Islay is a beautiful island located off the west coast of Scotland, known for its picturesque landscapes, peaty whiskies, and friendly locals. Here’s a short guide to help you plan your visit:
- Getting there: The easiest way to get to Islay is by taking a ferry from Kennacraig on the mainland to Port Ellen or Port Askaig on Islay. There are also flights from Glasgow to Islay airport.
- Accommodation: There are plenty of options for accommodation on Islay, ranging from B&Bs and guesthouses to hotels and self-catering cottages. It’s best to book in advance, especially during the busy summer months.
- Whisky: Islay is known for its peaty whiskies, and there are eight distilleries on the island that you can visit. Each one offers a unique experience, and most have visitor centres where you can learn about the distilling process and sample some of the local whisky.
- Outdoor activities: Islay has some of the most stunning scenery in Scotland, with miles of unspoiled coastline, rugged hills, and wildlife-rich wetlands. There are plenty of opportunities for hiking, cycling, fishing, and birdwatching on the island.
- Local culture: Islay has a rich Gaelic heritage, and you can experience traditional music, dance, and storytelling at events and festivals throughout the year. The island is also home to a number of historic sites, including the ruins of several ancient castles and abbeys.
- Food and drink: In addition to its famous whisky, Islay is also known for its fresh seafood, locally-sourced produce, and artisanal cheeses. There are plenty of restaurants, cafes, and pubs on the island where you can sample the local cuisine and drink.
- Planning your visit: Islay is a popular tourist destination, so it’s best to plan your visit in advance. Consider visiting during the quieter shoulder seasons (April to May and September to October) to avoid the crowds and get the best deals on accommodation and activities.
Whether you’re a whisky lover, a nature enthusiast, or a history buff, Islay has something to offer everyone. Take your time to explore the island, soak up the local culture, and enjoy the stunning scenery.