Enjoy and explore the very best of Scotland’s whisky regions
Day 1 – Glasgow
Arrive into Glasgow or Edinburgh airport and collect your car. Drive the short distance to your accommodation outside of Glasgow to check in. This afternoon you may choose to visit Auchentoshan Distillery, one of Scotland’s most unique distilleries. It is a Lowland Distillery and while most Scottish whiskies are distilled twice, at Auchentoshan they triple distill their spirit. A little bit further north you will find Glengoyne Distillery, which is often described as Scotland’s most beautiful distillery. Glengoyne is distilled more slowly than any other malt whisky, at a third the usual space, to create a complex, award-winning spirit. If time allows you may also want to join a cruise on Loch Lomond, the largest lake in Britain and one of the most scenic in Scotland.
Overnight: Glasgow area
Day 2 – Islay
Depart your hotel this morning to drive via Inverarary with its stunning castle, to Kennacraig to catch your ferry to the isle of Islay, one of the most famous whisky areas of Scotland. It is believed that Irish monks introduced distillation to Islay in the 14th century, as Islay was the perfect location for distillation due to its fertile ground for growing barley, with excellent pure water sources and plenty of peat. The peat makes Islay single malt whiskies some of the strongest flavoured of all malt whiskies. You will find the stronger flavours at the distilleries located in the south of the island, for example at Laphroig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg, and the slightly milder whiskies in the north, at distilleries like Bruichladdich and Bunnahabhain, and Bowmore which is located in the middle of the island. Several of the distilleries welcome visitors, and depending on your ferry times you should have the time to visit a distillery this afternoon or the following morning. Check into your next overnight on Islay.
Day 3 – Oban
You may have the time to visit an Islay distillery this morning, before catching a ferry back to the mainland. Drive north along the scenic west coast of Scotland to Oban, one of the biggest ferry ports in Scotland. The local distillery is located in central Oban, and is one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, founded in 1794. The tour of the distillery finishes with a sample of their 14 year old single malt with some crystallized ginger – a taste sensation! You will also have the time to explore Oban, with its many shops, pubs and restaurants.
Day 4 – Inverness
Today you will drive from Oban to the Speyside region of Scotland, via the most famous loch in Scotland – Loch Ness. You may choose to visit Oban Distillery this morning, before heading up along the coast, driving through Fort William to Spean Bridge where you can stop to visit their woollen mill. At Fort Augustus you will get your first glimpse of Loch Ness, and if you feel adventurous you can take a cruise on the loch to look out for Nessie, the legendary monster. For stunning views, stop to visit Urquhart Castle which is a ruined castle on shores of Loch Ness. Drive through Inverness, the capital of the Highlands, on your way to your hotel or B&B in the Speyside region of Scotland.
Day 5 – Speyside
Today you will get the chance to visit the distilleries behind the world’s most famous, and some would say finest malt whiskies. Speyside is a must visit destination for any whisky lover, and this is where you find Glenfiddich, Macallan, The Glenlivet and many more famous distilleries along the river Spey. In addition to a distillery, you may also want to include a visit to the Speyside Cooperage, the only working cooperage in Britain where you can experience the ancient art of producing whisky casks from oak. But Speyside is also beautiful scenery, historic castles, picturesque villages and towns, so you will not be stuck for things to do.
Day 6 – Pitlochry – Edinburgh
Depart Speyside this morning, and start your drive south to Edinburgh. Along the way you can stop to visit one of the many castles in the area, such as Blair Castle, or stop to explore villages and towns like Pitlochry and Dunkeld. Near Pitlochry, you can visit one of Scotland’s smallest whisky distillery, Edradour. On your way to Edinburgh you may choose to head east to St Andrews, the home of golf, and explore this beautiful university town on foot. Continue south across the Forth Road Bridge, to return your hire car at nearby Edinburgh Airport. Transfer to your hotel or B&B in Edinburgh.
Day 7 – Edinburgh
Welcome to Edinburgh! Spend the day soaking up the atmosphere of this exciting city. An open top bus tour is a great way to explore the city, and you may also want to visit some of its many attractions such as famous Edinburgh Castle. At the top of the Royal Mile you can stop to visit the Scotch Whisky Experience where you will learn even more about Scotland’s different whiskies, including blended whisky. In the evening, many of the cozy pubs serve a wide selection of whisky – Slainte Mhath!
Day 8 – Goodbye
Return your car to Edinburgh Airport and join your flight home.