'''Islay''', "Queen of the [[Hebrides]]" is around 20 miles by 20 miles. It has eight distilleries , Bunnabhain, Bruichladdich, Bowmore, Coal Ila, Argbeg, Laphroaig, Port Ellen and Lagavullan, all are worth a visit.
'''Islay''', "Queen of the [[Hebrides]]" is a .
The Islay has two ferry ports, ferry journey is a hour mins trip from the mainland leaves from Tarbert and from Glasgow
The Islay has two ferry ports , the ferry journey is a 1 hour 40 mins trip from the mainland, it leaves from Tarbert which is about 2 and half hours from Glasgow by car.
CalMac also operate ferries from Oban and Colonsay to Port Askaig on Wednesdays between March and October.
British Airways also runs two return flights per day between Glasgow International Airport and Islay Airport.
Islay Coaches runs buses which serve the main towns and villages.
Hitchhiking is easy and relatively safe on Islay.
Bicycle hire is available in Bowmore (next to the Post Office) and two companies on the island offer car hire - Islay Car Hire and MacKenzies
Remember to wave to other road users, whether it be vehicle drivers, cyclists, or pedestrians.
Take a distillery tour. Even if you don't like whisky it's really interesting to learn about the distilling process and see how the distilleries have shaped island life. If you do like whisky you generally get a free taster. All distilleries on the island offer tours, and Ardbeg and Kilchoman also have cafés.
Use the swimming pool, sauna and gym at the McTaggart leisure centre in Bowmore.
Sit on the beach at The Oa.
The cafe at Ardbeg distillery is wonderfully rustic with some great menu choices including good soups and home baking.
There is a good Indian restaurant in the centre of Bowmore.
Port Ellen has limited options in the evening - the White Hart serves bar meals and there is an Indian restaurant in the main street. The Machrie Golf Club, approx 3 miles away (near the airport) is a better option.
An Taigh Osda in Bruichladdich offers fine dining but its small dining room (it also has B&B) means that booking is essential at weekends and during the summer months.
The Port Charlotte Hotel does good bar meals and often has live music. The Port Mor Centre, on the road out of Port Charlotte towards Portnahaven, serves lunches and snacks, with a family-friendly play area outside.
The Ballygrant Inn does good home baking and evening meals.
The Port Askaig Hotel is a pleasant pub which does average bar meals.
With its eight distilleries - Bunnahabhain, Bruichladdich, Bowmore, Caol Ila, Ardbeg, Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Kilchoman - it is easy to see why Islay is probably most famous for its whisky.
The Port Charlotte Hotel is a lively venue which does meals and often has live traditional music on Wednesday and Sunday evenings from 8:30pm onwards. There is a beer garden at the back. Even if you are not a whisky drinker, ask to see their whisky menu - a remarkable list of different bottlings from the island's distilleries. If you want to try - beware, as some of the rarer ones are as much as £50 a dram!
In Port Ellen, the White Hart Hotel has a bar and pool table - you can also take your drinks outside to the grassy area across the road.
The Islay Ale Brewery opened in 2004.
The Port Askaig Hotel is one of the island's oldest inns and has picnic tables at the front.
An Tigh Seinnse, 11 Queen Street, Portnahaven PA47 7SJ, ☎ An Tigh Seinnse. Cosy bar and restaurant serving local food. Child (and pet!) friendly, outdoor seating.
The Bay self catering cottage, King Street, Portnahaven, Isle of Islay, PA47 7SP, ☎ 01496 860 338, . checkin: Sat; checkout: Sat. Comfortable self catering cottage overlooking picturesque Portnahaven bay. Sleeps 4. (email firstname.lastname@example.org)£250-£375.
Port Charlotte Youth Hostel, Port Charlotte, Isle of Islay, Argyll, PA48 7TX, 0870 004 1128. SYHA Hostel in old whisky warehouse in the village of Port Charlotte. An excellent conversion of the building about 15 years ago giving a 30 bed hostel with good common room facilites. Wildlife Centre Exhibition in the downstairs part of the building.
Islay is a pretty safe place and any crime here is likely to be big news.