Islay’s Festival of Music, Malt, and Magic

The intoxicating atmosphere of Fèis Ìle

and the island is swept along on a vibrant journey of music, malt, and more than a little ‘magic’.

It is Islay’s ‘magic’ that really makes this festival so incredibly special. Enveloping you in a warm, welcoming hug, as Distilleries host open days filled with live music and entertainment. There are master classes, tours and tastings, food stalls and craft fairs. Village halls host ceilidhs, as highland dancers and pipers lead festival goers on exciting adventures showcasing the island’s talent and heritage.

The Fèis Ìle offers a truly immersive journey

starting from the cruise across those turquoise seas on the Calmac Ferries, or through the deep blue skies with Loganair, as planes and ferries transport visitors and guests over to share in this exciting adventure.

The ‘magic’ of that warm Islay welcome

the smiles and waves as journeys across the island unfold. Each twist and bend on the roads revealing yet more scenic panoramas as the colours of landscapes and seascapes pull on the heart strings.

The stunning variety and warmth of the island’s welcoming accommodation

from the boutique hotels, to white washed self-catering cottages, tucked in beside the shore. The bespoke bed and breakfast apartments. Each option encapsulating that unique hospitality and charm of the Hebrides.

There is always a huge buzz in the air at festival time

Behind the scenes there has been months of meticulous planning. A festival of creativity as each Distillery celebrates and shares their own unique character and charm. From ‘Rockn’daal’ at  Bruichladdich Distillery, a ‘rock fest’ of fabulous fun on the shores of Lochindaal, to the ‘Ardcore’ workers of Ardbeg, who threw a ‘peaty punky’ party. From that ‘First Fling’ to the ‘Final Fling’, as  bagpipes and drums stir the soul. The accordions and fiddles, the singers and dancers, the world class entertainers, those live performances, all set against the refreshing salty breeze, cloudless blue skies, and sparkling seas. The island atmosphere ignites with contagious happy energy as those islanders, those festival visitors, that huge community from around the globe, come together to celebrate and make Fèis Ìle into one happy, spirited party.

From the tastings of fine malts, bespoke gins, rums, and beers, as the island’s produce is celebrated and sampled, to the tours and bottlings, as cocktails  and mocktails have been shaken, not stirred, and all the while the sun bursts across magnificent blue skies.

Away from the hurly burly dance of the festival, when time allowed, we headed for the shores of Machir Bay. The warm golden sands of a deserted beach, the waves breaking gently on the shore. The soothing dip in deep, crystal clear rock pools at the far end, refreshing the soul, as the sun setting in the skies bathed the island in a sun-kissed pink glow.

Come and visit soon, a warm Islay welcome awaits…

Until next time.

A large copper Still
Whisky and toast
Band playing on stage
Ardnahoe Distillery
Two people smiling
Cars parking in a field
girl swimming in a rock pool
pink skies as the sun sets