Iona Abbey on the Isle of Iona Iona golf course The beach at Port Ban, Iona Evening view from Iona

The Isle of Iona

Iona lies a mile off the coast of Mull and is some three and a half miles long and one and a half at its widest point. The island has been in the care of the National Trust since 1979.

Iona is geologically different from its neighbour and is low lying, easy walking takes you past the best preserved medieval nunneries in Britain which was built in the early 1200’s by Reginald MacDonald of Islay.

Beyond is the world famous Iona Abbey, passing through the gate on your right is Relig Odhràin & St Oran’s Chapel: the oldest religious building on Iona. Beyond is an older graveyard, the resting place of generations of Scottish Kings.

The abbey is the highlight of most visitors to Iona, which stood as a decaying ruin from the late 1500’s until the Duke of Argyll started preservation work in 1874. Ownership transferred to the Iona Cathedral Trust and restoration work started in 1902 and was completed in 1965, the abbey is now in the care of Historic Scotland.

Iona is an enchanting island and visitors should take time to explore the island. Samuel Peploe first painted here in 1920 together with fellow Scottish Colourist F.C.B. Cadell. Both artists returned most summers, fascinated by the island’s light and dramatic, changeable weather.

Activities

The Isle of Staffa, one of the most famous isles in Scotland, lies to the north of Iona with its famous Fingal’s Cave. Felix Mendelssohn composed one of his finest works, the Hebrides Overture, also known as “Fingal’s Cave”, that memorialises the young composer’s visit to the Island in 1830.

The ferry service offers half day trips out to this most famous of Scottish isles, and to explore and experience the rich Scottish wildlife including seals, seabirds and dolphins.

The Treshnish Isles tour offers an opportunity to view whales, dolphins and sharks, on the sailing to Lunga. Over two hours are ashore on Lunga to visit the puffin colony before sailing to Staffa to visit Fingal’s Cave.

For further information, please visit Staffa Tours.

Iona

The rugged coast and beautiful beaches and hidden sandy coves are a delight to explore, and perfect for cycling, walking and watersports. You can even enjoy a round on one of the UK’s remotest golf courses.

Birdwatchers (twitchers) flock to The Western Isles and the inner Hebridean island of Iona in particular. The reason is the rare and elusive corncrake (crex crex). Besides being its Latin name, “crex crex” is also the corncrake’s distinctive call, and twitchers come to Iona from all over the UK to try and hear it as well as catch a glimpse in their iris bed nesting grounds.

We can help you to make a reservation for any of the activities. Day tours, boat trips or dinner reservations.

Don’t forget to book your ferry tickets if you’re bringing the car. And as from 26th October 2015 Caledonian MacBrayne have reduced their ferry fares to the equivalent of travelling by road which gives you a huge saving on the cost of getting here! Read more about RET (road equivalent tariff) here www.calmac.co.uk/ret

We look forward to welcoming you soon. Please call us on 01681 700070 to book your accommodation, use our secure online booking system or e-mail us for further enquiries.