Four Jewels – Hebridean Islands Mull & Iona, Arran & Holy Isle

Walking Holiday
From£1,475
Walking Holiday
From£1,475
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June 14, 2022
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Why Book With Us?

  • Small Groups of Max 8
  • Local Guides
  • Hiking off the Beaten Track
  • Authentic Small Hotels

  • 7 Days
  • Min 4/ Max 8
  • 14. June
  • Easy Walks
Four Hebridean Islands – Mull & Iona, Arran & Holy Isle

Green and lush these islands are a universe to themselves. Experience island life, pristine nature and wildlife. Visit the delightful Puffins on 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.

Photos

Coastal Ambles, Wildlife Adventure and Island Discoveries

Easy Walking in Pristine Hebridean Nature

A delightful trip for those who enjoy the outdoors in a more leisurely way, who enjoy gardens as well as secluded nature, exploring heritage and stories and taking a curious look at real island life. 

  • Easy Walking in Unspoilt Nature of the Hebridean islands
  • Visit Island Bird Colonies and spend time with Puffins
  • Explore Neolithic Stone Circles, Medieval Castles and Victorian Gardens
  • Visit a Buddhist Community on a remote island
  • Experience Island Life
  • Enjoy Welcoming Tea Rooms and Hospitality

Discover Neolithic Stone Circles, explore medieval Castles and magnificent Rhododendron Gardens, visit a Buddhist community on a remote island, watch for sea eagles and otters and hike along ruggedly beautiful coastal paths between mountains, sea and sky.

The West Coast was home to Scotland’s first people who left many traces of their culture, some up to 5000 year old, in the valleys, along the shore and on hill tops. Later, in the 5th century, the first Scottish Kings arrived from Ireland establishing their Kingdom of Dalriada in the valley of Kimartin.

Wildlife The sea and wild landscapes offer superb opportunities for observing birds and sea mammals in their natural environments. Learn to distinguish between eagles, buzzards and ospreys and follow the trail of otters on land. The Atlantic is home to seabirds such as puffins, gannets, fulmars, razorbills and manx shearwaters.

Accommodation
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.

Your walking group of no more than 8 allows flexibility and a friendly, personal ambience. You are accompanied throughout by an experienced and knowledgeable guide who will endeavour to make your holiday a wonderful and enjoyable experience.

What’s Included

  • Escorted Walking Holiday with knowledgeable Tour Guide
  • Boat Trip to Puffin Island Lunga & Staffa
  • Visits Brodick Castle, Arran Whisky Distillery, Kilmartin Museum
  • Small Group Tour (max 8)
  • Travel in Comfortable Minibus (from/ back to Glasgow)
  • 6 Nights Bed & Breakfast in Comfortable Highland Hotels
  • All Evening Meals and Picnic Lunches
  • All Ferries

Not Included

  • Single Room Supplement (please contact us if you wish a single room)
  • Travel to and from Glasgow
  • Personal Expenses
Itinerary

Day 1Journey to the Hebridean Coast

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 h, walking/ exploring 2 h, Overnight Isle of Mull

Day 2Treshnish Isles - Staffa’s Famous Sea Cave and Puffins on Lunga

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 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 

Day 3Eagles and Otters, Cliffs and Crofters

Today we are heading south to the Isle of Iona and the journey affords an excellent opportunity to explore more 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 10km, 4 hours, easy/ Overnight Isle of Iona

Day 4Idyllic Isle of Iona, Scotland’s Cradle of Christianity

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 Iona

Day 5Prehistoric Kilmartin Glen

Leaving Iona and heading back across Mull we board the morning ferry back to Oban to carry on south. En route to our next island we travel along the lush Argyll coast to 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. 

A short ferry ride away is our next island, Arran – also called ‘Scotland in Miniature’. You’ll quickly discover why.

Our home for the last two nights is Lamlash, a village nestled around a sheltered bay overlooking the ‘Holy Isle’.

Walking 2 hours 6km, Driving 3, Ferry 20 mins, Overnight Isle of Arran

Day 6Arran & Holy Isle

The Isle of Arran lies west of the huge Clyde estuary and is surrounded by mainland on three sides and only in the south open to the ocean, so is blessed with a very mild temperate climate and a lush vegetation.

Often called miniature Scotland, the island’s northern half has stunning volcanic mountains and in the south rolling green fields.

The small rocky island, Holy Isle, lying off Arran’s eastern shore at Lamlash has been called holy since the 6th century when it became St Molaise’s solitary retreat. Today, the island belongs to the Scotland based Samye Ling Buddhist Community who created a modern and environmentally designed retreat and centre for world peace and health. We take a small ferry across and are welcome with a cup of tea and introduction so that we can fully enjoy the island’s enchanting atmosphere and natural beauty: wild goats, ponies and sheep roam the island, Tibetan paintings adorn the rocks by the shore and the rare Whitebeam tree can be found here. The views are wonderful and you may just ike to stay …

Walking 7km. Walking 3 hours, easy. Overnight Isle of Arran

Day 7Seals & Coastal Walk or Medieval Castle & Visctorian Gardens?

You have a choice today: remain in the wild for as long as you can or reconnect with wordly culture. Arran offers both. So you may like to spend you last morning visiting Brodicks fine medieval castle and meander itsl ovely Victorian Gardens. Alternatively, a last remote coastal walk along its rocky shore and some raised beaches we find what is a safe haven for seals basking in the sun, playing with their young as we watch quietly from the beach. An apt good bye wave before boarding the ferry in Brodick. We reach Glasgow around 5pm where our journey ends.

*Drive 30 mins, Ferry 1 hour, journey/ drive 1 hour

* If you require help in finding hotel accommodation in Glasgow pre – or post trip, please let us know. 

Where you Stay

We travel to 3 different locations beginning with the Isle of Mull for 2 nights, Iona for the following 2 nightsand Arran for the last 2 nights. For all our tours we choose small, cosy island Hotels for comfort, en suite bathrooms, friendliness and excellent Scottish cuisine. 

Please note that prices are based on 2 sharing. We always match guests with same sex, of course. If however, you prefer single room accommodation then please let us know. Supplement are available from £225.

Walking Information

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.

Map

11Map Four Jewels Arran