Islay Information

You can do as little or as much as you like on Islay. There are seven Malt Whisky distilleries to visit, day trips to the islands of Jura or Colonsay, sea and Loch fishing, watersports, birdwatching, golf, shooting or stalking, and traditional craft shops to enjoy. The Island is also rich in archaeological history, and was once the headquarters of the Lords of the Isles.

We have miles and miles of sandy beaches, many of which are suitable for swimming in the warmer summer months. Portnahaven bay is only a few minutes drive from the house and is perfect for a brisk dip! The bay is also home to a local population of Common and Grey seals.

But if you'd rather take life at an easier pace, why not relax in one of the quiet pubs and sample your Malt from the comfort of an armchair by the fire.

There is a local pub in Portnahaven which serves good pub grub, and two pubs and hotels in Port Charlotte. The Port Charlotte hotel serves Seafood lunches and dinners overlooking the Loch Indaal and their restaurant for fine dining is superb. They all have fine collections of Malt whiskies on offer.

Easter Ellister estate is abundant with birdlife and over 125 species have been recorded around the farmhouse alone, including the rare Chough (there are 180 bird species on the Island). Wintering Barnacle and White-front geese regularly occupy the farmland in front of the house. We have signed walks around the estate for visitors to follow and a special dog walking field; however, as Ellister is a working farm please note that many of the fields have livestock in them and for visitors safety we don't recommend walking through fields without prior permission.

Most of the distilleries have tours running in the summer months. We boast seven! They are Caol Ila, Bunnahabhain, Bruichladdich, Bowmore, Ardbeg, Lagavulin and Laphroaig. The nearby island of Jura also has its own distillery and tours by appointment only. Bruichalddich Distillery is well worth a visit and has tours twice daily in the summer. A very warm welcome is guaranteed!

We have full tourist information leaflets at Easter Ellister but here is a small list of some of the things you can do on Islay; and some useful websites and numbers:

* Golf at the Machrie Hotel and Golf Course.
* Pony Trekking at Kilchoman
* Visit the RSPB Reserves. Tel 01496 850 505
* Birdwatching tours and wildneress survival courses.
* Check our the wildlife on a Seasafari.
* Fishing on one of Islay's estates - Islay Estate 01496 810 293 or Dunlossit Estate on 01496 840 232.
* Swimming pool and sauna at the Mactaggart pool in Bowmore.
* Visit the only remaining round church in Scotland at Bowmore.
*Visit Islay House Square for Islay Ales, Islay Cards and Gifts, Elizabeth Sykes Batiks, and Stained Glass Artsist Susan East Wood .
* Musuem of Islay Life in Portcharlotte; Tormisdale Croft Crafts or visit Persabus Pottery.
*There are also various music and whisky festivals running throughout the year. Contact http://www.islayfestival.org for more information.

There are some great websites to learn more about Islay. Visit http://www.islayinfo.com for a comprehensive and in-depth guide to everything you need to know before visiting or call the Tourist Information Centre in Bowmore on 01496 810 254.

Have a look at the Photo Gallery on this site to see what Islay is really like.