Staffa Trips

Visit Staffa, Fingal's Cave and Iona

Below, there’s a list of questions the team at Staffa Trips are often asked. If you’d like to ask us something that isn’t mentioned here, please telephone and we’ll do our best to answer your question.

+44 (0) 1681 700755 (Landline) or +44 (0) 7809 136694 (Mobile)

Alternatively, click the button below to use our contact form.

  • Can I get on in Fionnphort and off in Iona?
    Yes, of course. This is a great way to make a day trip to Iona. Join us for the morning trip to Staffa and get off at Iona when we return. Make your way back to Mull, whenever suits you, on the regular CalMac ferry. Alternatively, make your way to Iona in the morning and join us there for the afternoon trip to Staffa. We’ll drop you off in Fionnphort when we return. Either way, you just need to buy a single (one-way) ticket on the ferry!
  • Who is the trip for?
    Visitors of all types take something from a trip to Staffa. Whether you're interested in wildlife, history, geography or geology, you'll find something to interest you. We've taken young babies and octogenarians to Staffa over the years, and people from all over the world.
  • What should I bring?
    We suggest bringing warm and waterproof clothing. Even on a day that starts well, weather conditions can change quickly. If you suffer from motion sickness, you might wish to bring a suitable remedy. Suncream might also be useful. A small selection of drinks and snacks is available for sale aboard the boat, although you may wish to bring your own. You should definitely bring binoculars and/or a camera if you have them!
  • What might we see on the trip?
    The main focus of the trip is the Island of Staffa with its interesting geology and sea caves. In addition, Staffa is home to a breeding colony of Puffins which nest on Staffa from early April until late July. Fulmars, Shags and other birds also nest on Staffa. The journey to Staffa passes a number of small islands near Fionnphort which are home to other nesting birds and are popular with seals who like to haul themselves onto the rocks there. At sea, we might pass a number of seabirds including Gannets, Guillemots and Razorbills and, if you're lucky, you might catch sight of Porpoises, Dolphins, Minke Whales or Basking Sharks (depending on the time of year). Fingal’s Cave is about 200m from the landing place and it’s normally possible to walk there and get right into the cave. The path is manageable for most people of average mobility and fitness.
  • What about puffins?
    Puffins arrive at Staffa in early April after spending the winter far out in the Atlantic. During April, they pair up and it’s usual to find groups of them on the water off Staffa. By May, each pair will have laid a single egg and you might find that the adult birds come ashore at their preferred nesting place (if you have enough patience to sit and wait for them!). Their eggs will usually have hatched by mid-June and from then until late July is when the colony is at its busiest and you’ll have the best chance of seeing them at close range. The nesting place is in an area approximately 500m from the landing place. It’s a 10 minute walk for most people, over a rough track. Members of the crew will be happy to give directions but, if you feel you are unable to visit the colony on foot, we should be able to take you in the boat to view them on the sea. Adults and their offspring leave Staffa at the end of July but a handful of birds may stick around for the first couple of days of August.
  • What facilities are there on board?
    There's a toilet on board should you need it and an honesty box containing drinks and snacks. We have a number of maps of the area too, with a guide to the most commonly seen birds on the back in different languages. Iolaire carries 67 passengers and has a cabin over half of the boat for shelter.
  • Are there any facilities on Staffa?
    Staffa is an uninhabited island. There aren't any shops, cafés or toilet facilities on the island.
  • Do you provide a commentary?
    When we set off, we'll provide a short safety briefing followed by a commentary about the area around Iona and Fionnphort. When we reach open water, the commentary will cease but a member of the crew should be available to answer any questions you might have. When we arrive at Staffa, the commentary will resume as we pass the main points of interest on the island's south face. Thereafter, we'll take you to the landing place and let you go ashore (weather permitting).
  • Are we guaranteed to land on Staffa?
    Unfortunately, Staffa Trips (and all the other operators who visit Staffa) can never guarantee landing there. The landing place is relatively sheltered, but still exposed to heavy swell from the Atlantic ocean. For this reason, we will only attempt a landing if we consider it safe to do so. Iolaire lands on the majority of trips to the island. Our Skippers will be happy to advise on your chances of landing on the day of your trip, using their experience, but this can only ever be an estimate as conditions at Staffa can be unpredictable.
  • Group Bookings
    We offer a discount for groups of 20 or over. Please phone +44 (0)1681 700755, or use our Contact Form to make arrangements.
  • Can we take our dog(s)?
    Yes, well behaved dogs are welcome on board free of charge. Maximum 2 per party please.
  • I'm not very mobile. Can I still visit?
    Staffa itself is not a particularly easy place to get around if you have limited mobility. The path to the cave is about 200m long and crosses the basalt columns which make up this part of Staffa. It's like a series of large stepping-stones (without gaps in between), each at slightly varying heights. A wheelchair would be out of the question. We've taken many people to Staffa with limited mobility. Some have been pleasantly surprised at how well they've managed, whilst others have opted to remain on the boat when we arrived there. If you opt to stay aboard, we'll endeavour to let you see some more of the island by boat. Assistance will be given when getting on and off the boat but it is advisable to phone and inform the crew if you have limited mobility, so that they are aware in advance. Also, keep in mind that you can change your mind at any time - just let us know! Some people with extreme vertigo have felt uncomfortable ashore on Staffa.
  • What is there to do on Iona?
    Iona has some lovely beaches and walks, an Abbey with a rich history, small shops to explore and a number of places to enjoy some refreshment. For more details of these, please see our ‘Links’ page.
  • What if I have to cancel?
    We know that plans change. When booking online, the confirmation email you will be sent contains a link which allows you to modify or change your booking at any time up until one hour before your scheduled departure. Please note, however, that bookings cannot be cancelled or refunded on the day of travel — notice must be given at least 24hrs before our scheduled departure. Groups must give at least one week’s notice of cancellation to receive a full refund although up to 6 passengers may be cancelled up to 24hrs before our scheduled departure. Please ensure that you have made definite travel arrangements enabling you to be at Fionnphort or Iona at the required time. If you are coming from Oban by car, you are advised to book with the ferry operator (CalMac) well in advance, as summertime ferries can be busy.  

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If you’re enquiring within 1 hour of departure, or would rather speak to a member of staff, please telephone to check last minute availability or have a query answered.

+44 (0) 1681 700755 (Landline) or +44 (0) 7809 136694 (Mobile)