Interactive Travel Guide – What to do in Scotland

Eilean Donan Castle

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.

Celtic cross, Iona ScotlandThe 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 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.

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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. Also follow Matt on Twitter, Facebook and

3 Responses

  1. Eurotrip Tips

    I have heard only great things about the Isle of Skye. Easy to get to, breathtaking views. I haven’t been to Scotland often enough to recommend anything outside Edinburgh, but I will make sure to read the suggestions!

    Reply
  2. Dave

    Matt,

    First, I’m a huge fan of ghost tours in Edinburgh. There are are some amazing underground tunnels that are centuries old and full of crazy stories. Here’s the website of the tour I’ve been on: http://www.auldreekietours.com. As a food adventurer, I’m always looking for good food and drink in the places I visit. Beyond trying Haggis, I really enjoyed sampling scotch whiskey across Scotland. I’ve been to a few distilleries while on a day whiskey tour. I don’t remember the company I went with but here’s the site of one such tour. It’s a great way to sample the culinary landscape and see the countryside…http://www.scotlandwhisky.com/Whisky_tours/.

    I also have been to the Isle of Skye and it is as amazing and beautiful as everyone says it is. Very worth the hike up there…

    Hope this helps!

    Reply
  3. Scottishlass10

    Scotland is my favorite place on earth and I haven’t made it to Skye yet. But it’s on the slate for my next trip there!

    Reply

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