Those who cannot afford the time for an overnight stay on the island will still find it worthwhile to visit for the day. The journey from Oban can be breathtaking, combining an hour at sea with an hour by road across Mull. A regular day trip from the mainland will give you around 2 hours on Iona, and enough time to take in the atmosphere and visit the main attractions. Travelling independently could give you longer. If you are holidaying on Mull then you can be more relaxed about when you travel, and even hire a skippered boat to get you back home (See Alternative Boat Hire on the Boat Trip Operators page).
There are various tour packages available which can be booked in advance: you can choose whether to visit only Mull and Iona or take in additional attractions such as the Isle of Staffa and the Treshnish Isles. These can be booked though any of the following joint operators:
'Do It Yourself' Trip
Most 'package tours' leave Oban at around 10am and this generally gives the visitor a couple of hours on Iona. Buying your ferry and bus tickets independently offers the chance to leave Oban at around 8am along with commuters, tradespeople & delivery drivers, and enjoy around four and a half hours on Iona. You'll travel on the same ferries as those on a tour but use the 'service' bus (Route No's 96 and 496) along with the locals. No commentary is provided, but most of the drivers will point out any interesting wildlife. You might even save yourself a few pounds in the process! The same links apply: