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  • Islay, Ediburgh And Speyside Whisky Holiday
Overview
Duration: 8-Day Tour (08.30-18.30 hours) Schedule: Every Friday (03/04/20-30/10/20) – except (22/05/20 & 29/05/20) Whisky is a golden-hued contradiction. It’s somehow smoothly harsh, subtly bold, and roughly refined. It’s undoubtedly an 'acquired taste'. And on this tour, we give you time to understand all of whisky's nuanced characteristics in two of Scotland’s outstanding whisky regions. You begin by savouring the smoky and peaty whiskies of the Isle of Islay. You then return to Edinburgh to experience an exclusive lunch at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society. And for dessert, you head north for a chance to indulge in the light, sweet single malts of the Speyside region. What's more is between all the delectable flavours you get chance to see Scotland's famous national parks, lochs, and ancient sites. It's a tour that blends the beauty and tastes of Scotland.
Detailed Itinerary

Leaving Edinburgh you head west to Stirling and into the Highlands with a short stop in the holiday town of Callander for refreshments.

After travelling through the mountainous part of the Loch Lomond National Park, you arrive in the busy harbour town of Oban. You have a couple of hours here with the chance to visit the Oban Distillery and sample some local seafood for lunch.

You then depart Oban mid-afternoon for the journey to Kennacraig to catch the evening ferry to Islay. The sail is just over two hours and you should look out for wildlife such as dolphins, whales, and seabirds. On arrival on Islay it is a short drive to Bowmore for your three night stay.

A full day exploring Islay. The itinerary today is flexible with a mixture of beautiful scenery, white sand beaches, short walks and the famous Islay whiskies - renowned for their strong peaty flavours and nurtured by the salty sea air.

In the morning, you take the short drive to the west of the island via Saligo Bay for a visit to Kilchoman Distillery (the newest and smallest on the island) with the option of a coastal walk to Machair Bay for any non-whisky lovers.

After lunch, you explore the tiny harbour village of Portnahaven (look out for seals) before taking the back roads along the west coast with its lovely sandy bays, on the way back to Bowmore. You have the chance to visit Bowmore distillery or just relax and explore the village.

Another day in paradise! Today, you explore the southern side of the island, home to the smokiest and peatiest of all whiskies – Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg. We 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. We follow this up with a visit to Laphroaig and if time allows a short stop for a tasting at Lagavulin. It should also be possible to visit to the ruins of Kildalton church with its famous 8th Century Celtic cross.

Alternatively, we may stop in 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.

This morning, you take the ferry back to the mainland and travel the short distance to Kilmartin Glen where we have lunch. There are more than 350 prehistoric monuments within a six-mile radius of the village of Kilmartin, and you have the chance to see the mysterious stone circles and standing stones and visit the community museum.

From here the tour continues round the coast to the beautiful little village of Inveraray on the banks of Loch Fyne. The town is full of historic buildings with old ships in the harbour and a great whisky shop! We travel past Loch Lomond before arriving in Edinburgh at around 19.30.

Today, is a free day to explore Edinburgh, the historic capital of Scotland. There are so many options available here - why not take one our city tour to familiarise yourself with the 'old' and 'new' towns of the city. No visit to Edinburgh would be complete without a visit to her medieval castle. Sitting on a volcanic plug there is no other city in Europe to offer a setting quite as unique as that of the castle rising high above the majestic Princes Street gardens, to the hustle and bustle of the city’s first new town, and the main thoroughfare awash with designer shops.

Lunch is booked for you at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society, a private members club of whisky enthusiasts from all over the world. A three-course lunch will be served in the excellent restaurant, following by a tasting of two special cask whiskies in the members rooms. Overnight again in Edinburgh.

This morning, make your way to our departure point at Edinburgh Bus Station and check in at 09.00am for the next leg of your tour - a three-day Speyside Whisky adventure.

You head north through the Kingdom of Fife to Lindores Abbey Distillery. This modern Scottish distillery is built on the site of the first ever recorded distiller in the country.

After lunch in Pitlochry, you can sample the delights of Scotland's highest distillery at Dalwhinnie, near the source of the River Spey. Once you’ve warmed with this dram of “the gentle spirit”, you continue through the Cairngorms National Park before reaching Grantown on Spey, your base for two nights.

A whole day exploring Scotland’s most famous whisky region. After a scenic drive towards the coast, your first stop of the day is at the family-owned Benromach Distillery, where you can go on a personalised tour.

You travel back up the Spey River to Craigellachie for a visit to the Speyside Cooperage, where you see another aspect of the whisky making process.

After lunch here or in nearby Aberlour, you visit Glenfiddich Distillery, home to the world’s most popular single malt. Tradition and passion have shaped the distinctive flavours of this Speyside favourite since the Grant family first started distilling in this area more than 130 years ago. From here, you travel back to Grantown on Spey.

In the morning you visit Glenlivet, which is both a distillery and a beautiful glen with serene walks and wonderful wildlife. You then enjoy the majesty of Royal Deeside. You pass by Balmoral Castle, and stop in the village of Braemar in the heart of the National Park.

From here the route south passes over Scotland’s highest mountain pass, through Perthshire, and back to Edinburgh.

Inclusions

Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
Air conditioning as standard
The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide
Seven nights accommodation
Lunch at the Scotch Malt Whisky Society

Exclusions

Entry fees to visitor attractions
Entrance to distilleries
Optional activities
Other meals, drinks, tips and other personal expenses or services not specified on the program
Personal equipment
Travel insurance
Gratuities
Voluntary tips for guides or drivers
Travel and medical insurance
Any items not mentioned as included

Notes

Departures every Friday ex Edinburg
Hotel Accommodation can be upgraded to 3 Star on request
Child supplement applies only to up to 01 child aged 5-15 years old, sharing the same room with 02 adults,
No children under 5 years old are permitted, except with special permission
Restricted to 14kg (31lbs) of luggage per person
Pack your waterproof clothing and walking shoes

Please note that during August (High Season) there is an extra supplement per room/per person for the twin rooms and for the single rooms. Price on Request

Trip Highlights

The Islay Distilleries- Bowmore village- Sandy beaches of Islay- Loch Lomond National Park- Scotch Malt Whisky Society lunch and tasting- Cairngorms National Park- Speyside- Speyside Cooperage- Royal Deeside

Departure Period

01 Jun, 2020 to 30 Sep, 2020
AUD 2,278 P P twin share
AUD 2,989 P P single

01 Oct, 2020 to 30 Oct, 2020
AUD 2,176 P P twin share
AUD 2,874 P P single

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