How to See Puffins in the Treshnish Isles of Scotland

How to See Puffins in the Treshnish Isles of Scotland

From where to stay, how to get there and what to pack, here’s everything you need to know to visit puffins in Scotland!

Puffins in Treshnish Isles, Scotland


How to See Puffins in the Treshnish Isles of Scotland

One of the biggest reasons I wanted to visit Scotland was to photograph the wildlife and rugged landscapes of this gorgeous country. After I started planning my island itinerary, I learned about the puffins who make their homes in the Hebridean Islands.


How To Get To The Treshnish Isles

From the Isle of Mull, I took a boat excursion with Turus Mara to Staffa and the Treshnish Isles. These islands are uninhabited so the easiest way to visit is by staying on the Isle of Mull and taking a ferry. Lunga island is where the puffins reside from April to August.

Turus Mara‘s daily cruises depart the Isle of Mull at 11:30 am and return at 5:45 pm. You will spend one hour on Staffa and two hours on Lunga. Ticket prices: €55 Adults, €27.50 Children or €140 for a family of two adults and two children.

“Communing with the wild, and with birds like puffins, is as important as sunshine, sleep or vitamin C. Puffin therapy is a great way to get that fix.” — Dr. Nick Baylis

I literally spent the entire time sitting with these peaceful birds. They were not kidding about puffin therapy either! Everybody on the island, including myself, was grinning from ear to ear. It is easily one of the most memorable experiences of my life.

I find the lives of puffins fascinating. These birds breed on land from April to August, which is why I was able to see them during my visit in May. In the winter, they disperse and spend several months at sea. They have waterproof feathers and they are able to drink salt water in order to survive on the ocean.

Puffins in Scotland

Puffins in the Treshnish Isles of Scotland


Where To Stay When Visiting The Puffins in Scotland

I stayed in the picturesque town of Tobermory on the Isle of Mull and took the ferry to these uninhabited islands.

Glengorm Castle: I stayed at Glengorm Castle and loved it. This gorgeous castle has unbeatable views, offers free WIFI, and a lovely shared lounge and garden.

Linndhu House: The Linndhu House gets excellent reviews, some rooms have sea views, they offer free WIFI, and a garden.

Morvern: Morvern offers apartments with fully equipped kitchens, and a balcony with garden views.

Where to See Puffins Up Close in Scotland

How to See Puffins in the Treshnish Isles of Scotland


What To Pack For Your Puffin Excursion in Scotland

Traveling in the higher altitudes in this region of Scotland mean snowfall in the winter and frequent rain year round.

Packing layers is highly advised for any time of the year, with additional warm winter clothing in the months from late September to May. If you plan to visit the Northern Highlands, be especially sure to pack thermal clothing that you can wear under long sleeves and trail pants.

How to See Puffins in the Treshnish Isles of Scotland

How to See Puffins in the Treshnish Isles of Scotland

How to See Puffins in the Treshnish Isles of Scotland

How to See Puffins in the Treshnish Isles of Scotland

How to See Puffins in the Treshnish Isles of Scotland

How to See Puffins in the Treshnish Isles of Scotland


Plan Your Trip to Scotland

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  1. Brad Bernard says:

    This is an awesome post, Christy. And the pictures are amazing! Who doesn’t love puffins? What an awesome experience. I’ve featured this in my Best Travel Experiences.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      I’m pretty sure you would have to be heartless not to love puffins. 🙂 They are the coolest birds on earth.

  2. Teresa Harris says:

    How much do you think it would cost to go see the puffins. My mom loves birds. I would love to take her to see them for a few days or week if I can afford it.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Hi Teresa. Ticket prices for Turus Mara: €55 Adults, €27.50 Children or €140 for a family of two adults and two children.

  3. acoupletraveler says:

    our dream is to see puffins like this! Your photos are downright amazing and making us super jealous! We were in Scotland in October but didn’t get to see any puffins!

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Thank you! Sorry you didn’t get to see them. They must have been out to sea by then. There’s always next time. 😉

  4. kazspence says:

    oh my that is so tranquil and Puffins are so cute !
    thanks for sharing your experience, on the list ‘to do’ in Scotland 🙂

  5. hikebiketravel says:

    What a superb collection of photos. I had a small dose of puffin therapy on the Skellig Islands off the coast of western Ireland and couldn’t get enough of them either.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Wow. That sounds amazing. Another reason I need to visit Ireland! 🙂

  6. Puffins are sooooo cute and your photos are amazing! I was surprised at how there were when I visited the Hebrides a few years ago.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Thanks, Laurel! Wow… I didn’t know you went to the Hebrides!

  7. Sherry Viray says:

    They look so beautiful and cute in the photos. I’ve always wanted to see them in person, too. I saw on the Travel Channel that they taste good, too. Hmmm?

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      Nooo… I would never eat a puffin. ;(

  8. Jennifer Dombrowski says:

    The puffins are so cute! I’ve missed seeing them in Iceland on both my visits since we were too late for their breeding season.

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      I didn’t realize puffins lived in Iceland until recently. I just found out they are in Alaska too and we will be there in August! I should start traveling the world just to see puffins and turtles. 🙂

      1. Jennifer Dombrowski says:

        Now that would be a fun project! We have something similar in mind – traveling to see a certain kind of animal around the world.

        1. Ordinary Traveler says:

          What is your animal?

          1. Jennifer Dombrowski says:

            We want to see bears around the world.

  9. They really are adorable! I like the side profile shot where the puffin is spreading his wings. I want to kidnap one of them! 😉

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      That’s one of my favorites too. 😀

  10. Amanda Williams says:

    Ahhhh love love LOVE! Puffins are so adorable. And it looks like you had some gorgeous weather, too!

    1. Ordinary Traveler says:

      I was really lucky that day! I only had two sunny days during my trip and this was one of them, thankfully!