• Wave icon Trip Type: Coastal
  • Speech bubble icon Instructors: 2
  • People icon Crew Size: Max 9
  • Cake icon Ages: 18-75
  • Pin icon Region: UK & Ireland
Intermediate

Adventure Rating:
Intermediate

None

Experience Required:
None

5 Days from £999

Dates, Prices & Travel

5 Days in The Western Isles of Scotland

Embark on a breathtaking sailing holiday around Mull, Iona, and Coll, starting from picturesque Oban. Visit Tobermory with its iconic colorful houses. Discover the Isle of Coll, a haven for marine life and birds, and the Treshnish Islands, home to fearless puffins. Also on the itinerary are Staffa’s famous Fingal’s Cave, stunning sunsets at Gometra, and wildlife galore at Loch na Keal. Later in the week, we’ll explore Iona’s historic abbey and enjoy idyllic anchorages at David Balfours Bay, Fidden Bay, and Ardalanish Bay, each offering unique landscapes and tranquility. Add in the heritage of Loch Buie and the chance to savor fresh mussels at Loch Spelve, and you’ll see why this itinerary around Mull, with a mixture of anchorages and pontoon facilities, blends great sailing, serene beauty, rich history, and unforgettable wildlife.

Ready for the trip of a lifetime with Europe’s #1 rated adventure sailors?

Rubicon 3 expeditions are genuine sailing adventures rather than luxury sailing vacations. You will be off the beaten track, possibly out on the open ocean, depending on the route you choose and sailing to and exploring remote and beautiful places. The expert Rubicon 3 instructors will train you and ensure you are fully involved in all aspects of the experience, including navigating, helming, trimming sails, cooking and looking after the yacht. As a true sailing adventure, it is much less predictable (& much better!) than a packaged experience, with itineraries planned day by day and shaped by local circumstances and weather. To take part in the adventure, the crew must come with the right attitude, an open mind and a desire to be fully involved.

Want to join?

Go to the Dates & Prices button to see the dates this trip runs. It will also give you information on connecting travel, including where to fly and when and where to join the boat.

 

Sailing Area

scotland sailing area
Mull sailing route
The Yachts
Key Information
What’s included
  • All food and accommodation on board

  • All fuel & berthing fees

  • Your own bunk and storage area

  • Use of oilskins

  • Use of lifejacket

  • Sailing tuition

  • RYA Competent Crew (supplementary fee)

What’s Not included
  • Your connecting travel to & from boat

  • Sailing & travel insurance

  • Meals you choose to eat ashore

  • Alcohol

  • Visas where required

  • Discretionary tip

Interested in dates & availability?

To see when this trip runs, its start and end locations, price to join the crew and availability, click on the ‘Dates, Prices & Travel’ button up top.

Discretionary tipping of the Rubicon 3 crew

The trip price is 5% less than we would normally charge. This is to allow you at the end of your adventure to offer a combined 5-10% tip to the Rubicon 3 skipper and mate if you feel they have delivered exceptional performance. This tip is entirely discretionary. See our FAQs here.

Got some questions?

Joining a big sailing adventure is a big thing, so don’t be surprised if you have lots of questions before you book. Who else joins, what to expect, and so many more queries are entirely normal. The home page has loads of info on this (scroll to the bottom), there are our FAQs and never hesitate to contact us by email, phone or live chat. The team are here to have a chat, discuss options, answer questions and help make sure you get on the exact right sailing trip for you.

Our Mull, Iona, and Coll sailing holiday is a gorgeous wander through the islands with so much choice in where to go. Our short time is not enough to explore anything but a little of the area, but this is a possible itinerary but the exact route and stops are entirely dependent on the wind and weather we find at the time. Here are some of the real highlights we can choose from

The North of Mull

Departing from Oban, colourful Tobermory at the top of the Sound of Mull is often our first stop. Its colorful waterfront houses are an iconic sight in this part of the world. The whole bay is wonderfully picturesque and you can wander its cobbled streets and visit the famous Tobermory whisky distillery. On the northwest coast of Mull we can visit beautiful and remote anchorage of Croig Bay. You have a good chance to see otters and a short walk away is a beautiful white sandy beach.

