St. Columba’s Bay, on the island of Iona off the coast of Scotland, is a beach of colorful stones that have been polished by the tide. It is known for its scenery and tranquility, with grassy knolls to relax on beside the water. Iona is a spiritual hub for Scotland as it was the center of early Christianity in the country.
Saint Columba is said to have first set foot on Iona landing on this bay in 563 AD, setting up his monastery thereafter. The bay is on a remote area of the island and it can take a bit of a trek to reach it, but the views and calm nature of the area are worth it. Seasonally there are often birds and wildflowers lining to path to the bay. Be on the lookout for the beautiful, small green stones that are known as “St Columba’s tears.”
St Columba’s Bay is accessible from Camas Cuil an t-Saimh. From there follow the Machair via a path that goes over the hill. You can also walk there from the Iona Pier. The walk can be strenuous, and bringing along water and snacks is recommended.