Iona, Inner Hebrides, Scotland
(Above is illustration of type of boat that St Columba and his followers would have used in the 6th century AD.)
This evening, I am posting information on the island of Iona which has a very special status because it was here that Christianity was reintroduced to mainland Britain in the 6th century.
The name is believed to be a scribal error for 'Ioua' the meaning of which is uncertain. However, Iona is a transliteration of Jona which is Hebrew word meaning 'dove' the Latin for which is columba which in turn is the name of the Irish saint,discussed in the paragraph below.
Accommodation and Facilities
Hotel and other accommodation available but, due to the limited nature, advance booking is essential, especially for the peak summer months.
There are a few shops and meals may be available at the local hotels. The terrain is essentially flat and distances relatively short.
Travel to Iona
The normal route is a ferry crossing from Oban on the Scottish mainland to the port of Craignure on Mull followed by a coach or private motor vehicle transfer to Fionnphort at the S.W tip of Mull and then, finally, a short ferry crossing lasting about 10-15 minutes to Iona. Cars of visitors are not usually permitted on Iona which has very basic road network. The trip from Craignure to Fionnphort can take at least one hour and for most part is a slow going, single track road, often entailing encounters with sheep and cattle en-route.
With careful planning, and subject to no interruptions to the ferry services, a round trip to Iona can be undertaken within one day from Oban.
Ancient crosses in Abbey museum
View from Iona to Fionnphort on Mull
Beach at Iona
Iona Abbey and associated buildings
Inside the restored Iona Abbey
Ferry at Iona with Fionnphort in distance