Leaving Edinburgh the Capital of Scotland you will head west through Scotland’s largest city, Glasgow, along Loch Lomond then west through the mountains to the beautiful little village of Inveraray on the banks of Loch Fyne. Here you can perhaps sample some of the local seafood for lunch or just explore the historic town itself park your hire / rental motorhome at the Harbour.
Tallisker Distillery on the Isle of Skye
After lunch you will then travel through Argyll in your hire / rental motorhome and into the ancient Kingdom of Dalriada. There are more than 350 prehistoric monuments within a six-mile radius of the village of Kilmartin. You will stop here to see the mysterious stone circles and standing stones and visit the community museum.
From here it is a short drive to Kennacraig where you catch the early evening ferry to Islay. The sail is just over 2 hours and you should look out for wildlife such as Scotlands dolphins, whales and seabirds. On arrival on Islay it is a short drive to Bowmore for your 3-night stay in your hire / rental motorhome .
Day 2 A full day exploring the Scotlands Island Islay. The itinerary today is quite flexible with a mixture of beautiful scenery, white sand beaches, short walks and of course the famous Islay whiskies – renowned for their strong peaty flavours and nurtured by the salty sea air. Take a short drive to the west of the island via Saligo Bay for a visit to Kilchoman Distillery (one of the more recent additions on the island), or for thoose of you who dont love wisky why not have a coastal walk to Machair Bay . Why not take a trip to the tiny harbour village of Portnahaven (look out for seals) before taking the back roads along Scotlands west coast with its lovely sandy bays, on the way back to Bowmore. You will have the chance to visit Bowmore distillery or just relax and explore the village.
Enjoying the loch side view in our motorhome
Day 3 Another day in paradise! hire / rental motorhome explore the southern side of the island, home to the smokiest and peatiest of all Scotlands whiskies – Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg. Visit Ardbeg for a tour, tasting and lunch. The restaurant here is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy local produce as well as some unique whisky. You could then follow that up with a visit to Laphroaig or a visit to the ruins of Kildalton church with its famous 8th Century Celtic cross. Alternatively stop at Bridgend where you could visit the community craft producers at Islay House Square or take a walk through the woods along the nearby River Sorn.
Day 4 Take the ferry back to the mainland in your hire / rental motorhome then travel up the coast to Oban – a busy harbour town and the main ferry port for the islands. In Oban enjoy this the busy highland town and enjoy a little retail therapy, there are numerous shopping possibilities, or Oban distillery is nicely situated in the heart of the town, take a walk along to the distilley and enjoy its offerings. For the more adventurous an hike uphill will bring its own rewards with stunning views from the most photographed structure in the west, McCaig’s folly. The folly built on instruction by a local banker in 1897 resembles the coliseum in Rome, and provides magnificent vistas over the distant Firth of Lorne. You can stay in this glorious highland town for 2 nights with your hire / rental motorhome.
Enjoying breakfast at the edge of the loch
Day 5 . Exploring her dramatic coastlines and wild beauty, you will enjoy an island adventure before boarding the small ferry to the peace and tranquility of Iona – birthplace of Celtic Christianity and ancient burial ground of Scottish Kings. Here you can visit the historic abbey with its intricate carved crosses in the churchyard or explore the rocky headlands and sandy coves of this island gem where you can park your hire / rental motorhome . There is also an opportunity to take a small boat out to the island of Staffa (except Saturday departures in September) and view the dramatic basalt columns immortalised by Mendelssohn in his Hebridean Overture “Fingal’s Cave”. You then return on the ferry to Oban for your second night.
I choose to do this whicky tour in the Islay motorhome, it gave us al the comforts of home and was compact and easy to drive, for more information on the Islay see out website http://www.scottishtourer.co.uk/motorhome/the-islay