The historic and spiritual Isle of Iona is a must-see if it’s your first trip to the Isle of Mull. And the Iona ferry at Fionnphort is an easy six-mile-drive away from Mull holiday cottage Traigh Mhor.
Visitors are not allowed to bring cars onto the island but you can take bikes on the ferry, or hire them there at the local shops.
At just three miles long and little more than a mile wide, the sacred Isle of Iona has drawn pilgrims for centuries. Today, it is a celebrated and flourishing Christian ecumenical centre, with the church’s Iona Community also working for peace and social justice.
The venerated site was founded in 563 by St Columba, who had fled from Ireland. He and his followers established a small monastery, aiming to convert pagan Scotland and much of the north of England to Christianity.
Iona became a respected seat of learning and artistry. The monks built a huge library of illuminated manuscripts – including the famous Book of Kells – now housed at Trinty College Dublin.
And during the 9th-11th centuries, the cemetery became a royal burial ground for early Scottish, Norwegian and Irish kings. Macbeth was buried here in 1057.
In recent years, it became the final resting place of Scottish politician and Labour leader John Smith, who was buried here in 1994.
Isle of Iona: what to see and do:
- The restored Abbey – open all year. Admission charge includes guided tour.
- The preserved medieval Nunnery
- Preserved celtic crosses
- Beautiful beaches
- Enjoyable walks