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A walk to St Columba's Bay, Iona

September 26, 2018

One of the pleasures of staying in Fionnphort is to be able to pop over to Iona, such a tiny island but with a massive appeal. The silver-sand beaches of Iona are legendary, but in complete contrast, and with a fascination all of its own, is St Columba’s Bay.

The walk is just over 2.5 miles to the south coast of Iona and will take around 1.5 hours from getting off the ferry.  There is not always a clear path but we can provide you with detailed instructions. The walk starts on the tarmac path that splits the island before reaching the golf course – ahead is the beautiful “Bay at the Back of the Ocean”. Keeping the coast to the right, the track leads through hilly, rocky ground and past the inland lochan of Loch Staoineag, Soon ahead of you the vista opens out to St Columba’s Bay where the saint is said to have landed. The track descends steeply to the southern shores of Iona where the beautiful shingle beach is divided in two by a huge rock outcrop, the section to the right piled with mounds of stones fringed by grassy machair.  The pebbles are all beautifully rounded with the pounding of the ocean and have fascinating colours and types of rocks. Make sure you have space in your rucksack as you will want to take as many away with you as you can!