The Scottish Isles – Exploring Iona

The Scottish Isles


The Isle of Iona is an easy day trip from the Scottish coastal town of Oban, and well worth the multiple ferry rides to get there.

Iona has long captivated the imaginations of world travelers, be it for its azure waters, natural beauty or its religious history.  When St. Columba landed here from Ireland in the 6th century, he began a wave of Celtic Christian conversion that would eventually extend through Scandinavia.  Known for being a center of learning and spirituality, Iona was a significant pilgrimage site in the Dark and Middle Ages and many scholars believe that the Book of Kells was produced, at least in part, on Iona.

Today you will find the remains of a 13th century nunnery and a 12th century chapel, the chapel of St Oran. Legend has it that 48 kings, including MacBeth, are buried on the grounds.

After visiting the ruins, spend the afternoon on a solitary hike around this tiny 1 mile wide island or explore the Iona Heritage Centre.

To get to Iona, take a morning ferry from Oban to Craignure on the Isle of Mull. Once in Craignure, take a bus across Mull to Fionnphort.  You then finally take

The Scottish Isles

the small ferry from Fionnphort to Iona. Even though it may seem complicated, Iona is an easy day trip from Oban. Take careful note of ferry and bus schedules though, otherwise you may find yourself stranded, as I once did on Mull. Iona does have a hostel and Mull has a bar, so either way all is not lost should you confuse the schedules.


By: Matt Long

Matt has a true passion for travel. As someone who has a bad case of the travel bug, Matt travels the world in order to share tips on where to go, what to see and how to experience the best the world has to offer.

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