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Oban, Mull, Iona - need help on plan

california
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Oban, Mull, Iona - need help on plan

My husband and I will be in Scotland in May. We plan to leave Edinburgh early, drive to Stirling to see the Castle, then drive to Oban via Callander and Fort William. I was thinking we would stay in Oban that night, then take the ferry to Mull in the morning. I thought to stay in Tobermory for the night, see a good part of Mull the next day, then drive to Fionnphort and stay there or on Iona for one night. Spend the next day touring Iona, then back to Oban for the night. Does this seem reasonable? Are there many places to stay?

Thanks for your help!

Manchester, United...
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for The Hebrides
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1. Re: Oban, Mull, Iona - need help on plan

It's a pretty good starting point!

First suggestion: skip Fort William. It's a functional and rather unattractive town - it's really a base for serious climbers and hillwalkers. But it might be worth diverting on to the A82 as far as Ballachulish, in order to drive via stunning Glencoe, but then I would turn south and go straight to Oban.

There are not that many places to stay on Iona, and they do get booked up in advance - you might find it difficult to book a single overnight. Iona is quite small and can easily be visited on foot in one day, and you can't take a car on the ferry anyway. I'd suggest booking three nights in Tobermory, and do your day trip to Iona from there, leaving the car at Fionnphort.

Hope this helps. Have a great trip.

california
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2. Re: Oban, Mull, Iona - need help on plan

Thank you for the reply!

Unfortunately, I think we will need to stay in Oban on the third night as we are driving to Ayr from there, and the AA route planner says it takes almost 3 hours driving (if we drive along Loch Lomond on the way). If we add in the time driving from Tobermory to Oban, it makes for a very long day of driving, about 5 hours.

Brno, Czech Republic
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for Czech Republic, Slovakia, Train Travel
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3. Re: Oban, Mull, Iona - need help on plan

It is a long day driving, but you pass through some beautiful scenery which sort of makes up for it :)

Plenty of places to stay in Oban - we turned up without making a reservation recently and found something straight away. The going rate seems to be about £70 a night for a double room, and it was perfectly acceptable with a decent cooked breakfast.

Bucks, UK
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4. Re: Oban, Mull, Iona - need help on plan

there are a couple of hotels on Iona - they may only accept 2 night stays (partic if at a weekend) but there's no harm in asking:

http://www.argyllhoteliona.co.uk/

http://www.stcolumba-hotel.co.uk/?pid=1

Scotland
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for Oban
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5. Re: Oban, Mull, Iona - need help on plan

I second Dhmellor's suggestion of just staying all three nights in Tobermory. Your journey to Ayr is perfectly do-able and breaks into natural chunks. It's about a 40 minute drive from Tobermory to Craignure - but you have to be on the pier half an hour before the sailing, and then you have the 45 minute ferry crossing, so you get a good break. Then drive Oban to Inveraray for another leg stretch, then up and over the Rest and be Thankful towards Loch Lomond. Lovely, lovely drive.

For getting to Mull, I would consider taking the Lochaline - Fishnish ferry. This means you'll see Glencoe on the way, and you get a good deal on an "Island Hopscotch" ferry ticket.

Iona is quite a long day trip from Tobermory, but perfectly do-able and the scenery on the west of the island is stunning.

Barnet, Herts
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6. Re: Oban, Mull, Iona - need help on plan

There are 2 hotels on Iona which, my understanding, are used by people taking longer quiet retreat tyupe breaks. They look quite expensive to stay at, although I don't know what sort of accommodation you are looking for. I can't tell you how much they are, but someone must have reviewed them on TripAdvisor (I would have thought).

The best bet (what we did) would be to book your hotel in Oban, say The Kelvin or Caledonian - both close to the Ferry Terminal (5-10 mins walk MAX), leave the car in Oban for the whole time - I reckon 4 nights stay would do this- I'll explain why. To get your car on the Ferry to Mull, you may have to book ahead. There is only about 15 miles of 2-way 'B' road on Mull, the other 120 (or so) miles I know of is single track road. When you arrive in Oban and check in wherever you're staying, go to Bowmans Tours based at Waterfront, Railway Pier, Oban, Argyll, PA34 4LW. Telephone+44 (0) 1631 566809. They will be able to book you a "Mull Circular Tour" on your first day (cost about £18 per adult including ferry crossings). The second day they could book you the "Mull & Iona Tour". You'll see a bit of the scenery of Mull again as they take you on the coach to the Iona ferry. You cross (15 mins), do Iona on foot, and return on the ferry that the coach driver tells you to. Then back on the coach to the Oban ferry.

Let the coach drivers worry about the driving.

If you like Mull you can take the ferry independantly on the third day and explore using local buses.

Hence - 4 nights needed.

Hope this helps.

www.bowmanstours.co.uk

7. Re: Oban, Mull, Iona - need help on plan

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