An Unforgettable Experience of Mull, Staffa and Iona – A Photo Blog
Posted on Oct 12, 2018 by Neil Irvine
During the month of August, I was very lucky to join a group of wonderful wilderness travellers on our new Wildlife Adventure Holiday touring the incredible Inner Hebridean Islands of Mull, Staffa and Iona.
We began our journey in the picturesque small town of Oban which started life as a small fishing village. The name ‘Oban’ can be translated from its Gaelic name ‘An Ob’ into ‘little bay.’
Follow these photos below to see some of the highlights of this adventure and explore the stunning outdoor locations in Oban, Mull, Staffa and Iona with us!
You could feel the sense of Oban’s seafaring history whilst we explored a couple of shipwrecked boats on the shoreline.
Just to the west of the shipwrecked boats was an incredible view of the beautiful blue skyline.
Don’t forget to bring your sunglasses on your journey to Scotland! And remember to bring your suntan lotion – despite what you may have heard it is possible to be sunburnt in Scotland!
Enjoying one of Mull’s many exhilarating walks. Not too long after this photo was taken we encountered a few rabbits and a stunning Deer playing in a nearby field, but unfortunately, they ran away before anyone could reach for their cameras.
The adventure boasted some incredible Mull scenery as we waited to board our boat. Around this area, a number of seabirds floated high above this rock and just to the left you could see a number of small boats dotted across the water – it really added to the small fishing village atmosphere.
We journeyed to the iconic Staffa Island on a small boat on a beautiful sunny day – as we departed the waters were splashed with a stunning exotic greeny-blue colour.
Along the way to Staffa, we witnessed stunning islands towering from the sea below and spotted wondrous wildlife such as cute little seals and majestic seabirds high in the blue skies above.
Our final destination after an exhilarating boat journey – the amazing Staffa Island. The Boat circled the Island so we could fully take in the astonishing structure of Staffa’s landscape before we anchored by a quaint little Pier. Circling the Island gave an immense feeling to the place. I was so excited to explore every area of the land whether that be in the grass high above or on the hexagon shaped rocks situated at the side of the Island. Interesting Fact: The name ‘Staffa’ comes from the old Norse language meaning ‘Pillar Island.’ The top of the Island is definitely the perfect place to sing out loud your favourite Viking song to the heavens!
When we arrived at the Island we were helped from the boat and onto land by the friendly and enthusiastic Staffa trips guiding group. They made our boat journey to Staffa an even more incredible journey providing humorous spirit and interesting facts about the surrounding Islands and wildlife.
After setting foot on the Island we explored the jaw-dropping terrain. Not far from where this picture was taken lies Fingal’s Cave.
Fingal’s Cave – a stunning sea cave that has to be seen in the flesh to really be believed!
High above Fingal’s cave, this uninhabited Island offered a view that was truly a feast for the eyes and a peaceful escape from busy city life. Interesting Fact: The name Fingal means ‘white stranger’ and is shortened from Fionn MacCum haill – a legendary Irish warrior/hunter who is said to have built the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.
Clachan Bridge: Earlier in the tour, we set off to explore the lush green landscapes of Tigh an Truish on the Isle of Seil (near Oban) and on the way to a trail, we crossed this rather scenic curved bridge over a lovely tranquil river. The bridge is also referred to as the Bridge over the Atlantic as the river below it (Clachan Sounds) connects to both ends of the Atlantic Ocean.
Inbetween hiking we took some time out to relax on a sandy beach and took in the jaw-dropping view. Blue skies, green hills and the calming sounds of the sea was an amazing way to take a break from walking. A tip to those on a hiking holiday – there is nothing quite like soaking your feet on the beach after some exciting trekking through the beautiful Scottish hills!
Walking along this beautiful isolated sandy beach provided some great meditation time. All I could hear was the soothing sounds of the ocean in the background. It was an amazing place to just close my eyes and be free from the chaotic sounds of the city and the demands of a busy modern life.
Outlooking to the sea on the right-hand side of this fantastic sandy beach lay a number of lovely charcoal coloured rocks decorating the beach side which stretched into the sea itself. These rocks make a great seating arrangement where you could gaze out into the horizon – just be careful you don’t sit on a rock that is too jagged!
Can you believe this picturesque image of a sea loch was taken outside a local restaurant? On our Mull, Staffa and Iona wildlife adventure you could be enjoying a tasty meal in a specialist seafood restaurant with this stunning scene as your view! The Pierhouse hotel and restaurant is located in the lovely small fishing village of Port Appin, Argyll. With a Pier as its garden, you can watch the fishing boats float on the stunning waters of Loch Linnhe and marvel at the views of the Islands Lismore and Mull as you enjoy locally caught seafood.
Exploring an ancient nunnery on the wonderful Isle of Iona. It is recommended to take your time when looking around Iona Nunnery to fully appreciate the incredible history which surrounds the structure. Here you can learn what day to day life was like for the Nuns that once filled the rooms with life – as you walk along the ruins you can almost feel the echoes of the individuals who once walked along these halls.
After exploring the Iona Nunnery we made our way to Iona Abby, which is one of the oldest Christian centres in Western Europe. From the outside, the Abby looks stunning amongst the green landscapes and blue sea on the horizon. Inside the Abby, you can view amazing architecture and learn more about the history of the building. During our walk between the Nunnery and the Abby, you really were able to soak in the atmosphere of local life as we passed friendly Islanders and well-behaved border Collie sheepdogs.
In Mull, we had an exciting opportunity to hike to an Eagle Hide. Here you can spot different types of birds such as Eagles and their Fledgelings – there was no need to bring our own binoculars or scopes as they were provided at the Eagle hide. On this adventure, there is a very high chance you will see Eagles in the trees and flying high above your head! And if you are really lucky maybe you will see an Eagle flying into the trees to feed its young. During this tour we learned more about Golden Eagles and White Tailed Sea Eagles and their relation to Scotland.
This magnificent image is of Castle Stalker which is located on an impressively isolated tiny Island around 25 miles North of Oban. During our wildlife holiday, you can look forward to a privately led tour of the castle from one of the members of the Stewart Allward family who own the castle. This is the perfect opportunity to search for otters, dolphins and seabirds and snap a great wildlife photo – maybe you’ll even spot some kayakers enjoying calm waters surrounding the castle.
Want to discover more about our Wildlife Adventure Holidays? Check Out Our Exciting Tours Below: