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  Important Information about your Accommodation on Tour

Your tour does not include accommodation in the price. By giving you a choice of accommodation it allows you to manage your budget. We stay in smaller places where you will feel closer to the local people. This also means you help to sustain the communities you visit in the long term. Choose from either a hotel, B&B or a hostel and we will book it for you.

The accommodation prices above are for your guidance only and we cannot be held responsible for any variation in the cost of accommodation, or for the variation between providers. We will always do our very best however to satisfy your personal requirements and have an amazing track record for providing our customers with the best quality accommodation available. We do advise that single supplements usually apply, particularly during peak season when double/twin room rates are charged for sole occupancy .Please note that whilst Rabbie’s will try and place single travellers into the same accommodation, this may not be possible due to availability and the time of each individual reservation.

The accommodation we use will be dispersed around various towns and villages, usually not more than a 10-15 minute walk from the centre. There are occasions however when this can be increased to 20-30 minutes. Taxis are available for a small fee if necessary. If you have access needs or specific requirements please let us know when booking. Late bookings and/or peak season may limit the choice and location of available accommodation.

Whilst on tour your driver/guide will drop you off at your pre booked accommodation* and pick you up each morning.

*Please note that if your accommodation has already been booked by Rabbie’s, as per your initial request, there will be a surcharge for any amendments, and are entirely at our discretion. Changes to accommodation cannot be guaranteed and are subject to availability. A minimum of £5.00 will apply increasing to a maximum of £20.00 dependant on the length of the tour.

Please be prepared to pay cash. Most bed and breakfast, hostels and guest houses do not accept credit cards. In most large towns automatic cash point machines are readily available**

**There is no cash point facility in the village of Plockton**

Customers are able to book their own accommodation as long as we have been informed that you intend to do this, and that it is within our drivers’ drop off’ area. If you are at all unsure please contact the office for guidance.

We are unable to supply a list of providers that we use due to availability at the time of booking. We do visit our providers regularly and are proud of the long standing relationships we have with them and positive feedback from previous customers.

For more information on accommodation and prices click here...

Islay and the Whisky Coast 4 Day Tour

Highlights: 
~ At least 4 distillery visits
~ Loch Lomond National Park
~ Kilmartin standing stones
~ Bowmore
~ The Islay Single Malt Whiskies
~ Sandy beaches of Islay’s west coast
~ Oban
~ Inveraray

 

This unique 4 day tour takes you to the “Queen of the Isles” and the Whisky Coast. Islay is home to 8 of Scotland’s finest malt whisky distilleries Lagavulin, Laphroaig, Bowmore, Bunnahabhain, Bruichladdich, Ardbeg, Caol Ila and Kilchoman. For the whisky enthusiast this tour will give an in depth knowledge and even better - you won’t need to drive anywhere yourself!  But Islay has much more to offer from stunning sandy beaches to fascinating wildlife and a vibrant local culture.

Stay 3 nights in the 18th Century village of Bowmore. **Please note the special accommodation arrangements for this tour.

Friday departures of this tour can pick-up/drop off in Glasgow (You can book online then arrange this by telephone or email)

Please phone us if the date you want to travel is unavailable to book online.

Departs: 08.30       Returns: 20.00 approx
Adult Prices:  £239 - £249
Discount Prices:  £219 - £229
Departing: Mondays and Fridays (April to October)

 
 
Details & Itinerary Customer Reviews Traveller Photos Full Itinerary (English)

Monday departures offer the chance to see more whisky production as all the distilleries are in operation on weekdays. We recommend the Monday departures as the best choice for real enthusiasts and we try to fit in additional tastings where possible.

Please note: Monday departures of this tour will reverse the itineraries for days 1 and 4 and it is not possible to depart from Glasgow

Day 1 includes travelling through Loch Lomond National Park and visits to Inveraray, Loch Fyne and the Kingdom of Dalriada. Here you can visit the Kilmartin standing stones and community museum before catching the ferry to Islay for 3 nights in Bowmore.

