With nice weather, visiting Atlantic puffins on 1day Treshnish Isles wildlife tour from Oban could be the highlight of your trip to Scotland.

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Visiting Atlantic puffins on Treshnish Isles wildlife tour in Scotland

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When it comes to travel planning, one of my favorite things to do is to keep looking at the map, searching for remote places and wondering, how is it like over there? Maybe it is just out of pure curiosity, or maybe I just like to test my imagination, either way, I start to dream of visiting the actual place and seeing it by my own eyes. The Inner Hebrides is one of those places and withing it lies small Treshnish Isles. Once I looked at the map of Scotland, I couldn’t help myself, but wonder, what is over those islands scattered around the western coast of Scotland. Luckily for me, this is also one of those places which I got to visit.

Trip details

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Difficulty: easy to uncomfortable, depending on the Scottish weather
Duration: 10h15 (9h50- 8h05)
Starting point: Oban or Ulva Ferry (Isle of Mull)
Destination: Staffa and Lunga Islands, Treshnish Isles
Service: Calmac & Turus Mara
Price: £71 (from Oban)

Getting to Oban, Argyll, and Bute

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By bus
Though on the edge of the island, Oban is a popular tourist destination, therefore, it is well connected with most of the major cities in Scotland. You can find your route on the city link website.

Pro tip: Traveling through Scotland could be pretty expensive. If you are planning to travel by bus, buying CityLink’s Explorer Pass could be a good idea. Just have in mind that buses first will board people with tickets in advance.

By train
Oban can be also reached by train via The West Highland Line from Glasgow. See the time tables.

By car – A82
Despite the direction you are coming from, it is probably best to approach Oban via A82 connecting Glasgow to Inverness via Fort William. Just be sure not to miss the turn to road A828 in North Ballachulish.

Pro tip: Scotland is a vast and beautiful place, but once you start traveling toward the North it is not as populated as the South. Some of the roads could be quite challenging for an inexperienced driver. Therefore, if you don’t have a lot of confidence in your driving skills, especially, if you don’t have any experience driving on the left side of the road, the local drivers will appreciate if you choose another method to travel across the northern part of Scotland.

Visiting Staffa Island & Lunga of Treshnish Isles in the Inner Hebrides, Argyll, and Bute, Scotland

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I know, there are a lot of titles in this article, but a lot is happening in Scotland. While most of what I write is about Hen Ogledd (the “Old North”), I need to be more precise for those who are actually planning of visiting Scotland Highlands.

In this article, I’ll focus on a must-do Staffa Island & Treshnish Isles wildlife tour, and hopefully, after you’ll finish reading this, these random names will have more meaning to you. …so, where are these islands?

The Treshnish Isles wildlife tour ships near a shore of Lunga Island, Scotland

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Everybody has probably heard of the Highlands of Scotland. While it is a separate region, since the population is scarce, sometimes Highland is grouped with the Islands to form one bigger region. Argyll and Bute are one of the islands regions. This is where we find Oban Town, which is actually Scotland’s fishing capital on the shore of the mainland. The Inner Hebrides are a group of islands belonging to Argyll and Bute, which are surrounding Oban.

Treshnish Isles are located within the Inner Hebrides, just to the West of the large Isle of Mull. Lunga is one of Treshnish Isles. In fact, Lunga is the biggest Island of all Treshnish Isles, and Staffa Island is between Treshnish Isles and the Isle of Mull.

Finding the right Staffa Island & Treshnish Isles wildlife tour

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When it comes to tour choices, it is not as diversified as tours to the Highlands of Skye Island, but on the other hand, this will just make your choice easier. We decided to go with Calmac & Turus Mara because we expected to see more of the isles and beautiful rock formations going from Ulva ferry.

There is another option provided by Staffa Tours company which will take you to the isles from Fionnphort. I expect it to give a totally different angle of Isle of Mull and smaller Isles, also a possibility to see Iona Island from nearby.

If your goal is just Staffa Island, there are even more options, but this article will focus on the Treshnish isles wildlife tour. You got to see those puffins.

Facilities and Itinerary of Staffa & Treshnish Isles CalMac & Turus Mara cruise tour

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The first 45minutes starts on a big ferry from Oban to Craignure, Isle of Mull, operated by Caledonian MacBrayne. Anything that could be expected will be there including restaurant, café, bar, souvenir shop, bathroom, plenty of spaces to sit while enjoying the trip and some drunk British, going for their holiday to the Isle of Mull.

Turus Mara bus from Craignure to Ulva ferry is basically a taxi. If you expect to see the Isle of Mull, you are on the wrong tour. The minibus bus will zip you from Craignure to Ulva Ferry just in 30 minutes. Meanwhile, expect to be told some things about the Isles visible from the road. Each one of them feels like a mini version of Scotland, having some mountains, cliffs, trees and the sheep grazing the fields.

Disembarking the ship to Lunga Island

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Once the driver gets you to the spot, you’ll join the rest of the group. The Isle of Mull is a popular tourist destination thus many people come directly to the Ulva ferry. Though you need a car for that.

After boarding Turus Mara ship, this is where the magic of the day starts. The next 6 hours you’ll spend out at the sea by the islands, but more about that later. Inside the ship, there is a possibility to charge your devices, use a bathroom, buy water, tea, coffee, and even puffin therapy mug!

Watching the sunset from Isle of Mull ferry on the way to Oban port, Scotland

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There is nothing similar to civilization found either on the Treshnish Isles or Staffa Island, not even to mention a bathroom or a source of drinkable water. Prepare in advance!

Once the cruise tour is over, you’ll be brought back to Oban the same you were brought here.

Is it difficult to walk in Staffa & Treshnish Isles?

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I wish I could say no, but in reality, it depends on the weather conditions and preparation. I’ve seen old people doing it, but I also saw really old people not doing it. If the weather is nice, expect nothing more difficult than a hike by the sea washing a cliff. If it’s rainy you’ll have to watch your steps because it might be slippery. If it is windy and the waves are high, I doubt the ship will moor by the shore of Staffa Island, then there will be no need to worry about the difficulties it could cause.