In AD563 Iona became one of the most important gateways to Christianity in Scotland, when St Columba and his followers arrived on its shores. Today there is still a special spiritual quietness to the island, and it’s easy to see why it has been a sanctuary for pilgrims for hundreds of years. The Book of Kells, the world-famous illuminated manuscript of Gospels in Latin (now held in Trinity College Library, Dublin), is argued by some to have been produced on Iona.
After visiting the Benedictine abbey (now in the care of Historic Environment Scotland), cross to the Bay at the Back of the Ocean and discover the island’s beautiful white sandy beaches and clear turquoise seas. Don’t miss a trip to the top of Dùn Ì, where you can search for the mysterious Well of Eternal Youth. In spring and summer, listen out for the distinctive rasping call of the secretive and rare corncrake.