Duration: 1 - 5 days
Price point: Mid-range
High quality, scheduled and tailor-made whisky tours all over Scotland.
A small Scottish family-owned company with over 25 years’ experience.
Distillery visits include unique tastings and experiences that no other supplier offers.
More than just whisky tasting. Experience stunning scenery, hear tales of Scotland’s history and culture, and sample culinary specialities.
Passionate, personable, reliable and experienced guides.
Hand-picked B&B accommodation included
At a glance
Location: Islay, Speyside & Scottish Highlands. Tours start from Edinburgh or Inverness.
Group sizes: Up to 16 people.
Trip type: Small groups and customised private tours.
Season: March - October
Getting there: Plane, train or car.
Pick-ups: No, but transfers can be organised if required.
Parking: Not available.
Age restrictions: Minimum age 18
Long-standing partnerships with the whisky distilleries visited means you will enjoy unique, specially-designed experiences and tastings that are not available with other suppliers. Long-standing relationships with the accommodation providers ensure an incredibly warm welcome.
The guides are integral to the experience. All the whisky tour guides are graduates of the Scotch Whisky School, run by the Scotch Whisky Experience on Edinburgh’s Royal Mile. Some of the guides are also fully qualified Blue Badge members of the Scottish Tourist Guides Association (STGA). It’s vitally important that not only do they know their stuff, but they are great people as well. They are personable, helpful, well-travelled, polite, fun, and just generally nice people that you would want to go for a beer (or whisky) with.
In addition to small group tours, private customised tours are possible, which are perfect for groups of friends, families, whisky clubs. The team will get to know your group’s preferences and pair you with the most appropriate guide to ensure you get the most out of your time in Scotland.
Ask an expert
Our experienced team have hand-picked each supplier. If you have a question we are just a click away.
Sustainability and values
This supplier takes sustainable tourism seriously. Wherever possible they aim to engage with the local community; ensure guests have the opportunity to interact with local people and encourage them to shop locally and in shops owned by local people.
Guests are made aware of the impact their visits can have on the natural environments of Scotland. Wherever possible, recycling services are used out on the tours; “green award” attractions and accommodations are used; countryside codes are adhered to; local wildlife and ecosystems are explained and visited and guests are encouraged to look after Scotland for future generations.
"Uncover the secrets of Scotland's national drink."
The behind the scenes team is small. Clare looks after the whisky tour offering and continues the company’s ethos of providing quality, unique tours.
4 day Islay whisky tour
Whisky tours in Scotland
Discover some of Scotland's finest whisky distilleries
Islay is home to stunning scenery, ancient history and traditional culture
With only around 3000 people and nine world-class distilleries, the chances of finding a ‘wee dram’ on Islay are pretty good
All transport, driver-guide, 3 nights on B&B ensuite accommodation, all tours & tastings included
Day 1. Edinburgh to Islay
After departing Edinburgh, you head north into the Highlands. The landscape becomes more mountainous, and your guide tells the history and culture of this stunning part of Scotland. Passing Loch Awe and into Argyllshire, with some great photo stops along the way, you arrive in the Victorian town of Oban where you tour the distillery and enjoy a tasting before you have free time for lunch and some exploring. This is the seafood capital of Scotland, so make sure you make the most of it. The seafood shack at the harbour is perfect – get the platter if you’re feeling hungry!
Then journey to the ancient Neolithic landscapes of Kilmartin Glen. There are hundreds of ancient monuments and historic sites in this region, some of which you get to explore. It is then a short drive down the Kintyre Peninsula to Kennacraig, where you board the evening ferry to Islay. The ferry crossing is around two hours and offers for some beautiful views of the islands of Gigha, Jura and Islay as well as the area surrounding West Loch Tarbert. There is time to relax in the ferry bar with an Islay whisky, grab some dinner from the restaurant and soak up the sea air before you arrive.
On arrival into Port Ellen or Port Askaig, it is a short drive to Bowmore to check in to The Bowmore House or Freewinds for your three-night stay.
Days 2 - 3. Exploring Islay and it's distilleries
With two full days to explore, there are plenty of options for sightseeing, and your guide will share some of their favourite places with you. These can include empty beaches, whitewashed villages, ancient sites, the Kildalton Cross, medieval strongholds, fresh seafood, local wildlife and traditional cultures.
With only around 3000 people and nine world-class distilleries, the chances of finding a ‘wee dram’ on Islay are pretty good. The distillery and whisky experiences give you an insight into Islay’s most famous export. A wide range of tours and tastings have been planned for these days , including a warehouse experience at Lagavulin, a tour and full range tasting at Ardbeg and a look at the Laphroaig maltings (with a few extra special drams to finish your day).
Your second day on Islay brings a private tour of Bruichladdich and a chance to sample some of their whiskies or perhaps a Botanist gin is your idea of the perfect morning drink. You’ll then get a behind-the-scenes peek at the independent Kilchoman before a chance to gaze over the Sound of Jura from the Bunnahabhain before delving into some casks in their warehouse!
Each night on Islay, there are plenty of options for eating, drinking and relaxing. Your tour guide and wonderful hosts at Bowmore House will let you know all the best places to get the most out of your time in Bowmore. There is an eating option for all budgets and tastes, and with so much local produce on offer, you will be spoilt for choice. The whisky bars aren’t too bad either. Slainte Mhath, as they say in Gaelic.
Day 4. Return to Edinburgh via Loch Lomond
After a final hearty breakfast, catch the morning ferry back to Kennacraig. Arriving on the mainland, you head to the loch-side town of Inveraray. This is the seat of the Clan Campbell, home to the Loch Fyne Whisky shop and your stop for lunch.
After lunch (and some last-minute whisky shopping) your journey now hugs the shores of Loch Fyne and Loch Long before climbing up to the Rest and be Thankful pass for sweeping views. Then it is to the shores of Loch Lomond. With time to stop for some lovely views and stretch of the legs, this is the last stop on your tour before crossing the River Clyde and into Scotland’s largest city of Glasgow. It’s possible to leave the tour here or continue back to Edinburgh