Islay & Whisky Coast - 10 Day Small Group Escorted Tour

Highlights

Islay & Whisky Coast - 10 Day Small Group Escorted Tour

A tour taking in two of the most famous whisky regions in the world. First you visit the beautiful island of Islay, renowned for its peaty, smoky malt whiskies. Following 2 nights in the historic city of Edinburgh, your tour continues north to Speyside, home to more than half of Scotland's malt whicky distilleries.

Your Islay & Whisky Coast Tour Highlights:

• GUARANTEED DEPARTURES
Transportation by top of the range 16 seat Mercedes mini coaches
• 2 Nights accommodations in Edinburgh (based on Holiday Inn Express of Apex International. Other hotels may incur supplements)
• 3 nights accommodations atbeautiful Bowmore Distillery Cottages
• 4 Nights accommodations at your choice of B&B or Hotel
• Breakfast daily, except on day of arrival
• Services of professional driver/guide
• Touring per your itinerary
• All ferry and bridge crossings
• Tips to your driver are not included, as they are considered personal

Itinerary

Islay & Whisky Coast - Small Goup Escorted Tour

Whisky Tour of Scotland with Celtic ToursDay 01: Arrive in Edinburgh today and make your way to your pre-booked Edinburgh hotel. Transfer to your hotel is not included, but can be arranged. Spend your day independently exploring Edinburgh.

Day 02: Meet at the Edinburgh departure point at 8:15am. We head west through Scotland's largest city, Glasgow along Loch Lomond then west through the mountains to the beautiful little village of Inveraray on the banks of Loch Fyne. Here you can perhaps sample some of the local seafood for lunch or just explore the historic town itself. After lunch we will thentravel through Argyll and into the ancient Kingdom of Dalriada. There are more than 350 prehistoric monuments within a six-mile radius of the village of Kilmartin. We will stop hereto see the mysterious stone circles and standing stones and visit the community museum. From here it is a short drive to Kennacraig where we catch the early evening ferry to Islay.The sail is just over 2 hours and you should look out for wildlife such as dolphins, whales and seabirds. Overnight stay in Bowmore on Islay.On this tour we have pre-booked a number of rooms in the beautiful Bowmore Distillery Cottages. These are self catering cottages in the grounds of Bowmore distillery and offer aunique accommodation experience.

Whisky Tour to Scotland with Celtic ToursDay 03: A full day exploring Islay. The itinerary today is quite flexible with a mixture of beautiful scenery, white sand beaches, short walks and of course the famousIslay whiskies - renowned for their strong peaty flavors and nurtured by the salty sea air. In the morning we will take the short drive to the west of the island via Saligo Bay for avisit to Kilchoman Distillery (the newest and smallest on the island) with the option of a coastal walk to Machair Bay for any non-whisky lovers. In the afternoon you will stop atthe privately owned Bruichladdich Distillery for a tour and tasting and visit the tiny harbor village of Portnahaven (look out for seals) before taking the back roads along the westcoast with its lovely sandy bays. You then travel back to Bowmore for an overnight stay.

Day 04: Another day in paradise! Today we will explore the southern side of the island, home to the smokiest and peatiest of all whiskies - Lapoaig, 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 then follow that upwith a visit to Lapoaig. While in the area we may visit the ruins of Kildalton church with its famous 8th Century Celtic cross. In the late afternoon there are several possibilitiesdepending on the weather and time available including free time in Bowmore village, a visit to Brigend and Islay House Square or a walk along the River Sorn. Overnight in Bowmore.

Day 05: This morning we take the ferry back to the mainland then travel up the coast to Oban - a busy harbor town and the main ferry port for the islands. Here wewill drop off anyone who is continuing on the Mull, Iona and Isle of Skye extension. Some free time to explore the town, have a late lunch or even pop into Oban Distillery beforedeparting for the return trip to Glasgow and Edinburgh at approx. 20:00.

Day 06: Free day in Edinburgh, the historic capital of Scotland. There are so many options available here - why not take a local open top city bus tour to familiarizeyourself with the ‘old' and ‘new' towns of the city. To continue on the whisky theme why not visit the Scotch Whisky Experience to see the world's largest whisky collection - over3000 bottles!

Whisky Tour of Scotland with Celtic ToursDay 07: Depart from Edinburgh at 09:00. Our Speyside Whisky adventure starts with the journey north into the Highlands. The first stop will be the historic villageof Dunkeld for a short walk through the forest to wonderfully atmospheric waterfalls. After lunch in Pitlochry you will make your first distillery visit at Dalwhinnie - the highest distillery in the country and the closest to the source of the River Spey. From here you follow the river north through the Cairngorm National Park to the small town of Grantown on Spey - your base for the next two nights.

Visit Islay & the Whisky Coast of Scotland with Celtic ToursDay 08: A whole day is spent exploring Scotland's most famous whisky region. After a scenic drive toward the coast your first stop of the day will be at the family ownedBenromach Distillery for a personalized tour. From here it is a short distance to Elgin - home to Gordon and Macphail - one of the world's leading specialist whisky bottlers andsuppliers. From here you will travel back up the Spey to Craigellachie for a visit to the Speyside Cooperage where you will see another aspect of the whisky making process.After lunch here or in nearby Aberlour you will visit Cardhu Distillery. Cardhu is the most important whisky in Johnnie Walker Black Label. From here we head back to Grantown onSpey for overnight.

Day 09: The tour takes you through the beautiful Cairngorm Mountains on route back south. In the morning you will explore Glenlivet - not just a distillery but also abeautiful glen with great walks and wonderful wildlife. Later you will pass by the famous Balmoral Castle and stop in the village of Braemar in the heart of the National Park. Fromhere the route south passes over Scotland's highest mountain pass then through the Perthshire before arriving back in Edinburgh around 18:30. Overnight at your pre-booked Edinburgh hotel.

Day 10: Check out of your Edinburgh hotel today for your return home. (Transfer to the airport is not included but can be pre-arranged).

 

Optionals

Rates & Hotels

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This tour does not include: 

  • Lunches
  • Entrance Fees and Distilleries
  • Tips to driver/guide

To Book Airfare, please visit our Vacation Builder.

Please note: Tours are not suitable for children under the age of 18. Itinerary and distillery visits are subject to variation throughout the season and may not be the same described above. However, there will always de a minimum of 4 distillery visits during the tour.

 
Hotels featured on this tour

 

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