Welcome toIslay & Jura
Come to Islay for the whiskies, beaches, birdlife and music. Then go to Jura for the true wilderness.
Islay - a beautiful, small, tranquil Hebridean island - that also happens to be a global name in the whisky industry. The island is home to numerous world-famous distilleries - meaning there are several delicious whisky and gin related reasons alone to visit this Hebridean island, and a number of ways to do so. Travel to Islay from Oban, or from Kennacraig on Kintyre. When it comes to the 'water of life' few places rival Islay. Not everyone comes for the whisky alone, but no one leaves without an appreciation for the place and the people, as well as the produce. Yet - Islay is home to much more - including stunning seascapes, wildlife and a rich history. You can also add to your Islay itinerary with an Island Hopping tour with our multiple journey ticket option,- where you build an itinerary, taking you from one island to another at your own pace - whether that's a whisky trail to take in the neighbouring distilleries on Arran and Kintyre, or perhaps to explore the islands and Peninsula in the region by pedal power, enjoying the stunning coastal surroundings at a leisurely pace.
Just across the water from Islay lies Jura - home to c.200 people. Jura also has a world class reputation for whisky and beautiful scenery, in particular its mountains - the Paps of Jura - visible on our crossing to Islay. For a time in the 1940s, the island was home to Eric Arthur Blair - better known as George Orwell. He wrote his famous novel Nineteen Eighty-Four here whilst staying in a local farmhouse. Don't miss a guided tour of the Gulf of Corryvreckan, which in Gaelic means 'cauldron of speckled seas.' Strong Atlantic currents and unusual topography produce an intense tidal race in the channel. A combination that produces large standing waves and the Corryvreckan whirlpool. Local tours are available - and as you travel, you might be able to spot the wildlife the area is famous for - from red deer, to seals and sea birds. Look out for the very elusive otters and Sea Eagles.
Why not try Taste of Place Trails .
Prior to your journey, familiarise yourself with VisitScotland's #RespectProtectEnjoy guidance and check the arrangements individual islands and locations have for managing the safety of their visitors and communities. For Argyll and Bute, please read through the area's 'Be a great Visitor' guidance.
Get the ferry to Islay from Kennacraig on Kintyre, landing at Port Ellen (2 hours 20 minutes) or Port Askaig (from 1 hour 55 minutes). You can book travel online, and when you do, you'll immediately receive an eTicket direct to your inbox - ready to board.
When booking travel to/from Islay online, please select the port you plan to travel to/from - either Port Ellen or Port Askaig. If your booking is for a return journey, and you are selecting different Islay ports for each leg, please use the 'multi-Island' booking feature, shown when prompted to select the ticket type you'd like. This feature can be used to bundle multiple journeys across our network and will allow customers to make a return booking with travel through different Islay ports.
Looking for the best form of travel to and from our ports? Our Journey Planner can help you find the way that best suits you for making your journey using the most up to date information from around the UK for all transport companies.
We have also listed some travel information below that you may find useful:
Kennacraig is on the west coast of the Kintyre peninsula, just south of Tarbert. To get there, you can take a route over the mainland, or catch a ferry to one of the islands and hop over to the Kintyre peninsula that way.
Kennacraig is roughly 100 miles from Glasgow, and the drive takes you past Loch Lomond, and down the coast of Loch Fyne. Rapid speed EV charging points are available at Kennacraig.
There's a bus to Kennacraig from Glasgow, which takes 3 hours 30 minutes. Visit our Journey Planner for more details on timetables.
Islay offers a range of walks from easy family walks to more challenging hill walks. Islay is famous for its whisky and its wildlife, both of which can be easily enjoyed on foot. For whisky lovers why not try the walk from Port Ellen to Ardbeg, calling in at Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg Distilleries; if timed correctly it is possible to catch a bus back to Port Ellen after that much deserved whisky tasting. Find local bus timetables, and local taxi details at www.islayinfo.com.
Jura offers more challenging walks with the Paps of Jura being the key draw. These hills provide amazing views over number of nearby islands and the mainland. Literature fans may also be interested in the walk to the Gulf of Corryvreckan which passes Barnhill, the remote retreat where George Orwell wrote his classic book 1984.
For further details about walking routes visit the Islay and Jura website
The relatively flat landscape of Islay lends itself to exploring by bike and is an excellent place for all the family to cycle. Jura is a little more challenging due to its more hilly nature but it is also much quieter and offers are real wilderness experience. Bike hire is available on both islands, details can be found on the Islay and Jura website.
If you're bringing your bike, please add your bike(s) to your booking, - this means that you have more certainty about space. This ticket will remain free of charge.
To plan your bike journey, visit CycleStreets .