Islay | Eithne Nutt

Ask an Islander

We headed over to Islay for our ‘ask an islander’ feature on social media where islander Michaela shared some of her insights into island life.

“Islay is famous for so many great whiskies, but that’s not all the island has. Islay is also home to the delicious, wild heather infused Nerabus Gin. This family-owned small-batch handcrafted gin is produced with 100 per cent Isle of Islay water and is bottled on the island.

“Islay’s also home to many talented artists too. There are writers, poets, photographers, musicians, architects, textile designers and a whole range of craftspeople. There are studios and galleries to visit and you can even decorate your own pottery at Persabus Pottery and ceramic cafe.”

“There’s so much to see and do on Islay,” Michaela says. “You could never grow bored here. There are spectacular landscapes and coastlines to explore and an abundance of wildlife. Islay has the freshest of air and crystal-clear waters with a huge number of great beaches where you can take a dip in the aqua coloured clear water and enjoy a swim – which I often do!”

We asked Michaela about her favourite season in Islay. “Spring is my favourite time of year on the island,” she says. “The weather is pleasant and the days are so long – you can fit a lot in. One of my favourite spring memories is dusting off my walking boots after winter and taking part in the Walk Islay annual event across Islay, Jura and Colonsay. You get to enjoy the varied scenery from beaches and lochs, to mountains and moors, and, to top it off, you can see eagles, otters, deer, goats and more – wildlife all around.”

And the best thing about island life, Michaela? “Beautiful landscapes and great community come to mind. The silence and time in nature makes the island special for me. Saligo Bay is my favourite place on Islay. I spend hours photographing the ebbs and flows of the Atlantic Ocean and the ever-changing waves – it lifts my mood every time.”

Gaelic / Gàidhlig

The Gaelic name for Islay is Ìle.

Do you want to tell someone you like whisky? That would be ‘Is toil leam uisge-beatha’!

Getting Here

You can sail to Islay with CalMac Ferries from Kennacraig or Oban on the mainland or from Colonsay. You can also take the five-minute trip from Jura on the ferry run by Argyll and Bute Council.

Loganair operates flights from Glasgow to Islay and Hebridean Air Services operates flights from Oban and Colonsay.

Explore More

Want to find out more about Islay and explore more of our amazing islands?

Download the free Scottish Islands Passport app to:

  • discover your perfect island match,
  • find out about the experiences each island has to offer,
  • collect passport stamps for the islands you visit,
  • find information on accommodation, travel and island amenities.

Get Your Passport

You can find lots more information about things to see and do on the island, see some amazing island photography and collect your island stamp by downloading our app.

Download the app

App in phone

Download the Scottish Island Passport app to collect your island stamps! The app also provides lots more information on each island including recommendations from locals about things to see and do, info on how to get around, more stunning photos and useful offline maps.

  • Unlock Stamps - Collect them all! Stamp your passport when you visit each island - with an individual stamp designed to represent a unique aspect of island heritage.
  • Experiences - Discover the best experiences each island has to offer – from local boat trips to exciting traditional festivals, there is something for everyone.
  • Maps - Navigate the islands with useful offline maps, handy for areas where internet connectivity is weak.
  • Travel Jounals - Create an in-location travel journal with pictures from your island adventures, to look back on your trip.
  • Favourites - keep track of your most loved islands with the favourites feature. Available to access from your account on both the app and web.