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THE CALEDONIAN MACBRAYNE FERRY LEAVING PORT ASKAIG, ISLAY WITH THE ISLAND OF JURA VISIBLE BEYOND, INNER HEBRIDES.PIC: VisitScotland/SCOTTISH VIEWPOINTTel: +44 (0) 131 622 7174 Fax: +44 (0) 131 622 7175E-Mail : info@scottishviewpoint.comThis photograph can not be used without prior permission from Scottish Viewpoint.

Whisky, wildlife and woodland gardens - these islands are simply wonderful!

Islay and Jura are the southern extremities of the Inner Hebrides. Formerly the home of the Lord of the Isles, who ruled the Hebrides from here, Islay has always provided a rich source of material for historians and archaeologists. Today the island is well known for its distinctively peaty malt whiskies, its fine sandy beaches and diverse birdlife, and while here we will visit Loch Gruinart RSPB Nature Reserve where we have the chance to see many different bird species and the Bowmore Distillery, the oldest distillery on the island.

 

 

Islay’s neighbour is the island of Jura, an untamed and somewhat mysterious island with just 200 human inhabitants, dominated by the “Paps of Jura”. George Orwell wrote his masterpiece “1984” while staying at at the northern end of Jura.

Completing our island trio we offer an optional excursion to Colonsay, home to fantastic beaches and a superb woodland garden which is renowned for an outstanding collection of rhododendrons.

We are based at the comfortable Port Askaig Hotel, overlooking the harbour. The cosy hotel bar stocks a full range of Islay malts.

Available departure dates and prices

 

Whisky, wildlife and woodland gardens - these islands are simply wonderful!

Day 1

We depart from our local pick-up points and head for Kintyre in western Argyll, in time to catch the 13.00hrs ferry from Kennacraig to Port Askaig, Islay. The ferry journey takes just over two hours and refreshments are available on board (not included). On arrival on Islay we transfer (a very short distance) to our comfortable accommodation at the Port Askaig Hotel, which has a superb location overlooking the harbour. All rooms have private facilities.

Dinner will be served in the evening.

Day 2

This morning, following breakfast, we will visit the Bowmore Distillery.  This is the oldest distillery on the island and has stood on the shores of Loch Indaal since 1779.  Here we will see how this unique whisky is produced by hand, by the Maltman, before maturing in Spanish and American oak casks which give it its unique flavours.

This afternoon we will continue to Loch Gruinart RSPB Nature Reserve where we will have an introductory talk before having free time to wander around and having the opportunity to see many bird species, including various species of geese, birds of prey and the chough, a rare type of crow.

Dinner will be served at the hotel in the evening.

Day 3

Following breakfast, you are free to explore Islayat your leisure. Alternatively, you may wish to join the optional excursion to Colonsay. A pleasant sailing of just over an hour takes you north to this tranquil little island which, with just over a hundred permanent residents, is one of the most remote communities in Britain. On arrival we will visit the gardens of Colonsay House. This is a 30-acre informal woodland garden which is famous for its outstanding collection of species and hybrid rhododendrons and for unusual trees and shrubs sourced from all over the world since the 1930s. Later, we will drive over to Kiloran Bay, the most famous of Colonsay’s beaches, a crescent of sand over a mile long with waves rolling in from the Atlantic Ocean.

We will catch the early evening ferry back to Islay and return to our hotel for dinner.

Day 4

This morning, after breakfast, we travel to the neighbouring island of Jura, an island which has a record of habitation stretching back over 5000 years.  The island, with approximately 200 inhabitants, is 30 miles long and 7 miles wide and is a naturalist’s paradise.  It is dominated by the three mountains known as the “Paps of Jura”, the highest being 2576ft.  The northern end of the island was home to George Orwell, who wrote his masterpiece 1984 while living here at Barnhill.

We will enjoy a scenic tour before having some free time to Craighouse, a lovely little village and the main settlement on the island with a shop, tearoom, and Jura's distillery.

We return in the afternoon by ferry to Islay. Dinner will be served at the hotel in the evening.

Day 5

This morning, following breakfast, we must sadly check out of our hotel – please ensure any extras are paid before taking your luggage to the coach.  We then transfer to Islay’s other ferry terminal at Port Ellen, where we catch the 09.45hrs ferry to Kennacraig on the mainland. We will break our journey with a lunch stop at the picturesque village of Inveraray on the shores of Loch Fyne, before returning to our original departure points, where we expect to arrive early to mid-evening.

Included in the price

  • 4 nights’ dinner, bed and breakfast at the comfortable Port Askaig Hotel, Islay. All rooms have private facilities
  • Comfortable coaching and return ferry crossings (Kennacraig/Islay and Islay/Jura)
  • Visit to Bowmore Distillery; Loch Gruinard RSPB; Jura
  • Services of a driver/guide

Not included (per person)

  • Single room supplement   £80.00
  • Insurance                         £17.50 (under 65); £35.00 (65-74); £52.50 (75 – 90 years)
  • Optional excursion to Colonsay

Departure points and times:

 

Depart Return
 Aberdeen (Skene Street, opposite Denburn Car Park) 0400 2145
Montrose (Railway Station) 0445 2100
Arbroath (Railway Station) 0505 2040
Dundee (outside Discovery Point) 0530 2015
Perth (Bus stop on Canal Street, Tay Street end) 0600 1945
Kinross (Kinross Services) 0700 1845
Dunfermline (outside Carnegie College) 0715 1830
Edinburgh (Marriott Hotel, Glasgow Road) 0745 1815
Glasgow (Millennium, George Square) 0900 1700

 

Please note all pick-up points are subject to minimum numbers. All timings given above are approximate and may be changed. They will be confirmed when the joining instructions are sent out, approximately ten days prior to departure.

 

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Jimmy the driver was impeccable and fun - his driving skills gave us great confidence on the narrow roads through Royal Deeside.

Bob Guthrie, Broughty Ferry

The staff at our hotel on Islay were young and keen, very pleasant and helpful indeed.

Mr and Mrs Turner

We thoroughly enjoyed the archaeological tour to the Outer Hebrides, the driver and guide made the holiday a great success

Mr and Mrs Sutherland, Dundee
 
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