Exploring the Scottish Islands: Iona & Staffa.

Exploring the

This week’s  blog post focuses on some small but stunningly beautiful islands from bonnie Scotland. If you are travelling around Scotland and find yourself on the West Coast you should definitely make a boat trip to the Inner Hebrides. I recently made a boat trip to Iona & Staffa so I am going to share a little bit of history from the Islands, the legend behind Fingal’s Cave and some of my camera snaps! If you would also like to visit The Isle of Mull I would recommend going to Tobermory which is absolutely beautiful with a port of coloured houses by the water. It’s an instagrammer’s paradise! You can get transport to all three islands with West Coast Tours.



I’m beginning with Iona because I think it is absolutely beautiful. A world away from most crowded white sand beaches in Europe in the summer months, Iona manages to retain its peaceful charm.

I think it’s true that you sometimes don’t appreciate where you come from until you travel more, and whilst the world it wonderful and I cannot wander enough of it to fulfill my wanderlust heart, I have to admit, Scotland is truly Beautiful.

Iona, with it’s white sand beaches, turquoise waters, small community of 120 locals, its’ Abbey dating back to 563 (with restoration happening largely in the early 20th century after surviving viking attacks) is definitely one for a visit!

This haven is what you will find as you arrive by boat…

12311822412_10153541214423524_204819842511479108_n Even some brave souls going in the water there!

Then as you wander further into the island towards the famous Abbey which was founded by St Columba you will find beautiful wild flowers like these.


You will discover the ruins of the nunnery, and then you will find the most peaceful place I have ever been, the Abbey of Iona.


I honestly cannot describe what it feels like to go there so just go yourselves!

If you are looking for a bit more life – fear not – because many a ceilidh can be found there! More info available at Isle of Iona net and Welcome to Iona. If you would like to stay for a night or two you can find accommodation from B&B’s to self catering cottages on the websites there. I hope you do!


Now Staffa is so close to Iona but they could not be more different! They are like chalk and cheese! Iona has flat, sandy beaches and Staffa is entirely made of rock. Or lava to be exact! The Island is completely made of volcanic matter which made somewhat of a ‘bridge’ of lava with Northern Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway some 50-60 million years ago. Years of life underwater has created the unusual yet spectacular rock forms you see today. You will also find a host of wildlife with Puffins nesting there every year (at specific times – check the dates you go) and sealife such as seals, dolphins and basking sharks!

But what makes Staffa special is Fingal’s Cave . 22 metres high and 82 m deep it cannot be reached by boat – so you will just have to brave it and hike over the rocks yourself if you want a peek inside the cave!

(check out the link there because from the water or a drone’s view it is so impressive.)


The Legend of Fingal’s Cave

Now ask a Northern Irishman’s tale and he will tell you a slightly different version of the tale. Trust me – I go out with one so I’ve had both versions! But this is what I heard…

In Gaelic mythology, Fingal was a giant, a courageous warrior who built a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland. The rocks remaining at Staffa and the Giant’s Causeway are ‘proof’ of this giant.


But was it created by a volcano or by a giant? I’ll leave it to you to decide…

Don’t forget to enjoy the view as you return on the boat..


Have you ever been to the Scottish Islands? Any I should definitely check out on my next trip? Do you believe the legend? Comment in the box below with your tips!

The Wee Wanderer x x

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