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Welcome toIslay & Jura


Come to Islay for the whiskies, beaches, birdlife and music. Then go to Jura for the true wilderness.

1 of 6 Round House, Bowmore, Isle of Islay

More about Islay & Jura

Ideal for:

Food & drink Culture Whisky Wildlife Watching

World-famous whiskies

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 ticket - 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.

The wilderness of Jura

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.  

For more information on Islay and Jura visit Explore Argyll and Islay and Jura's websites.


Islay

How to get here

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). Vehicle reservations are recommended.

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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:

Getting to Kennacraig

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.

By car

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.

Helpful tips for driving on Islay and Jura

Video transcript - How to drive on single track roads

Travelling without a car

By bus

There's a bus to Kennacraig from Glasgow, which takes 3 hours 30 minutes. Visit our Journey Planner for more details on timetables.

By Foot

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

By Bike

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.

To plan your bike journey, visit CycleStreets .

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Customer notice

The timetable information used is powered by Traveline and may not account for service changes, tidal amends or additional sailings. The information therefore may be subject to change. Please check the Service Status page before you travel.

See up to date service status here

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