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This tour takes you to a Scottish island paradise. Islay is home to stunning scenery, ancient history, traditional culture and nine of Scotland’s finest whisky distilleries.
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 incredible drams and explore some incredible secret spots. All distillery tours and tastings are included!
After departing Edinburgh, your first stop is Callander, where you can grab a coffee before we 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 harbour town of Oban. Here, we’ll enjoy a tour and tasting at Oban Distillery before you have time for lunch and some exploring.
This is the seafood capital of Scotland, so make sure you make the most of it. Your tour then takes you 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’s then a short drive down the Kintyre Peninsula to Kennacraig where you will board the evening ferry to Islay. The ferry crossing is around two hours which allows for some beautiful views of the islands of Gigha, Jura, and Islay as well as the area surrounding West Loch Tarbert.
There is plenty of time to relax in the bar with an Islay whisky, grab some dinner from the restaurant or simply 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 for your four-night stay.
Days 2, 3 & 4
With three full days to explore Islay, there is plenty of time for sightseeing! Your guide will share with you some of their favourite places on the island to visit making sure you experience the Islay culture. You’ll have the chance to walk beautiful empty beaches, explore the site of the Kildalton Cross in the churchyard of the old parish church, delve into the history at a medieval stronghold and sample some of the freshest seafood the island has to offer. With only around 3000 people and nine distilleries to choose from, the possibility of finding a ‘wee dram’ is also pretty strong!
We’ve made sure to design a tour that includes a range of different experiences at the incredible distilleries this island is famous for. We’ll visit, Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Ardbeg, Kilchoman, Bunnahabhain, Caol Ila, Ardnahoe, Bowmore and Bruichladdich! Slainte Mhath, as they say in Gaelic.
After a final hearty breakfast, you’ll catch the morning ferry back to Kennacraig. Back 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 lunch stop for the day.
After lunch (and some last-minute whisky shopping), your journey hugs the shores of Loch Fyne and Loch Long before climbing up to the Rest and Be Thankful pass for
Then on to the shores of Loch Lomond. With time to stop for some lovely views and to stretch your 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 back 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!