Welcome to Islay
The home of some of the world's greatest and peatiest whiskies, whose names reverberate on the tongue like a pantheon of Celtic deities, Islay (eye-lah) is a wonderfully friendly place whose welcoming inhabitants offset its lack of scenic splendour compared to Mull or Skye. The distilleries are well geared-up for visits; even if you're not a fan of single malt, the birdlife, fine seafood, turquoise bays and basking... Read More
Top experiences in Islay
4-Day Islay Whisky Tour from Edinburgh
Travel from Edinburgh to Islay – the Inner Hebridean island known as ‘Queen of the Hebrides’ – and enjoy three nights in the town of Bowmore. Your accommodation is in one of the Bowmore Distillery Cottages – a collection of beautifully renovated 4-star holiday homes inside the distillery grounds. Your typical Scottish cottage has between 3 and 6 en-suite bedrooms, and a kitchen and lounge that you’ll share with other people on your tour. Meals are not included, but continental breakfast items (bread, milk and cereals) are provided, and you can use your kitchen to cook, whenever you wish.Throughout your tour, your guide will introduce you to many of the island’s famous whisky distilleries where you’ll learn how to nose and taste the distinctive malt whiskies, identifying the characteristics that make each one so unique. There’s more to life than a good malt though, and if Islay’s breathtaking scenery holds more appeal to you than its whisky, your guide will have alternative trips to offer, as well as the visits that are worked into your itinerary. All entrance fees and distillery tours are payable at your own expense.
4-Day Islay Whisky Distilleries Tour from Edinburgh
Day 1 Begin your tour by meeting your driver/guide on Edinburgh's most famous street, the Royal Mile at around 8:30am. Journey through Edinburgh's Old and New Towns before making your way to Glasglow. There, you will meet up with the rest of your group. Then, visit Glengoyne, often called Scotland's prettiest distillery. Please note that whiskey distillery fees are not included in this tour; It is suggested to budget £40 per person. Enjoy views of Loch Lomond from Tarbet, a quaint village, and take in the Highland scenery at the Rest and Be Thankful pass. Catch the ferry from Kennacraig to Islay. Your base for the next three days is the fishing village of Port Ellen. Day 2 Islay is the southern-most island of the Inner Hebrides, and is inhabited by just over 3,000 people. Recognize the warmth of the people immediately as you experience the Islay wave. Despite its small population, it is home to 8 distilleries. First, visit Bowmore to learn the paking of the perfect dram and try their single malt as you enjoy the views over Loch Indaal. Join tours of the Bruichladdich and Kilchoman distilleries in the afternoon. Kilchoman farm distillery, one of Scotland’s smallest, has every part of the distilling process on site. Day 3 One of the finest Celtic Crosses in Scotland can be found on Islay on the grounds of the Old Parish Church of Kildalton. Take a tour here in the morning before making your way to Ardbeg distillery. They have titled World Whiskey of the Year 4 times in the last 7 years, so this is an unmissable stop on your tour. Next, visit Lagavulin distillery and, finally, Laphroaig. This whiskey thrived in America during the Prohibition (1920-1933) where it's import was allowed because it was labelled a medicinal spirit due to its distinctive flavor. Day 4 Start your last day with a morning ferry crossing from Port Ellen to Kennacraig. Make the short drive to Loch Fyne at Tarbert for lunch. This lovely fishing village has delicious fresh seafood on offer around the harborside. Visit Kilmartin Glen to explore Dunadd Fort, where you can see some extraordinary features carved into the Iron Age structure here. Finally, visit Loch Lomond where your guide will ensure you get the best viewpoints of the UK’s largest loch. Then say goodbye as you return to your departure city by around 6pm.