It's time to start your adventure
A great opportunity to explore some of Islay’s finest whisky distilleries, you stay on the legendary Island of Islay for our outstanding whisky experience. Once you immerse yourself in the atmosphere and learn about the whisky and people of this wonderful island, you will fully appreciate why it has such an international appeal and following.
Duration 4 days
- Departing from your hotel in Edinburgh or Glasgow, or perhaps you would like us to collect you from the airport, you proceed to the Loch Lomond National Park and make a stop in the attractive conservation village of Luss.
- Inverary will be the destination for some lunch, and you will find two specialist whisky shops here, plus Inverary Castle and the historic Town Jail. In the afternoon, we continue further west through Argyll to the Atlantic coast, stopping for a short nature walk and to view some pre-historic standing stones in Kilmartin Glen, steeped in history and atmosphere.
- You then take the 6pm ferry to Islay, a magnificent 2 hour sailing so plenty of time to get some dinner and a dram on board.
- You arrive in Port Ellen or Bowmore at around 9pm, where you can settle into your accommodation, go for a drink in one of the friendly local bars or take a walk on the beach. If you’re lucky, you’ll catch a vivid sunset, or just enjoy a little time to take in your surroundings.
- The local Spar convenience shop in Bowmore also doubles as a well-stocked whisky shop. They have the best whisky selection for sale on the island, and Tiny Tartan Tours recommend that you have a look.
- On day two of Scottish Spirit, you spend most of the day on the wild west side of the island, visiting Kilchoman. This is the island’s smallest and most recent distillery.
- You enjoy a tasting at Bruichladdich, where they also make gin, before a tour and tasting at Bowmore Distillery.
- You also visit some stunning, rugged west coast beaches which are guaranteed to blow any cobwebs away.
- You can visit the north of the island to stop for some photographs of the other two distilleries, Caol Ila and Bunnahabhain and the brand new Ardnow, with its magnificent still room views over to Jura, good restaurant for lunch here too.
- Today you concentrate on the heavily peated southern Islay distilleries of Lagavulin, Ardbeg and Laphroaig with views to the Irish Republic. Let us know which distilleries you wish to visit and we can customise.
- Highlights today include a tour, tasting and lunch at Ardbeg, a mini tour and large tasting at Laphroaig (we think they have their priorities right) and if you wish, you could also spend some time at Lagavuilin, a Diageo Distillery, again highly rated.
- There is also the Kildalton Cross to view in the south end, a beautiful carved Celtic cross dating from the 8thC, and if you wish to tone down the whisky distilleries a bit, you could go for a walk to the spectacular beach, The Singing Sands.
- On your fourth and final day, you depart Islay making the 2 hour crossing back to the mainland.
- After your sea crossing, you can divert to Oban if you choose, where you can squeeze in one last whisky distillery visit. At Oban you will find Scotland’s second oldest distillery, dating from 1793. Or you could have lunch in one of the seafood restaurants. Tiny Tartan Tours have some good recommendations, as we certainly love our food!
- You then proceed back to your hotel in Glasgow or Edinburgh. This amazing whisky dedicated tour is a must for all Scotland and indeed whisky lovers, a great tour.
- If you are short on time, Scottish Spirit can be condensed into a three-day tour by reducing the itinerary appropriately.