Calgary Bay on the south-west coast has a beautiful white sandy beach,  fringed with machair. Dramatic sea cliffs make this a favorite anchorage, with interesting walks to deserted villages.

calgary bay

Isle of Coll

The island to the west of Mull is Coll. Its most northerly point is called the Cairns of Coll and it is a real hot spot for basking sharks as well as many other cetaceans, otters and rare birdlife, including Manx shearwaters.On the south east of Coll is the lovely fishing village of Arinagour, with pleasant walks ashore to the church and the famous local pub.  The rare corncrake is commonly seen and heard here.

Treshnish

The Treshnish Islands

This beautiful group of uninhabited islands is a haven for wildlife and provides habitat for several rare species with extensive bird colonies. The puffins on Lunga seem to have no fear of people thus providing great opportunities for keen photographers on their boat trips.

The Island of Staffa

Staffa’s most famous feature is Fingal’s Cave, a large sea cave that inspired Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture. Many birds nest on the island, and the surrounding waters attract numerous seabirds, grey seals, dolphins, basking sharks and Minke whales.

fingals cave

Gometra

This sheltered anchorage on this tiny island is a great spot for watching the sun set with a local whisky in hand. Many species of eagles and falcons are regularly seen here on shore walks.

Loch na Keal

With small islands at its mouth, the wooded slopes to the north and the stark Ben More to the south, Loch na Keal is a stunning landscape and sunsets here can be spectacular. This dramatic large sea loch provides excellent walking and wildlife spotting on its shoreline. This is also a superb place for white-tailed eagles and otters and the chance to see whales and dolphins.

iona abbey

The Island of Iona

Iona is the neighbouring island to Mull. From our anchorage in the Sound of Iona there is the opportunity to go ashore to Iona Abbey which is a very popular place of pilgrimage. A further potential anchorage is St Columba’s Bay, a magical coloured pebble beach fringed by machair and a delight to arrive by sea, just like St Columba himself! Iona is also home to the elusive corncrake.

David Balfours Bay

This horseshoe bay of white shell sand surrounded by cliffs of red granite provided inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson for his novel, Kidnapped.

Fidden Bay

This stretch of beach is peppered with small islets, turquoise seas, and white sandy coves. The lovely views to the west make it a great spot for sunsets

Ardanalish Bay

Famous for its fabulous stretch of sandy beach with views to Colonsay and Jura, Ardalanish is also celebrated for its floral machair and unique geology. Around the bay are several Bronze Age burial cists, the remains of an Iron Age fort and the ruins of old crofts and great views of the Ross of Mull peninsula.

carsaig arches

Carsaig Arches

These dramatic natural arch cliff formations are not only a stunning coastline but also home to golden eagle, kestrel and raven, as well as feral goat.

Loch Buie

Go ashore at Loch Buie to visit historic Moy Castle the home of Clan MacLaine and the Lochbuie Stone Circle.

Loch Spelve

A wonderful sheltered anchorage fringed with ancient oak forest and a haven for otters with a good chance of spotting a white-tailed or golden eagle overhead. You could also go ashore to buy the freshest, tastiest mussels from Inverlussa Shellfish to serve up for dinner.

 

The difference between Rubicon 3 and a yacht charter

This is not a luxury yacht charter vacation on a private yacht but a proper sailing adventure. Sailing with Rubicon 3, unlike a leeward islands yacht charter company like Sunsail or Moorings, means you’ll have a far more authentic and in-depth experience.

