One of the delights of being based on the South West coast of the Isle of Mull is the availability of boat trips to explore the islands situated just off the coast.
Treshnish Isles and Lunga
From many areas of the Mull coastline, the unique and evocative landscape of the Treshnish Isles can be clearly seen. The Islands have no easy landing site or human habitation, therefore a haven for wildlife. The Treshnish Isles possess a unique landscape with rich wildlife communities and contain habitat which is vital to several vulnerable species. It is possible to go ashore at the Isle of Lunga which has one of the most varied and accessible seabird colonies including guillemot, razorbill, puffin, kittiwake, fulmar, shag, skua and many more. Puffins spend most of the year at sea but come to land to breed from April to July, leaving again in early August. Lunga is also an important breeding ground for grey seals.
The Isle of Staffa and Fingal’s Cave
The geologic wonder of Staffa lies about 6 miles west of Mull and is of course famous for Fingal’s Cave which inspired Mendelssohn’s “Hebrides Overture”. Tides and wind permitting, a boat trip can be booked to view the Staffa’s amazing geological features and given good sea conditions it is possible to land and enter the entrance to Fingal’s cave. The island is also a very important breeding site for puffins, kittiwakes and shags while the surrounding waters attract many more species of seabird as well as grey seals, dolphins, basking sharks, minke and pilot whales.
Ulva, Gometra and other islands
Although most visitors are keen to visit Staffa and Lunga, if you wish to get off the beaten track, try Alternative Boat Hire, which specialises in trips to the lesser known islands such as Ulva and Gometra which are fascinating in their own right. It is also possible to get a fascinating front seat view of another geological wonder on the Mull mainland – “The Burg” – and see the famous fossil tree from the sea.
There is no need to book a boat trip to Iona – the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry runs regularly from Fionnphort Pier and the crossing only takes 10 minutes. One of the delights of being based in the Ross of Mull is to be able to pop over to Iona whenever it suits, for a walk, a meal or some shopping. The last ferry leaves at 6.30pm.