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AITO Tour Operator of The Year 2016 - Gold AwardThe Telegraph Travel Awards Winner 2017

Islay Whisky Short Break

Whisky Galore on the Isle of Islay, home to eight distilleries.

A holiday on Islay should be high on every whisky aficionado’s list.  This corner of the Inner Hebrides is home to no fewer than eight working distilleries, producing world-famous brands such as Laphroaig and Bowmore, plus characterful drams such as Bruichladdich and Kilchoman farm.  Try our short break to experience not just the whisky, but also the sandy beaches, striking seascapes and wildlife.

At A Glance

Best Time To Go

Mar - Oct

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pre-book taxi transfers for your distillery visits?

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The journey to Islay starts with a memorable drive past Loch Lomond and down Loch Fyne to the Kintyre peninsula, where you catch your ferry.

Your Hotel

Situated in the heart of the charming village of Bowmore and recently refurbished, this old whitewashed inn by the harbour has been brought up to date with stylish bedrooms and a conservatory with views across Loch Indaal towards Jura. The hotel’s award winning restaurant offers an à la carte menu which incorporates seasonal dishes using the finest locally sourced produce and for more informal dining the bar lounge menu is available during the day. You are within a short walk of the Bowmore distillery, and several hostelries where you can enjoy sampling the island’s most famous export.

Distillery tours

No visit to Islay is complete without visiting at least some of the island’s world famous distilleries.  Your break will include 2 tours, usually of Laphroaig and Bruichladdich – we can include any that is a favourite brand, or let us choose for you.  We can arrange taxi transport on the island if required, or would recommend that you nominate a driver.

What to see and do

Once the ancestral seat of the Lords of the Isles, Islay is a fertile island of low heather-clad hills, attractive beaches, numerous historical sites and more whisky distilleries than any other Scottish island!  A haven for hill-walkers and bird-watchers, it is home to the huge Loch Gruinart bird sanctuary and its vast numbers of migrating geese.  In the island capital, Bowmore, you can visit the unusual Round Church (no corners for the devil to hide in!) or, if history is your thing, the Museum of Island Life in Port Charlotte is well worth a visit, as are the ruins of Finlaggan Castle, home of the Macdonald chiefs, and Kildalton Chapel with its early Christian cross.  Easily accessible for day-trips are the neighbouring islands of Jura – rugged and truly remote – and pretty Colonsay (Wednesdays only), which boasts spectacular Kiloran Bay.


This holiday is based on the Isle of Islay off the west coast of Scotland.


£490 per person for March, £525 per person for April & October, £565 per person from May to September

Prices based on two people sharing a room for three nights on a bed & breakfast basis. Your holiday includes premium tours of two distilleries on Islay and return ferry travel for a car and two adult passengers.

Taxi transfers available at an additional cost.

Before your departure, you will receive personalised holiday information including full directions, recommended routes, and suggestions on places to visit depending on your interests and our local knowledge to help you get the most from your holiday.

All itineraries and room types are presented subject to availability at specific hotels.

The McKinlay Kidd Guarantee

All our holiday prices include a service charge of £9 per person per night towards the costs we incur in researching, planning and designing your holiday.

We guarantee to refund this service charge if you believe that arranging your holiday through McKinlay Kidd has not met your expectations for value. All we ask is that you write to us within 7 days of your return and explain your reason for claiming the refund. This will ensure that we can improve the experience for all our future guests.


Check availability for Islay Whisky Short Break

This holiday can be arranged from March to October. It can start any day of the week apart from Saturday.

To check the latest availability for this holiday complete the form below or call us. We will respond to your availability check within one working day if at all possible. Please bear with us on this - we work with a hand-picked selection of smaller hotels, guest houses, and other independent businesses, ensuring that you have the chance to explore off the beaten track and really get under the skin of the destination.

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