The environment of Islay – a Hebridean island that is regularly blasted by stiff Atlantic gales – has served its single-malt whisky industry well over the years, with an abundance of peat for its distilleries and a sufficiently remote location to deter customs officers from visiting (historically, at least).
Those who can make it there this May
should raise a glass to the island’s famous export at the Islay Festival of
Music and Malt. A weeklong celebration, blending everything from gigs to Gaelic
lessons, the festival’s focal point is a programme of tastings and open days
centred on Islay’s eight working distilleries.
The Islay Festival of Music
and Malt runs from 25 May to 3 June. Guests include Scottish poet Liz
Lochhead and traditional storyteller Jess Smith. Flybe
operates flights to Islay from Glasgow (from £95), while Cal Mac ferries sail to Islay from
Kennacraig on the Scottish mainland (from £110 per car or £20 per adult
passenger). Kintra Farm is a
farmhouse B&B by a spectacular beach on the island’s southern coast (from
This article was published in partnership with Lonely Planet