Islay currently has 9 working whisky distilleries and more are planned in the near future. Aptly-named "the whisky isle", the peaty produce of Islay has worldwide acclaim, and can be seen and tasted in abundance during a visit to the island.

At the southern end of the island, you'll find Lagavulin, Laphroaig and Ardbeg distilleries, each with their own take on the peatiest of peaty whisky. Located close to one another and linked by the aptly-named 'Three Distilleries Pathway', these are easily combined in one visit, with a nice coastal walk to recover from your tastings afterwards! Local taxis can easily be arranged to drop off and pick up from your accommodation.

In the north-west of Islay are Bowmore, Bruichladdich and the newer Kilchoman whisky. Each has its own selling points, and they're all in stunning settings with views of the water. Kilchoman is also a short walk from beautiful Machir bay, which one of its whiskies is named after.

Finally, to the north-east of the island looking across to Jura, the remaining three distilleries are to be found - Caol Ila, Bunnahabhain, and recently-opened Ardnahoe.

The ambitious will try to cover all 9 distilleries in just a few days, however we recommend a more targeted approach - pick a few that appeal to you and book a couple of different tours and tastings. The basic process of whisky-making doesn't vary a huge amount from distillery to distillery - it's the stories behind each one, and the special and different things they do to produce their own unique concoctions, which make the visits so interesting.

Jura, too, has a whisky distillery. Although there's just one, meaning it has some way to go to catch up with its next-door neighbour, Jura whisky has extensive popularity and draws visitors from all over the world. Jura is also home to the excellent all-female team producing Lussa Gin, and it's well worth the long drive on narrow roads to go and visit them!