Ideal for a relaxing weekend getaway (with or without whisky!)
Whisky Galore on this island of eight distilleries
Explore the ancient Kingdom of Dalriada
A relaxing island-hopping tour of the Southern Hebrides, Gigha, Colonsay & Islay
The ultimate whisky tour visiting all of Scotland's main whisky areas
Nine days exploring the isles of Arran, Islay, Mull & Skye, each with their own distinct charms
Islay top tips:
- Whisky galore - go malt whisky tasting or take a tour at one of Islay's numerous distilleries, including Arbeg, Laphroaig, Lagavulin & Bowmore. Islay's Festival of Malt & Music takes place in May each year.
- Bird-watching - spot barnacle & white fronted geese at the RSPB reserve at Loch Guinart
- Discover more about Islay's religious relics - this Scottish island is home to some excellent examples of stone circles & stone crosses
- Golf at Machrie - enjoy a round at this famous classic links course
Things to See & Do on Islay
Once the ancestral seat of the Lords of the Isles, Islay is a fertile island of low heather-clad hills, attractive beaches, numerous historical sites and more whisky distilleries than any other Scottish island!
This Scottish island is perhaps most famous for its whisky and its eight working distilleries are well worth a visit. Take a tour and learn more about the distillation process or educate your palate by sampling & discerning the subtle differences between Islay's unique peaty malts. In contrast, Islay is also haven for hill-walkers and bird-watchers, it is home to the huge Loch Gruinart bird sanctuary and its vast numbers of migrating geese.
In the island capital, Bowmore, you can visit the unusual Round Church (no corners for the devil to hide in!) or if history is your thing, the Museum of Island Life in Port Charlotte is well worth a visit, as are the ruins of Finlaggan Castle, home of the Macdonald chiefs, and Kildalton Chapel with its early Christian cross.
Easily accessible for day-trips are the neighbouring islands of Jura - whose rugged scenery belies the glorious splendour of Jura House Garden - and pretty Colonsay (Wednesdays only), which boasts spectacular Kiloran Bay.
Travel to & around Islay
There are regular ferry services to Islay from Kennacraig & approx 2 flights per day between Glasgow & Islay.