Travelling to Iona Hostel…

“The journey not the arrival matters.”

T.S. Eliot

Getting here

The majority of our visitors come from places to the south and east of Iona. Getting here from these directions is easiest when considered in several stages:

  • Travel to Oban
  • The ferry from Oban to Mull
  • Travel across Mull
  • On to Iona
Below, you’ll find information about the most popular route, together with contact details and website links.

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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Mark Twain

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Travel to Oban

The pretty town of Oban, on the west coast of Scotland, is the main port for ferries to the Inner and Outer Hebrides. It’s here that you’ll catch the CalMac ferry to Mull.

Whether you get there on public transport, or by car, the journey to Oban will take you through some spectacular scenery.

  • Travel by train

    Trains depart regularly from Glasgow’s Queen Street Station to Oban. A frequent service operates from Edinburgh to Glasgow Queen Street if you’re travelling from Edinburgh. The journey from Glasgow takes approximately four hours and the train terminal in Oban is next to the ferry terminal for the Isle of Mull.

    Rail Enquiries:
    Tel: 03457 484 950 or visit www.scotrail.co.uk

    Disabled Passengers
    The Scotrail website has a section for disabled customers and people with reduced mobility.

  • Bus Travel

    Buses leave from Glasgow (Buchanan Street Station) and go directly to the Station Road stance in Oban. Journey time is approximately four hours. As with the train, if you’re departing from Edinburgh you’ll have to change buses at Glasgow.

    Bus Enquiries:
    Tel: 08712 663 333 or visit www.citylink.co.uk

  • By Car

    From Edinburgh take the M9 to Stirling, then the A84/A85 to Oban.

    From Glasgow take the A82 up the side of Loch Lomond to Crianlarich, then the A85 to Oban.

    If you are travelling from the north of Scotland the A82 will take you from Inverness to Fort William, then take the A828 to Oban.

“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer”

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Ferry to Mull

The ferry from Oban to Craignure on Mull takes forty five minutes. Cars need to check in at least thirty minutes before departure and booking is strongly recommended - especially during the summer season and public holidays.

Drinks and snacks are available to buy on board and, on a good day, the view from the open decks is fantastic.

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“Not all those who wander are lost.”

J.R.R. Tolkien

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Coming across Mull

It takes approximately one hour to drive down the Ross of Mull from Craignure to Fionnphort where the ferry leaves for Iona. No visitor cars are allowed on Iona, but there is car parking at the Columba Centre in Fionnphort, minutes from the ferry terminal.

There are buses (#96 and #496) which run from the ferry terminal in Craignure to the ferry terminal at Fionnphort which connect with several - but not all - of the Mull and Iona ferries.

It’s worthwhile double checking whether the ferry you plan on taking is met by a bus at Craignure.

“Work, Travel, Save, Repeat”

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Finally – to Iona!

This is a ten minute journey across the Sound of Mull landing at the pier in the village of Iona.

Those coming by car will find ample parking in Fionnphort. At present, parking near the ferry is ‘pay and display’, but the bigger car park near the former Columba Centre is free.

In Winter, some ferries need to be reserved the day before travel. Telephone CalMac on: 01475 650 397.

  • More information

    Winter ferry bookings:
    The first and last ferries of the day have to be reserved in advance during the winter. Telephone CalMac on: 01475 650 397 and tell them that you wish to request a sailing from Fionnphort to Iona.

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“I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move.”

Robert Louis Stevenson

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When you get to Iona

From the jetty, you simply follow the road to the north. Iona Hostel is beyond the Abbey, approximately 2km from the village. At the end of the road, turn left onto the croft of Lagandorain and round to the hostel at the back of the crofthouse.

If you’d rather not make the journey on foot, Iona Taxi can come to your aid. Their number is 07810 325 990.

To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries”

Aldous Huxley

Information for disabled travellers

Assistance may be available on trains, buses and at ferry ports. Check the links below for more information

  • More information

    The links below will take you to specific pages on the websites of Scottish Citylink (mainland buses), Scotrail (mainland trains), and CalMac (ferry services), and should show you what help is available to travellers requiring assistance.

    West Coast Motors, who operate bus services on Mull, don’t appear to have any specific information on their website, but you may wish to use this link to contact them.

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Other routes

If you're coming from the north, and aren't reliant on public transport, or fancy driving through Glen Coe on your way to the coast, you might prefer to come via the Corran-Ardgour and Lochalain-Fishnish ferries.

  • More info about alternative routes

    The Corran-Argour ferry is situated just off the A82, about 8.5 miles south of the town of Fort William. From here, a short ferry crossing takes you onto the main road running south and west across the Ardnamurchan peninsula. Just before Strontian, a smaller road heads south across the Morvern peninsula towards Lochaline where you can catch a ferry to Mull.

    It's also possible to cross to Mull from Kilchoan - a small village in the south-western corner of Ardnamurchan.

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© Iona Hostel Ltd.
Iona Hostel Ltd, Lagandorain, Isle of Iona, Argyll PA76 6SW
Company No: SC282142 Registered in Scotland
Tel: +44 (0)1681 700 781