Iona is thought to be the first Christian site in Scotland. As such, this tiny island (1 mile wide, 3.5 miles long), now in the care of the National Trust for Scotland, is very popular with pilgrims and the thousands of tourists who come to visit the Abbey in the summer months. Reached by ferry from Oban, then overland by bus or car on Mull Island, then by passenger-only ferry to Iona. If the area around the Abbey gets too busy for you, then find one of Iona's sandy beaches and relax. The south and western parts of the island are not so well visited, but well worth seeing.
The Abbey is open daily and an admission fee is charged by Historic Scotland. Guided tours are also available and services are held several times a day. It is about 15 minutes walk from the ferry. There is a small gift shop accessible from the cloisters and a small museum with carved gravestones. For information about the abbey, visit the Iona Community web site.
Iona Nunnery can be found next to the school on the way from the pier to the Abbey, these 13th century ruins and their colourful garden deserve at least a few minutes of your time.
Iona Heritage Centre once the former manse next to the church is now the heritage centre. Open Monday - Saturday (tel: 01681 700576).
There are several good craft/gift shops and a book shop on Iona.
For organised tours from Oban including Mull, Staffa and the Treshnish Isles visit Bowman's Tours or call them on 01631 566809.
Visit www.calmac.co.uk for Caledonian Ferries and bus information.
on 01/01/2010 Sarah Anderson Gardiner
Had a gloroius visit there in August 09 .... need to return to explore further ( long way to come from Australia ) ...... maybe one day.