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The Whisky Experience - Islay, Edinburgh, and Speyside

On this tour, we give you time to understand all of whisky's nuanced characteristics in two of Scotland's outstanding whisky regions, Islay and the Speyside region.

The Whisky Experience - Islay, Edinburgh, and Speyside

On this tour, we give you time to understand all of whisky's nuanced characteristics in two of Scotland's outstanding whisky regions, Islay and the Speyside region.

Tour Highlights

  • Sightseeing including Islay, Speyside, and Edinburgh.
  • Small groups up to 16 passengers.

The Whisky Experience Tour Includes

  • Nine (9) nights accommodations; four (4) in Edinburgh (days 1, 5, 6, and 9 – note; nights 5 & 6 will be at a 3* hotel booked by the Edinburgh office), three (3) nights in Islay (choice of Bowmore Cottages or Hotel), two (2) nights in Grantown-on-Spey (choice of BB or Hotel).
  • Arrival and departure transfers.
  • Admission to eight (8) distilleries in Scotland (*Please note: Itinerary and distillery visits are subject to variation throughout the season and may not be the same as described above. However, there will always be a minimum of 8 distilleries visited during the tour).
  • Ferry crossing (per program).
  • Lunch at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society with a 2-course meal and coffee.
  • Breakfast daily (except day of arrival).

Additional Notes

Children under the age of 18 are not allowed on this tour.

Tastings at distilleries are not included and paid direct to distilleries.

Please Note Baggage Restriction: Due to size of coach there is a luggage restriction of 14kg (31 Ibs) of luggage per person on this tour. This includes one piece of luggage similar to an airline carry-on bag (approximately 22in x 17in x 10in) and a small personal bag.

A maximum of 8 passengers per departure date can be booked on this tour due to limitations of the coach size. If you have a larger party and/or wish to have a group booked on this tour, please contact us directly, as it will have to be quoted as a private group and rates here do not apply.


Day 01: 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 pm and 4 pm. If you are arriving into Edinburgh early - the hotel will be happy to hold your luggage until your room is ready).

Day 02: Islay

Make your way to the Edinburgh departure point by 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 to Stirling and into the Highlands, with a short stop in the holiday town of Callander for refreshments. After traveling through the mountainous northern part of the Loch Lomond National Park, you will arrive in the busy harbour town of Oban. You will have a couple of hours here with the chance to visit the Oban distillery and sample some local seafood for lunch. You will then depart Oban mid-afternoon for the journey to Kennacraig to catch the 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 in Islay, it is a short drive to Bowmore for your three (3) night stay.

Day 03: 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-whisky 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. Alternatively, for those who want to visit another distillery, we will be able to drop you off at Bruichladdich for a tasting and visit to the shop. You will have the chance to visit Bowmore Distillery or just relax and explore the village.

Day 04: 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 05: Back to 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. Those remaining 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 is approximately 8 pm. Make your way independently to your pre-booked Edinburgh hotel. Overnight in Edinburgh.

Day 06: Free day in Edinburgh

Today is a free day to explore the beautiful Edinburgh, the historic capital of Scotland. There are so many options available here! Consider taking our 2-hour city tour to acquaint yourself with the city. No visit to Edinburgh would be complete without a visit to her medieval castle - sitting on a volcanic plug, rising high above the majestic Princes Street Gardens. Or to the hustle and bustle of the city’s New Town, and the main thoroughfare awash with designer shops. Lunch is booked for you today at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, a private members club of whisky enthusiasts from all over the world. A 2-course lunch will be served in the excellent restaurant, followed by a tasting of 2 special cask whiskies in the members rooms. Overnight again in Edinburgh.

Day 07: Speyside Whisky Experience begins!

Make your way to the departure point for a 9 am departure (note: you should arrive 15 minutes prior to departure). Your 3-day Speyside Whisky adventure starts with the journey north into the Highlands. The first stop will be in the historic village of Dunkeld for a short walk through the forest to some 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 (2) nights.

Day 08: Enjoy a Whisky filled day

A whole day exploring Scotland’s most famous whisky region. After a scenic drive towards the coast, your first stop of the day will be at the family owned Benromach Distillery for a personalised tour. From here, it is a short distance to Elgin, home to Gordon and MacPhail, one of the world’s leading specialist whisky bottlers and suppliers. Their shop has one of the widest selection of malts you will find anywhere. After lunch in Elgin, you will travel back up the Spey valley to Aberlour for a visit to the distillery there and, time permitting, make a stop at the Speyside Cooperage. From here we head back to Grantown on Spey.

Day 09: Edinburgh

Today takes you through the beautiful Cairngorm Mountains on route back to Edinburgh. In the morning, you will explore Glenlivet, not just a distillery but also a beautiful 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. From here, the route south passes over Scotland’s highest mountain pass, then through Perthshire, before arriving back in Edinburgh. Arrive back in Edinburgh at approximately 6:30 pm, where you will make your own way back to your pre-booked hotel.

Day 10: Edinburgh - Home

After breakfast, transfer from your hotel to the airport for your return flight to the US.

Rates & Hotels

2022 Dates & Prices (Click Date to Book) 2022 Dates & Prices (Click Date to Book)
Dates Land Only Land Only
Sep 29  (Sold Out)   $2589

Featured Hotels

Special Interest Tour - The Whisky Experience; Islay, Edinburgh and Speyside - RO on Islay, Hotel in Edinburgh and BB in Speyside
Bowmore Cottages Bowmore, Isle of Islay, Argyll
Celtic Tours - Pre and Post UK Hotel
Rabbie's Tour Operator

Tour Details

Your land package begins: / Your land package ends:

(As most International flights are overnight flights - please book air accordingly)

Flight Details

Accommodation Details

    Requests are not guaranteed and are subject to each hotel's discretion and availability

Bowmore Distillery Cottages

Bowmore, Isle of Islay, Argyll -

A stay with us at Bowmore Distillery Cottages offers the chance to reflect on the heritage of these ancient practices in beautifully renovated cottages, located at the centre of a charming village on a beautiful Hebridean island. [more]

UK Hotel


Pre and post nights booked at a mid-level hotel [more]

Accommodations booked by Rabbies UK


Depending on package booked, accommodations can be BB/Guesthomes, 3* Hotels/Inns (and some packages may include 4* Hotels) [more]


Your tour land price is per person based on two (2) people sharing a twin or double room. When a single room is booked, a single supplement will apply. There are no triple rooms for this tour.

Children under 18 years are not allowed on this tour.

This tour does not include:

  • Items not noted on itinerary
  • Lunches
  • Dinners
  • Tips to driver/guide
  • Visitor attractions


Unfortunately, due to the 2020 pandemic, Celtic Tours will only be offering airfare for groups sizes of 15 or more. Individuals should book directly with airlines. Please make sure you book your flight to arrive and depart on accurate dates. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Departures & Transfers

Departure date is the date the tour starts in Edinburgh. Please book your air one day before to accommodate overnight flights.

Tour Guarantee

Although our UK tours are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 passengers, it does not mean a date is guaranteed until we check with the Edinburgh office. Although we get regular updates, a tour can sell out and we may not yet have it noted above. We must first advise of a guarantee before airfare is booked and ticketed. Thank you.