Islay and the Whisky Coast 4 Day Tour

Highlights:

~ Oban
~ Kilmartin Glen
~ Bowmore
~ The Islay Single Malt Whiskies
~ At least 4 distillery visits
~ Sandy beaches of Islay
~ Inveraray
~ Loch Lomond National Park

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.

If the date you’d like to travel isn’t available, please call us to discuss alternative options.

Adult Prices: £239.00 - £279.00
Concession Prices: £219.00 - £269.00
Departs: 08.30
Returns: 20.00 approx
Departing: Mondays and Fridays (April to October)
Rabbies Accommodation Information

Accommodation

**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 (mostly TWIN bedded) 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 £42.50 per person per night twin/double share or £75 per night for a single. For this option please select "B&B ensuite" as your first choice when booking the tour online. When these rooms are full we will book you into a nearby B&B. There is also a limited number of 3* hotel rooms available on this tour - for this option please select 3 star hotel as your first choice when booking. We will contact you afterwards to arrange payment for the accommodation. There is no hostel accommodation option for this tour.

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


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Itinerary

Day 1 We leave Edinburgh at 08.30 and travel through the western Highlands to Oban. You’ll have a couple of hours here to visit the Oban Distillery and sample local seafood for lunch. After a short ferry ride we’ll arrive in Bowmore for your 3-night stay.

Day 2 Today we have 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. The day’s highlights include the lovely sandy bays of Islay’s west coast, Kilchoman Distillery 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.

Day 4 This morning we take the ferry back to the mainland. Our lunch stop will be in the beautiful little village of Inveraray on the banks of Loch Fyne. In the late afternoon we travel past Loch Lomond before arriving in Edinburgh at around 19.30.

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

Departure Point on or after 1 April 2017
Gate J & Gate K, Edinburgh Bus Station, St Andrew Square. Click here to see map.

Return to Waterloo Place

Inclusions
~Transportation by a top of the range 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach.
~Air Conditioning as standard.
~Services of a professional Rabbie's driver/guide
~All ferry and bridge crossings.

Exclusions:
All meals and refreshments.
Entrance fees to all Visitor Attractions
Please note: Entry and tasting fees at the distilleries are NOT included in the price to give you more choice and the options of extra tastings on the day. Allow approximately £30-40 for the tours and tastings.

Accommodation
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 (mostly TWIN bedded) 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 £42.50 per person per night twin/double share or £75 per night for a single. For this option please select "B&B ensuite" as your first choice when booking the tour online. When these rooms are full we will book you into a nearby B&B. There is also a limited number of 3* hotel rooms available on this tour - for this option please select 3 star hotel as your first choice when booking. We will contact you afterwards to arrange payment for the accommodation. There is no hostel accommodation option for this tour.

Discount Price
Students and Seniors over 60 (we regret we do not carry children under 18 years old on this tour)

Important Information

We like to give you plenty of opportunities to go on nature walks, so we recommend you bring suitable clothing and footwear for your tour. Scotland can be a wet place!! Unless otherwise notified passengers are restricted to one medium sized suitcase/bag (maximum 15 kilos) and one carry-on bag per person.

Customer Reviews

This was my second Rabbies tour and look forward to going on more. Driver/ Guides Dan Doug were excellant, informative, fun, whisky lovers. Its a great way to sample good whisky see the beautiful country of Scotland. I especially loved meeting getting to know the people on the tour..
Erika B - 22/11/2016

Diese Tour war gut organisiert, stressfrei, sehr interessant und Erlebnisurlaub pur. Vielen Dank an unseren immer gut gelaunten, mit vielen nützlichen Infos in einem verständlichen Englisch versorgenden Guide PETE (Peter)!!! So eine tolle Tour habe ich noch nicht miterleben dürfen. Empfehlung: immer wieder mit Rabbies.
Ralf Funken - 22/05/2016

We enjoyed an amazing Islay tour 15-18 May with Mac as our guide. His encyclopedic knowledge of recent and past Scottish history as well as folklore, and his natural ability as a story teller really made the tour. Mac went out of his way to allow a diverse group of people to meld and have a great time. There was always enough, but never too much to do. The self catering cottage was like home, and the bus really comfortable. Great group size too. We are already hoping to do the Speyside tour before too long.
MichaelS - 24/05/2015

4 days Whisky Tour - Islay with Emily and Gill the best Tourguide and driver :) We had such a wonderful time at the Islay. The accomontation at bowmore was just beautiful. Emilys knowledge and organization is great, she tould us so many interesting things and storys and showed us wonderful places. Still got the sound of Loch Lomond, the wonderful place of Finlaggan in my mind (and a little smell of peat any whisky in my nose). Thank you very much for this great time! Many greetings from germany! Slàinte mhath!
Christian Weber - 22/05/2015

