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Islay & the Whisky Coast 4-Day Tour

Day 1: Leaving Edinburgh at 8:30am, picking up in Glasgow at 9:45am, you will head west through Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, along Loch Lomond then west through the mountains to the beautiful little village of Inveraray on the banks of Loch Fyne. Here you can perhaps sample some of the local seafood for lunch or just explore the historic town itself. After lunch you will then travel through Argyll and into the ancient Kingdom of Dalriada. There are more than 350 prehistoric monuments within a six-mile radius of the village of Kilmartin. You will stop here to see the mysterious stone circles and standing stones and visit the community museum. From here it is a short drive to Kennacraig where you catch the early 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 2: Today you have 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 flavors 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. Here you will have the chance to visit Bowmore distillery or just relax and explore the village. Day 3: 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. You 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. You then follow that up with a visit to Laphroaig or a 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. Day 4: This morning you take the ferry back to the mainland then travel up the coast to Oban, a busy harbour town and the main ferry port for the islands. Here we will drop off anyone who is continuing on the Mull, Iona and Isle of Skye extension. The others will have some free time to explore the town, have a late lunch or even pop into Oban Distillery before departing for the return trip to Glasgow and Edinburgh. Inclusion Transportation by top of the range Mercedes minicoach for a more personal experience with a maximum of 16 passengers on tour. Services of a professional Rabbie's driver/guide. All ferry fares except the optional trip to Staffa. Rabbie's Discount Card - money off restaurants, shopping and attractions. Exclusion Gratuities, Meals and refreshments, All Visitor Attractions. Hours of operation Monday: April 4 – October 17 (except May 23). Friday: April 8 – September 23 (except May 20, 27). Departs at 8:30am. Location Tours depart 6 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh EH1 3EG. Additional Information Monday departures offer the chance to see more whisky production as all the distilleries are in operation on weekdays. We recommend the Monday departures as the best choice for real enthusiasts and we try to fit in additional tastings where possible. Clothing: because we believe in time off the bus and give clients the opportunities to take nature walks, we recommend to bring suitable clothing and footwear on the tours. Participant restriction No children under 18 are allowed in this tour. Policies Friday departures of this tour can pick up/drop off in Glasgow. Winter can be a spectacular time to travel around the Highlands. Sometimes the routes we take are altered a little depending on the conditions and tours may return about half an hour earlier. In winter (November to March), some castles are not open but can be viewed from outside. Note for whisky enthusiasts: Monday departures give additional opportunities for distillery visits and there is the chance to see the full production process. If you are reserving for a single passenger, you must reserve a Single room. Double room can be booked ONLY if you are reserving for 2 or more. This tour is for room only. **All information requested must be supplied or booking is subject to automatic cancellation**