Visit Islay's Whisky Distilleries

Known as the ‘whisky Isle’ a visit to Islay’s whisky Distilleries is definitely worth including in those holiday plans. With 9 Islay whisky distilleries to choose from, and another just a short ferry ride away on the neighbouring Isle of Jura, there is plenty of choice.

So, what can you expect from a visit to Islay’s Distilleries?

Well, just as each malt whisky has its own unique character and personality, the same is true of each distillery. Aside from the whisky, each of Islay’s Distilleries are situated in stunning locations and corners of the island, each offering their own magical views of Islay. They have you covered too, as most of the distilleries now serve delicious food and refreshments. Enjoy the Visitor Centre shopping experiences and  soon be you will be taking home some beautiful pieces from your trip.

Islay and Jura Distillery Opening Times Winter 2023/2024

Ardnahoe Distillery

Ardnahoe Distillery is a five minute drive along the road from Persabus.

Ardnahoe is latest of Islay’s whisky distilleries to open, but with a couple more whisky distilleries in the planning and building stages, there will be more to come!

In the winter months Ardnahoe Distillery will be open Tuesday to Saturday 10.00am until 4pm. All tours and tastings are available to book online. Tours run daily at 10am and 2pm. Do book Distillery tours or tastings in advance of your trip to Islay. For information and to book tours and tastings see the website

With a fantastic restaurant and bar, offering panoramic views across the Sound of Islay to the wilderness of Jura’s west coast, it is definitely worth popping by. The Illicit Still café and bar is open Tuesday to Saturday, with light lunches served from 12 noon until 2.30pm (booking advisable) tel: 01496 840777

For information and to book tours and tastings or experiences such as the Whisky Journey Through Scotland; Blending Experience or First Steps in Whisky, or to experience a whisky and cheese pairing or a whisky and food paring please see the website on

To contact the café call 10496 840777.

On Saturday November 11 there will be a Christmas shopping event at Ardnahoe Distillery 2pm to 6pm

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Bunnahabhain Distillery

Bunnahabhain Distillery is a fifteen minute drive along the road from Persabus.

Out of all the Islay whisky Distilleries it is probably situated on one of Islay’s most scenic coastlines. Here the wildlife come out to play and don’t be surprised if you get treated to an otter or two playing on the shore, as well as eagles soaring over head.

Bunnahabhain is a less peated in flavour than the island’s other fine malts. Enjoy tours and tastings, but definitely book them in advance of your trip.

Visitor Centre open 10am to 5pm Monday-Sunday. The Distillery will close on 25th December and 26th, and again on 1st January and 2nd January 2024.

Warehouse 9 tasting experiences available.

Call  01496 840557 for details and to book. Flights of drams can be tasted in the visitor centre shop – booking is required. Virtual tasting experiences available (UK only) Find and book your tasting experience! Any questions or to arrange a tasting for a group or club, please email Billy and the team on [email protected]

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Ardbeg Distillery

Visitor centre and shop open Monday to Saturday 10.00am to 5pm

Tours and Tastings – Choose from a wide range of experiences – there’s something for everyone! 

Food and drink – the ARDstream trailer is closed for the winter. However the Old Kiln Café is open for good home cooked dishes from Monday to Friday.

For more information follow the distillery link or call 01496 302244

No need to book but do let them know if you are a big party (eg a group of 12 or more).  Please email [email protected] to let us know. Tel 01496 302244 for any further information

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Bruichladdich Distillery

Bruichladdich Distillery is a half hour drive from Persabus.

The Laddie shop is open Monday – Saturday 10.00am am to 17.30, with last shop tastings at 5pm. The Distillery will be closed on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and 2nd January. Winter timetable runs until the end of March.

Bruichalddich offers a variety of distillery tours and experiences for both Bruichladdich and Botanist Gin. For more details and to book online go to the website here Distillery Tours – Bruichladdich Distillery. For further information call 01496 850190.

Bowmore Distillery

Bowmore Distillery is a 20 minute drive from Persabus.

The distillery shop is open from Tuesday to Saturday 10am to 5pm.

