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

West Coast Whisky Islands

Enjoy the contrasts of Skye, Mull and Islay - and their whiskies!

Each Scotch whisky is as distinct as the environment that produces it. The scenically beautiful unspoilt islands off the west coast of Scotland are amongst the best places in the world for distilling and maturing the ‘water of life’.  We have put together a unique holiday combination visiting the three very special islands of Skye, Mull and Islay and featuring distillery tours on each one.

Stay on the magical island of Skye and explore the dramatic natural beauty of an island steeped in tales of the past. Here in this Gaelic-speaking community visitors can enjoy traditional music and song and visit Talisker, currently the only distillery on the island.

Meander around Mull and stay in charming Tobermory. It’s just a short walk to the Tobermory distillery to sample the 10 year old malt that really is a ‘golden treasure’.

Finally cross over to Islay (pronounced ‘eye-la’) where the island, high on the list of places to visit for any whisky connoisseur, has no less than eight working distilleries. Included in the holiday are tours to Laphroaig and Bruichladdich. You’ll be spoilt for choice!

At A Glance

Best Time To Go

April - October

Why not...

upgrade to a stay in Glengorm Castle on the Isle of Mull?

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Day One – Journey to the Isle of Skye

Today you will head to your first island on your West Coast Whisky island trail – the Isle of Skye, accessible by bridge from the mainland.

Your Hotel on Skye

Sheltered by a gently curving bay, your charming whitewashed hotel sits right on the seashore and enjoys expansive views over the Sound of Sleat to the wilderness of Knoydart.  This is a Gaelic-speaking community – indeed all the staff are either Gaelic speakers or learning the language – and the bar is a convivial meeting place for the locals, who mix happily with hotel guests, often to the accompaniment of traditional music and Gaelic song in front of the roaring log fire.  On the little harbour right beside the hotel is the headquarters of ‘The Gaelic Whiskies’, where you can sample an excellent range of connoisseur brands before browsing in the nearby craft shop.

Day Two – Talisker Distillery

Your holiday includes a visit to the most remote yet famous distillery, Talisker, which lies at the end of a single track road on the west coast of Skye. A VIP tour can be arranged for a small extra charge, though a designated driver is essential for such a tour.

Day Three – Journey to the Isle of Mull

A full day’s driving today takes you first to the port of Armadale, where you make a short ferry trip to Mallaig.  From here you will have time to explore the stunning sandy beaches of Arisaig – made famous by the movie Local Hero – before reaching the remote Ardnamurchan peninsula – the most westerly part of mainland Britain and home to its own distillery.  Your second short ferry of the day takes you directly to Tobermory – Mull’s main village.

Your Hotel on Mull

Small but perfectly formed, and resides amidst Tobermorys elegant conservation area. High above the harbour, you can escape the village bustle yet are still just a short walk from Main Street. Sweeping views across the bay can be enjoyed from large comfortable sofas in one of the two guest lounges. With just six small, but beautifully furnished, bedrooms two even have a four-poster bed the friendly owners aim to make your stay a rather luxurious home from home.

Day Four – Tobermory Distillery

The Tobermory Distillery, the only one on the island, was built in 1798 and has had a somewhat chequered past but its 10 year old malt has a wonderfully unique and mysterious character.  Before or after your visit, you will have plenty of time to explore more of this diverse island.

Day Five – Journey to the Isle of Islay

Today you will leave Mull via the port of Craignure and take the ferry past Duart Castle to the bustling port of Oban, which boasts its own distillery that is well worth a visit. Your route then takes you south along the Argyll coast to the port of Kennacraig, where you catch your second ferry of the day to Islay.

Your Hotel on Islay

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.

Days Six & Seven

Time to discover why Islay became such a centre for whisky distilling.  We will arrange two contrasting tours including the innovative Bruichladdich distillery, within a short drive or taxi (of your accommodation) as well Laphroaig.

Day Eight – Return home

Return home by ferry to the mainland then another scenic drive past Loch Fyne to Glasgow.


Map whisky-Islands

This holiday spans three islands: Skye, Mull and Islay.


£1045 per person in April, £1065 per person in October, and £1125 per person for May through September.

Prices based on two people sharing a double/twin room ensuite for seven nights on a bed & breakfast basis. The holiday includes tours of the Talisker, Tobermory, Laphroaig and Bruichladdich distilleries. Ferry travel for a car and passengers is also included.

Why not upgrade and stay in a castle hotel whilst on Mull? Ask us for more details.

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 West Coast Whisky Islands

This holiday can be arranged from March to November.

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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