Alternative Boat Hire Iona
Squally shower over Fionnphort, Mull
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Where we go

Places we usually see or visit throughout the season...
... on a three hour trip

Around Iona
A cruise right round Iona, exploring the coastline intimately, passing rugged Atlantic cliffs, caves and nesting sites. See Columba's landing place, the old deserted Marble quarry and other signs of Iona's previous inhabitant's lives.
Sometimes negotiating some narrow passages between satellite islets, you will also see the wide open white sands of the island's northern beaches.
A little detour can take you to Reidh Eilean, a rugged basalt outcrop forming two steep sided islets out west of Iona. This is the nearest place you might encounter Puffins as they know this can also be a good area to fish. (This trip requires 'quiet' conditions on the West side of the island)
Iona Marble Quarry
The old marble quarry on Iona.
Iona
Iona;in forground Fionnphort fishing boats.
North coast of the Ross of Mull
Along the way we pass the old Granite workings scattered round the anchorage of 'Bull Hole', the picturesque settlement of Kintra, and then turn East where views open out, of Loch Scridain and the cliffs of Burg. We travel on to Traighmaraidh (one of the Queen's favourite beaches) via the cave of the rock doves, until we reach the converted quarrymen's houses that now house an adventure centre at Camas. Depending on the strength of the wind we may reach the Basalt caves and columns of the Ardtun peninsula. On the way home you should have fine views to the islands to the Northwest often seeing as far as the isles of Rum and Skye.
Camas
At Camas, Isle of Mull. Old quarry in the background.
Isle of Erraid
A day of North winds might persuade us to visit to the island of Erraid and the sheltered 'Barrachain'. Here you are likely to make close acquaintance of the common seals who love to laze around the protected shore.
Usually you will also visit Balfour's bay, scene of the earlier adventures from the story of 'Kidnapped' penned by Robert L. Stevenson.
Erraid was the base for the engineers( including the Stevenson family) and crews for the Northern Lighthouse Board in the days of building great rock light stations out on the reefs in the open sea.
Balfour's Bay, Isle of Erraid
Balfour's Bay, Isle of Erraid.
The 'Barrachain'
In the 'Barrachain', Isle of Erraid.
Island of the Dove
Discover the Island of the Dove (Eilean a'Chalmain) with seals, narrow straits and signs of old cultivation, and end up at the ‘secret’ Bay of the Bees or round the next headland at Port nan Ron (the seal bay).
Island of the dove
At the Island of the Dove.
The Bay of the bees
Anchored at the Bay of the Bees.
Isle of Soa
A little more on the edge of the ocean is the islet of Soa.
Bustling with sea birds, this is a small island only a relatively short passage away but across a restless tidal sound, which feels remote and untouched.
From September on, the Atlantic seals use this island as a haul out site for pupping.
Soa
In the sheltered bay of Soa.
... on a four to five hour trip

Burg cliffs, Isle of Mull
See the majestic cliffs of the Burg, a SAC, looked after by the National Trust for Scotland for its basalt rock formations, fossilised tree remains and wilderness landscape. This is a tough though rewarding coast to walk, viewing it from the sea is a much less demanding! A haunt of wild goats, deer and eagles.
On top of the cliffs
On top of the Burg Cliffs.
Burg cliffs.
The Burg Cliffs.
Fossil tree
Fossil tree.
Loch Scridain
‘Up the loch’ can be a good place when things are a bit rough further out or for a wee change.
Sometimes this leads us to Sgeir Mhor, a circle of skerries and a popular place to hang out for a large colony of common seals and the occasional otter.
Further in, the loch is dominated by Ben More, Mulls highest mountain and the only island based ‘Munro’ other than on Skye.
Loch Scridain
Loch Scridain, from the Ross of Mull. Burg Cliffs in the background.
Traigh Geal
On the south side of the Ross of Mull stunning varied scenery scattered with islands, sandy bays and rocky coves provides a continuous commentary as Birthe Marie heads to the east. There Traigh Geal’s breathtaking crescent of white sand invites an idyllic landing.
Traigh Geal
Traigh Gael.
Torran Rocks
The Torrans, rocky reefs and skerries inhabited by seabirds, are the less frequented outliers off the south of Mull, another spot for more determined fishing and birdwatching.
Dubh Artach
Dubh Artach lighthouse, build on one of the rocks by Stevenson. (view from Iona)


