A beautiful Hebridean island with a temperate climate due to the gulf stream effect. As well as the famous malt whisky distilleries Islay has many other attractions and keeps visitors returning, year after year.
Listed are a few of the ways to enjoy the island and links you may find useful. Ron and Emma will be very happy to offer further advice on your interests and help with bookings.
- Eight distilleries on the island, all with visitor centres, run guided tours with a dram; of course Jura is also close by.
- The Machrie Championship golf links is a UK top 100 course, the 18 holes designed by Willie Campbell has magnificent views and is open all year to visitors. Tuition is available from your host, PGA golf Professional Ron Goudie.
- Bird watching
- Islay is famous for its wildlife and especially its birdlife, the many species attracting birdwatchers from far and wide. The RSPB have Nature reserves at The Oa and Loch Gruinart, the reserve at Loch Gruinart has a visitors centre and a hide. For days out in the company of an expert contact Wild Islay Birding. The Islay Natural History Trust at Port Charlotte illustrates the island's wildlife.
- Trout fishing is available on estate lochs and rivers around the island; permits are available from estate offices. Sea angling can be arranged.
- The most spectacular beaches are the Atlantic coast ones, particularly Saligo and Machir Bay, these are not suitable for swimming, but provide stunning scenery. The safest beaches for swimming are at Laggan Bay, Loch Gruinart and Loch Indaal.
- The island has many historic and interesting sites, including the seat of the lord of the isles at Finlaggan, the famous Celtic cross at Kildalton and standing stones at Ballinby. The Museum of Islay Life at Port Charlotte offers an insight into the lives of Islay residents in times gone by.
- Pony Trekking
- Ballivicar Farm, just outside Port Ellen near Kintra.
- Sea Trips
- Excursions by boat and distillery trips by sea from Islay Sea Adventures.
- Islay Cycles has a range of bikes for hire and also provides a repair service.
- Car Hire
- For car hire on the island, see www.islaycarhire.com and www.carhireonislay.co.uk
Photographic, shooting and stalking tours from The Gearach, near Port Charlotte.