Tour # 15
Isle Of Mull (the northern loop)
100 km.
Approx. total hill climb: 400 meters.
Highest point: Dervaig - Tobermory 200 meters above sea level.
Traffic: Minimal.
Severity Rating: *****
Fun rating: ******

How to get to Isle Of Mull:
Train from Glasgow to Oban (3 hours). Ferry from Oban to Craignure (50 minutes).

Isle Of Mull is regarded as being the best island in Scotland for cycling. This is as far as I know true. The landscape is fantastic and the narrow road is ideal for cycling. The road is at times desperate undulating and ultra-technical. The road between Salen and Calgary Bay is one of the most beautiful roads in Scotland. The wildlife is magnificent along the whole route. I saw some otters just outside Ulva last time I did this cycle trip. There is not many shops and B & B's along this route. Solid planning is essential to survive this trip. Good weather is also essential. A good idea is to set up base camp in Oban or Salen. This tour is highly, highly recommended.

Take the road to the right (north) when you leave the ferry quay in Craignure (shops). The road up the north-coast to Salen (shops) is relative flat. When you have reached Salen, take the road to the left towards Calgary Bay. The road rises towards a small hill before it goes down towards the crossroad between the southern loop of Isle Of Mull and the northern loop of Isle Of Mull on the south coast of Isle Of Mull. Take the road to the right (the northern loop). The first part of the road along the sea towards Ulva is quite flat. The landscape is breathtaking. After five kilometers, the road rises sharply up to a hill (approx. 100 meters above sea level) overlooking Ulva. Again, the view are breathtaking and it will remain this all the way to Calgary Bay. This stretch of road has the most beautiful landscape I have ever seen in Scotland. From the hill overlooking Ulva, the road drops vertically down to the sea again at Ulva. The road goes relative flat for the next three kilometers before the road goes over to a very undulating and very technical part. This part of the tour is great fun. The road eventually ends up at the foot of the mountain over to Calgary Bay. The climb up this approx. 175 meters above sea level mountain is not particular hard, but the views are absolute fantastic. The descent down to Calgary Bay is dangerous because of the sheep and the lambs who litter the road. The road along the sea to Calgary Bay is not particular hard. The famous beach offer some good cooling down. The bar in the Calgary Bay Hotel welcomes thirsty cyclists.
The road over to Dervaig is not particular hard or interesting. It goes through dense forest which hide the views towards the islands west of Isle Of Mull. Dervaig (shops) is situated on the beginning of the first mountain over to Tobermory. The climb is desperate steep. From the top of this hill, you have a splendid view over to the real hill over to Tobermory. To reach this hill, you have to cross a deep valley and climb up again this bitterly steep hill. Blood, sweat and tears comes into play here. The view from the top is magnificent. The road goes past a small lake and down to Tobermory (shops, whisky distillery) ends up with a vertical drop through the streets of Tobermory. This small town is one of the most beautiful towns in Scotland. The local distillery takes a prominent place in Tobermory. The same does the ferry quay and the harbour.
The road out of Tobermory down the north-coast towards Salen is steep for five kilometers. The view from the top of this climb is breathtaking and very impressive. Then the road drops down towards the sea again and goes into a relative flat part before entering Salen. The road down to Craignure and the ferry to Oban is relative flat, with a couple of small hills thrown in. Ferry back to Oban or the road down to Iona.