... on a day trip

Isle of Ulva
An island now with thirty odd inhabitants but a big history dating back to the Viking arrivals and before. Here the natural anchorages, lookout hills and cultivatable soil were an obvious draw for the men of the longships who gave the island its name. There are ruined villages from much later, an old water mill, and the unsettled terrain is also host to deer and eagles. There is also a good little snack bar on the north east end of the island although this does add a bit of travelling time out of the day.
Southern coast of Ulva
Southern coast of Ulva, basalt rock, ruins and bracken.
Walking on Ulva
Track on Ulva.
Inchkenneth
A geologically different island among all the basalt, with green fertile grazing lands.
A ruined chapel can be found along with highly decorated carved stone slabs cut by the renowned Iona school sculptors. Inchkenneth was apparently used for important burials when a passage to Iona was not feasible.
A surprising multi story house with an interesting more recent history also lies on this more sheltered eastern side. Inchkenneth is flanked by the towering cliffs of Mull on one side and the view to the Treshnish Isles and Staffa to the west.
On InchkennethOn Inchkenneth, looking towards the Burg Cliffs, Isle of Mull.
House on Inchkenneth
House on Inchkenneth.
Carved stone slabs from medieval times
Carved stone slabs from medival times.
Gometra
Ulva’s next door neighbour with similar natural anchorages and history but closer proximity to Staffa for which it was at one time the boatmen’s base.
Gometra
A natural habour, Gometra.
Treshnish Isles
This island chain stretching from the curiously shaped Bac Mor (‘Dutchman’s Cap’) to the fortified isles of the Cairn na Burgs offers some of the best island days out on the west coast.
You won’t see them all properly in a day despite their small size, but a visit to Lunga particularly during the nesting season makes for a hard to forget day out.
On Lunga
Sea pinks on the isle of Lunga. 'Dutchman's cap' lies on the horizon.
Puffins tending to their nests. Isle of Lunga.
Puffins tending to their nests. Isle of Lunga.
Lunga from Caslte Rock
Lunga from Sgeir a'Chasteil.
Further along the South coast of the Ross of Mull - Ardalanish and Scoor
Along the Ross of Mull’s south coast lie some of Mull’s massive basalt cliffs. Beyond the delights of Traigh Gael is Rubha Ardalanish, a low finger of land where once a rich harvest of salmon could be netted.
Under the shadow of big Raptors white sands can be reached at various bays in the vicinity of Scoor. These bays look to the southern islands of Jura, Colonsay and Islay.
Ardalanish Beach
Ardalanish beach


Dubh Artach Lighthouse
Its not everybody’s bag, but a committing day trip could take us out to the exposed reefs of Dhu Artach.
The awesome Stevenson built lighthouse tower stands in the ocean on a reef miles out into the sea.
As any retired lighthouse keeper who served on a Rock Station will tell you, landing is definitely not guaranteed.
The passage out and back can include Erraid, and Soa (see above for both)
Dubh Artach Lighthouse
Dubh Artach Lighthouse.
F.A.Q. Staffa?
We often get asked ‘Can we go to Staffa ?’
The answer is that we don’t run regular trips to Staffa. The reason we don’t go to this famous and interesting island every day is that it is very well served by other operators based in the area. In fact its popularity means that there can be as many as 7 scheduled boat trips a day visiting the island.
The island is well worth a visit, but if you are keen specifically for a trip there, we suggest you book on with
Staffa Trips or Staffa Tours from Iona or Fionnphort or based in Ulva Ferry, Turus Mara.
We occasionally do call past Staffa as part of a longer trip or go there by arrangement on a ‘Whole boat hire’
‘Jib, Staysail, Mainsail and Mizzen’

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Belaying.
Alternative Boat Hire Iona email:info@boattripsiona.com telephone:01681 700537 Facebook