Best time to visit Scotland

Cruise to Staffa in Scotland 2024

The trip to Staffa amazes with wildlife encounters, puffin colonies, and the geometric shapes of Fingal's Cave

Best time: April–October

Cruise to Staffa
Cruise to Staffa
Cruise to Staffa
Cruise to Staffa
Cruise to Staffa
Cruise to Staffa
Cruise to Staffa

Staffa is famous for its population of cute puffins inhabiting the north of the island. However, the amazingly shaped Fingal's Cave is considered an even more popular attraction. Its hexagonal basalt pillars produce an impression of being carved by sculptors.

The cruise boats set off to Staffa from two south-western points on the Isle of Mull—Iona and Fionnphort. The trip itself is quite a wildlife safari, as the one hour trip promises encounters with dolphins, sharks, and a variety of seabirds.

Observing the puffins is a real delight: you do not have to hide, on the contrary, the birds feel more comfortable in the presence of humans as we scare off their greatest enemy the seagull. When the cave is accessible from April to October, the best time to observe puffins is from early May to early August during their breeding season.

Practical info

How do I get to Staffa from mainland Scotland?

To reach Staffa, you must take a ferry from the Isle of Mull. You can access Mull via Oban or Lochaline. The ferry to Staffa operates from Fionnphort or Iona, with multiple trips during summers. Visitors can also book a guided tour departing from Oban or Glasgow that includes visits to Staffa and other islands. Show more

When is the best time to visit Staffa?

For a visit to Staffa, plan a trip between April and October when the island is accessible. Puffins breeding period falls between May and August. Want to escape the crowd? Head there in April, September, or October when tourist levels are low, and temperatures are increasingly mild. Show more

Can I visit Fingal's Cave on my own or do I need a tour?

Although you can visit Fingal's Cave alone, this may not be a safe option due to restricted accessibility and safety restrictions. Warmly recommended to take a guided boat tour where you can access the cave safely with your guide's help and wouldn't have to go through the slippery basalt columns without any caution. Show more

What other wildlife can I encounter during the cruise to Staffa?

While on your way to Staffa, you will enjoy a fantastic wildlife safari, spotting other animals besides puffins. The journey's course includes sightings of several birds like kittiwakes, guillemots, razorbills, and fulmars, amongst others. You may also be fortunate enough to spot dolphins, whales, porpoises, and sharks. Seals can be commonly found, and who knows? Show more

Are there any accommodations on Staffa Island for an overnight stay?

Visitors can't find any accommodations on Staffa Island, as it is uninhabited. The National Trust for Scotland has camping permits available that allow you to stay on the island for a maximum of two nights. If camping isn't for you, plan on staying in one of the Isle of Mull's hotels or guesthouses for accessibility and an enjoyable day trip. Show more

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