Day 2 Your day is quite flexible with a mixture of beautiful scenery, white sand beaches, short walks and the famous Islay whiskies - renowned for their strong peaty flavours and nurtured by the salty sea air. The day’s highlights include the lovely sandy bays of Islay’s west coast, Saligo Bay, Kilchoman Distillery, Machair Bay, the tiny harbour village of Portnahaven and Bowmore Distillery.

Day 3 Explore the south side of Islay, home to Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg where you will have a tour, tasting and lunch with local produce. Then visit  Laphroaig and if time allows, try a tasting at Lagavulin. It may also be possible to see the ruins of Kildalton church with its famous 8th Century Celtic cross or visit the community craft producers at Islay House Square and the woodlands along the River Sorn.

Day 4 Farewell to Islay as you take the ferry back to Argyll then follow the coast north to Oban. You will be able to enjoy some free time in this busy harbour town before returning through the mountains to Glasgow and Edinburgh. Those guests who are continuing on one of our combination tours will be dropped off at their accommodation in Oban.

Departure Point 
Rabbie's Café, Waterloo Place, Edinburgh. Click here to see map. 

Return to Waterloo Place

Inclusions 
Transportation by top of the range Mercedes minicoach for a more personal experience with a maximum of 16 passengers on tour. 
We believe a small group tour with a maximum of 16 passengers really does make a big difference to your trip. It allows us to give you a more personal service and remain the only 5 Star operator to offer this personal guarantee. Touring with a maximum of 16 passengers you get more for your money, more personal attention, more time with the locals, more time off the bus, more time on the back-roads and just more of an authentic, friendly experience. The smaller groups allow you to meet people from all over the world and make friends for life. 
Air Conditioning as standard.
Services of a professional Rabbie's driver/guide 
All ferry and bridge crossings. 
Rabbie's Discount Card - money off restaurants, shopping and attractions

Exclusions
All meals and refreshments. 
Entrance fees to all distilleries and visitor attractions.

Accommodation 
Your tour does not include accommodation in the price. By giving you a choice of accommodation it allows you to choose your budget, stay in smaller places and get closer to the local people. This also means you help to sustain the communities you visit in the long term.

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 the distillery itself and offer a unique accommodation experience. The cottages have between 3 and 6 bedrooms and these are all en-suite but are NOT serviced during your stay. PLEASE NOTE THAT DUE TO THE SHARED NATURE OF THE ACCOMMODATION INDIVIDUAL BEDROOMS DO NOT HAVE LOCKABLE DOORS. The kitchen and lounge facilities are shared (with other Rabbie's guests) and basic self-service breakfast ingredients will be provided. Full Scottish breakfasts are available at the nearby hotels if you prefer (pay locally). Prices are £39 per person per night twin/double share or £65 per night for a single. For this option please select "B&B ensuite" as your first choice when booking
When these rooms are full we will use nearby B&Bs. There is also a limited number of 3* hotel rooms available on this tour..
 
For more information on accommodation and prices click here 

*NB On occasions, when villages we stay in have events on, accommodation can be scarce and expensive so we may use other locations for your accommodation on the tour. We will always inform you of this when this is necessary.

Discount Price 
Students, Seniors over 60. We do not carry children under 18 years on this whisky tour.

Important Information
Because we believe in time off the bus and give you opportunities to take nature walks we recommend you bring suitable clothing and footwear for your tour. Scotland can be a wet place!!

Details & Itinerary Customer Reviews Traveller Photos Full Itinerary (English)
Emily was a great tour guide - a knowledgeable, professional, friendly and fun malt angel. I'd rate Islay as being off the beaten track which I always find more interesting and she took us to some neat spots like Finlaggan besides just whiskey sampling. I don't think a non-drinker or someone who doesn't like whisky would rate it as highly. Any tour that stops at a Monty Python castle rates high in my book as well as any passenger with a "Knights of the Round Table" ringtone...
Posted by Keith Cunningham on 16/10/2013


