you leave the ferry, turn left and follow the road past Martyrs Bay and Traigh Mor. In summer listen out for the monotonous cry of the corncrake in
the iris beds between the shore and the road. Walk up the hill for ¾ of a
mile until you come to a gate. Continue through the gate and in front of you
is a magnificent stretch of machair (short grass on sand.)
This forms the basis
of the informal Iona Golf Course which looks onto one of the finest
beach views anywhere with the Camus Cuil an Tabibh (Bay at the Back of the
Ocean) forming the backdrop.
south on a breezy day with a westerly Atlantic swell you will see a fountain
of spray rising above the cliffs. This is a natural occurrence called 'The
Now follow the track due south over the hillock keeping the
loch on your right and descend down to Port na Curaich (Port of the Coracle)
known as St Columba's Bay. It is said that St Columba landed his coracle
563AD. There are views from here to
Soa Island (Sheep Island) and Eilean Musimal (Mouse Island). There is also
Eilean na h-Aon Chaorach known
locally as 'one sheep island', which was worked by the innkeeper at Iona
cottage. The cottage is still situated at the pier head.
leaving Columba's Bay travel towards the eastern shore until you find a
hollow with 2 ruined cottages. In a deep gully behind the cottages on the
shore you will see the remains of the
Iona Marble Quarry, closed
shortly after the 1st World War.
You can look around here for pieces of
stone with green marble in it. Return westwards to the path at the loch and
retrace your steps to the pier.
otters, cormorant, shag, eider, buzzard, ring plover, lapwing, black backed
and herring gulls, rock dove, jackdaw, starlings, linnet, twite,
yellowhammer, terns, grey plover, sanderling and godwits.