Iona is a little island in Inner Hebrides off Ross of Mull on Scotland's western coast. It was the centre of Gaelic monasticism for 4 centuries and is today famous for its natural beauty and tranquility. It's a popular place for retreats and tourist destination. The modern Gaelic name of the island means "Iona of (Saint) Columba" (anglicised formerly as "Icolmkill").
Isle of Iona has a total area of 877 ha (8.8 km2 /3.4 ml2). The population of the island is around 200 inhabitants. Iona's highest elevation point is Dùn Ì, 101 m (331 ft), which is an Iron Age hill fort that dates back from 100 BC-AD 200.
After a visit in 1773, Samuel Johnson (1709-1784, English writer) described Isle of Iona as "fruitful", but impoverished and backward:
"The inhabitants are remarkably gross, and remarkably neglected: I know not if they are visited by any minister. The island, which was once the metropolis of learning and piety, now has no school for education, nor temple for worship, only two inhabitants that can speak English, and not one that can write or read".
Johnson estimated the village's population at 70 families or probably around 350 inhabitants.
During the 19th century green-streaked marble was mined commercially in the south-east of Iona Island; the machinery and quarry survive.
The main settlement, situated at Saint Ronan's Bay on island's eastern side, is called Baile Mòr, locally known as "The Village". Island's two hotels, post office, primary school, the ruins of Nunnery and Bishop's House are here. MacLeod Centre and the Abbey are found a short walk to the north. The white port (Port Ban) beach on the island's west side is home to Iona Beach Party.
Tourists can reach Isle of Iona by a 10-minute ferry trip from Fionnphort on Mull across the Sound of Iona. The most common route is through Oban in Argyll and Bute. Permanent ferries link to Craignure on Mull: from there the picturesque road runs 60 kilometres (37 miles) to Fionnphort. Local bus services and tourist coaches meet the ferries.
Very few cars are found on the island, as these are tightly regulated. Vehicular access for non-residents is not allowed, and they have to leave car in Fionnphort. On Mull and at the pier, bike hire is available.
Highlights: St Columba's Abbey, Reilig Oran graveyard
Isle of Iona cruise terminal
Cruise ships to Iona Island dock (anchor) at Baile Mor - port town on the eastern coast.
The Isle of Iona cruise port map is interactive. It shows the port's exact location, along with the real-time cruise ship traffic (if any) in its vicinity - today, and right now. By zooming-out you can see other cruise ship ports located near Isle of Iona, Scotland.
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Port Isle of Iona cruise ship schedule shows timetable calendars of all arrival and departure dates by month. The port's schedule lists all ships (in links) with cruises going to or leaving from Isle of Iona, Scotland. To see the full itineraries (ports of call dates and arrival / departure times) and their lowest rates – just follow the corresponding ship-link.
|Day||Ships in port|
17 April, 2017
19 April, 2017
26 April, 2017
28 April, 2017