The Island of Staffa, Scotland
A small island of Scotland's Inner Hebrides, Staffa is famous for the magnificent volcanic rock formations which make up the island. The long columnar rocks with their geometric forms are part of the same formation as the more famous Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. As you'll see in the following pictures, the appearance is quite remarkable, like a huge crystalline structure from another planet!
Staffa's most famous landmark is Fingal's Cave - the inspiration for Mendelssohn's 'Hebrides Overture' composed in 1830. Read on for details...
Having no human residents, Staffa is also home to a variety of seabirds - most notably the adorable puffins you see in the pictures below!
Staffa is one of the numerous islands of the Inner Hebrides, located off the west, Atlantic, coast of Scotland. The island is now owned by the Scottish National Trust.
Various private operators run boat trips to Staffa from the Islands of Mull, Iona, and Ulva. The total trip will last around 3 hours.
Some information on columnar rock formations (and Fingal's Cave in particular) can be found at http://volcano.und.nodak.edu/vwdocs/vw_hyperexchange/col_joint.html
Getting there: The nearest international airport is Glasgow (GLA) in Scotland. From there the drive to Mull takes around five hours (or more if you stop on the way to admire the stunning scenery!). A number of coach tours visit Staffa as part of their itinerary. There is also a bus service to Oban (on the mainland) and from Oban a one hour ferry ride takes you to Mull. A further bus (hey, no one said it was easy!) takes you across Mull to one of the ports from which Staffa boat trips leave.
Nearby attractions: A ferry ride away is the island of Iona, home of christian communities since the arrival of St. Columba from Ireland in the sixth century A.D. - look out for more on Iona (and Mull) in upcoming newsletters!
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