The approach to Staffa (pillar island) by sea is breathtaking, great basalt columns flanking the deep caves which have inspired so much praise.

It was Mendelssohn who perhaps came closest to capturing the magic of Staffa in the Hebrides Overture.

Modern visitors often start excursions to the island from Fionnphort on the Isle of Mull, though boats also leave regularly from the Iona pier. The voyage along the coastline of south west Mull is spectacular, with views of the precipitous cliffs of Ardmeanach and the Wilderness of Burg.

If you are fortunate with weather conditions you will be able to land and explore the natural wonders of Fingal’s Cave where the columns are intricately curved and distorted. Since all the caves face south east (with the exception of Clamshell which faces due east) they are best seen by morning light.

During spring and early summer, the cliffs and grassy slopes provide nesting sites for various seabirds including guillemots, razorbills and puffins.