Savour the experience of Scotland’s finer distilleries on this comprehensive tasting tour from Edinburgh.
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.
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.
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 whisky lunch. 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.
Unfortunately, there are no discounts on this tour
You escape the city of Edinburgh and head straight for the Highlands. Your first stop of the day is in the Trossachs National Park. Here, you can admire Scotland’s scenic beauty and enjoy some local delicacies.
Your driver-guide may regale you with tales from Scottish folklore as you travel through the mountainous landscapes of the Western Highlands to 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 venture through the Kilmartin Glen where you see standing stones and strongholds that are over 1,500 years old.
At Kennacraig, you catch the evening ferry to Islay. The sail is around two hours; and if you peek out to the ocean, you may see the Paps of Jura. These mountains mark the way to Islay, Queen of the Hebrides.
Once you’ve arrived on the island, you settle into your accommodation in Bowmore.
We know whisky tasting can be hard work, so you begin the day with a little sleep in.
After you’ve had an ample amount of breakfast, you enjoy a tour of Bowmore Distillery, one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland. You have time for a tour and a whisky tasting here before you continue exploring the island.
Next, your driver-guide takes you to Ardnahoe Distillery for a tour and a lunch of local treats. This modern distillery is the passion project of the Laings, a family who have loved whisky for generations. Today, you can admire their vision, craftsmanship, and unique spirit.
After trying local larder, you travel through the beautiful countryside to the third distillery of the day. On Friday and Saturday, you visit Bruichladdich, the progressive distillery specialising in unpeated whisky. On Tuesday, you taste the unpeated and salty notes of Bunnahabhain in the most remote distillery on Islay.
You head back to Bowmore where you can either stumble back to your room for the night or relax and explore the village.
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. And you can also stop at Lagavulin for some intensively flavoured, rich and smoky whisky.
You return to Bowmore for your last evening on the island.
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.
Leaving Inveraray, you take a drive up through the steep-sided mountains known as the Arrochar Alps to the great viewpoint at 'Rest and Be Thankful'. Then, 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.
Today is a free day to explore Edinburgh, the historic capital of Scotland. There are so many options available here - why not take 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, the stronghold rises above the majestic Princes Street gardens and is a sight to behold.
In the afternoon, savour a special three-course lunch with two whisky tastings at an excellent restaurant in the city.
And after that, what you do is up to you. You can venture deep under the city on a ghost tour, hike to the lofty heights of Arthur’s Seat, or even relax in Edinburgh's gorgeous gardens.
Just ensure you relax and prepare for the next part of your adventure.
In the morning, join the next leg of your adventure at Edinburgh Bus Station and 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. Learn about the first whisky made in Scotland and sample their ‘Aqua Vitae’.
After lunch in Braemar, you can sample the delights of the Royal Lochnagar distillery. The outstanding flavour of its whisky was appreciated by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert on one of many visits to their summer residence, Balmoral Castle.
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.
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 Glen Moray, where you can try whisky matured in a wide selection of casks.
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 in nearby Aberlour, you visit Cardhu Distillery, which is the first distillery pioneered by a woman, Helen Cumming. Today, Cardhu is the most important whisky in Johnnie Walker Black Label. From here you travel back to Grantown-on-Spey.
In the morning you visit Scotland's highest distillery at Dalwhinnie, set in splendid mountain scenery at the heart of the Cairngorm National Park.
You then leave the Highlands and journey south to Perthshire. Pitlochry is your lunch stop and later you drive to the Hermitage to get close to nature. Here you can take a fantastic woodland walk amongst the tallest trees in Britain and admire the Black Linn Falls.
From here the route south takes you to Dunkeld, where you've got some time to explore, and then over the Firth of Forth and back to Edinburgh.
*Itinerary and distillery visits are subject to change.
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.
The prices below are for guidance only and are based on 2022 rates. We’re working with suppliers to bring you the most up to date pricing for tours departing in 2023.
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)
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.
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.
Arrive 15 minutes before your departure time. Due to waiting restrictions, we can't wait for you if you're late.
If you're late for your tour, our cancellation policy applies.
We have a cancellation period of 48 hours for our one day tours, 15 days for two to nine day tours, and 21 days for 10+ day 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.
Your tour will always follow the itinerary as closely as possible. While there are ongoing coronavirus restrictions throughout the UK and Ireland, itineraries are more likely to change than usual as opening hours and capacities at many visitor attractions are reduced and subject to change. Your driver-guide will keep you up to up to date on the road, and we'll try to get in touch about any large changes prior to your departure.
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.
Unfortunately, we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you'll have regular comfort breaks.
We aim to accommodate everyone. To read more information on how we do this, click here to go to our accessibility guide.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We advise you take out travel insurance.
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.
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: We’ll never cancel your tour because of minimum numbers
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