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.
Five-Day Islay & Campbeltown Whisky Tour
- Single Occupancy Room 1 person per room
- Double Room 2 people per room
- Twin Room 2 people per room
The Islay and Campbeltown Whisky Tour
All distillery tours and tastings are included in the cost!
After departing Edinburgh you will head north west through Stirlingshire and into the Highlands to make your way towards the ferry from Kennacraig to Islay.
We will pass Loch Lomond and make a short stop in Inveraray. It is then a short drive down the Kintyre Peninsula to Kennacraig where you will board the ferry to Islay. The ferry crossing is around 2 hours and allows 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 bar with an Islay whisky; grab some lunch from the restaurant and just soak up the sea air before you arrive.
On arrival in Islay, we will visit our first distillery of the tour! Bunnahabhain Distillery. Pronounced ‘Bunn-na-ha-venn’, meaning ‘mouth of the river’ in Scots Gaelic, this distillery is in a stunning location offering gorgeous views of the Paps of Jura and a range of peated and unpeated drams.
It is then a short drive to Bowmore to check in to The Bowmore House or Island Bear for your 3-night stay.
Days 2 & 3
We have 2 full days on Islay to explore, which means there are plenty of options for sightseeing as well as visiting the all important distilleries.
On our first full day on the island we will focus our visits on the southern “Big Peat” distilleries of the island: Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg.
Our second day will see us exploring Bruichladdich Distillery (home to many delights including the Botanist Gin as well as “the world’s peatiest whisky” Octomore.
Then it’s on to Kilchoman Distillery one of the newer distilleries on the island (founded in 2005). During your visit to this farm distillery, you will be able to see all aspects of the whisky making process (including traditional floor-maltings) and sample their fantastic 100% Islay dram.
We will then squeeze in a short visit to Bowmore Distillery, the oldest running on the island.
Your guide will also share some of their favourite places with you. These can include empty beaches, whitewashed villages and ancient sites such as the Kildalton Cross.
After a hearty breakfast in Bowmore, you will catch the morning ferry back to Kennacraig and make your way to Campbeltown. This area was once known as ‘the whisky capital of the world’ with 34 distilleries. Now only three active distilleries remain in the town: Glen Scotia, Glengyle and Springbank, making it Scotland’s smallest whisky region.
We will visit Glen Scotia to tour their distillery and then take part in an incredible Warehouse Tasting – trying some delicious cask strength drams. Next we will visit the family-owned Springbank Distillery, who produce both peated and unpeated whisky and tour their facilities to see each step of the whisky making process.
We will then travel to Stonefield Castle for a group farewell dinner and our final overnight stay. The castle was built in 1837 and is set in 60 acres of woodland gardens with views of Loch Fyne. They also boast an impressive whisky collection if you haven’t tried enough yet.
After a leisurely start, we will travel 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 shortstop in central Glasgow (George Square) before returning to Edinburgh.
**Due to various reasons (weather, closures and special events) it may not always be possible to visit all distilleries mentioned. Please be aware that, if this is the case, we will ensure that suitable alternatives are found.
Accommodation in Islay is on a B&B basis in the Bowmore House and Island Bear, near to one another in Bowmore. They offer 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!
Our final night of accommodation is in Stonefield Castle Hotel, perched on Loch Fyne. With impressive Scottish baronial architecture, much of its original furnishings, wood panelling, ornate ceilings and marble fireplaces – it’s an unforgettable place to stay!
- 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.