COVID-19 Island Information

Last Updated: 17th May 2021

If you are planning a visit to Iona you should bear in mind that some businesses and facilities on Iona may be operating differently from usual at the moment, or may not be open at all. We will try keep this page updated as things change, but please contact individual businesses directly to check details on any changes to opening, services available and COVID-19 protocols.  

Transport and travel

This page has general information about how to get to Iona. Please check all timetables and travel connections carefully as they may be diferent from other years. In particular please note that it is currently recommended to book the Oban-Craignure ferry even as a foot passenger. If you are travelling by car you might want to consider taking the Lochaline-Fishnish ferry as an alternative to travelling via Oban.

The same conditions apply to bringing a vehicle onto Iona as in other years. You can find contact details for Iona Taxi here.

Accommodation

Tourist accommodation across Scotland was able to re-open from Monday 26th April.

Please contact individual businesses to make an enquiry or booking - you can find contact details here

We STRONGLY recommend that you do not travel to Mull or Iona for an overnight stay unless you have booked accommodation before you travel. 

Camping on Iona

Iona Campsite is now open for the season. 

As per the Scottish Outdoor Access Code wild camping is permitted in some areas on Iona, but you must not camp in enclosed fields of crops or farm animals and you must keep well away from buildings, roads and historic structures. Please note that what looks like an unused field of long grass may well be a crop for silage or hay.  

Anyone wild camping should follow the Leave No Trace principle and properly dispose of all rubbish and waste. 

We would also ask anyone who is planning to wild camp to carefully consider whether they will be able to meet all general guidance (i.e. physical distancing, hand hygiene, etc.). 

For further information on suitable areas for wild camping and what Leave No Trace entails please contact our local Ranger, Emily Wilkins (ewilkins@nts.org.uk).

Food & Drink

The Spar grocery shop is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and 12.30 to 3.30pm on Sundays.

Both the Argyll Hotel and the St Columba Hotel are open to non-residents. Booking is recommended. 

The Iona Heritage Centre Garden Café and Martyrs Bay Bar & Restaurant are both currently closed.  

Activities

Of course the island itself is often the main attraction and all beaches and walks are open! Please carry hand sanitiser with you for use after touching any gates or stiles.  

Boat Trips  are running, please check with individual operators for details and to book. 

If you would be interested in a guided walk while you're on Iona you can find contact details here: Guided Tours

Iona Abbey is open for entry by pre booked guided tour only. There are four tours a day Monday to Saturday (10am, 11.30am, 1pm, and 2.30pm) and two on Sundays (1pm and 2.30pm). Tickets can be booked up to 30 minutes before the start time here. Numbers on each tour are limited so booking in advance is recommended.    

Retail

The Spar grocery shop is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm and 12.30 to 3.30pm on Sundays.

Current opening hours of other shops on the island are as follows (but please note these may be subject to change):

Aosdàna: 12noon to 4pm daily

Iona Community Shop: 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday, 12noon to 5pm Sundays

Iona Craft Shop: 10.15am to 4pm daily

Martyrs Bay Shop: open at least between 2pm to 3pm daily, sometimes longer 

Oran Creative Crafts: 10am to 5pm daily

St Columba Larder: 10am to 5pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sundays

Don't forget many of our shops are still open online whether or not they're physically open on the island - you can find website details here and here.    

Churches and Chapels

There is a service in Iona Abbey Church every morning and every evening except Fridays. You can find more details and book a place here.  

Iona Parish Church: First and Third Sundays of the month 12noon, second and fourth Sundays 5pm

St Columba's Chapel at Bishop's house: Eucharist at 5pm on Wednesdays

Oratory at Cnoc a' Chalmain: please call ahead to find out what services are available and if there are any spaces. 

Public Toilets

The public toilets at the pier are open. 

Currently the toilets at the Iona Community Welcome Centre are closed.