Day 01, U.S. - Edinburgh
Depart the U.S. on overnight flight to Scotland.
Day 02, Edinburgh
Arrive Edinburgh; Transfer to your hotel is included You are free to enjoy this beautiful city on your own. (Please note, hotel check-in is generally between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm. If you are arriving into Edinburgh early - the hotel will be happy to hold your luggage until your room is ready).
Day 03, Edinburgh - Touring Begins - Islay
Make your way to the Edinburgh departure point (see departure point information below) for 8:15 am (If you booked a departure point transfer at time of booking, your driver will collect you as noted on your voucher). Depart Edinburgh at 8:30 am. Leaving Edinburgh you will head west through Scotland's largest city, Glasgow, along Loch Lomond then west through the mountains to the beautiful little town 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 you will then travel 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. You will stop here to see the mysterious stone circles, standing stones and visit the community museum. From here it is a short drive to Kennacraig where you 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. On arrival on Islay it is a short drive to Bowmore for your three (3) night stay.
Day 04, Touring - A full day exploring Islay
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 famous Islay whiskies - renowned for their strong peaty flavors and nurtured by the salty sea air. In the morning you will take the short drive to the west of the island via Saligo Bay for a visit to Kilchoman Distillery (the newest and smallest on the island) with the option of a coastal walk to Machair Bay for any non-whiskey lovers. After lunch you will explore the tiny harbor village of Portnahaven (look out for seals) before taking the back roads along the west coast with its lovely sandy bays, on the way back to Bowmore. You will have the chance to visit Bowmore Distillery or just relax and explore the village.
Day 05, Touring - Another day in paradise!
Another day in paradise! Today you will explore the southern side of the island, home to the smokiest and peatiest of all whiskies - Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg. You 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 whiskey. You then follow that up with a visit to Laphroaig or a visit to the ruins of Kildalton Church with its famous 8th Century Celtic Cross. Alternatively we may stop in Bridgend where you could visit the community craft producers at Islay House Square or take a walk through the woods along the nearby River Sorn.
Day 06, Touring - Edinburgh
This morning you 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 we will drop off anyone who is continuing on the Mull, Iona and Isle of Skye extension. The others will have some free time to explore the town, have a late lunch or even pop into Oban Distillery before departing for the return trip to Edinburgh. Return time approx. 8:00 pm in Edinburgh. Your tour ends at Rabbies Cafe at 6 Waterloo Place in Edinburgh, where you will make your own way back to your pre-booked hotel.
Day 07, Edinburgh - Home
After breakfast, transfer from your hotel to the Airport for your return flight to the U.S.