Transport to Islay
From Glasgow, head north on the A82 for 40 miles until you reach Tarbet (where the A82 becomes the A83). The road then follows the path of Loch Fyne, Scotland’s large sea loch, taking in some spectacular scenery along the way, including Inveraray Castle. Kennacraig is 65 miles from Tarbet and is located near the top of the Kintyre peninsula. From there, you can catch a ferry to Port Askaig on Islay’s east coast. The drive takes 2.5hrs; there is also a Citylink bus service that runs three times a day between Glasgow and Kennacraig; the journey takes 3-3.5hrs.
From Kennacraig, ferries run to Port Ellen three times a day (2hr 20min crossing time) and twice a day to Port Askaig (2hr 5min), with extra crossings during the Feis Ile festival in May. The single/return price for a foot passenger is approximately £6.50/£13; cars have an additional charge of £32.50/£65. Be aware that bad weather can delay crossings, sometimes for consecutive days; advance booking is strongly recommended, too. There is also a ferry service between Islay and Jura, across the Sound of Islay. There are a dozen or so crossings each day between Port Askaig and Feolin on Jura; the crossing only takes 10 minutes. A single trip costs £1.70 for foot passengers, with an additional £9.05 for cars.
There are two ways to reach Islay via plane: a 45-minute flight from Glasgow, run by Flybe twice daily, and a 40/55-minute flight from Oban (the latter via Colonsay), run by Hebridean Air Services twice a week.
The first plane lands on Islay1928
Miles of Islay coastline130
Distance between Islay and Jura0.9 miles