One of the questions we are most often asked at Isle of Mull Cottages HQ is just how to get here.
Many visitors, particularly if coming from the south, will head straight to Oban, a charming town on the west coast of the Scottish mainland. From here, you can hop aboard the MV Isle of Mull or the MV Loch Frisa for the short sail across to Craignure on Mull, which takes around 50 minutes to an hour. You’ll pass the islands of Kerrera and Lismore, with its famous lighthouse, en route. This Isle of Mull ferry service carries both vehicles and foot passengers and is definitely one to book well in advance.
But this isn’t the only Isle of Mull ferry route – in fact, we are fortunate to have three different crossings from the mainland over to Mull, all operated by CalMac.
The next option many visitors coming from Scotland opt for is from Lochaline in the Morvern Hills on the mainland, over to Fishnish on the east coast of Mull. This Isle of Mull ferry is even quicker, taking around 20 minutes to ply the waters back and forth across the Sound of Mull.
Vehicles are carried on this service too and on a sunny day, it’s well worth leaving your car and heading onto deck to soak up the superb views, both of the mainland and Mull. There’s even the chance to catch a glimpse of the local pair of sea eagles if you’re lucky!
The final route on and off Mull is from the wild and beautiful Ardnamurchan peninsula to the north of Mull, with a ferry carrying both vehicles and passengers leaving Mull’s harbour town of Tobermory to sail across to Kilchoan. Although on the mainland, Kilchoan feels easily as remote as Mull, with scenic single-track lanes, stunning hills and exquisite beaches to discover with only small detours from your planned route – ideal if you’re heading northwards after your holiday on Mull.
For both the smaller ferry crossings from Lochaline and Kilchoan, you can now buy tickets in advance, but you don’t need to pre-book your space. They operate on a turn up and go basis, so you simply check the timetable and queue for the next available sailing. Their smaller size does mean relinquishing some of the luxuries of larger vessels – there’s no café on board, so come prepared with snacks and drinks.
For all three of CalMac’s Isle of Mull ferry routes, CalMac operate a winter and a summer timetable, with more sailings to choose from each day during the busier summer months. However, the island is served by a busy ferry service for almost every day of the year, with multiple sailings to choose from even in winter.
So, whether you plan to escape to Mull for a great value winter break as you chase the Northern Lights, or a summer holiday when the daylight seems to last forever, you can plan your Isle of Mull ferry with ease. Find out more about getting to Mull and getting around once you arrive on the island.