  1. Tailored Experience: Unlike standard Caribbean yacht charters, the Rubicon 3 team works daily to tailor the experience to your interests and skill level. Whether you’re interested in learning advanced sailing techniques, exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations, or focusing on particular activities like snorkeling or fishing, we look to help you achieve it.
Landing rib on beach
  1. Expert Knowledge: Yacht charter companies will send you off with minimal instruction. Rubicon 3 has extensive local knowledge and expertise. We can find hidden gems, secluded anchorages, and the best spots that might be off the radar of the charter companies. This insider knowledge significantly enhances the sailing adventure. Unlike other yacht charter destinations, the Grenadines allow you to explore islands much off the beaten track.
  2. Learning Opportunities: Sailing in the southern Caribbean with Rubicon 3, you don’t need any previous sailing experience. If you’re interested in learning about sailing, navigation, or seamanship, the expert Rubicon 3 instructors ensure a hands-on, educational experience. This is ideal if you see your sailing trip as a vacation and a learning opportunity.
deserted island in the caribbean

 

Dates, Prices & Travel

Start Date & Location

May 20, 2024
Oban, Scotland

End Date & Location

May 24, 2024
Oban, Scotland

Price

£999

Availability

Join Waitlist

Trip Information

Start Date: May 20, 2024

Start Time: 09:00

Start Country: Oban, Scotland

Start Port: Oban

Start Marina: Oban North Pier Pontoons

End Date: May 24, 2024

End Time: 15:00

End Country: Oban, Scotland

End Port: Oban

End Marina: Oban North Pier Pontoons

Find Flights For This Trip
Fly Into: Glasgow Airport (IATA Code: GLA)
Fly Out of: Glasgow Airport (IATA Code: GLA)

* Flights are not included in the trip price.

Important Notes
Joining the boat
  • You will join the boat in Oban, Scotland.
  • It is scheduled to be in Oban North Pier Pontoons.
  • It is easy to get here from Glasgow Airport, with a frequent train service which is approximately 3 hours long.
  • The trip starts at 9:00 AM on May 20 2024, so you will need to be in Scotland by May 19, 2024.
  • You have two options for accommodation on the night before the start date:
    • Stay in a hotel or AirBnB in Oban.
    • Alternatively, you can stay onboard the boat from 6:00 PM on a bed & breakfast basis. Select this option during your booking process.
Leaving the boat
  • You will leave the boat in Oban, Scotland
  • The boat is scheduled to arrive into Oban on May 24th, 2024, and you will need to disembark by 15:00.
General Notes
  • We have a very strong track record of meeting the scheduled end date, with only a few exceptions over a decade of sailing and across hundreds of thousands of miles of sailing. However, given the nature and distance of ocean crossings, we can’t guarantee it and recommend booking flexible onward travel from Scotland or at least allowing an extra day in your itinerary as a precaution.
  • You cannot stay on the boat after the trip end date.
  • Once you have booked, we will connect you up with other crew so you can liaise regarding connecting travel, meet up in advance etc.
  • If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
5-Point Pre-Booking Checklist

Before you finalize your booking, we suggest you run through our pre-booking checklist:

  1. Check Flights: Make sure you have found the right flights for your trip. Book them as soon as you have booked your Rubicon 3 trip.
  2. Travel Insurance: Once you’ve booked your trip with us, buy some sailing travel insurance. Read our full guide here.
  3. Passport Validity: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned return date. Some countries require this for entry, so it’s crucial to check and renew your passport if necessary.
  4. Visas: Most sailors will not require any visas for this trip. However, if you are concerned, check any visa requirements for both your destination and any transit countries. If you do need a visa, processing times can vary, so it’s advisable to apply well in advance of your trip.
  5. Vaccinations and Health Checks: There are no vaccinations required for this trip. Make sure you have an acceptable level of fitness and agility. You can read our guide here. This is for the safety of all on board.

Sub total: £999

Join the waitlist to be emailed when this product becomes available

Start Date & Location

May 27, 2024
Oban, Scotland

End Date & Location

May 31, 2024
Oban, Scotland

Price

£999

Deposit

£499

Availability

Join Waitlist

Trip Information

Start Date: May 27, 2024

Start Time: Time TBC

Start Country: Oban, Scotland

Start Port: Oban

Start Marina: Oban North Pier Pontoons

End Date: May 31, 2024

End Time: Time TBC

End Country: Oban, Scotland

End Port: Oban

End Marina: Oban North Pier Pontoons

Find Flights For This Trip
Fly Into: Glasgow Airport (IATA Code: GLA)
Fly Out of: Glasgow Airport (IATA Code: GLA)

* Flights are not included in the trip price.

