One of the most popular tourist sites in the Inner Hebrides is the Isle of Iona, a small island off of the west coast of the Isle of Mull. Iona is unique as it was originally considered a holy gateway to the afterlife by druids, and later was the landing place of St. Columba, upon his departure from Ireland. It was from Iona, therefore, that much of Scotland was converted to Christianity, and to this day it is considered a holy island to many christians. In terms of attractions on the island, there is the Iona Abbey, which houses the remains of several prominent historical figures (including St. Patrick, and MacBeth), as well as the Iona Nunnery, which is mostly in a state of ruin. The Iona community is small (under 100 in the winter), and largely composed of fishermen and people who have come to Iona for religious reasons.
Inner Hebridesof , a of the west of the
For the secular soul, however, Iona is also an interesting destination as it boasts beautiful open expanses, wildflowers, and beaches along its north shore, and hills, heather, swamps, and countless hidden coves and tidal caves along its south shore, many of which are completely secluded and are rarely visited.
The Inner Hebrides are a popular destination for sailers, with many sheltered ports and inlets offering beautiful and tranquil achorage.
With the possible exception of Skye (which is easily reached by the Skye bridge), the Inner Hebrides are undoubtedly most easily explored on foot and by public transport, since ferry charges for cars are high and few islands are large enough to justify bringing a vehicle.
In addition to the buses and trains detailed in the 'Get In' section above, a number of local buses serve the larger islands. Very few buses run on Sundays, and most operate a schedule around school times and days. It is highly advisable to check travel times in advance. Traveline Scotland can provide point to point multi-modal transport advice, although some may find bus timetables from island websites more useful.
Ninth Wave Restaurant, Fionnphort, Isle of Mull (10 min walk from village of Fionnphort), ☎ 44 1681 700757, . 7pm-11pm. A small, intimate restaurant on a traditional Hebridean croft, serving Fresh Seafood, straight off the boat. Owned by a chef and a Fisherman. Kilt-wearing fisherman John is also your waiter for the evening. An experience not to be missed!£40-£56.
People are very friendly in this part of Britain, and crime is to all intents and purposes non-existent in many rural parts. Many of the Hebridean islands are remote and sparsely populated, however, and the weather can change very rapidly; it is therefore important to be well prepared before venturing onto the hills or moors.