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Isle of Islay

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Famous for peaty whiskies, birdlife, and stunning coastal seascapes

Known lovingly as “The Queen of the Hebrides,” Islay is the southernmost island of the Inner Hebrides in the Argyll region. Featuring evidence of a prehistoric settlement, it has a long written history dating to the first century AD.

Today the island is a popular attraction for nature lovers. Bird enthusiasts flock to the area for its flourishing birdlife, including a wide variety of waterfowl that are either permanent residents of the island or seasonal visitors. In all, 105 species gather on the island to breed and up to 120 different species can be viewed there at any one time.

For those interested in something other than birds, the island is home to many craftsmen and unique architecture, including a completely round church built to give evil spirits no corner in which to hide. Islay also has eight working whisky distilleries, including Laphroaig, Bruichladdich and Lagavulin. Owing to the island’s abundant peat and strong gales, it is said that Islay single malt whiskies are among the strongest flavoured in Scotland.

The Isle of Islay is accessible by ferry.

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