About Islay

View of the beach overlooking Claggain Bay, it is a sunny day with some light clouds.

A place of wild landscapes,
rich culture & history…

A small flock of sheep grazing in an open field on a sunny day
A view of Kildalton Cross, with the ruined abbey in the background.

Kildalton Cross

Port Charlotte Lighthouse at dusk

The Isle of Islay, located off the west coast of Scotland, is a hidden gem that is often overlooked by tourists.  Those who do make the journey to our beautiful island are rewarded with breathtaking landscapes, rich history and culture, and a wide selection of delicious local food and drink.  

One of the many reasons you should visit Islay is for the natural beauty.  The island is home to miles of rugged coastline, rolling hills, and pristine beaches.  Visitors can hike through the island’s many trails, go birdwatching, take a scenic wildlife boat trip or simply enjoy the quiet slower pace of life and the stunning views and wildlife all around you.  There really is something for everyone.  

Port Charlotte Lighthouse

Claggain Bay

View down a rural Islay road

Take the road less travelled

Ardbeg Distillery

Ardbeg Distillery

One of the main reasons people come to the island is for the world-famous Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky.  Often when people hear the name ‘Islay’ they immediately relate it to a whisky they’ve enjoyed!  Islay is currently home to nine working distilleries, and visitors can take tours of the distilleries or join one of the many different whisky tasting experiences on offer all year round.  

As well as whisky, there are also local producers of gin, rum and wine and an Islay brewery.  There are friendly pubs around the island where you can experience ‘the craic’ with local residents and be entertained by traditional musicians while enjoying a selection of delicious locally produced food and drink.  Islay is home to delicious local produce including Islay lamb, beef and venison as well as locally caught seafood such as lobster, langoustines, crabs and oysters.

Kilnave Chapel & Cross

Kilnave Chapel & Cross

Islay is rich in history and culture. The island has been inhabited for thousands of years, and there are many ancient ruins, standing stones, and other historical sites to explore. The Museum of Islay Life and Finlaggan are well worth a visit.  Ardtalla Cottages are located near the Kildalton Cross, one of the best examples of early Christian art in Scotland.  Additionally, the island’s residents are incredibly welcoming and friendly, and happy to share their local knowledge and stories so visitors experience traditional Scottish culture first hand.  

Throughout the year, Islay also hosts a variety of festivals and events, such as the Fèis Ìle – the Islay Festival, Islay Book Festival, Cantilena Festival, Islay Agricultural Show and the Islay Jazz Festival.

In summary, the reason you should consider visiting Islay is because it is a destination that offers something for everyone all year round. The whisky, natural beauty, history, culture, and delicious local food and drink make it an ideal destination for a Scottish getaway.  Whether you’re visiting in the summer or the winter, there are plenty of activities and events to keep you as busy or relaxed as you want on our charming island.  So what are you waiting for, book your visit to Islay today, we’ll be waiting to welcome you!

Discover the Ardtalla Cottages

Kintour Schoolhouse

Kintour Schoolhouse is both comfortable and stylish and has been fully modernised to provide a unique holiday experience for up to 6 people.

The house is set in a tranquil location in the southeast corner of the island, overlooked by Islay’s highest hill Beinn Bheigeir and near some beautiful beaches. Kintour Schoolhouse is the perfect place for a peaceful stay.

Ardilistry Cottage

Enjoy a peaceful stay at Ardilistry Cottage, a unique and tranquil getaway.

Situated in the southeast corner of the island, located in a gently elevated position, you can enjoy stunning views out over Ardilistry Bay or towards Beinn Bheigeir and the surrounding hills.