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“The most beautiful Abbey”
Review of Iona Abbey

Iona Abbey
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Magical Mull, Iona and the West Highlands Isles
Ranked #1 of 20 things to do in Iona
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: One of Scotland's most historic and sacred sites, Iona Abbey was founded by St Columba and his Irish followers in AD 563. A celebrated focus for Christian pilgrimage, Iona retains its spritual atmosphere and remains a vital place of worship.
Rugby, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
43 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“The most beautiful Abbey”
Reviewed 30 July 2014

A wonderful day out from Oban, the ferry across to Mull and then the smaller ferry across to Iona.
Take the walk up the hill to the Abbey and enjoy the views as you go. The Abbey is worth every penny of the entrance fee, and to appreciate it to its fullest catch the earliest ferry there and the last ferry back if you can you need as much time there as possible to appreciate the beauty of the Abbey itself, the graveyard, the museum and history of the place. The calmness of the place made you feel so relaxed it was a truly remarkable experience.

Visited July 2014
1 Thank Trevor G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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727 reviews from our community

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Skipton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
30 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“"Iona of my heart, Iona of my love"”
Reviewed 29 July 2014

These words are attributed to St Columba and visiting the island today it is easy to see why he spoke of it in such fond terms. It doesn't matter that what you will see is not Columba's abbey but the restored Benedictine abbey which stands on the site of the original, the centuries of prayer are soaked into the very stones of the island. The abbey is run by Historic Scotland and there is a £7.10 entrance fee. The welcome is warm and the guides are friendly and informative. Having spent a few hours at the abbey, graveyard and nunnery, don't neglect the rest of the island! The north is easily accesible by walking along the single track road - climb Dun I off to your left for a fantastic view of Iona, Mull and Staffa - Fingal's cave is easily spotted. Come down and walk further on to explore two lovely beaches - to the right after passing through a crofters field is Traigh Bhan - The White Strand of the Monks - a beautiful beach of white sand with a gruesome history..Viking raiders massacred monks on this beach in 986AD. To the left of the field is Traigh an t-suidhe - Strand of the seat, so called because it is overlooked by Hill of the Seat, a favourite spot of St. Columba. Of these two beaches, the Traigh an t-suidhe is quieter if you want to picnic in peace. The north of the island tends to be quite busy so if you want a sense of the tranquillity of Iona, put on your walking shoes and make your way to the place where Columba landed in 563, Port na Curaich. The walk takes you through the golf course and past Loch Staoineig with a view of Carn cul ri Eirinn (the hill with it's back to Ireland where Columba reputedly tried but failed to catch a glimpse of his native land) When you reach Port na Curaich you will find a pebbly bay divided by a rocky outcrop. If you are lucky you may find a fragment of the green stone, serpentine, these little pebbles are called St Columba's tears and are not easy to find. Explore the bay and walk the labyrinth which is laid out in pebbles. If you feel you've had enough, retrace your steps, if not head east on a very indistinct track which will eventually take you to the disused marble quarry. Marble from Iona was highly prized for it's beauty and in the quarry you will see the remains of the machinery used by the workers. If you're wearing good waterproof boots, return to the village by taking the track to the right of the ruined cottage. This takes you through the centre of the island but the track passes through several areas of bog so beware!
All in all well worth the £5.10 return fare on the ferry and worthy of several visits. Even now, I'm thinking of things I haven't told you about but I should probably stop writing now!

Visited July 2014
1 Thank sanzanella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Charleston, South Carolina
Level Contributor
99 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Spiritual Adventure”
Reviewed 29 July 2014

We crossed the Isle of Mull and took the small passenger ferry to Iona. There were pilgrims from all over the world on the island with us. The abbey was beautiful and hushed and spiritual. I could have stayed for days. Three hours was simply not enough to see the abbey, the graveyard, the museum, the high crosses, and the different buildings. We took out time for lunch on Iona - there were plenty of choices for food - and enjoyed the peaceful atmosphere while we ate. The employees of the Iona Community could not have been more helpful. They answered all of our questions, patiently and thoroughly. Iona is an ancient place that welcomes the lost and the found, filling each with light and love.

Visited June 2014
Thank kayelucas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
232 reviews
77 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 108 helpful votes
“Wonderful History!”
Reviewed 29 July 2014 via mobile

The Iona Abbey is a great place to learn the history of the islands, the culture and the religious past. There is a charge to walk through the Abbey, but this includes an audio device that provides detailed information as you walk through the various area of property. It is hard not to marvel at some of the historical artifacts that have been there since 500 AD!

Visited July 2014
Thank jsimmill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Kenton-on-Sea, South Africa
Level Contributor
39 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
“A deep an rewarding experience”
Reviewed 29 July 2014

This was the second time I visited Iona. What a wonderful experience! It was a sunny and clear day, which made it even more special. The audio-tour was very helpful, and we could share the peace and quiet tour on at our own pace (with English we could understand!). People who visit Iona should not be in a hurry - you need to lap up the special atmosphere.

Visited July 2014
Thank Logymurray
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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