Lonely Planet hails Iona as one of world’s quietest places

Iona has been a spiritual retreat for centuries. Picture: Robert Perry

Iona has been a spiritual retreat for centuries. Picture: Robert Perry

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IT’s hard to escape the constant clamour of today’s towns and cities these days – but Scots don’t have to travel too far to seek refuge, according to a leading travel guide.

According to Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2016, Iona is one of the best places in the world to seek silence, coming in at number four on their top ten list.

The Abbey in Iona with the St Martin's Cross. Picture: Robert Perry

The Abbey in Iona with the St Martin's Cross. Picture: Robert Perry

The book says: “This dot of an island in Scotland’s Inner Hebrides has been a spiritual centre for at least a millennium and a half. Colonised by Irish monks in the early Middle Ages, its scriptorium produced some of the most important illuminated manuscripts of the period.

“Today Iona is dotted with monastic ruins and enormous stone crosses. It attracts thousands of pilgrims each year, many of whom attend retreats in and around ancient Iona Abbey. While most are Christian affiliated, many welcome anyone wishing to experience quiet contemplation.”

Other locations include Kartause Ittingen in Switzerland, where you can meditate in silence in a former Carthusian monastery. A Buddhist retreat in Emoyeni, South Africa, is also featured.

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