Monday, December 12, 2011


Named from the Old Norse name for stave or pillar island, Staffa is a must see for anyone traveling in Scotland. The uninhabited .13 square mile island lies about 6 miles off the coast of the Isle of Mull and is remarkable for its hexagonal basalt columns.

In pre-historic times Staffa was covered by the ice sheets which spread from Scotland out into the Atlantic Ocean beyond the Outer Hebrides. The basalt columns were formed entirely by volcanic activity. The slow cooling of the basalt from the volcano resulted in the extraordinary shape of the columns.Similar formations can also be found at the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland.

Over the years, Staffa has attracted the attention of many writers and influencers including Sir Walter Scott, Jules Verne, John Keats, Robert Louis Stevenson and William Wordsworth. In fact, Sir Joseph Banks, an 18th century scientist, admitted that he was, "forced to acknowledge that this piece of architecture, formed by nature, far surpasses that of the Louvre, that of St. Peter at Rome, all that remains of Palmyra and Paestum, and all that the genius, the taste and the luxury of the Greeks were capable of inventing."

A visit to Staffa is a must on your next tour of Scotland with Celtic Tours World Vacations.

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