Important Notes
Joining the boat
  • You will join the boat in Oban, Scotland.
  • It is scheduled to be in Oban North Pier Pontoons.
  • It is easy to get here from Glasgow Airport, with a frequent train service which is approximately 3 hours long.
  • The trip starts at 9:00 AM on May 27 2024, so you will need to be in Scotland by May 26, 2024.
  • You have two options for accommodation on the night before the start date:
    • Stay in a hotel or AirBnB in Oban.
    • Alternatively, you can stay onboard the boat from 6:00 PM on a bed & breakfast basis. Select this option during your booking process.
Leaving the boat
  • You will leave the boat in Oban, Scotland
  • The boat is scheduled to arrive into Oban on May 31, 2024, and you will need to disembark by 15:00.
General Notes
  • We have a very strong track record of meeting the scheduled end date, with only a few exceptions over a decade of sailing and across hundreds of thousands of miles of sailing. However, given the nature and distance of ocean crossings, we can’t guarantee it and recommend booking flexible onward travel from Scotland or at least allowing an extra day in your itinerary as a precaution.
  • You cannot stay on the boat after the trip end date.
  • Once you have booked, we will connect you up with other crew so you can liaise regarding connecting travel, meet up in advance etc.
  • If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
5-Point Pre-Booking Checklist

Before you finalize your booking, we suggest you run through our pre-booking checklist:

  1. Check Flights: Make sure you have found the right flights for your trip. Book them as soon as you have booked your Rubicon 3 trip.
  2. Travel Insurance: Once you’ve booked your trip with us, buy some sailing travel insurance. Read our full guide here.
  3. Passport Validity: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned return date. Some countries require this for entry, so it’s crucial to check and renew your passport if necessary.
  4. Visas: Most sailors will not require any visas for this trip. However, if you are concerned, check any visa requirements for both your destination and any transit countries. If you do need a visa, processing times can vary, so it’s advisable to apply well in advance of your trip.
  5. Vaccinations and Health Checks: There are no vaccinations required for this trip. Make sure you have an acceptable level of fitness and agility. You can read our guide here. This is for the safety of all on board.

Sub total: £499

Join the waitlist to be emailed when this product becomes available

Start Date & Location

May 19, 2025
Oban, Scotland

End Date & Location

May 23, 2025
Oban, Scotland

Price

£999

Deposit

£499

Availability

Available

Trip Information

Start Date: May 19, 2025

Start Time: Time TBC

Start Country: Oban, Scotland

Start Port: Oban

Start Marina: Oban North Pier Pontoons

End Date: May 23, 2025

End Time: Time TBC

End Country: Oban, Scotland

End Port: Oban

End Marina: Oban North Pier Pontoons

Find Flights For This Trip
Fly Into: Glasgow Airport (IATA Code: GLA)
Fly Out of: Glasgow Airport (IATA Code: GLA)

* Flights are not included in the trip price.

Important Notes
Joining the boat
  • You will join the boat in Oban, Scotland.
  • It is scheduled to be in Oban North Pier Pontoons.
  • It is easy to get here from Glasgow Airport, with a frequent train service which is approximately 3 hours long.
  • The trip starts at 9:00 AM on May 19 2025, so you will need to be in Scotland by May 18, 2025.
  • You have two options for accommodation on the night before the start date:
    • Stay in a hotel or AirBnB in Oban.
    • Alternatively, you can stay onboard the boat from 6:00 PM on a bed & breakfast basis. Select this option during your booking process.
Leaving the boat
  • You will leave the boat in Oban, Scotland
  • The boat is scheduled to arrive into Oban on May 23, 2025, and you will need to disembark by 15:00.
General Notes
  • We have a very strong track record of meeting the scheduled end date, with only a few exceptions over a decade of sailing and across hundreds of thousands of miles of sailing. However, given the nature and distance of ocean crossings, we can’t guarantee it and recommend booking flexible onward travel from Scotland or at least allowing an extra day in your itinerary as a precaution.
  • You cannot stay on the boat after the trip end date.
  • Once you have booked, we will connect you up with other crew so you can liaise regarding connecting travel, meet up in advance etc.
  • If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
5-Point Pre-Booking Checklist

