Iona Hostel, Iona

12 Reviews
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Iona Hostel Reviews

Although Iona Hostel is a bit of a walk from the ferry, the walk is definitely worth it! The whole hostel is very clean and you have to take your shoes off at the door (since you just walked through a field to get to the hostel), so there is very little dirt and mud tracked in. When we were there, there were people of all ages staying in the dorm, so the place has a great mixture of people.

The Location

It's just over a mile from the ferry to the hostel, so be prepared to walk. It's along a paved road that's mostly flat, so don't worry about any major hills. Once you get to the end of the road, there are signs directing you through the field to the hostel itself.

The hostel is just a few minutes' walk to the coast where there's a sandy beach; the water was cold and rough when we were there, but people did say they swim there in the summer. This location is perfect, you can see the ocean from the hostel and even several of the dorms. They also have several black sheep grazing on the property, which is always fun to see.

Once you drop your bags off or check in, you can explore the property, the beach, or walk back into "town" and check out the abbey and shops.

Rooms and Bathrooms

The dorm rooms are nice, bright, and simple. There is a shelf next to each bed that is large enough on which to put your luggage, so it isn't in the way or on the floor. The beds are pre-made and comfortable, and the wooden frames are sturdy. There are several bathrooms, some of which have a shower as well. These are all individual rooms, so you have a lot of privacy. If you didn't bring a towel, the hostel does rent them.

Common Spaces

The kitchen is great! There is plenty of space and all the pots and pans that you could need. There are two sinks and two stoves, so there's enough room for multiple people cooking at once. The refrigerator is clean and organized, with room labels for you to put on your food. There is a free/communal food shelf, which has lots of spices and food others have left behind (probably because they didn't want to carry it back to the ferry!).

There's a few couches for reading, lounging, and chatting, with a big window that looks out to the field with the ocean in the distance and west, for a sunset view.


As long as you're prepared for a somewhat remote stay on Iona (there's only a few restaurants in town and a small grocery store), this is an ideal place to spend your time! The hostel is quiet and clean, with a great view and short walk to the water. We definitely recommend it!
Photos taken by the reviewer — Genuine photos you can trust.
Path to hostel
Common area
Dorm window
4-bed Dorm
Black sheep on the property
Jenny Staff Reviewer
Published on 2019-11-16

I dream of returning

I visited this hostel a few years ago and it has never left my heart, the weather was wild and cold but there is something warming and magical about the Isle of Iona and this hostel contains the same warmth. I long to return as I really enjoyed my short time there.


Exceptionally good

No late night talking, just solitude and a beautiful space to be. The weather on my first visit was not good, mist, rain at times, but on my second visit in May 2008 it was near perfect and sea very calm. The trip to Staffa will be memorable as will the nightly visits to the services in the Abbey.


this is truly a wonderful hostel, kept to the highest standards, and lovingly tended, never seen a hostel quite like it actually.


Iona is my favorite place in the world, and this fine hostel allows freedom and community and I loved it and am now looking forward too returning whenever possible. The owner has done a great service for the Island and its guests, the hostel is both tastefuly and sensitively designed. can't wait to get back. Oh yes, bring good warming food and enjoy. I was last there oct 2004.

Catherine McEwan

This is the best hostel in the world! I love it so much! Going to the beach everyday is great and its lovely to go in the summer. The air is so clean and fresh!


This is the best hostel in the world! It's really friendly and cozy with the beach just round the corner. Every year we come and stay here. I would recommend it completely!


Five stars are not enough for this hostel. I enjoyed my stay so much I have longed to go back ever since. The dorm had lovely big beds, proper bathrooms, and a lovely social common room with an open fire and a large communal table. The island is very beautiful. I went to the evening service at the abbey, a lovely relaxing, moving and uplifting service. Even if you don't have any religious beliefs, I recommend visiting the abbey for the sheer beauty of it lit up by candlelight and floodlit at night and to see a part of Iona that is very important. I found the owners to be the friendliest ever. The Island offers lots of lovely areas for walking or quiet thinking. I agree that you should stock up on food in Mull or Oban. Eating options on the island are limited. Another guest who was there had gone for one night and was still there three weeks later. I know how she felt. I just wanted to stay forever.


This is one of my top hostels. It is small, with only 18 beds, and very cozy. The bunks are huge, with good storage areas and big private bathrooms. There is excellent decoration throughout the place, and it has a warm communal lounge. There is one large table. The self-catering facilities are excellent. The owners were very friendly, and they introduced people who were arriving to other guests who were around. It is on a very quiet island after all the day-trippers have gone, it's lovely and peaceful. There is a very clean beach with crystal clear water beside the hostel. This is not a party place there is no TV, Internet access, phone or stereo, and guests are asked to respect that this is a place that many people come to for reflection and retreat. The long walk from the ferry terminal is more than worth it for this level of comfort. The other guests were very friendly. A tip if you're self-catering, stock up before arriving on the island as the local shop has a very small and very expensive range of food. My only regret was that I couldn't stay longer than I did.


Location and Contact

Address: Lagandorain, Argyll, Iona, Inner Hebrides, Scotland

Iona Hostel is listed on the following booking sites:

Not listed at Hostelworld


Website Iona Hostel Iona
Phone Number: +44 1681 700 781
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