My father was born and brought up here so we visit frequently and I would always spend a few weeks here each summer. The island itself is known as the 'Queen of the Hebrides' and this is evident if you stroll around the towns on the island. I've always stayed in Port Ellen or just outside it, and its here that most of my childhood memories lie.
Islay is home to many distilleries and they are famed for being very smoky tasting as they are heavily influenced by peat. Most people will either love this, or hate it. As I now work within the whisky industry I can appreciate how special Islay is in terms of this. The whisky from Islay is completely unique and instantly recognisable, even by people who don't know very much about whisky at all.
|Two healthy drams of Laphroaig Quarter Cask|
Lagavulin, Ardbeg and Laphroaig are situated on the south of the island and these are the most intensely peated whiskies and arguably the strongest tasting whiskies in Scotland. A lot of the barley malting takes place on the island as well with both Laphroaig and Bowmore malting a percentage of their own barley, and the maltings in Port Ellen catering for the others.
|Caol Ila Distillery|
There are two ways to get to Islay: by ferry or by plane. You can get over to Islay by travelling to Tarbert and catching a Caledonian MacBrayne ferry to either Port Ellen or Port Askaig on the island; alternatively you can get a flight from Glasgow airport to Islay.
|Singing Sands beach|
|Carriag Fhada lighthouse, The Oa|