Islay & the Whisky Coast
Departures on Mondays, Wednesdays & Fridays from Edinburgh
Mondays: March 18 to October 28, 2024
Wednesdays: April 3 to October 30, 2024
Fridays: April 5 to October 25, 2024
This unique 4 day tour takes you to the “Queen of the Isles” and the Whisky Coast. Islay is home to 8 of Scotland’s finest malt whisky distilleries Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Bowmore, Bunnahabhain, Bruichladdich, Ardbeg, Caol Ila and Kilchoman. For the whisky enthusiast this tour will give an in depth knowledge and even better - you won’t need to drive anywhere yourself! But Islay has much more to offer from stunning sandy beaches to fascinating wildlife and a vibrant local culture.
Stay 3 nights in the 18th Century village of Bowmore. **Please note the special accommodation arrangements for this tour.
Monday departures offer the chance to see more whisky production as all the distilleries are in operation on weekdays. We recommend the Monday departures as the best choice for real enthusiasts and we try to fit in additional tastings where possible.
DEPARTURE FROM EDINBURGH: Gate J & Gate K, Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew's Square, Edinburgh EH1 3DX
The tour departs at 8:30am and returns at approx. 8:00pm on Day 4.
Loch Lomond & Oban
Leaving Edinburgh you will head west to Stirling and into the Highlands with a short stop in the holiday town of Callander for refreshments. After travelling through the mountainous northern part of the Loch Lomond National Park you will arrive in the busy harbour town of Oban. You will have a couple of hours here with the chance to visit the Oban Distillery and sample some local seafood for lunch.
You will then depart Oban mid-afternoon for the journey to Kennacraig to catch the evening ferry to Islay. The sail is just over 2 hours and you should look out for wildlife such as dolphins, whales and seabirds. On arrival on Islay it is a short drive to Bowmore for your 3 night stay.
Overnight - Bowmore
We know whisky tasting can be hard work, so you begin the day with a little sleep in.
After you’ve had an ample amount of breakfast, you enjoy a tour of Bowmore Distillery, one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland. You have time for a tour and a whisky tasting here before you continue exploring the island. Next, your driver-guide takes you to Ardnahoe Distillery for a tour and a lunch of local treats. This modern distillery is the passion project of the Laings, a family who have loved whisky for generations. Today, you can admire their vision, craftsmanship, and unique spirit.
After trying local larder, you travel through the beautiful countryside to the third distillery of the day. On Friday and Saturday, you visit Bruichladdich, the progressive distillery specialising in unpeated whisky. On Tuesday, you taste the unpeated and salty notes of Bunnahabhain in the most remote distillery on Islay. You head back to Bowmore where you can either stumble back to your room for the night or relax and explore the village.
Overnight - Bowmore
Whisky, Whisky & Whiskey!
Another day in paradise! Today you will explore the southern side of the island, home to the smokiest and peatiest of all whiskies – Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg. We will visit Ardbeg for a tour, tasting and lunch. The restaurant here is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy local produce as well as some unique whisky. We follow this up with a visit to Laphroaig and if time allows a short stop for a tasting at Lagavulin.
It should also be possible to visit to the ruins of Kildalton church with its famous 8th Century Celtic cross. Alternatively we may stop in Bridgend where you could visit the community craft producers at Islay House Square or take a walk through the woods along the nearby River Sorn.
Overnight - Bowmore
This morning you take the ferry back to the mainland and travel the short distance to Kilmartin Glen where we will have lunch. There are more than 350 prehistoric monuments within a six-mile radius of the village of Kilmartin and you will have the chance to see the mysterious stone circles and standing stones and visit the community museum. From here the tour continues round the coast to the beautiful little village of Inveraray on the banks of Loch Fyne. The town is full of historic buildings with old ships in the harbour and a great whisky shop! Finally you will return via Loch Lomond to Edinburgh.
*Itinerary and distillery visits are subject to change.
Point of return: 19.00 at Edinburgh Bus Station, St. Andrew Square, EH2 2A
- Loch Lomond National Park
- Kilmartin Glen
- The Islay Single Malt Whiskies
- Sandy beaches of Islay
- Transportation by top of the range Mercedes minicoach for a more personal experience with a maximum of 16 passengers on tour; all ferry and bridge crossings, Air Conditioning as standard.
- Services of a professional local driver/guide
- 3 nights ensuite accommodations
- Self-serve continental breakfast daily
- Includes tour & tasting at: Ardbeg Distillery, Ardnahoe Distillery, Bowmore Distillery & Laphroaig Distillery.