Before you finalize your booking, we suggest you run through our pre-booking checklist:

  1. Check Flights: Make sure you have found the right flights for your trip. Book them as soon as you have booked your Rubicon 3 trip.
  2. Travel Insurance: Once you’ve booked your trip with us, buy some sailing travel insurance. Read our full guide here.
  3. Passport Validity: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned return date. Some countries require this for entry, so it’s crucial to check and renew your passport if necessary.
  4. Visas: Most sailors will not require any visas for this trip. However, if you are concerned, check any visa requirements for both your destination and any transit countries. If you do need a visa, processing times can vary, so it’s advisable to apply well in advance of your trip.
  5. Vaccinations and Health Checks: There are no vaccinations required for this trip. Make sure you have an acceptable level of fitness and agility. You can read our guide here. This is for the safety of all on board.
Add Trip Extras

Sub total: £499

Start Date & Location

September 15, 2025
Oban, Scotland

End Date & Location

September 19, 2025
Oban, Scotland

Price

£999

Deposit

£499

Availability

Available

Trip Information

Start Date: September 15, 2025

Start Time: 09:00

Start Country: Oban, Scotland

Start Port: Oban

Start Marina: Oban North Pier Pontoons

End Date: September 19, 2025

End Time: 09:00

End Country: Oban, Scotland

End Port: Oban

End Marina: Oban North Pier Pontoons

Find Flights For This Trip
Fly Into: Glasgow Airport (IATA Code: GLA)
Fly Out of: Glasgow Airport (IATA Code: GLA)

* Flights are not included in the trip price.

Important Notes
Joining the boat
  • You will join the boat in Oban, Scotland.
  • It is scheduled to be in Oban North Pier Pontoons.
  • It is easy to get here from Glasgow Airport, with a frequent train service which is approximately 3 hours long.
  • The trip starts at 9:00 AM on September 15 2025, so you will need to be in Scotland by September 14, 2025.
  • You have two options for accommodation on the night before the start date:
    • Stay in a hotel or AirBnB in Oban.
    • Alternatively, you can stay onboard the boat from 6:00 PM on a bed & breakfast basis. Select this option during your booking process.
Leaving the boat
  • You will leave the boat in Oban, Scotland
  • The boat is scheduled to arrive into Oban on September 19, 2025, and you will need to disembark by 15:00.
General Notes
  • We have a very strong track record of meeting the scheduled end date, with only a few exceptions over a decade of sailing and across hundreds of thousands of miles of sailing. However, given the nature and distance of ocean crossings, we can’t guarantee it and recommend booking flexible onward travel from Scotland or at least allowing an extra day in your itinerary as a precaution.
  • You cannot stay on the boat after the trip end date.
  • Once you have booked, we will connect you up with other crew so you can liaise regarding connecting travel, meet up in advance etc.
  • If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
5-Point Pre-Booking Checklist

Before you finalize your booking, we suggest you run through our pre-booking checklist:

  1. Check Flights: Make sure you have found the right flights for your trip. Book them as soon as you have booked your Rubicon 3 trip.
  2. Travel Insurance: Once you’ve booked your trip with us, buy some sailing travel insurance. Read our full guide here.
  3. Passport Validity: Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned return date. Some countries require this for entry, so it’s crucial to check and renew your passport if necessary.
  4. Visas: Most sailors will not require any visas for this trip. However, if you are concerned, check any visa requirements for both your destination and any transit countries. If you do need a visa, processing times can vary, so it’s advisable to apply well in advance of your trip.
  5. Vaccinations and Health Checks: There are no vaccinations required for this trip. Make sure you have an acceptable level of fitness and agility. You can read our guide here. This is for the safety of all on board.
Add Trip Extras

Sub total: £499

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