A unique journey to one of the world’s foremost whisky islands. Travel through the western highlands of Scotland before taking the ferry to the famous island of Islay in the inner Hebrides. Tour Islay distilleries and learn about the craft of distillation from the masters.
Use our expertise to get the very best from your Islay whisky tour.
Your private whisky tour to Islay is lead by our expert Scottish guides who give context, history and stories as you travel. Each journey is unique and tailored to your wishes.
You’ll travel in style in one of our luxurious Mercedes vans that will transport you in luxury, with ample baggage space.
SECRETS OF ISLAY SUGGESTED ITINERARY…
After departing Edinburgh, we head west along ‘The Royal Route’ stopping briefly at South Queensferry to take in the views before passing Linlithgow Palace and Stirling Castle. The landscape changes from the flat valley floor of The Carse of Stirling to a mountainous view as we travel into the western highlands. We stop at the imposing ruined Kilchurn Castle at the head of loch awe to stretch our legs. We continue on to the west coast at the Victorian port at Oban where we tour Oban distillery and enjoy a tasting. Oban is the seafood capital of Scotland and we can provide recommendations of our favourite seafood restaurants along the harbour before checking into your hotel for the evening.
After a hearty breakfast we leave Oban and travel along the coast towards the Kintyre Peninsula, stopping at the ancient Neolithic landscape of Kilmartin Glen. There are hundreds of ancient monuments and historic sites that we will explore before arriving at the port of Kennacraig for the ferry to Islay. The ferry crossing is around two hours and offers stunning views to the mainland and southern Hebrides islands of Gigha, Jura and Islay.
On arrival into Port Ellen or Port Askaig you can almost smell the whisky in the air. There is time for a light lunch before arriving at the trio of distilleries on the southern coast of Islay; Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg. We will tour Laphroaig and learn about their process as well as visiting their maltings, a rare experience at distilleries these days. We’ll enjoy a private whisky tasting at the other two. There are plenty of opportunities to pick up a bottle or two and of course it always tastes better when purchased at source! We then arrive at your chosen accommodation for the night.
This morning we will explore some of the island of Islay and we’ll show you some of our favourite spots along the road. Long sandy beaches, whitewashed cottages, ancient sites and a plethora of wildlife awaits and you will explore the remote western shores of the island. We visit Bowmore for a pre-lunch tasting and opportunity to pick up a bottle.
After lunch we visit Bruichladdich Distillery to sample some of their whiskies including the worlds most peated single malt. Then we travel to the other side of Islay to Bunnahabhain and the biggest distillery on Islay, Caol Ila. Their new visitor experiences are ’taste lead’ and we will have a tasting at each to understand the subtle differences in the dram that make Islay so unique.
After breakfast we catch the ferry back to the mainland. We’ll travel along Loch Fyne, the longest sea loch in Scotland, before arriving at the town of Inveraray. There is an opportunity to visit Loch Fyne Whisky and learn about their blended or single malts, liquors and botanical gins before continuing on to Inverary Caslte, the seat of the Clan Campbell for a tour. We have lunch at the famous Loch Fyne Oyster Bar that serves a great range of local seafood.
We then start our journey back to Edinburgh, passing through some impressive scenery over ’The Rest and Be Thankful’ past Loch Long and to Loch Lomond. We stop at the conservation village of Luss on the western bank to admire the view to Ben Lomond and have lunch and stretch our legs exploring this picture-postcard village. Then we will continue through The Loch Lomond and The Trossachs National Park before continuing back to the Carse of Stirling with impressive views of Stirling Castle and The Wallace Monument before returning to your hotel in Edinburgh.
This is a fairly relaxed itinerary and of course it is all about whisky and food! If there is something in particular you want to see or do then please just ask. All our tours are private and therefore fully customisable.
It is also possible to visit Jura Distillery on the adjacent isle of Jura whilst on Islay either by replacing one of the Islay distilleries for the trip to Jura or by adding a day into the itinerary.
SUGGESTED TOUR ROUTE…
Each tour we operate is unique and designed to your requirements. Here is an example of this tours route, but we can add in and remove anything you want
- Distance Instructions
- Distance 456 miles
- Time 15 h 29 min
- Speed 29 mph
- Min altitude 0 ft
- Peak 0 ft
- Climb 0 ft
- Descent 0 ft
RECENT CUSTOMER TESTIMONIALS
Our tour was a wonderful and immersive experience with Hazel, who has a wealth of historical knowledge! Tremendously affable, she took us to several unexpected points of Outlander related interest, a delicious place for lunch and our private tour felt like spending the day with [...]
If you're reading this review trying to decide if you want to book this tour, let me tell you that you absolutely should! You will not regret it and will have memories for a lifetime. I highly recommended his tour. Alexander thank you for an [...]
We actually took the full day tour and I can't say enough good things about our tour experience and, more importantly, our guide Alexander (Sandy). He was top notch. He immediately made us feel at home. Alexander was down to earth, funny and SO knowledgeable. [...]
We went on a tour with Hazel today. She was a rock star! We had the best day ever! She was so friendly, knowledgeable and kind! She was very attentive to our interests and we truly enjoyed her company. She’s the best tour guide ever!