Savour the experience of Scotland’s finer distilleries on this comprehensive tasting tour from Edinburgh.
- The Islay Distilleries
- Bowmore village
- Sandy beaches of Islay
- Loch Lomond National Park
- Scotch Malt Whisky Society lunch and tasting
- Cairngorms National Park
- Speyside Cooperage
- Royal Deeside
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 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 tour that perfectly blends both the beauty and tastes of Scotland.
Unfortunately, there are no discounts on this tour
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 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 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.
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, on the way back to Bowmore. You will have the chance to visit Bowmore distillery or just relax and explore the village.
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
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! We travel past Loch Lomond before arriving in Edinburgh at around 19.30.
Today is a free day to explore Edinburgh, the historic capital of Scotland. There are so many options available here - why not take a local open top city bus 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.
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.
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.
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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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 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 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.
It's simple: you book, you go. This means we'll never cancel your tour because of a minimum numbers policy.
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.
Voyagez comme les locaux, en petits groupes de 16 personnes ou moins
Nous vous remboursons si vous n'êtes pas satisfait par votre expérience
Départs garantis : vous réservez, vous partez !
Nos circuits respectueux de la nature soutiennent les communautés locales