Tour # 15
Isle Of Mull (the northern loop)
Approx. total hill climb: 400 meters.
Highest point: Dervaig - Tobermory 200 meters above sea level.
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
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.