What Is There to Do on the Isle of Iona? It Doesn’t Matter

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I have had some good travel ideas in my time and some bad ones as well. Thankfully, even the bad ones usually worked out to be memorable trips in one way or another. However, my very best idea was to travel around Scotland and especially the Isle of Iona.

Some people were kind of confused about my reasons for doing this, as I lived there at the time and had done all my life until that point. However, I was just about to set off on a round the world trip and suddenly realised that I didn’t really know my own country.

I also had a sneaking suspicion that I might never come back to live in Scotland, which turned out to be the case. This meant that it is one of my most treasured trips, and the island of Iona was a particular highlight.

Getting There

You can get to the Isle of Iona by taking a ferry from the quaint town of Oban across to Mull, a bus trip to the other side of Mull and then a second ferry across to Iona. It is one of those islands which you can see all of as you approach, which made me wonder what I was going to do on such a small place for a couple of days. I needn’t have worried, as I ended up staying a week and wishing I could have stayed for longer.

What Is It Like?

ionaThere is a magical atmosphere on Iona which is hard to explain. I didn’t know a lot about the history of the place before I arrived but I knew that St Columba had made it his base for expanding Christianity from and I had heard that a lot of ancient Scottish kings were buried here. Some spoilsports will tell you that they aren’t ancient kings in the local graveyard but it still feels pretty special to me. Apparently a lot of pilgrims come here at certain times of year but I went at the start of March and only met a couple of Aussie backpackers and a couple of Irish tourists. We all strolled over to the island’s Abbey and took in the history and beauty of one of the most important religious structures in Europe. I hadn’t even known that it had existed before getting there and don’t remember ever having seen a picture or TV programme about such a magnificent island.

What Is There to Do?

If I am honest, there isn’t a lot to do on Iona. However, the joy of being here is to be found in wandering about the island, discovering secret beaches with sheep on them and soaking up the atmosphere.  A wander up to the highest point on the island is also pretty entertaining in a “it’s not very high, is it?” kind of a way. If you want high octane adventures and wall to wall excitement then Iona isn’t the place to go to.

Would I Go Back?

The acid test of most destinations is in whether or not I would go back here. However, in the case of Iona I might prefer to keep my special memories from my one and only time there. I never did return to live in the country of my birth and have only made fleeting visits back since then, so the chance to return to Iona has never cropped up anyway. On reflection, I think it is somewhere I would like to take my daughter when she is older, as she hasn’t yet been to the UK and this would be a very special place to show her a little of the rich history and beautiful landscapes of the country I grew up in.

I just need to say a quick thank you to the following blog carnivals for including Travel Ideaz Recently:

Carnival of FI #36, – On Frugal Rules

Lifestyle Carnival – November 16, 2013, – On Skilled Investor

Lifestyle Carn, – On Drop The Cookies

Carnival of Financial Ind., – On Your PF PRO

Life style Carnival – Heat your home for peanuts, –  On Cough up the Dough

Carnival of Financial Independence, – On Mom and Dad Money

Lifestyle Carnival 83rd Edition,- On Mom and Dad Money

Lifestyle Carnival on Fitnancials – Fitnancials

Carnival of Fin. Independence, 41st Edition – On Reach Financial Independence

Carnival of Financial Independence 18th Edition – On Reach Financial Independence

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