This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you are better prepared for what to expect, what not to expect and can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Iona. To help you make friends with Iona before you visit, we've included a few helpful and fun things you should know about the area. Enjoy!
Iona, Scotland, a tiny island in the Inner Hebrides on the West Coast of Scotland, is home to the famous Iona Abbey and its ecumenical Christian community. It is an extremely popular day trip destination, but an overnight stay is highly recommended.
If you're short on time, getting to Iona might be tricky. Iona can be reached by a regular ferry from Fionnphort on Isle of Mull. The ferry ride does not take more than ten minutes, but getting to Mull requires catching another ferry from Oban on the mainland. Oban is the terminus of one branch of the scenic West Highland Line, connecting harbour towns to Glasgow.
Iona has both historical and religious significance. It is one of the oldest religious centres in Christian Europe, dating back to the sixth century AD, and is without a doubt one of the most mysterious places in Scotland.
It's a notably small place with a population of less than two hundred residents that swells to more than half a million tourists and pilgrims each year; Iona fills up very quickly, and therefore booking accommodation well in advance is necessary. There are not too many places from which to choose -- your options include hotels, campsites, and hostels in Iona, Scotland. In summer months, the options for hostels in Iona, Scotland will generally be full, but in case you find yourself on the island without a reservation, you can try your luck directly at your Iona, Scotland hostel's reception once you arrive in Iona.
Due to its very limited availability, accommodation in Iona tends to be pricey, but staying overnight on the island gives a totally different experience in comparison with a short day trip -- when the last ferry departs, all the hustle and bustle disappears and Iona reaches its peaceful, sacred atmosphere, which is either hard or even impossible to feel while being constantly surrounded by hundreds of other visitors during daytime.
Written by local enthusiast for Iona hostelsLotta Kauppi