We took the ferry to Iona from Fionnphort which is a short 10 minute crossing - mostly passengers and a few vehicles delivering supplies to the island. First we visited the Abbey which is looked after by Historic Environment Scotland and they provide audio tours.
The monastry on Iona was founded by Colomba and his 12 companions in 563. We started the tour by going up Tòrr an Aba (Abbot’s mound) - the site where it is understood Colomba’s writing hut originally stood overlooking the Abbey.
Inside the abbey church there are a number of clumps of rare Sea Spleenwort (Asplenium marinum) growing around the walls. These enterted the church whilst it was open to the elements and the remaining presence of them is said to indicate that the restoration was successfully completed and the building is still breathing.
After finishing the tour of the Abbey we decided to head up to the top of Dùn Ì (Hill of Iona) which is the highest point on Iona. We stopped at the top for amazing panoramic views around the island for our picnic lunch. From here we could also see across to Eilean Annraidh (Island of Storm) and beyond to the Treshnish Isles.
We then headed down and across the island to visit the white sands of Traigh Ban nam Manach (Strand of the Monks) where there the rocks are black granite and the sand is white from crushed shells.
We then headed back across the island to get a drink and chips before catching the ferry back to Mull.