Learn about whisky distilling in Islay.

Islay Coastal Walk 

Enjoy a walk starting from Port Ellen and admire stunning coastal views en route to the distilleries.

Included in your cruise
  • Visit distilleries.
  • Admire stunning coastal views.
  • Gifts shops at Port Ellen.
  • Dunyvaig Castle.
  • Difficulty level

    Level 2: Easy

  • Duration

    3h

  • Max. passengers

    100

  • Booking Code

    INCL-ISY1

  • Notices

    Appropriate warm, waterproof clothing, and comfortable walking shoes.

Port Ellen is the second largest town on Islay, built around Leodamais Bay. It was founded in 1821 by Walter Frederick Campbell and named after his wife Ellinor (or Eleanor), later shortened to Port Ellen. The walks starts here and follows the shore  with some of Islay’s most famous distilleries along the way.  

Keep an eye out for the Port Ellen distillery at the west side. This is now a grain malting site that serves most of the other distilleries on the island. Explore the seafront and head out of Port Ellen.  

Admire stunning coastal views as the route passes the inlet at Sròn Dubh. Take a brief detour and visit the MacDougall monument atop a grassy mound overlooking the sea.

The first of the distilleries then comes into view. Laphraoig is renowned as one of Scotland’s peatiest whiskies. It revels in being like Marmite, the famous British paste: loved by some, loathed by others. Then comes the Lagavulin Distillery. This is a legendary spot for lovers of peaty malts and is one of the oldest established distilleries on Islay. Distilling on this spot dates back much further than when it became a legal distillery in 1816. 

Follow the pathway to the shore and explore Dunyvaig Castle, which stands on a rocky promontory jutting into Lagavulin Bay. The castle was built on the rocky outcrop that was the site of an earlier Iron Age fort. Over the centuries, Dunyvaig has been held by the MacDonalds, the Macleans, and the Campbells. 

Continue toward Ardbeg Distillery, which was closed many years before reopening for full production in 1998.  

The same route will return you to Port Ellen.  

Practical information:

  • Language: English.

  • Remarks/requirements: Appropriate warm, waterproof clothing, and comfortable walking shoes.

  • Walking information: Approximately 8 miles Mainly flat with sections of uneven paths

  • Wheelchair accessible: No.