Islay, Edinburgh & Speyside Whisky Holiday
8 day tour

  • Islay
  • Speyside Whisky edinburgh tours
  • Islay Distilleries
  • Elgin Cathedral
  • Whisky tours from Edinburgh
  • Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Savour the experience of Scotland’s finer distilleries on this comprehensive tasting tour from Edinburgh.

Tour map

Highlights

Distilleries
Ferry
Gaelic Culture
Lochs
Prehistoric Sites
Mountains
National Parks
Castles

Places you explore


The Islay Distilleries - On an island known locally as ‘The Queen of the Hebrides’, there is a regal quality to the distinctly peaty style of its single malt whiskies.

Bowmore village - The white-washed cosy ‘capital’ village of Islay has more whisky than you’d dare to believe.

Sandy beaches of Islay - Stroll some of the most beautiful and rugged beaches in the UK along Islay’s West Atlantic coast.

Loch Lomond National Park - Admire the views and take postcard-perfect photos to share with your friends and family.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society lunch and tasting - Savour a meal that’s perfectly paired with a dram.

Cairngorms National Park - The area boasts four out of five of the UK’s highest mountains. What’s more is there’s a lot of gorgeous flora and fauna.

Speyside - Quite literally whisky heaven. There are more distilleries per square mile here than anywhere else.

Speyside Cooperage - Learn about the lifecycle of a whisky cask.

Royal Deeside - Throughout history the Royal Family have loved exploring this gorgeous region of Scotland.


Your journey


Whisky is a golden-hued contradiction.

It’s somehow smoothly harsh, subtly bold, and roughly refined. It’s undoubtedly an 'acquired taste'.

And on this tour, we give you time to understand all of whisky's nuanced characteristics in two of Scotland’s outstanding whisky regions.

You begin by savouring the smoky and peaty whiskies of the Isle of Islay. You then return to Edinburgh to experience an exclusive lunch at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. And for dessert, you head north for a chance to indulge in the light, sweet single malts of the Speyside region.

What's more is between all the delectable flavours you get chance to see Scotland's famous national parks, lochs, and ancient sites.

It's a tour that blends the beauty and tastes of Scotland.


Tour Details

Starts
Check-in closes at 08.15 (tour departs at 08:30) - Gate J and Gate K, Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square, Edinburgh, EH1 3DQ
Finishes (approx.)
18:30
Luggage
You’re restricted to 14kg (31lbs) of luggage per person. This should be one piece of luggage similar to an airline carry-on bag (approximately 55cm x 45cm x 25cm / 22in x 17in x 10in) and a small bag for onboard personal items.
Discounts

Unfortunately, there are no discounts on this tour

Important information
  • This tour combines two of our trips. This means you swap your bus and guide during the journey
  • Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes
  • Unfortunately we don't carry anyone under 18 years old on this tour
Tour inclusions
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide
  • Seven nights accommodation
  • Lunch at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society
Tour exclusions
  • Entry fees to visitor attractions
  • Entrance to distilleries

Itinerary

Day 1

Leaving Edinburgh you 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 part of the Loch Lomond National Park, you arrive in the busy harbour town of Oban. It was once the strategic heartland of great feuding clans. But today, Oban is famous for seafood sourced fresh off the boats. It also boasts its own distillery where you can sample whisky that’s been perfected for 200 years. Here, you will have time to enjoy a dram and indulge in delicious local seafood for lunch.

You then depart Oban mid-afternoon for the journey to Kennacraig to catch the evening ferry to Islay. The sail is just over two 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-night stay.

Day 2

A full day exploring Islay. The itinerary today is a mixture of beautiful scenery, white sand beaches and the famous Islay whiskies - renowned for their strong peaty flavours and nurtured by the salty sea air.

In the morning you enjoy a tour of Bowmore, the oldest licenced distillery on the island.

Your driver-guide takes you to a nice spot for a lunch of local treats before you head to Bruichladdich distillery. This forward-thinking whisky hub offers a wide-range of single-malts that celebrate the provenance of Islay’s ingredients.

Your next stop of the day is at Kilchoman Distillery. This is a proud and independent whisky-maker whose tastes are as bold as their environmental ethos. You have time for a tour and whisky tasting here, before a walk down the beautiful white beach that lies close by.

You head back to Bowmore where you can either stumble back to your room for the night or relax and explore the village.

Day 3

Today you explore the southern side of the island, home to a few of the most famous whiskies in all of Scotland: Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Ardbeg.

After you’ve made it out of bed and eaten your breakfast, you visit Ardbeg. You stay here for a tour, tasting, and lunch. The restaurant here is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy fine Scottish produce as you sip upon delightful drams.

You then visit Laphroaig. This 200-year-old whisky distiller is a favourite with the British royal family and bears the seal of the Prince of Wales to prove it.

Throughout the day, your driver-guide takes you to historical spots such as the ruins of Kildalton church and Dunyvaig Castle.

You return to Bowmore for your last evening of the trip.

Day 4

This morning, you take the ferry back to the mainland and replace the intoxicating fumes of whisky with the replenishing fresh air of Scotland’s West Highlands. You travel through coastal scenery to the beautiful village of Inveraray on the banks of Loch Fyne. The town is adorned with historic buildings, old boats, and a great whisky shop.

Your trip continues to Loch Lomond where you have a chance to admire Great Britain’s largest body of water by surface area.

You arrive in Edinburgh in the early evening.

