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Queen of the Hebrides and whisky capital of the world
With nine whisky distilleries in an island no bigger than Anglesey, it’s fair to say whisky pulses through Islay’s veins and is a pilgrimage destination for whisky lovers.
It’s the ideal place for bird watchers keen to see the beautiful hen harriers, majestic golden eagles and rare choughs.
Best known for their peaty smoky taste, Islay has definitely nailed the process of whisky making. Using peat gives 'Islay malts' their distinct flavours, some might say they’re the best in the world. Sláinte!
It doesn’t stop at whisky production, there are now three gin distilleries in Islay too.
Whatever your tipple, there’s no shortage of choices. One thing’s for sure the expertise is undisputed and the emphasis is most certainly on quality.
Islay is the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides, just forty kilometres north of Northern Ireland’s coastline. It’s said to have been inhabited since the Mesolithic era (about 6000 years ago) and like many of the islands, it has an extremely rich tapestry of natural and human history.
It’s home to bustling communities and plays host to festivals and events, including Fѐis Ìle, or the Islay Festival of Malt and Music. Happening the last week of May, the festival is a delightful celebration of local heritage and culture, showcasing music, dance, and fantastic local produce. Expect ceilidhs and community events, and a dram or two.
In the month of June Islay hosts an annual beach rugby tournament; the only one of its kind in the UK. Best described as a barefoot grapple across White Hart beach, with as many as 30 teams competing to be ‘beach rugby champions’. Great fun!
The island is also renowned for its spectacular seascapes and landscapes. It’s the ideal place for bird watchers keen to see the beautiful hen harriers, majestic golden eagles and rare choughs.
We recommend a visit to:
For more information, visit the Islay Info website or download their app.
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