What can I say? It's been a magic trip. And our fantastic guide Eric has shared and given history, songs and extra time/trips to make sure we got to experience/see as much as possible. I'm a fan for life, to the Island, to it's whiskey, the nature there and of the highlands. Though there is much more to see, I feel that I got to see as much as time could give. And Eric truly gave us that, with both brilliance and heart! Thank you! I am truly grateful! /Martin P.S. Hope to see you again!
Posted by Martin Ahlquist on 14/09/2013


I don't normally write reviews, but we just had the most wonderful experience on our recent Rabbies tour that I just had to share. We took the 4 day trip out to Islay and visited 6 out of the 8 whisky distilleries on the island. Our tour guide, Emily, was absolutely fantastic and provided such interesting commentary and history throughout the tour. The excitement and energy she brought to the tour was without a doubt what made our trip as memorable as it was. I wish Rabbies tours were available all over the world! Thank you so much for an amazing experience. Thank you Emily!
Posted by Erin Desmond on 10/09/2013


Sarah was great, making the most of time and opportunities. She had wonderful mythology stories as well has historical facts. The side trip to Islay Woolen Mill was fantastic. I now own a Peatbog Faeries CD. :-) Sarah always had suggestions/recommendation to maximize our time and the pleasure of the trip.
Posted by Bill on 03/09/2013


The tours of the distilleries were fantastic but the overall experience was made complete by Pete our guide and all round great companion!
Posted by Shane on 25/07/2013


I liked the small group size and Michael was really great. He had a lot of interesting information to tell us and was also accommodating to any requests. He had a lot of good suggestions too for places to eat/shop. Definitely one of the highlights of the my trip to Scotland.
Posted by Huong on 14/07/2013


Euan was extremely knowledgeable and provided another dynamic to the tour outside of the whisky. He provided excellent insights into Scottish history, and politics leading to the Scotland of today. While the tour was independently a great experience, he really added something extra special to it, and took it to another level.
Posted by Jordan on 23/06/2013


It was phenomenal! Pete was wonderful, informative, knowledgeable, and helpful. The cottages at Bowmore were a delight. I loved the countryside, my husband loved the whisky!
Posted by Patricia on 10/06/2013


Being an Islay Whisky affictionado the tour exceded my expectations. Richard the driver was exceptionally knowledgeable and kept the whole group entertained throughout.
Posted by GLASGOW PU malcolm reynolds on 01/05/2013


I really enjoyed the ' extras '- looking at castles, beautiful beaches , peat etc. Richard was a lively, humorous and informative guide- he made our tour .
Posted by Megan ** G'Gow P'up Hodgkinson on 25/04/2013


This was one of the best tours and a highlight for a 4-week stay in Scotland. Our guide was Pete; he had great knowledge of the area and the history. We were amazed to visit Ardbeg on a Sunday, they went out of their way to accomadate our visit. Definitely developed a new love for the west of Scotland and the Isles and would recommend Rabbies as a must when touring in Scotland. Thank you, Lynn, Don, Nichole
Posted by Nichole Olenek on 08/12/2012


Even though our tour experience was fantastic, I am a bit diassapointed in Rabbie's after tour service. I've sent an email to info@rabbies.com but haven't received any reply yet. I have also posted on Rabbie's Facebook page, but still no reply. This spoils a fantastic tour....
Posted by Rikus le Roux on 21/09/2012


Very knowledgeable driver, great accommodation, nice mix of people
Posted by Michelle Ladyman on 07/09/2012


My buddy and I had the pleasure of going to Islay with Rabbies. Great whiskies, stunning nature, kind people, and just good times. Yet one detail stands out - Richard, our extraordinary guide, made a difference like few guides I have met. Not only was he so genuine and ever-smiling, Richard is both knowledgeable as well as good for stories, facts, and jokes. His relaxed way of planning the tour according to the group's preferences on the day made the trip very comfortable and diverse, as we felt we got so much more than we had bargained for (although we indeed had great tours of the distilleries) ... Having a one-of-a-kind guide like Richard made a significant difference/contribution to all of us having a memorable trip to Islay with Rabbies.
Posted by Martin Holm on 27/08/2012


