Things to See & Do

Discover Islay, Jura & Colonsay

The islands of Islay, Jura, and Colonsay have something to offer everyone. Islay has a place in the heart of every whisky lover, but it’s not just the world-class distilleries that draw visitors to this beautiful, fertile and fascinating inner Hebridean island. With miles of sandy beaches, outstanding Scottish wildlife and a rich Highland heritage, there’s so much to see and do on Islay.

Mountainous, wild and sparsely populated, Jura has a rugged and remote appeal. The island’s distinctive peaks, the Paps of Jura, offer fantastic hillwalking, and intrepid hikers can explore the uninhabited – and otherwise inaccessible – west coast. One thing you’re sure to see when you visit Jura is the wonderful wildlife, such as red deer and wild goats

Distillery Tours

Around the middle of the 19th century, Islay boasted no less than a dozen distilleries.

Today, we still have ten working whisky distilleries (nine on Islay and one on Jura) producing some of the most popular and certainly most uniquely flavoured single malt whiskies in the world.

You can virtually inhale the smoke and the peat from just a snifter of the amber liquid – “heaven” say some, “an acquired taste” say others.No matter which camp you’re in, Islay whisky is world class and a main source of revenue on the island – both providing employment for local people and stimulating more tourism, all positive and vital requirements for our fragile, remote communities.

The Whisky Festival, held in the second half of May shouldn’t be missed if you are serious about uisge beatha. It’s run in conjunction with Feis Ile, a festival celebrating Islay’s heritage and culture and each distillery, including Jura’s, has an open day putting on special events such as whisky tastings, locally produced food, dancing, piping and ceilidhs – Sláinte

On the Water

Explore the Isles of Islay & Jura by boat. Whether you’re an avid birdwatcher, sea life spotter or just want to see some of Islay’s beautiful coastline, a boat tour with Islay Sea Adventure will leave you with unforgettable memories. Want to catch some fish? Hop on board of their fishing trips.

Have you heard about the Corryvreckan whirlpool? It's the 3rd largest natural whirlpool in the world and is a sight to behold during large spring tides. So what are you waiting for? Jump aboard!

Active & Adventure

Islay & Jura are excellent places for active outdoor adventures, from cycling over walking up to golfing and guided wildlife tours with Islay being a top destination for bird-watching.

Whether you bring your own bike or hire one when you get here. It’s definitely one way to slow down and enjoy the calming effect island life can have on you. Jura is a little bit more hilly and challenging, especially the further north you go but you certainly won’t meet much traffic up there!

Immerse yourself in the stunning landscapes of Islay & Jura when exploring on foot. Despite the two islands being neighbours, the scenery couldn't be more diverse. If you're a whisky lover, venture along the Three Distilleries Pathway and stop at the famous distilleries of Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg. Jura is known for its wild and rugged landscapes. Discover the infamous Paps of Jura - three great mountains - or meet the local wildlife.

Golf on Islay & Jura

The Machrie Golf Course is located on Islay, in Scotland. The word "machrie" is a corruption of the Scottish Gaelic machair, which means more or less the same as "links" did on the east coast of Scotland.

The course was designed by Willie Campbell in 1891 and was intentionally made long, at least by 19th Century standards, to attract golfers to Islay. Set in the dunes of Islay, Queen of the Hebrides, The Machrie Links course is one of the most beautiful locations in world golf. Originally designed in 1891 by Willie Campbell, the course has now been fully modernised by D J Russell, the former European Ryder Cup Vice Captain and PGA tour player.

There is a reason why the Scots invented golf on links land, Machrie land, and the links turf on which the course sits is among the finest in Scotland.

Nature & Wildlife

Islay, Jura and Colonsay are fascinating islands with complex geology and a wide range of plant and animal species, some at either the northern or southern limits of their ranges.

An unusually compact habitat mosaic of wet grassland, moorland, machair, blanket bog, lochs, intertidal areas and shoreline supports internationally significant populations of priority bird species, rare plants, beautiful butterflies and iconic west-coast animals such as otter, seals and red deer.


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