Islay may be a little off the beaten track, but it's well worth a visit.
With its breathtaking scenery, spectacular wildlife, welcoming locals (known as Ileachs) and no fewer than eight distilleries, Islay is a place unlike any other and a mecca for whisky lovers.
Bowmore itself is home to almost one third of the island's population. Besides the distillery, it's known for its whitewashed houses, tiny, stone-built harbour and pier, and the iconic Bowmore Round Church, which sits at the top of Main Street, commanding impressive views over the village, Loch Indaal and beyond.
Visiting Islay? No trip to this island famous for its whisky would be complete without a tour of Islay's first distillery. Our award-winning Visitor Centre is open all year round and the tours, like our whisky, are world-renowned. After all, no one knows more about our celebrated Single Malt than the people who make it.
Standard Distillery tours cost £6 per person and Bowmore Tasting Session costs £15 per person. We also offer private tours (subject to availability) at £10 per person.
Our Craftsman's Tour is designed for the true Single Malt enthusiast. This journey of discovery includes a visit to the inner sanctum - Bowmore's legendary No. 1 Vaults - where you'll be able to savour some very special Bowmore indeed.
According to The Malt Advocate: "There is no better tour - comprehensive, visually arresting, and well-planned, delivered with wit and nuggets of local knowledge - one gets the feeling that the tour has been specifically tailored just for you. A final treat is nosing the 'angels' share' in the traditional warehouse - little wonder that the Queen has had a cask here since 1980."
These tours are available Monday - Thursday when distillery is in production by prior appointment. The Craftsmen Tour costs £45.00 per adult. Please be sure to book your Craftsman's Tour in advance by calling the distillery on +44 (0)1496 810671.
Easter - June
Islay may be a little off the beaten track for most, but that's part of its unique appeal. Follow the directions below to our island home.
From Glasgow, follow signs for Loch Lomond, A82. Glasgow to Tarbet, Loch Lomond A82 approx. 35 miles, Tarbet to Inveraray Loch Fyne A83 approx. 22 miles, Inveraray to Lochgilphead A83 approx. 23 miles, Lochgilphead to Tarbert Loch Fyne A83 approx. 13 miles, Tarbert to Kennacraig West Loch Tarbert approx. 6 miles.
Caledonian MacBrayne operates a two-hour ferry crossing from Kennacraig on the Kintyre Peninsula to Islay. For further information, visit www.calmac.co.uk or call +44 (0)1880 730 253.
Flybe operates a 35 minute scheduled flight twice daily, Monday to Friday and once on a Saturday from Glasgow Airport. For further information, visit www.flybe.com or call 0871 700 2000 or +44 (0)1392 268529 from outside the UK.
Come and experience the very best of Islay.
A Bowmore lover's dream and the perfect base from which to explore Islay, Bowmore Distillery Cottages are available all year round as holiday lets. Individually decorated and renovated to 4* VisitScotland standard, all six cottages lie within a stone's throw of the distillery in the heart of Islay's picturesque capital, Bowmore.
Accommodation is provided for two to 14 people, ranging from cosy cottages for couples to larger properties suitable for groups of family and friends. Guests are treated to a complimentary tour of the distillery and greeted by a bottle of Bowmore 12 Years Old, providing the warmest of Islay welcomes.
For further information on Bowmore Distillery Cottages, visit www.bowmorecottages.com
Here you'll find our stories of Islay, along with your tales from our magical island.
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