Whatever you would like your trip to Islay to consist of, perhaps to take in some nature with a local guide or take your bikes/ canoes to allow your group to explore remote stretches of coastline at leisure, we are happy to cater to your group needs – book now Simple charter of the boat on a day return Sailing is £600.00, this allows 12 passengers plus equipment (£50 per person return based on full boat!).
We can tailor trips for different purposes, a typical day trip would leave Portrush early morning 07:00 outbound for Port Ellen and returning to Portrush that evening 21:00. taxi transfer from the boat to Ardbeg or Laproaig Distilleries. dinner in Islay hotel then boat home. specialist tastings can be pre arranged with both distilleries. typcial price is £5per person taxi plus £20 tour and tasting. For details please contact us to discuss your requirements.
Click here to book a trip – or contact Skipper Richard Connor 07712115751
Islay Distilleries you could visit:
The southern distilleries these are closest to the boat- Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Port Ellen (the latter was closed in 1983) – are the most powerful, producing medium-bodied whiskies, saturated with peat-smoke, brine and iodine. Not only do these distilleries use heavily peated malt (54 ppm at Ardbeg, 40 ppm at Laphroaig), they use the island’s brown water for every stage of production – until they were closed in the early 1980s, Ardbeg had its own floor maltings and used to steep the barley in the same water.
The northern Islay distilleries – Bruichladdich (the ‘ch’ is silent) and Bunnahabhain (‘Boona-hah-ven’) are, by contrast, much milder. These draw their water direct from the spring, before it has had contact with peat, and use lightly or un-peated barley. The resulting whiskies are lighter flavoured, mossy (rather than peaty), with some seaweed, some nuts, but still the dry finish.
Bowmore Distillery, in the middle of the island on the shore of Loch Indaal, stands between the two extremes – peaty but not medicinal, with some toffee, some floral scents, and traces of linseed oil. Caol Ila (‘Cal-eela’), although close to Bunnahabhain, produces a delicate, greenish malt, with some peat/iodine/salt balanced by floral notes and a peppery finish.
Kilchoman: A Farm Distillery
Kilchoman (pronounced kilhoman) is a Farm Distillery and the first to be built on Islay for 124 years. It is the 8th distillery on the Island and opened in 2004. The whole production process is done on Islay including growing their own Barley on the Island. The location of the distillery is near Loch Gorm and only 500 metres (as the crow flies) from Machir bay on the Atlantic Ocean. The perfect ingredients for another great Islay Malt.
Walk / Cycle/ Nature
The reason for many people to visit Islay for the first time is most likely the presence of eight working whisky distilleries on the island, and even so many people discover that Islay has much more to offer. This is probably the reason why so many people choose to come back to this beautiful island and discover all the other things Islay has to offer with wildlife and birding being one of those many reasons.
Islay wildlife is very diverse, interesting, spectacular, everywhere present and easy to spot. Islay is famous for it’s more than 200 different species of birds, from which almost 100 breed on Islay. Observing birds and other wildlife is as easy as doing your daily groceries. Just walk over the various walking routes, out in the wild or take the car and drive slowly over the many remote and almost deserted single track roads. All you have to do is observe the fields around you and you have guaranteed success, specially in the hours just after sunrise or before sunset.
fifty thousand wild geese that visit Islay each winter from October to April. The rare Chough can be seen on the Oa, Ardnave and the Rhinns. The farm lands are also home to many lapwings, curlews, fewer corncrakes and many other birds. Buzzards, Hen Harriers, Golden Eagles and other birds of prey can be spotted in the more remote parts of Islay. Other recommended and easy accessible places are the areas around Loch Gorm, Loch Gruinart, Loch Indaal, the Rhinns, Bridgend woods and the single track road from Ardbeg to Ardtalla including Claggain Bay. The RSPB has a hide where you can observe birds and other wildlife at the head of Loch Gruinart.
The booklet ‘Islay, A Geological Guide’ by Norman S Newton, describes the geology of the island and changes through time to Islay’s shape as follows: “The underlying rocks of Islay have been raised and eroded many times in geological history, all of course unseen by the eye of man, but capable of reconstruction through painstaking study. It was two relatively recent geological events which combined to give this part of Scotland the appearance it has today. One was the flooding of the continental margin of Europe, possibly as recently as 10 million years ago, creating the Minch and the islands off the west coast of Scotland, including Islay. The other main event in creating today’s landscape were the Ice Ages.
“Related to the retreat of the ice-sheets are marine-cut platforms and raised beaches, forming level areas of well-drained land, as attractive to farmers today as they were to the first settlers (in Islay’s Mesolithic period). The most recent post-glacial raised beach stands about 8m above today’s strands, but other raised beaches are at 15m and 30m levels. The relative heights of the sea and land changed as the ice melted. When the ice melted, it did so relatively quickly, and sea levels rose rapidly and flooded the land. However, with the weight of ice removed, the land rose out of the sea again, leaving former beaches high and dry. During this period of high sea-level, much of Islay would have been under the sea. The Rinns were separated from the rest of Islay and would itself have been split in two; Loch Gorm is the last remnant of the sea which has now receded. The Mull of Oa would have been cut off at Kilnaughton, and the peat moss between Port Ellen and Bowmore would have been flooded.”