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Achaban House is the perfect accommodation for a day trip to Iona. From Fionnphort Pier, Iona is a delightful 10-minute ferry crossing, allowing wonderful views of the red granite and clear blue waters of both the Ross of Mull and Iona coastlines. If you are very lucky, the pod of common dolphins which frequent the Sound of Iona might put in an appearance and the ferry skipper will alter course slightly to make sure everyone on board gets a good view.
Iona is of course famous because of the link with Saint Columba and is a place of religious pilgrimage from all over the globe. Many thousands of visitors flock to Iona every year, but somehow the island accommodates the many day visitors; away from the village and the Abbey, there are often very few people. September and October is often a good time to visit, when the colours seem to be even more intense. Accommodation on Iona is very limited, so to locate in Fionnphort and take advantage of both Iona and the Ross of Mull is a good choice!
Iona is very beautiful with an unspoiled natural environment. Many rare birds are seen on land, including the endangered corncrake which is more likely to be heard than seen, while otters are often spotted in the quiet coves by the sea. Cetaceans frequent surrounding waters, with three types of dolphin, porpoise, orca, basking sharks and Minke whale regularly reported.
Visitors cars are not allowed on the island, but at only 1.5 miles wide and 3 miles long it is possible to reach many of the beaches on Iona on foot on a day trip. Walk Highlands website provides a summary of walking on Iona on the south of the island and another for walks around Iona Abbey, Dun I and the north end. Alternatively cycles can be hired in the village or a taxi booked in advance.
Although accommodation on Iona is often booked up well in advance, there is a good choice of food and drink to be had on Iona on a day trip, with excellent outside seating with great views in nice weather. Alternatively you can put your accommodation at Achaban House to good use and prepare a picnic in the guest kitchen to explore Iona with complete freedom.