There is limited capacity on the Art of Time Whisky and Chocolate tasting and our Vaults Secrets Warehouse Tasting and bookings are essential. To check availability and book please visit the Bowmore website or alternatively call  01496810441.

Caol Ila Distillery

Caol ila Distillery is a five minute drive from Persabus, or enjoy a walk through the fields across the farm to the new visitor centre.

Visitor Centre open Monday to Saturday10am – 5pm through to the end of February 2024 (from March it will reopen on Sundays too).

The bar isopen from 10.00am serving a range of drams, cocktails, flights and food platters, with last orders at 16.15.

Caol ila visitor centre will be closed on 24th December to 27th, and from 31st December to 3rd January, 2024 inclusive.

The Distillery’s winter weekend is taking place in December from 1st to 3rd, with special festive events and discounts in the shop, there may even be a festive cocktail or two available in the bar.

The Johnnie Walker Striding Man Statue was designed by (Persabus) artists Rosemary Fletcher and her daughters. Head over to our blog section to read the story behind the designs for Johnnie Walker Striding Man Statue.

Deer Island Rum Distillery

Enjoy a short ferry trip across to the neighbouring Isle of Jura and visit the new Rum Distillery in Craighouse, Jura. Persabus is a five minute drive from the Jura Ferry, no booking necessary. The Rum Disitllery is open every Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat 12.00-16.00

Kilchoman Distillery

40 minutes by car from Persabus.

The Visitor Centre, Shop & Café is open Monday to Friday 9.45am to 5pm and on Sunday 10am to 5pm. Distillery Classic tours are available throughout the day, and the Limited Edition tour takes place at 11.00am It will be closed on Saturdays. Distillery Tours are available throughout the day, please check our website for full details and to book.  

The whisky tasting bar is open all day – no booking required.  Café open 11:00 – 16.30 for hot and cold drinks, cakes and lunch. Lunch is served between 12.00 and 14.30. Visit their website or email: [email protected]. Telephone: 01496 850 011

Jura Distillery

A short ferry journey across to the neighbouring Isle of Jura (Persabus is a five minute drive from the Jura ferry terminal at Port Askaig, no need to book)

Shop and visitor centre open from 10am to 16.00 Monday to Friday. Please book ahead for tours and tastings, contact us on 01496 820 385 for further details or email us at [email protected]

Laphroaig Distillery

40 minutes by car from Persabus, or hop on a bus. Buses operate Mon to Sat, more details can be found here

Open 9.45am to 16:30 Monday to Friday. Visit the museum, shop and lounge bar (open 10am to 16.00 with last orders 15.45) You can also book one of several tours and tasting experiences. See more on the website. Please call to book ahead by calling 01496 302418 or email [email protected]. Visit the website here and visit the shop here.


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Lagavulin Distillery is a forty minute drive from Persabus.

Open 10.00 -16.00 (Monday to Saturday) All experience bookings can be made on their website. 

A variety of experiences can be booked via website  

Friday November 24 and Saturday November 25: Festive shopping weekend at Lagavulin. Get into the Christmas spirit with hot toddies, complimentary mince pies and festive cocktails and enjoy 20% off in store.

Lussa Gin, Jura

There are no official tours just now, but visitors are welcome to come to the distillery any time Monday to Friday from 10am until 4.30pm.

(email [email protected] or call 01496 820196).

Nerabus Gin

Open Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 4pm at Islay House Square, Bridgend, for tastings, purchases and meet the makers.

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Explore our delightful Islay accommodation where we have a fabulous choice of country accommodation on this beautiful island.

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Things to Do

There is so much to see and do on the beautiful island of Islay and we have a section to help you decide what to do when you visit here.

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Perfect stay at Persabus. We went to Islay for the annual whisky festival and stayed again with Donald and Rosemary at their farm cottage. We had a lovely time enjoying their hospitality and daily introductions to the Islay whisky delights! The cottage has everything needed to enjoy a stay on b & b basis, comfortable bed, great shower and exclusive sitting room where we could relax with a “wee dram” or two!

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