Our Women’s Holidays Iona retreat, was a departure from our usual trips, in that we wanted to offer a holiday with a spiritual element as well as an active walking holiday. It combined these elements perfectly! This tiny island off the coast of Scotland really was, a ‘getaway from it all’. We put aside our phones, emails, and all technology and took the opportunity to disconnect from the outside world and quickly settled in to a more relaxed, slower pace of life.
Iona has a long and rich history. Island life allowed us plenty of time for peace and inner reflection – the latter ably led by Gabriella and Heather. The Island is steeped in spirituality, with its’ origins dating back to the Druids. There were many quiet moments contemplating the stunning landscape, and it enabled a simple reverie and time to contemplate the important aspects of life. In a fast paced world, it seems that we have less and less time to take the opportunity to withdraw and reflect on some of life’s truly important aspects – what and who counts, what’s being done well, and what can be done better. Iona, gently enabled us to think about all these things. One can’t help but absorb the depth and layers of time, meditation, prayer, care and thoughtfulness that seems to seep from every pore of this much cherished and loved Island.
We took time to visit and walk through the stone labyrinth at St Columba’s Bay – a lovely opportunity to participate in a walking meditation. We found beautiful green stones (unique to Iona) on the beach, and delighted in watching the puffins at play. At Staffa Island we visited Fingal’s cave aka “the melodious cave” – so called as the sound of the waves in the cave against the hexagonal basalt columns must be heard to be believed.
It was great to be there with women from the U.K, Australia, Germany, New Zealand and the U.S. Heather and Gabriella’s musical, atmospheric and sound interpretations of the landscape and the Iona atmosphere were truly extraordinary. Heather pampered us with fab organic meals each night. It really was a unique, heartfelt and treasured experience.
Iona is truly one of the places on Earth that keeps beckoning you back…
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