Iona Travel Guide

  • Benedictine abbey cloisters
    Benedictine abbey cloisters
    by Drever
  • carvings on the capitals
    carvings on the capitals
    by Drever
  • The abbey
    The abbey
    by Drever

Iona Things to Do

  • Iona made famous by St Columba

    Leaving Staffa our boat headed for the enchanting isle of Iona one mile off the coast of Mull. It has welcomed pilgrims since St Columba's arrival in 563AD. Small and windswept it contracts sharply with its neighbours in being low-lying and fertile. Its highest point, which has an Iron Age hill fort dating from 100BC, is only 331ft above sea...

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  • IONA

    IONA is more than 800 years old now, a interesting church and also a highcross and great museum, I liked it very much there.Go to Iona early in morning or late in afternoon,before the buses are coming with hundred tourists and there was lot of rush there.

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  • ABBEY MUSEUM

    Housed in the old Abbey Infirmary is a magnificent collection of early Christian carved stonework. Here you will find the original St John's Cross which was removed to here after a couple of windfalls. St Oran's Cross takes up much of the back area while many of the carved grave slabs from the Reilig Odhrain are displayed along the walls. The...

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  • CELTIC HIGH CROSSES

    Some of the most magnificent Celtic Christian sculpture can be found here on Iona. Originally there were over 360 crosses on the island but time has taken its toll on most. You will find three - well, one original, one replica and one stump - standing in front of the main entrance to the chapel: St Martin's Cross, St John's Cross (a replica) and...

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  • ABBEY

    Beautifully restored and excellently presented, the Iona Abbey dates to 1203, though it was enlarged and renovated over the next 300 years until the Reformation ended the days of Iona as a destination for pilgrims. The pilgrims brought wealth to the island, a wealth that disappeared over the next four hundred years. You'll find effigies of the 8th...

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  • SRAID NAM MARBH

    This is the Street of the Dead. It is a cobble stoned medieval lane that leads from the Abbey to Reilig Odhrain - the cemetery. The original street went beyond to near where the present ferry terminal is at a place called teh Port nam Mairtear (Port of the Dead). The old kings and chieftains in their coffins were carried over these stones on their...

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  • ST ORAN'S CHAPEL

    Lying in the middle of the Reilig Odhrain, St Oran's Chapel was built as a family burial chapel for Somerled or his son Reginald - both Lords of the Isles - back in the mid 12th century. Somerled developed a generous sized kingdom reaching from Skye to the Isle of Man. He died just as he was assembling an army to do war with Renfrew, the King of...

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  • REILIG ODHRAIN

    This main cemetery on Iona is the final resting spot for the Lords of the Isles. There are some 60 kings buried here from Norway, Ireland, France and Scotland, as well. Most of the early Christian grave slabs have been removed to protect them, but as a result, the names of the individual graves has been lost. The cemetery remains active and you...

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  • MACLEAN CROSS

    Commissioned by the clan chief of the Macleans and erected about 1500, this elegant cross stands some three meters high. The cross was carved from one stone and stood at the intersection of the Sraid nam Marbh (Street of the Dead) and a road coming from the port. Pilgrims on their way to the Shrine of St Columba at the Abbey would stop here to...

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  • AUGUSTINIAN NUNNERY

    The Nunnery has been in ruins since the Reformation, but you can get an idea of the scale of earlier operations. There is a nicely maintained garden flowering in the middle of it all. You will also find the ruin of the old parish church on the north side of the nunnery - a bit small, perhaps, but the locals might have been able to sneak into the...

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  • the arcardes of the cloister

    A large part of the old monastery was rebuilt and restored again recently and it is really interesting to walk around the cloisters and imagine what the life was there plenty of centuries ago in the high time of this christian out-post.You may walk around Iona and the old monastery free of charge and without restrictions during the day. You simply...

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  • remains of a glorious past in Iona

    St. Columba came from Ireland in the year 563 and founded his mostery at the small island of Iona, just about 100 meters off the coast of the island of Mull.The Danes burned down the monastery in the 9th century, but it was rebuilt and became episcopat between 838 and 1098.In 1203 Iona became a monastery of the Benedictinians. Various scottish,...

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  • Iona - the old monastery

    Iona and its old monastery was once upon a time one of the most important centres of christianity in Scotland. Many scottish kings had been buried there next to the tomb of St. Columba in the middle-ages. Nowadays Iona is mainly a museum and a major tourist-attraction, showing some remains of St.Oran's Chapel, a few celtic high crosses and remains...

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  • The Abbey

    Iona Abbey was a cradle of Christianity in the days of St Columba.Now splendidly restored, it is still a centre of spiritual life.

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  • The Abbey

    The main reason to be on Iona is to see the restored ancient Abbey, founded by St. Columba. It became the center of Christianity for Europe for centuries and many ancient Kings of Scotland are supposed to be buried here. The restoration of the Abbey has been ongoing since about 1960. There are several very old outbuildings on the grounds including...

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Iona Restaurants

  • LaineBelle's Profile Photo

    by LaineBelle Updated Apr 4, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I had lunch at Saint Columba's Hotel restaurant while visiting Iona. It has a lovely bright dining room with large windows looking to the sea and the Isle of Mull.

    They make their own bread inhouse; I was served a hardy slice of fresh wheat bread that was delicious. They also grow much of their own organic produce in gardens outside the hotel. I had a bowl of French Onion soup and it was also delicious.

    View from St. Columba's dining room St. Columba's Hotel
    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Archeology
    • Singles

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Iona Transportation

  • cruising Iona, Staffa and Lunga

    I took a halfday-cruise from Fionnphort to Iona, Staffa and Lunga and may hioghly recommend it to everyone !As soon as you arrive in Fionnport, check out carefully the time-tables of the various different ships taking you to Iona, Staffa and / or Lunga, they differ a lot when it comes to the time that you may spend on the islands of Staffa and / or...

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  • CAL-MAC FERRY

    Iona is another island and in Scotland, that means Caledonia MacBrayne. For 3.85 pounds you can get a round trip ticket from Fionnphort on Mull over to Iona. Everyone goes as a foot passenger on this little boat. The seas can get a little wild on the ride across the Sound of Iona but you are only on the boat for ten minutes or so. Get over early or...

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  • take the ferry to Iona

    When visiting Iona you have to leave your car in Fionnphort at a large car-parking directely at the port. A small ferry takes you that short distance between Fionnphort in the Island of Mull and the island of Iona and it runs almost all day to and fro on a regular basis.That ferry may take a few cars with it, BUT only the local people are allowed...

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Iona Off The Beaten Path

  • Lunga / Treshnish Islands - a few km...

    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...

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  • 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...

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  • 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...

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Iona Favorites

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  • The tranquil island...

    Although frequently visited by day trippers from Fionnphort, the island remains a haven of tranquillity with its own atmosphere, which comes to its best the evening when the tourists are gone.

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  • Columba Cream

    there is a liqueur made on the Isle of Mull called Columba Cream. It's sold in the Abbey giftshop and probably the other gift shops on Iona as well. It is a mixture of fresh cream, Scottish honey and Scotch whisky. No additives or preservatives. You can taste each of the ingredients as you savour the taste. It's the most incredible taste in the...

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  • Beaches and blue sea

    When we arrived in Fionnport, the place where the foot ferry leaves for Iona, we were astonished at the colour of the sea. It was a cloudless sunny day and the water was that bright peacock "Mediterranean" blue. I've never seen that colour water this far north in the Atlantic. There is a white sandy beach at Fionnport and two over on Iona, one on...

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