The ultimate Islay tour is for those who want to experience as much of Islay as possible. We visit every distillery on the island, taste a range of drams and explore its secret spots.
- Single Occupancy Room 1 person per room
- Double Room 2 people per room
- Twin Room 2 people per room
- Triple Room 3 people per room
Discover Nine of Scotland’s Finest Whisky Distilleries
Fall in love with Islay, home to some of Scotland’s finest whisky distilleries! This tour takes you to a Scottish island paradise. Islay is home to stunning scenery, ancient history and traditional culture.
After departing Edinburgh, you head north into the Highlands. The landscape becomes more mountainous, and your guide tells the history and culture of this stunning part of Scotland. Passing Loch Awe and into Argyllshire, with some great photo stops along the way, you arrive in the Victorian town of Oban where we tour the distillery and enjoy a tasting before you have free time for lunch and some exploring.
This is the seafood capital of Scotland, so make sure you make the most of it. The seafood shack at the harbour is perfect – get the platter if you’re feeling hungry! When then journey to the ancient Neolithic landscapes of Kilmartin Glen. There are hundreds of ancient monuments and historic sites in this region, some of which you get to explore. It is then a short drive down the Kintyre Peninsula to Kennacraig, where you board the evening ferry to Islay. The ferry crossing is around two hours and offers for some beautiful views of the islands of Gigha, Jura and Islay as well as the area surrounding West Loch Tarbert.
There is time to relax in the ferry bar with an Islay whisky, grab some dinner from the restaurant and soak up the sea air before you arrive. On arrival into Port Ellen or Port Askaig, it is a short drive to Bowmore to check in to The Bowmore House or Freewinds for your three-night stay.
Days 2 & 3
With two full days to explore, there are plenty of options for sightseeing, and your guide will share some of their favourite places with you. These can include empty beaches, whitewashed villages, ancient sites, the Kildalton Cross, medieval strongholds, fresh seafood, local wildlife and traditional cultures. With only around 3000 people and nine world-class distilleries, the chances of finding a ‘wee dram’ on Islay are pretty good.
The distillery and whisky experiences give you an insight into Islay’s most famous export. We’ve planned a wide range of tours and tastings, including a warehouse experience at Lagavulin, a tour and full range tasting at Ardbeg and a look at the Laphroaig maltings (with a few extra special drams to finish your day).
Your second day on Islay brings a private tour of Bruichladdich and a chance to sample some of their whiskies or perhaps a Botanist gin is your idea of the perfect morning drink. You’ll then get a behind-the-scenes peek at the independent Kilchoman before a chance to gaze over the Sound of Jura from the Bunnahabhain before delving into some casks in their warehouse!
Each night on Islay, there are plenty of options for eating, drinking and relaxing. Your tour guide and wonderful hosts at Bowmore House will let you know all the best places to get the most out of your time in Bowmore. There is an eating option for all budgets and tastes, and with so much local produce on offer, you will be spoilt for choice. The whisky bars aren’t too bad either. Slainte Mhath, as they say in Gaelic.
After a final hearty breakfast, you catch the morning ferry back to Kennacraig. Arriving on the mainland, you head to the loch-side town of Inveraray. This is the seat of the Clan Campbell, home to the Loch Fyne Whisky shop and your stop for lunch. After lunch (and some last-minute whisky shopping) your journey now hugs the shores of Loch Fyne and Loch Long before climbing up to the Rest and be Thankful pass for sweeping views.
Then it is to the shores of Loch Lomond. With time to stop for some lovely views and stretch of the legs, this is the last stop on your tour before crossing the River Clyde and into Scotland’s largest city of Glasgow. Some of our guests may be leaving the tour here, so we may make a short stop in central Glasgow (George Square) before returning to Edinburgh.
Accommodation is on a B&B basis in the Bowmore House and Freewinds, next door to one another in Bowmore. Your welcome and breakfast will be provided by the fantastic Andrew and Alison. Spacious and comfortable rooms, a fantastic feast of breakfast each morning and hosts that go above and beyond for every one of their guests. There’s a reason we come back here year after year!
- No matter what the time of year, the weather in Scotland can be “changeable”, to say the least. We suggest that you bring suitable clothing for all conditions, including a waterproof jacket (it has been known to rain in Scotland) and plenty of layers.
- Ensure you bring shoes suitable for short walks, on rough or uneven terrain.
- Although all the distilleries we visit accept card payments, we would also recommend bringing cash with you.
- Don’t forget a camera to snap the fantastic memories you’ll make on tour with us!
- Our scheduled tours are all 18+, if you’re lucky enough to look under 25 you may to asked to provide proof of age at the distilleries.
- Please limit your luggage to 1 x small/medium piece per person, along with 1 x small handbag or daypack.