by the beautiful sea

The one thing I never expected to find on Iona: a glistening white shell sand beach and crystal clear water to rival the Caribbean. Granted that water is colder than a witch’s tit but still, lovely to look at. Two of the nicest stretches of sand are at the north of the island, tantalizingly close from a perspective atop Dun I. Traigh an t-Suidhe or Beach of the Seat on the western flank of the headland is stunning and secluded. Even on a sunny day like today there are few people about and it’s easy to pretend this is my own private strand. Traigh Ban Nam Monach which is Gaelic for ‘white strand of the monks,’ is equally beautiful and its eastern-oriented bluffs are very popular with the sheep population.


dùn i

The Gaelic name for Iona is simply “I” – hence Dùn I, or the fort of Iona. What remains is little more than a low hill yet the steep climb to the cairn at the top is an invigorating harrumph. The summit is an ideal spot to break for a bit of lunch, too: to the north can be seen the shoreline of short turf and inviting sandy beach, while out over the sound is Staffa and the Treshnish Isles. Click the photo below – then click it again – for a panoramic view from the top.



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