We had a great whisky tour with Sarah. An excellent combination of nature, whisky and a little history. Thanks particularly for coordinating the Glasgow drop off on the last day. Despite the traffic diversion we arrived at the airport with plenty of time for our flight to London.
Posted by Simon Crown on 22/08/2012


Of the two things that made this tour amazing, only one of them was in the company's control, and that was having Sarah as a guide. Having had the pleasure of her sweet, funny, winning and still professional guidance for this tour, I would be loathe to accept anyone else's. Her skillful storytelling and careful, yet efficient driving really made us all feel at ease and very much taken-care-of. I cannot find enough nice things to say about her part in our experience.
Posted by Amy CRAVETZ on 11/08/2012


Thanks to Emily for guiding us trough these days in Islay. Emily was a fantastic guide with an unbelievable knowledge about Scots history. Thanks for all that information you gave us. This made the tour special for me and I learned a lot. Also thanks for arranging all the tastings for us.
Posted by Holger on 01/07/2012


My Father and I recently enjoyed a tour, guided by Richard Smith. Richard greeted each of us with a warm handshake and enthusiasm. Within a few hours, we had a fair knowledge of Scottish history and a few good laughs. One of the greatest experiences of the tour was a whisky toast at a ruined castle, while enjoying a story of a bagpiper who played for the fairies. I wholeheartedly would recommend Rabbie's to anyone, I was skeptical of a group tour before we went, but exceeded my expectations!!
Posted by Mike Nelson on 28/06/2012


Neil C, our guide, was an absolute delight, knowlegable, great storytelling ability and communication skills, helpful at every step and a careful driver.
Posted by thomas bulle on 04/05/2012


Tour exceeded in every part. Alan as the driver and giving running commentary with all his enthusiasm and knowledge was really an extra added bonus.
Posted by Martin Hider on 27/09/2011


We enjoyed the whole tour. The pacing was excellent, and provided a nice mix of sights and distilleries.
Posted by ELEANOR MARSHALL on 23/09/2011


As everyone in my tour group could tell you, I'm not fond of whiskey, but still managed to find more than enough to hold my interest on the 4-day tour to Islay this past week. Our fearless leader Ally (or Al or Allan) led us from stormy beaches to quiet kirks and yes, to six different distilleries. He was also nice enough to indulge my wish to collect lighthouse photos, taking me and the other non-whiskey drinker on the tour to a light that we wouldn't otherwise have seen well while the others were touring Laphroig. Ally also gets full points for his inspired reinactment of the Battle of Bannock Burn (not sure I've spelled that right) and various tales of Robert the Bruce, and for singing the Scots national anthem. Despite difficult weather, our group all had a wonderful tour. Once again, Rabbies proved why it is the best tour company in Scotland - great itinerary, wonderful guide, and clear commitment to service. Consider me a "Friend of Rabbies" for life, and look for me again next year!
Posted by Susan Goodfellow on 12/09/2011


I was glad it was much more than a whisky tour: Islay is worth a visit for its own beauty and peacefulness.
Posted by Luisa Ferrari on 30/08/2011


Michael was an amazing guide, and both of us truly enjoyed the trip... which is saying something, since I'm not a whisky fan! Beautiful scenery and great church and castle stops along the way kept me happy. We loved how Michael incorporated music and stories into our longer bus trips. Couldn't have asked for a better experience.
Posted by James and Kate Anderson on 22/08/2011


Back in Sweden and back at work we think about our great whiskytour to the westcoast ang Islay. A lot of good whisky and our guide Neil C made the tour very special. He was an excellent guide and storyteller and he is really proud of his country. One highlight was when Neil played he bagpipe. Thank you Rabbies and Neil C! We hope we´ll bw back some day. Benny and Carina, Sweden 2011
Posted by Carina Andersson on 10/08/2011


We have a wonderful week behind us on Islay. Thanks to Al, who has given us much information about Scotland. His lively stories and the perfect organization of the tour will stay with us long remember. Greetings to all members of our travel group. Until next time!
Posted by Ulrich Psczolla on 05/08/2011


