|Departs Thursday 07.45 - Returns Sunday 19.00
| SUMMER: 25th March 2013 to 31st October 2013
All tours depart from Bus Stand ZE, Waterloo Place, Edinburgh. MAP. (A Glasgow departure can be arranged for this tour only – please contact us).
2013 departure dates: 28th March, 4th &18th April, 2nd, 9th & 16th May, 13th & 20th June, 4th, 18th & 25th July, 8th & 22nd August, 5th, 12th, 19th & 26th September.
|£499.00 per person sharing. This tour is for passengers aged 18 and over only. Includes 3 nights bed and breakfast accommodation, return ferry to Islay, distillery visits and tastings - see note below. Read Full Terms of Service for this tour.
Important Tour and Accommodation Information.
This tour is operated by our partner organisation Scottish Routes in their own vehicle (see photo to right). The price includes accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis in the recently refurbished Bowmore House. Occasionally, due to the nature of the island, some accommodation may be in a different area. The price is based on 2 people sharing a twin or double room. There is an additional supplement of £85 based on single occupancy. The tour includes distillery visits to Deanston OR Auchentoshan, Laphroaig, Bowmore and Kilchoman* as well as tastings at Ardbeg and Bruichladdich, a unique warehouse experience and cask tasting at Lagavulin and a tasting at the Islay Ales Brewery. Meals, refreshments (other than breakfast) and entrance fees to extra attractions not listed above are not included. Lunches will either be taken at locally owned eateries or will be picnic style.
*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.
- Kilmartin Glen
- Ferry to Islay
- Distillery tours
- Whisky tastings at Ardbeg & Bruichladdich
- Cask tasting at Lagavulin
- Kildalton Cross
- Loch Fyne
This tour takes you away to the wonderful and enchanting island of Islay. A five star holiday which includes stunning scenery, ancient history, traditional culture and 8 of Scotland’s finest whisky distilleries... what more could you ask for?
Day 1 - Thursday
We spend the day travelling to the “Queen of the Hebrides” – Islay. From Scotland’s capital we head west to our largest city; Glasgow. We may make a brief stop to collect the last of our guests, before continuing to our first single malt distillery (Deanston or Auchentoshan).
As we continue the tour, breathtaking views unfold as we turn north along Loch Lomond’s western shore and, if we are lucky, we’ll see the slopes of Ben Lomond rising above the water. This is Rob Roy Country and, as we leave the loch side and wind our way up into the Highlands, your guide will entertain you with tales of cattle rustling and ancient Highland Clans.
The tour now follows the stunning coastline before heading to Kilmartin Glen where over 5000 years of history are waiting to be discovered.
See standing stones, ancient burial mounds and stone carvings before continuing down the Kintyre Peninsula to Kennacraig, to catch the evening ferry to Islay.
After arrival on the island it’s only a short drive to our accommodation for the next 3 nights where you can enjoy a well-earned whisky!
Day 2 & 3 - Friday and Saturday
With two full days to explore the island, you are spoilt for choice of things to do. The exact itinerary on each day will be dictated by the weather and your guide. This allows for as much flexibility as possible, in order to get the most from your Islay experience.
To find out more about what makes Islay whiskies so special, we will visit a number of the island’s distilleries and take a guided tour. There will, of course, be an opportunity to sample the whisky during these visits, as well as tastings at some distilleries we don’t have time to take a full tour at.
Islay is home to some of the world’s most famous whiskies: the smoky and peaty Ardbeg, Laphroaig and Lagavulin, on the south coast; the lighter Bruichladdich, near Port Charlotte; Bowmore, the oldest working distillery on Islay; Kilchoman, the newest and smallest and the biggest producer on the island; Caol Ila.
Along the way, we will discover why Islay is famous for so much more than whisky.
A visit to the Kildalton Cross will transport us back in time more than 1200 years and we will discover the ancient seat of the Lords of the Isles at Finlaggan. Wildlife abounds on Islay so eyes open for golden eagles, seals, otters, whales, dolphins, wild geese, red deer and much more.
Discover traditional villages clinging to the rough Atlantic coastline, ruined castles, golden beaches and a proud Gaelic culture as we explore the most amazing of Hebridean Islands.
Day Four - Sunday
Sunset over Oban bay
Leaving Islay on the morning ferry, we say farewell and pass 3 distilleries clinging to the rocky south coast. Arriving back on the mainland we begin the journey back to Edinburgh and Glasgow. On the way home we drive along Loch Fyne to the beautiful village of Inveraray, home of the infamous Clan Campbell. Stopping here is an opportunity to enjoy a traditional lunch in a local pub or restaurant or stock up on whisky at the world-famous Loch Fyne Whisky Shop.
Leaving the coast, we now turn inland and over the high mountain pass of The Rest and Be Thankful. As the road twists and turns through the Trossachs we will be rewarded with some exceptional scenery. It is now just a short drive to Glasgow and Edinburgh where you will leave the tour feeling relaxed and refreshed after discovering one of Scotland’s best kept secrets - the secret that is the Isle of Islay.