8D/7N - 2020 Islay, Edinburgh and Speyside Whisky Holiday

8D/7N - 2020 Islay, Edinburgh and Speyside Whisky Holiday

    Islay, Edinburgh and Speyside Whisky Holiday                  Special Interest Tour

    8days/7nights, Edinburgh/Edinburgh

    2020 depart Fri:  05 Apr- 25 Oct (except 31 May)

    Cost from:             B&B  from: $1950  pp twin share (s/sup $665)

    ** Please enquire about our many other tours in the United Kingdom
    *** Note – No passengers under 18 years of age permitted on this tour ***                      

day 01 fri Edinburgh-Stirling-Oban-Kennacraig-Bowmore

Leaving Edinburgh, you head west to Stirling and into the Highlands with a short stop in the holiday town of Callander for refreshments. After travelling through the mountainous part of the Loch Lomond National Park, you arrive in the busy harbour town of Oban. It was once the strategic heartland of great feuding clans. But today, Oban is famous for seafood sourced fresh off the boats. It also boasts its own distillery where you can sample whisky that’s been perfected for 200 years. Here, you will have time to enjoy a dram and indulge in delicious local seafood for lunch. You then depart Oban mid-afternoon for the journey to Kennacraig to catch the evening ferry to Islay. The sail is just over two hours and you should look out for wildlife such as dolphins, whales, and seabirds. On arrival on Islay it is a short drive to Bowmore for your three-night stay

day 02 sat Bowmore

A full day exploring Islay. The itinerary today is a mixture of beautiful scenery, white sand beaches and the famous Islay whiskies - renowned for their strong peaty flavours and nurtured by the salty sea air. In the morning you enjoy a tour of Bowmore, the oldest licenced distillery on the island. Your driver-guide takes you to a nice spot for a lunch of local treats before you head to Bruichladdich distillery. This forward-thinking whisky hub offers a wide- range of single-malts that celebrate the provenance of Islay’s ingredients. Your next stop of the day is at Kilchoman Distillery. This is a proud and independent whisky-maker whose tastes are as bold as their environmental ethos. You have time for a tour and whisky tasting here, before a walk down the beautiful white beach that lies close by. You head back to Bowmore where you can either stumble back to your room for the night or relax and explore the village.

day 03 sun Islay-Ardbeg-Bowmore

Today you explore the southern side of the island, home to a few of the most famous whiskies in all of Scotland: Laphroaig, Lagavulin, and Ardbeg. After you’ve made it out of bed and eaten your breakfast, you visit Ardbeg. You stay here for a tour, tasting, and lunch. The restaurant here is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy fine Scottish produce as you sip upon delightful drams. You then visit Laphroaig. This 200-year-old whisky distiller is a favourite with the British royal family and bears the seal of the Prince of Wales to prove it. Throughout the day, your driver-guide takes you to historical spots such as the ruins of Kildalton church and Dunyvaig Castle. You return to Bowmore for the night.

day 04 mon Bowmrore-Oban-Edinburgh

This morning you take the ferry back to the mainland then travel up the coast to Oban – a busy harbour town and the main ferry port for the islands. Here we will drop off anyone who is continuing on the Mull, Iona and Isle of Skye extension. The others will have some free time to explore the town, have a late lunch or even pop into Oban Distillery before departing for the return trip to Glasgow and Edinburgh. Return time approx. 20.00 and overnight in Edinburgh. Clients will have to make their own way to the hotel.

day 05 tue Edinburgh

Today is a free day to explore Edinburgh, the historic capital of Scotland. There are so many options available here - why not take an open top city bus tour to familiarise yourself with the ‘old’ and ‘new’ towns of the city. No visit to Edinburgh would be complete without a visit to her medieval castle. Sitting on a volcanic plug there is no other city in Europe to offer a setting quite as unique as that of the castle rising high above the majestic Princes Street Gardens, to the hustle and bustle of the city’s first new town, and the main thoroughfare awash with designer shops. Lunch is booked for you at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, a private members club of whisky enthusiasts from all over the world. A 2 course lunch will be served in the excellent restaurant, following by a tasting of 2 special cask whiskies in the members rooms. Overnight again in Edinburgh.

day 6 Edinburgh-Dunkeld-Dalwhinnie-Grantown on Spey

This morning make your way back to the departure point at 09.00 for the next leg of your tour - a three-day Speyside Whisky adventure, starting with the journey north into the Highlands. The first stop will be the historic village of Dunkeld for a short walk through the forest to some atmospheric waterfalls. After lunch in Pitlochry you will make your first distillery visit at Dalwhinnie – the highest distillery in the country and the closest to the source of the River Spey. From here you follow the river north through the Cairngorm National Park to the small town of Grantown on Spey – your base for the next two nights.

day 07 thu Grantown on Spey-Elgin-Craigellachie-Grantown on Spey

A whole day exploring Scotland’s most famous whisky region. After a scenic drive towards the coast your first stop of the day will be at the family owned Benromach Distillery for a personalised tour. From here it is a short distance to Elgin – home to Gordon and MacPhail – one of the world’s leading specialist whisky bottlers and suppliers. Their shop has one of the widest selection of malts you will find anywhere. After lunch in Elgin you will travel back up the Spey valley to Aberlour for a visit to the distillery there and time permitting, make a stop at the Speyside Cooperage in nearby Craigellachie. From here, we head back to Grantown on Spey.

day 08 fri Grantown on Spey-Glenlivet-Braemer-Edinburgh

Today, we will drive through the beautiful Cairngorm Mountains on route back to Edinburgh. In the morning you will explore Glenlivet – not just a distillery but also a beautiful glen with great walks and wonderful wildlife. Later you will pass by the famous Balmoral Castle and stop in the village of Braemar in the heart of the National Park. From here the route south passes over Scotland’s highest mountain pass then through Perthshire before arriving back in Edinburg at about 19.00.

Includes: twin share in 3* accommodation, 4 breakfasts, coach transport, driver/guide, local taxes and service charges.

Note: Combination of Self catering cottages & B&B. Subject to availability

4* accommodation supplement available on request only. Itinerary and distillery visits are subject to variation throughout the season and may not be the same described above; however there will always be a minimum of 8 distillery visits during the holiday.

No children under the age of 18 years allowed on this tour.

Note: itinerary is subject to change

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