and enjoys one of the most stunning locations on Mull. Easy walking takes us along a forested shoreline with wonderful views to the mainland, we visit a tiny church with history, the grand and still inhabited laid’s house, a medieval castle, a mausoleum and even a prehistoric stone circle – all backed by beautiful scenery. Today’s treat: a fabulous cafe has opened its doors serving delicious coffee and home baking to be enjoyed with superb views.
Then we head west to catch the evening ferry to Iona.
*Walking 8km, 3 hours/ Overnight Isle of Iona
Rarely does one find such idyllic scenery combined with significant historic monuments:
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 christianising Scotland. There are 12th century ruins, artful Celtic crosses and the well restored and quite special building of the Abbey to explore.
However, wild and white sandy beaches await, green meadows and the blooming machair, turquoise water for swimming and a miniscule hill for a gigantic view …
*Easy walking as you like/ Overnight Isle of Iona
Leaving Iona and heading back across Mull we board the morning ferry back to Oban just to hop onto the next island. Though only a 5 minute ferry ride from the mainland, like most islands Kerrera is a universe to itself. Boasting a growing population of 35 including children the community lives a seemingly relaxed and very outdoor focussed life on this green and lush island. We are treated to an amazing coastal walk with all the backdrop you could wish for: tall cliffs with a ruined medieval castle atop, dunes and flower meadows and another cafe rewarding us with culinary treats and fabulous views.We leave this delightful oasis to spend our last night on the scenic Argyll Coast.
*Walking 3 hours 6km, Ferry 10 mins each journey, Drive 2 hours/Overnight Argyll Coast
We explore the green landscapes of Kilmartin Glen, home to one of Europe’s richest prehistoric sites: amazing standing stones, burial cairns and stone circles take us back 6000 years of human history. And the is also the surprising and well camouflaged ancient Fort Dunadd, the original seat of the first Scottish kings and heart of the foundations of Scotland as a nation.
We continue south and take in the 18th century town Inveraray and vist the elegant Inveraray Castle, built in the 1740s by the Dukes of Argyll, the chiefs of Clan Campbel. We find out much about Scottish history as well as the connection to infamously romantic Rob Roy – dealer, thief and lord of the poor.
*Walking 2 hours, easy, Driving 3 hours, Arrival in Glasgow around 17:00 hrs
For all our tours we choose small, cosy Highland Hotels for comfort, en suite bathrooms, friendliness and excellent Scottish cuisine.
This trip covers 3 different locations, the Isle of Mull, the Isle of Iona and the Argyll Coast and we have chosen authentic 3 star accommodation for our guests: the renowned Western Isles Hotel in Tobermory, Mull with harbour views for 3 nights, the following 2 nights in the delightfull Argyll Hotel on Iona with its cosy rooms, delicious food and lovely sea views and the luxurious Loch Melfort Hotel for our last night.
Please note that prices are based on 2 sharing. We always match guests wishing to share with other group members with same sex, of course. If however, you prefer single room accommodation then please let us know. Supplement are available from £285.
Your walking group – small is beautiful
Our groups are of a personable size of no more than 8 persons and accompanied throughout by an experienced and knowledgeable guide who will do her/ his best to make your time with us in Scotland interesting, enjoyable and comfortable.
Level of fitness
The hiking on this trip is of an easier nature and designed for people with a good general level of fitness and mobility. We hike on good trails but also some rough, rocky and uneven paths. You should be sure footed, have good balance and be used to regularly walking on unpaved tracks .
You may like to concider bringing some walking poles.
Our itinerary lists distances and elevation for each day. If you are unsure, please contact us and we are happy to discuss any issues.