Iona Port is a small island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland. It is I Chaluim Chille in Scottish Gaelic; named after an Irish priest and prince later known as Saint Columba. These islands, kissed by ocean breezes, have an important place in the history of Christianity in Scotland. It bears witness to the monks and pilgrims, royals, artists and common people who visited this tranquil and picturesque island and it continues to fascinate its visitors.
Beautiful shops and one of a kind goods and souvenir awaits you in the village. Iona Bookshop will delight the book lover in you. In this charming shop you will find antiquarian and second hand books and it specializes in Scottish West coast books, old postcards and Celtic Tapestry kits. Meanwhile the Iona Heritage Center has modern and antique Celtic jewelry pieces, as well as books, cards and gifts. The Iona Abbey shop is also a must. It is set amidst the Abbey cloisters; it sells locally made goods and a wide array of gifts and souvenirs distinctively from Iona.
The Spar Shop is one of the village’s oldest family businesses. It sells groceries, newspapers, wines and spirits with attention-grabbing gifts. Finlay Ross is a general store near the pier and sold fancy goods, knitwear and non perishable groceries. Bicycles can also be hired from this store. The Iona Community’s Shop has craft work from local small producers and a wide array of books including the island’s very own Wild Goose Publications.
Craft shops in the village are sure to delight you. Visit the Iona Craft Shop and marvel at the pure local talent of the island. It specializes in designer knitwear, textiles, jewelry, and ceramic. It infuses traditional and contemporary fashion in its cabinets. The Oran Creative Crafts sell greeting cards, original photographs, knitwear and a lot more.
Things to See
Iona lies one mile from the coast of Mull and its stone base is sheltered by a layer of basaltic lava. The foremost settlement in the island is St. Ronan’s Bay on the eastern side of the island. Often called as Baile Mor (The Village) it hosts the hotel, primary school and post office of the island.
The Iona Abbey is one of Scotland’s most historic sites, and is a 15 minute walk from the ferry. It is the burial place of early Scottish kings. The Abbey houses a comprehensive collection of Christian carved stone in Scotland which dates back from 600 AD to the 1600s. It also hosts the Torr an Aba, the site of the writing cell of St. Columba; it also provides a magnificent view of the Abbey. More carved stones will unfold to your eyes when you reached the Infirmary Museum and the Michael Chapel. The ruins of the Bishop House and the Nunnery can also be found in here. Guided tours are available regularly and it is inclusive in the admission charge. It is best to book the tour by telephone.
The Iona Gallery and Pottery specializes in contemporary and early twentieth century paintings, edition prints and art cards of Iona. The Aosdana Gallery and Studio features contemporary art work with the modern and traditional Iona jewelry, set in the newly renovated Columba Steadings.
Port Ban or the White port on the western part of the island is the home of the Iona Beach Party. Its highest point of Dun is an Iron Age hill fort dating back to 100 BC. The Bay at the Back of the Ocean faces the island of Argyll and Bute, Scotland. It has a widespread grassed area that has sheep grazing and a golf course.
The Carn Cul ri Eirinn is the alleged beach where St. Columba arrived on the island.
Restaurant and Bar
Argyll Hotel specializes in organic and locally sourced foods. Its menu changes daily and caters to vegan and all food eaters. For your homemade soup and freshly filled rolls and home baked goodies and a good cup of tea or coffee, visit the Heritage Tea Room in the Iona Heritage Center and experience hearty meals inside and al fresco.
Scottish food is served amidst the picturesque views of Iona Port in St. Columba Hotel. Its organic garden produced much of its salads and vegetable ingredients.
Martyrs Bay Restaurant and Bar situated in the pier is open from 6 p.m. onwards with its wide array menu.
Good foods, and magnificent sites, you are sure to enjoy the calming and peaceful surrounding of this historical island.