On 2nd September, our party of 4 returned from our second Rabbie’s whisky tour which was every bit as good as the first. Most of the time was spent on Islay, which was beautiful, quiet and relaxing. The good weather was an added bonus. There was plenty to hold the interest of those of us who weren’t primarily there for the whisky! For those who were the whisky didn’t disappoint and we left with several bottles from various distilleries We were fortunate enough to have great travel companions from around the world. Our housemates for the 3 nights we were in Bowmore were delightful. Thoughtful placing on behalf of the company we think Roland, our driver and guide, was brilliant. He was entertaining and attentive, thoughtful and considerate. There was never a dull moment. And he was every bit as good as Eric (our guide and driver on our previous trip) who was a hard act to follow. We will certainly hope to do a Rabbie’s tour again and we will certainly recommend Rabbie’s to our friends Thank you to all who were involved in making our holiday enjoyable and memorable.
David and Liz Longley - 09/09/2014

This summer we were at your whiskey trip from Edinburgh to Islay. It was the June 30-July 3 and our guide was Pete (Party Pete). It was a fantastic trip and Pete was absolutely outstanding. It's not often you can give ten out of ten. His excellent knowledge of history to the present day as he guided us in a very nice and easy to understand (for us non-English speaking) way. And of course, his presentation of the different whiskey distilleries. His blend of Scottish music also gave the trip a dimension. Thanks for the introduction to the band Runrig now played frequently at home. And again. Thanks Pete for the best experience on our two week tour of Scotland. Ronny & Ulla Melbeus Tinna & Sven Lidgren Sweden
Ronny Melbeus - 20/08/2014

This was my 60th Birthday Present. My wife sent my son and I on this tour. Having been on a number of tours around the world I appreciate the difference having a good tour guide makes. Roland took care of everything and enhanced the tour. We went to six of the distilleries on Islay, The tour was everything you could want and more. We stayed in the cottages at Bowmore and enjoyed the food in the local pubs and hotels. One interesting point is that talking to people in Edinburgh when they asked where are you from and where did you go in conversation in various places on the Royal Mile, when we told them we had been on a Rabbie's Tour to Islay, the reply was 'Rabbies. They've got a good reputation' Enough said.
Gary Williamson - 16/06/2014

Just a point I raised and want to elaborate on, we requested water to cleanse the palate between tastings so we could taste all the subtle differences. According to Jim Murray's 'Whisky Bible' he uses coffee beans, as do all the good perfume houses so you can smell the nose properly. It would be an idea to improve the experience and get even more from it if the distilleries, or the tour or the advice was given to sip water, nibble a cracker and sniff some coffee beans between tastings.
Gary Williamson - 16/06/2014

Highly recommendable Wisky Tour to Islay. Our Tourguide Roland was fantastic. Entertainment combined with Informations and a great sense of humour.....we'll definitely come back for another Tour with Rabbies. Eva & Thomas
Eva & Thomas Koch - 15/06/2014

My son and I thoroughly enjoyed our tour of Islay and especially the whiskey tasting. 'Party Pete' was a fabulous tour guide. His knowledge and history of the area was much appreciated. The weather was not great, but it really made no difference. Our accommodation was exceptional. Thanks again to Rabbies. This was my 4th tour with Rabbies and without hesitation if I'm ever in Edinburgh again and want a tour I will book with Rabbies.
May Anderson - 11/06/2014

Traveller Photos

Here are the latest customer photographs from this tour - click an image for enlargement and slideshow.

 

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Islay Whisky Tour 10-13 Oct 20 by Erika B

Islay Whisky Tour 10-13 Oct 20 by Erika B

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Karen and Michael by Michael Fry

Karen and Michael by Michael Fry

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Whisky trip to Islay by Vladimir

Whisky trip to Islay by Vladimir

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Strong Whisky Wonderful trip by DUKUAN

Strong Whisky Wonderful trip by DUKUAN

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Whisky Galore 2016 by Clan Goebel

Whisky Galore 2016 by Clan Goebel

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Islay by george

Islay by george

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Full Itinerary (English)

Day 1 Leaving Edinburgh at 08.30 you will head 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 through Kilmartin Glen and onwards to the port of 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 2A full day exploring Islay, with a mixture of beautiful scenery, white sand beaches, 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 where, following a bracing stroll at Machair Bay, we visit visit Kilchoman Distillery, the newest and smallest on the island for the first of our guided tours. After taking lunch in the distillery, we continue to the scenic Rhins of Islay 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 3Another 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.

Day 4This morning you take the ferry back to the mainland. From here 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.

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

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