Lying off the west coast of the Isle of Mull the tiny Isle of Iona, barely three miles long by one mile wide, has had an influence out of all proportion to its size to the establishment of Christianity in Scotland, England and throughout mainland Europe. Ionas place in history was secured when in 563 AD St. Columba arrived on its white sandy beaches with 12 followers, built his first Celtic church and established a monastic community. Once settled, the Irish monk set about converting most of pagan Scotland and northern England to the Christian faith. Ionas fame as a missionary centre and outstanding place of learning eventually spread throughout Europe turning it into a place pilgrimage for several centuries to come.
One of Scotlands most historic and venerated sites, lona Abbey is a celebrated Christian centre and the burial place of early Scottish kings.