Known as the Queen of the Hebrides, Islay is Scotland’s fifth-largest island and lies off the country’s west coast in the Inner Hebrides. Avid birdwatchers often make the trek to Islay, which is home to many species of birdlife, including the barnacle goose and the Greenland white-fronted.
However, it’s the malt whisky that really draws the visitors. Islay is one of Scotland’s main whisky-producing regions, and it’s a whisky-lovers paradise, with nearly 10 distilleries you can tour, including Lagavulin and Bowmore. Even if you’re not a fan of whisky, a distillery tour is a must (when in Rome… and all that). In between tastings, a walk along a sandy beach or dramatic coastal path will give you your fill of fresh Atlantic air.
A four-day trip to Islay from Edinburgh or Glasgow provides an sweeping look at this scenic isle – think cozy B&Bs, typical Scottish scenery, distillery tours and oyster tastings.