July 8th to 14th
August 26th to September 1st
Other dates by appointment
Single Rm Supp: £200
5 days walking
6 nights B&B
6 evening meals
Ferry connections throughout
Transport from Edinburgh
Depart from Edinburgh: 8.30am Sunday
Return to Edinburgh: 2-3pm Saturday (drop-off Glasgow 1-2pm)
Islay is our first destination - the island is relatively low level but has an indented coastline with many gorgeous beaches and is home to a great variety of seabirds. Of course, the island is most famous for it's seven whisky distilleries! Jura, a short hop from Islay is much more rugged, dominated by the rough Paps and has a huge population of red deer as well as its solitary distillery. The second half of the week is spent on Mull, which also has the highest mountains of the trip as well as the opportunity to visit Iona.
The holiday includes 6 nights full board accommodation and 5 full days of guided walking on the four islands. Departure will be from Edinburgh at 08.30am on the first Sunday of the hiking holiday, with a second pick-up in Glasgow at 10.00, returning around 3pm on the following Saturday. The first day of travel to the island will be taken at a leisurely pace to allow for general sightseeing and stops en-route.
We could easily spend 2 weeks on the islands - but we only have a week! The itinerary below gives you a flavour for some of the walks we are likely to do during your week, with some easier walks and more challenging mountain hikes, but this should be regarded as flexible.
Day 1 (Sunday): Travel to Islay - We will depart Edinburgh at 08.30am (Glasgow pick-up 10am) and head off to Kennecraig on the Mull of Kintyre with some short sightseeing stops en-route. Highlights include Loch Lomond, Arrochar and the Loch Fyne Oyster Bar. Mid afternoon arrival on Islay should allow time for a short beach walk before dinner.
Day 2 (Monday): Islay - Starting at the Bunnahabhain distillery, we walk out to northern tip of Islay with its sheltered sandy beach, cliffs and sea-worn arches returning along a rough coastal path to the distillery where we have time for a tour and tasting.
10km, 6 miles, minimal ascent but with rough ground in parts.
Day 3 (Tuesday): Jura - After a short ferry ride over to Jura, we can spend the day walking across the island amongst the rocky Paps of Jura hills before a tour and tasting at the Jura Distillery before returning to the accommodation on Islay.
7m/12km, 150m/492ft, rough path, 5-6 hours.
Day 4 (Wednesday): Transfer to Mull - We take the 3 hour ferry journey via Colonsay to Craignure on Mull, allowing time for a short coastal walk before traveling to our accommodation in the picturesque harbour town of Tobermory.
Day 5 (Thursday): Iona - A whole day is spent walking around the holy island of Iona, off Mull's westernmost point before time for a tour around the Abbey, the burial place of Scotland's Kings.
6 miles/10km, minimal ascent, tracks and beach walking.
Day 6: (Friday): Ben More - We can either go for an ascent of the only island Munro outside of Skye, or a good walk on easier tracks on the lower slopes.
6m/10km, 3100ft/966m ascent, track and paths, 6 hrs.
Day 7 (Saturday): Return to Edinburgh - We leave Mull early morning, arriving back to Edinburgh at approximately 2-3pm.
Accommodation and Meals
Your accommodation for the week is in personally selected small bed and breakfasts and larger guest houses on the islands of Islay and Mull. We only use places we have personally visited and approved and you will be warmly received by your host. Please note that single rooms are increasingly hard to obtain in this more remote area and that en-suite facilities for singles may not always be available. Check with us when you book.
Evening meals for the whole group on this trip are normally taken at a local inn or restaurant. On all our tours we make a special effort to ensure that your evening meals are a highlight of the trip and seafood is a particular speciality on this trip. Specific dietary requirements can normally be catered for if we know in advance. Packed lunches are not included.
Grading of Walks
The walking throughout this tour we class as “easy” – suitable for people of reasonable fitness who enjoy walking or the outdoors but who needn’t necessarily have any previous hiking experience. Walks each day are between 5-7 hours, with some lower level walks with little ascent and the option of one challenging day involving some mountain ascent (see above). You will be on pathed terrain throughout the week, but this will vary to being quite rugged or sometimes boggy. If you have any doubts about your suitability for the trip please just ask! Please read our grading guide here.
Picture from header by Phillip Capper