This tiny island by Mull has been a vibrant centre of Christian worship ever since St Columba arrived in AD 563.
Columba’s monastery survived until the end of the 12th century, despite repeated Viking raids. Around 1200, the sons of Somerled – ‘King of the Isles’ – founded a Benedictine abbey here. Pilgrimage to St Columba’s Shrine continued to thrive, though monastic life on Iona ended with the Protestant Reformation of 1560.
It’s thought that the world famous Book of Kells was made here, along with other great works of art. Iona’s Abbey Museum houses Scotland’s finest collection of early medieval carved stones and crosses.
The Iona Community, formed in 1938, has revived the abbey’s long tradition of work, worship and teaching.