Isle of Iona, Argyll and Bute

You don’t visit Iona, you experience it…

Iona is an enchanting, magical and very special place. Today some 140,000 people make their way here each year. The experience begins long before you get there. The journey is pleasantly split into small stages, combining road and sea, and taking you through some of the most spectacular scenery in Scotland.

Visitors can reach Iona by the 10-minute ferry trip across the Sound of Iona from Fionnphort on the Isle of Mull. There are very few cars on the island, as they are tightly regulated and vehicular access is not allowed for non-residents, who have to leave their car in Fionnphort. Bike hire is available at the pier, and on Mull. This Order was first introduced in 1978 to ensure the preservation of this popular island.

The main religious and historical attractions are the key elements of any visit to Iona, but there is much, much more there besides. The Iona Community operate a gift and book shop opposite the abbey, and the island also offers a further bookshop, other shops, a pottery and a gallery, and an arts and crafts centre.

Accommodation choices are many and varied on the island, catering for all tastes and budgets. You can choose the campsite, or a stay in the hostel, or try one of the family run B&Bs, or perhaps one of the island’s two hotels.

The island, other than the land owned by the Iona Cathedral Trust, was purchased from the Duke of Argyll by Hugh Fraser in 1979 and donated to the National Trust for Scotland. In 2001 Iona’s population was 125 and by the time of the 2011 census this had grown to 177 usual residents.

This may only be a very small island, but you could easily spend several happy days under its enchantment!

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