The Isle of Mull is a quiet, and beautiful island. One of the largest islands in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland, it offers picturesque coastal towns, rugged cliffs, and beautiful white sand beaches. Cows and sheep outnumber people and seem to dot the windswept landscape everywhere you go. Winding, single track roads carry you from the green coast through the Scottish wilderness with a vast array of topography and wildlife.
When I scheduled our trip to Scotland with Absolute Escapes, I asked them for suggestions on where to go. I was looking for places that were off the beaten path, but with enough to do so that my travel companions (Hunter, 21, and Jack, 12) wouldn’t get bored. Mull was suggested as offering a little something for us all, and it truly did. Mull felt like a much different vacation than we typically had. Things moved more slowly on the island. There wasn’t something to do 24/7, but this became quite a nice change of pace. The boys had time to explore and come up with their own entertainment which ended up being their most enjoyable part of our entire trip to Scotland. I enjoyed watching them bond over things like hiking and swimming instead of simply sitting in front of a tv or glued to their phones.
4 days is just enough time to hit the highlights of Mull. We enjoyed every minute and appreciated the opportunity to slow down a bit. Intrigued? Here’s what we did:
4 Day Isle of Mull Itinerary
We boarded the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry from Oban to Craignure after spending the morning exploring the town of Oban. In this cute coastal town, we found many shops and places to eat.
We all enjoyed Oban very much, and I would highly recommend putting it on your list of places to visit in Scotland. Upon arrival to Craignure, we continued on to Tobermory, a picturesque fishing village lined with brightly painted buildings situated along the harbor.
On our way, we came across two abandoned ships on the side of the road that looked as if they had quite a story to tell.
By the time we arrived in Tobermory, all the shops were closed so we simply walked around and enjoyed a lovely dinner by the water.
This was the day we were all excited for! We booked a boat tour to Staffa and the Treshnish Isles through Staffa Tours. Oh, what a wonderful day it was! We had never seen anything like the Isles of Staffa and Lunga. The way the volcanic basalt rocks jutted sharply out of the sea looked as if someone had chiseled them away by hand.
Fingal’s Cave was remarkable, and we had time to simply explore the island, taking in the stunning view from the top.
The Isle of Lunga was home to the most adorable bird in the world-the puffin. We had time to hike around and watch these little creatures in their natural habitat. It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Since Mull is so large, and the roads so small, it took us almost a full day to cross the island in order to get to our next destination-Fionnphort (believe it or not, pronounced Finn-a-furt). Along the way, we stopped at the Isle of Mull Cheese Farm where we enjoyed a self-guided tour and snack in an adorable cafe.
Next, we made our way halfway around the island to the Killiechronan Pony Trekking farm and enjoyed an hour riding horses over hill and dale.
Back on the road, we made a quick stop at Calgary Bay, a beautiful white sand beach but didn’t have much time since the drive was so long (about 5 1/2 hours since the roads are so small). Upon our arrival in Fionnphort, we couldn’t believe how tiny it was. I’d say it was 1/2 mile in length at the most.
A few B&B’s, one restaurant/bar, and one convenience store were about all it had to offer. I’ll admit, I was a bit worried about filling time for the boys, but in all honesty, I think this became their favorite destination. After dinner, we went out to explore. The weather had been unseasonably warm (almost hot), and the boys decided they wanted to go swimming. So at 10 pm, in full daylight, they jumped into the Atlantic Ocean. Well, although the air temperature was warm, the water temperature was not. However, they were having such a great time they ignored the fact that their bodies were numb and swam around for quite a while.
Another highly anticipated day of exploring. In the morning we hopped on the 10 minute passenger ferry to the Isle of Iona. This was the place that captured my heart. This island is very small and totally walkable. We visited the remains of a nunnery founded in the 1200’s.
Then we went to the Iona Abbey, the location where Christianity was brought to Scotland. It was truly a sacred, beautiful sight to see.
After that we were feeling pretty adventurous so decided to walk to a nearby abandoned quarry. Typical of us, we found ourselves lost so we climbed a sea cliff and hiked around the island a bit. Just us, the sheep, and endless gorgeous views.
When we returned to Mull, we ate dinner and the boys decided they wanted to go on another hike and swim. We spent the rest of the evening adventuring around Fionnphort hiking, getting stuck in the mud, laughing, and just having a great time.
The next morning we made our way back to Craignure and headed back to the mainland. We all agreed what memorable fun we had and would love to do it again.
All the facts
Where we Stayed
Harbour View B&B
This lovely little Bed & Breakfast is situated atop a steep hill offering stunning views of the harbor and the rooftops of Tobermory. We occupied both the Rose and Lavender cottages behind the B&B. Although they were small, they were private and cozy.
1 Argyll Terrace
Caol-lthe Guest House
Don’t even try to pronounce this one. I never could get it right. But I can say this B&B was the most professionally run one I have ever visited. The accommodations were very comfortable and breakfasts were delicious.
You don’t really need one. Just look for the sign. It’s on the one and only main road.
What we Did
Staffa and Treshnish Isles boat tour
Isle of Mull Cheese
Killechronan Pony trekking
Day trip to the Isle of Iona
Thoughts and Things
Since Mull is such a large island, 4 days is really the minimum amount of time you will want to spend here. The longer the better.
In the summer, it’s light until about 11:30pm. However, most of the shops and restaurants close early (shops around 6, restaurants a bit later). That being said, you’ll have quite a few hours of daylight left to fill so perhaps save some exploring or nature walks until evening.
Some of our best moments on Mull were those that weren’t planned. Make sure you leave time in your schedule to relax and make things up as you go. Who knows, maybe you too will find yourself freezing in the Atlantic Ocean and loving every cold minute of it!
The island is mainly made up of single track roads. Prepare yourself. These driving conditions are very different from what you may be used to, and getting places tends to take way longer than you would expect. It is 48 miles from Tobermory to Fionnphort but it took us 5 1/2 hours to make the journey. We did stop a lot to look around, and I was pretty nervous driving on the roads at first which is most likely why it took so long. Read more about our adventures driving in Scotland here.
We weren’t huge fans of the food selections on the island. Lots of bar food and seafood which is fine, but just don’t expect to find any Michelin Star restaurants.
On your next visit to Scotland, put the Isle of Mull on your itinerary. From boat trips and cheese farms to pony trekking and hiking, Mull is a large, diverse island that’s sure to leave you with happy memories, as it did us.