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Islay, also known as the Isle of Islay, has two ports, Port Askaig, on the North East coast opposite the Isle of Jurra and Port Ellen in the south. Port Ellen connects Islay to Kennacraig on the Kintyre peninsula. Port Askaig also connects Islay to Kennacraig as well as the island of Colonsay to the north and Oban on the Scottish mainland.
You can book ferries to and from Islay simply and easily on AFerry. To get a better idea of the range of services available, please look at the departures board below.
Ferries to and from Islay
Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac) Ferries operates a large variety of vessels. If the journey time is short, facilities may be limited. Otherwise, there is a full range including dining options and areas to enjoy a hot or cold drink or engage in a spot of souvenir shopping.
Port Askaig port facilities
Port Askaig is a manned port. It is open and manned in the summer around ferry arrival and departure times. If travelling by car, you are advised to check in 30 minutes prior to your departure.
There is a car park with 30 spaces, five of which are wheelchair accessible. There is no taxi rank but there is a bus stop 20 metres from the ferry terminal.
Other facilities include toilets, a waiting area and a baby changing area.
Port Ellen port facilities
Port Ellen is a manned port that is open in the winter and the summer. It is open most days from 6 or 8 am to 5 or 6pm and on Sunday to either 10:00 or 10:30 in the morning.
There are no car-parking facilities and if you are travelling by car, you are advised to arrive at least 30 minutes before your departure.
Taxis are not available and the nearest bus stop is in the local village, located 250 metres from the port.
Other facilities include toilet facilities and a seating area.
If you are a whiskey fan, Islay should definitely be on your itinerary. In fact, there are are eight distilleries on Islay, including world famous brands like Laphroaig, Bowmore and Ardbeg. And if you really want to learn about the story of your favourite dram, then why not take a distillery tour? All the distilleries offer tours. Ardbeg and Kilchoman also have cafes.
As well as whiskey, Islay and Jurra are famous for their wildlife. In fact, this area is one of the most wildlife-rich areas in the UK. An unusually compact and diverse range of habitats including wet grassland, moorland, blanket bog, lochs, intertidal areas and shoreline means there are large populations of priority bird species, rare plants, butterflies as well as otter, seals and red deer.
One of the most interesting ways to take in the sights and discover Islay's wild-life is to take a guided kayak tour.
For golf aficionados, the Machrie golf course is a must. Designed in 1891 by Willie Campbell, it is the traditional Scottish links. Planet Golf rates The Machrie as a strong candidate to join its list of the top 100 courses on Earth.
With so much to offer, Islay really is worth a visit on a tour of the Scottish highlands and islands