A regular feature on LandLopers is the Interactive Travel Guide. The idea is to highlight one city or country every week and then get the best recommendations from you all. By the end of the week, we hopefully will have created the best tips not from guide books, but from real people.
To continue this social media experiment, this week I want to highlight Scotland.
I have always loved Scotland, and the oportunity to explore it in detail is one of the great travel highlights of my life. It was almost impossible to choose just one experience to highlight, but even years later, Iona still stands out as one of my all-time favorite travel experiences.
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 Europe and 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 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.
NOW it’s your turn. Please comment and tell us your favorite thing to do, see or eat in Scotland. If you haven’t been yet, please let us know what you would most like to do.