Lunga / Treshnish Islands - a few km north of Iona
Lunga / Treshnish Islands could also be easily combined with a visit in Iona and such a fullday-tour is also your only chance to get to this lovely bird-island ! Lunga is a small island close to the island of Staffa and it is an interesting bird-sanctuary, mainly for puffins. The best about Lunga is the fact, that the birds seem to be used to the human visitors approaching them with their tele-lenses and camera-equippments.
Puffins / Papageientaucher are living in small holes under the grass and they love to walk over the grass in front of their holes, before they will start to fly down the cliffs in order to catch some fish in order to feed their young ones.
It is quite strange, that puffins will totally loose the colors of their beak in autumn.
Staffa - just a few km north of Iona
Staffa is quite an unique island and a natural wonder and a visit there could easily be combined with a tour to Iona. In fact many of the tours to Iona will be offered in combination with Staffa and Lunga, a nearby bird-sanctuary on a small island.
The island of Staffa consists only of Basalt-octagons of vulcanic origin. The Basalt was pressed out of the vulcany by such a high pressure - millions of years ago - that it made these more or less regular octagons that you may see still today.
An equivalent to the island of Staffa in Scotland is Giant Causeway in Northern Ireland, where a small coastal stripe is totally covered by such Basalt-octagons. By boat Giant Causeway is in a distance of about 100 km from the island of Staffa.
Click on my link below and read more about it on my Staffa-page !
Tobermory - 50 km north-east of Iona
Tobermory is a nice village at the isle of Mull, that you may easily combine with a visit to the island of Iona. When driving by car you will need about 1,5 hours, because the roads are mostly single track roads.
Tobermory is a village with just 650 inhabitants but still it is the capital of the Island of Mull, Tobermory is mainly well known for it's row of colorful houses at the port and for its Ledaig-Malt-Whiskey, that is produced in the Tobermory-destillery since 1798.
The Tobermory-destillery could be visited April till October
every Monday till Friday 10.00a.m. till 04.00p.m.
- Budget Travel
- Road Trip
Combine Iona & Staffa and see Fingal's cave
Fingal's cave is certainly the biggest tourist-attraction of the island of Staffa : Just imagine a cave that has the size of a big concert-hall and in fact most of the smaller tourist-boats will be able to land and dock INside that cave. The famous composer Felix Mendelson Bartholdy came to Staffa and he was so very much impressed by this giant cave, that he named one of his compositions : "Fingal's Cave".
You may step a few meters into Fingal's cave, using a handrail. During the day enough dayligt will get into that cave, so you will always see, where to step. Normally the ship will stop for about 1 hour at Staffa.
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Study Abroad
Iona the remote
Iona itself IS off the beaten track. In order to get there, you really have to make the effort. You must take a car/passenger ferry from Oban and then drive along a single track road about 40 minutes (turn left from the ferry). The scenery is dramatic and barren, the center of Mull is all mountains and hills dotted with a few sheep and probably fewer hill walkers.
You must remember to pull over to the left on the layovers when traffic approaches (or whoever is nearest the layover on their left pulls over) and it's customary to give a little wave when you pass. There are very few houses along the way, and only one small village before you get to the village of Fionnport where the foot passenger ferry is.
Park the car, pay and display and get your ticket. The sailing is only about 10 minutes across a little channel. You are finally on Iona itself a tiny island with some high hills in the center. It's remote, peaceful and is a popular spot for visitors. We went in April so there weren't too many tourists and our stay was a delight from beginning to end.
This abandoned marble quarry on the southern part of the east coast houses some industrial-archaeological artefacts.
The green marble of Iona was very prized end 19th century.