I just wanted to say that myself and my father and brother thoroughly enjoyed the tour. Neil, the tour guide, was top drawer all the way through and we appreciated his enthusiasm, anecdotes and knowledge. You could tell he clearly tell Neil loves his country and that was great to see. He was also able to keep everyone informed and in good spirits during what must have been a very stressful time for him with us nearly missing the ferry due to an accident. I would definitely not hesitate in using Rabbie's again. Thanks, Tiago
Posted by Tiago Pedro on 02/08/2011


When I think about Scotland I will forever think about Eric singing Loch Lomand whilst driving through the song's namesake. Eric was a great host and ambassador for both Rabbie's and Scotland. He was extremely knowledgeable, fun and helpful. The Bowmore cottages were outstanding.
Posted by Jerome Hessick on 28/04/2011


Our whisky Coast with Karen from 21 to 24 june has been a delightful experience:the beaches,the distillerys,our nice scottish guide Karen,the food to,in Oban at the ferry station better langoustine of our life.Thanks,Rabbie's!I wish to enjoy again with you Anna and the italians
Posted by a.g.g. on 03/07/2010


Back home in Australia now, going through my photos. A few here at the Geologist Abroad blog. Thanks Phil and Suu, it was a great holiday. One day I'll come back to visit the other islands!
Posted by Nick on 05/06/2010


Details & Itinerary Customer Reviews Traveller Photos Full Itinerary (English)
Details & Itinerary Customer Reviews Traveller Photos Full Itinerary (English)

Full Itinerary (Friday departures)

Day 1 Leaving Edinburgh at 08.30 you will 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 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 and 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 3-night stay.

Day 2 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 flavours 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 harbour village of Portnahaven (look out for seals) before taking the back roads along the west coast with its lovely sandy bays. Alternatively - for those who want to visit another distillery we will be able to drop you at Bruichladdich for a tasting and visit to the shop. In the afternoon you will have the chance to visit Bowmore distillery or just relax and explore the village. 

Day 3 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. 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 follow this up with a visit to Laphroaig and if time allows a short stop for a tasting at Lagavulin. It should also be possible to 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 4 This morning you take the ferry back to the mainland then travel up the coast to Oban – a busy harbour 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 Glasgow and Edinburgh. Return time approx. 20.00

 

Full Itinerary (Monday departures)

Day 1  Leaving Edinburgh at 08.30 you will head west to Stirling and into the Highlands with a short stop in the holiday town of Callander for refreshments. After travelling 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 on Islay it is a short drive to Bowmore for your 3 night stay

Day 2  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 flavours 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 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 harbour village of Portnahaven (look out for seals) before taking the back roads along the west coast with its lovely sandy bays. Alternatively - for those who want to visit another distillery we will be able to drop you at Bruichladdich for a tasting and visit to the shop. Then you will head back to Bowmore where you will have the chance to visit Bowmore distillery or just relax and explore the village.

Day 3  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. 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 follow this up with a visit to Laphroaig and if time allows a short stop for a tasting at Lagavulin. It should also be possible to 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 4  This morning you take the ferry back to the mainland and travel the short distance to Kilmartin Glen where we will have lunch. There are more than 350 prehistoric monuments within a six-mile radius of the village of Kilmartin and you will have the chance to see the mysterious stone circles and standing stones and visit the community museum. From her the tour continues round the coast to the beautiful little village of Inveraray on the banks of Loch Fyne. The town is full of historic buildings with old ships in the harbour and a great whisky shop! Finally you will return via Loch Lomond to Edinburgh for approx. 19.30

* Monday departures offer the chance to see more whisky production as all the distilleries are in operation on weekdays. We recommend the Monday departures as the best choice for real enthusiasts and we try to fit in additional tastings where possible.

 

 

 Photography Credits: Visit Britain, Visit Scotland, Britainonview, Mike Hasted, Luke Sheppard, Ingrid Rasmussen, Pawel Libera, Tony Pleavin, Craig Easton, David Angel, Martin Brent, Bob Berry, Paul Watts