Islay is the southernmost of the Inner Hebrides islands, off the west coast of Scotland. Along with the neighbouring island of Jura, it’s known for its whisky. Numerous distilleries produce the island’s characteristically peaty single malts. In the northeast, 2 islands on Loch Finlaggan are dotted with the remains of an ancient settlement, including a prehistoric fort and medieval tombstones.
Getting Around Islay
Islay is known as the Queen of the Hebrides, with a terrain that is rugged but perhaps a bit flatter than other islands, making it ideal for walking as well as cycling.
It has always been well known by birdwatchers, as it is the wintering ground for a large population of geese as well as being a regular breeding ground for rare Corncrakes and Chough, but is increasingly becoming popular for walking holidays.
For walkers, Islay has some excellent scenery on offer, with great expanses of beaches like Machir Bay or Loch Gruinart, and many smaller coves around the Rhinns, On the southwest of Islay is the Oa Peninsula, which has coastal cliffs as well as a rugged interior. you will find woodlands around Bridgend and Ballygrant, many small whitewashed hamlets and villages, like Port Charlotte and Port Ellen, and everywhere you go will have superb sea views.
For a selection of over 15 walks on Islay, take a look at the Islay Info website.
From walking and cycling to boat trips and golf, Islay has something for everyone. For a more relaxing holiday, Islay is steeped in history to explore within our museums and historic sites around the Island, we have wealth of wildlife, bird watching and fishing.
Whisky has been made on Islay for centuries, and with 8 Distilleries on the Island, there is plenty to sample! They all offer tours and have visitor centres and cafes/shops so they are well worth a visit. You can book guided tours or a taxi and let someone else do the driving and enjoy the full whisky experience.
Islay hosts several Festivals throughout the year. As well as the Islay Whisky Festival in May/June, there are music festivals, historic & sporting events to entertain all ages and tastes.