Iona, Argyll & the Isles

Iona Abbey is one of Scotland’s most important places, where in AD 563 Saint Columba arrived from Ireland to establish his first foot hold in Britain from which to spread Christianity in Scotland and the north ofEngland.

Iona is a small fertile crofting island, currently inhabited by around 130 people, and is farmed largely by traditional methods, which helps ensure that rare species, such as the corncrake, are conserved.

Iona is a beautiful island which is pleasant to walk around, and has fine sandy beaches just a mile away on its west coast. The yachtsman has a particular advantage when visiting Islay. Tourists throng the island during the day, but when evening comes, and in the morning before the trip boats arrive, a more peaceful scene can be enjoyed.

Iona’s quality of light and its sea vistas have been a compelling attraction to artists, in particular some of the Scottish Colourists, who developed a new Scottish tradition of impressionism in the first half of the 20th Century.

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