Day 5

Today, is a free day to explore Edinburgh, the historic capital of Scotland. There are so many options available here - why not take one our city tour to familiarise yourself with the 'old' and 'new' towns of the city. No visit to Edinburgh would be complete without a visit to her medieval castle. Sitting on a volcanic plug there is no other city in Europe to offer a setting quite as unique as that of the castle rising high above the majestic Princes Street gardens, to the hustle and bustle of the city’s first new town, and the main thoroughfare awash with designer shops.

Lunch is booked for you at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, a private members club of whisky enthusiasts from all over the world. A three-course lunch will be served in the excellent restaurant, following by a tasting of two special cask whiskies in the members rooms. Overnight again in Edinburgh.

Day 6

This morning, make your way to our departure point at Edinburgh Bus Station and check in at 09.00am for the next leg of your tour - a three-day Speyside Whisky adventure.

You head north through the Kingdom of Fife to Lindores Abbey Distillery. This modern Scottish distillery is built on the site of the first ever recorded distiller in the country.

After lunch in Pitlochry, you can sample the delights of Scotland's highest distillery at Dalwhinnie, near the source of the River Spey. Once you’ve warmed with this dram of “the gentle spirit”, you continue through the Cairngorms National Park before reaching Grantown on Spey, your base for two nights.

Day 7

A whole day exploring Scotland’s most famous whisky region. After a scenic drive towards the coast, your first stop of the day is at the family-owned Benromach Distillery, where you can go on a personalised tour.

You travel back up the Spey River to Craigellachie for a visit to the Speyside Cooperage, where you see another aspect of the whisky making process.

After lunch here or in nearby Aberlour, you visit Glenfiddich Distillery, home to the world’s most popular single malt. Tradition and passion have shaped the distinctive flavours of this Speyside favourite since the Grant family first started distilling in this area more than 130 years ago. From here, you travel back to Grantown on Spey.

Day 8

In the morning you visit Glenlivet, which is both a distillery and a beautiful glen with serene walks and wonderful wildlife. You then enjoy the majesty of Royal Deeside. You pass by 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, through Perthshire, and back to Edinburgh.

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Accommodation

Where does this tour stay overnight?

On this tour we have pre-booked a number of rooms in the beautiful Bowmore Distillery Cottages for the first three nights. These are self-catering cottages in the grounds of the distillery itself and offer a unique accommodation experience. The cottages have between three and six bedrooms and these are all en-suite but are NOT serviced during your stay.

The kitchen and lounge facilities are shared and self-service continental breakfast ingredients will be provided. Please note that due to the shared nature of the accommodation, individual bedrooms do not have their own lockable doors. Occasionally when these rooms are full we will use nearby B&Bs.

Prices are £42.50 per person per night twin/double share or £75 per night for a single.** For this option, please select 'B&B en-suite' as your first choice when booking the tour online. When these rooms are full, we book you into a nearby B&B. Rooms at the cottages are limited and are reserved on a first come first served basis. Local B&B charges are £50 per person per night.

** These prices change in April 2020 to £47.50 per person per night for twin share or £82 per night per single. The rate of a family room (3 people) is £120 per night.

The accommodation in Edinburgh for nights four and five will be in 3* Motel One or a similar city centre hotel. (Breakfast included)

The accommodation in Grantown on Spey for nights six and seven will be in the 3* Garth Hotel or similar. (Breakfast included)


I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, you can read our FAQs, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, or email rooms@rabbies.com.


FAQs

Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

The UK and Ireland's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure, we only pick up from our central meeting points. What's more is leaving the city using the most direct route also reduces the carbon footprint of our tours.

Is there parking close to the departure point?

We don't recommend bringing your car into the centre of our departure cities. It can be hard to find parking, and there are excellent public transportation services.

When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.

What happens if I'm late or miss the tour?

If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies.

What are your cancellation policies?

We have a cancellation period of three days for our one day tours, and 21 days for longer tours. If cancelled outside this period, we'll give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this period, refunds are at our discretion. Click here to view full terms and conditions.

What is a guaranteed departure?

It's simple: you book, you go. This means we'll never cancel your tour because of a minimum numbers policy.

Can I pre-book a specific seat?

Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable 16-seat mini-coaches have huge windows. So, you'll always get a good view.

Are there toilets on the bus?

Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.

How do you cater for people with accessibility needs?

We aim to accommodate everyone. To read more information on how we do this, click here to go to our accessibility guide.

Do you take children on your tours?

We regret we don't carry children under the age of five on our scheduled tours.

You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.

How much time do I get off the bus?

We want you to enjoy Britain and Ireland. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of time to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.

Why do you exclude visitor attractions?

We exclude visitor attractions in your tour price because it lets you travel your way. It means you can pamper yourself with a luxury lunch or skip an attraction whenever you feel like it.

Do we need to bring our own lunch?

You don't need to. We stop in small towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.

Should I tip the driver-guide?

Let's be honest, our driver-guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.

What about travel insurance?

We advise you take out travel insurance.

What is ABTOT?

You're protected by ABTOT when you chose to let us reserve your accommodation on a multi-day tour. This means you can claim back anything you've paid us if we become bankrupt. Read our terms and conditions for more information.

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email tours@rabbies.com , or check out our full FAQs .

4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or fewer

You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back

Guaranteed departures: you book, you go

Our eco-friendly tours support local communities



Price from £969

Dates of departure: Fridays from April to October

Email us to book your tour

You can send us an e-mail to book this tour at tours@rabbies.com
or call us on: 0131 226 3133 (8am to 10pm)

BTA_2017.png Green Tourism Award Scottish Thistle Awards Winner 2015/2016 TC_2018_WHITE_LL_R-112x105.png queens-award.png Scottish Tourist Board 5 Stars

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