Argyll and the Isles Feature
- Places to Explore
- Travel Tips
- Fodor's Choice
Top Reasons to Go to Argyll and the Isles
Whisky, whisky, whisky: Take the "whisky trail" in Port Ellen on the Isle of Islay; it's a leisurely 3-mi stroll passing Ardbeg, Laphroaig, and Lagavulin distilleries, whose whiskies share the distinct flavors of peat, seaweed, and iodine. Arran, Oban, and Jura have their own unique distilleries. All have plenty of local character and provide an intimate visiting experience.
Seaside biking: Oban and Arran are two great cycling destinations. Biking along the coast provides breathtaking scenery; just keep in mind that it rains a lot in this part of the country, so bring rain gear.
Iona and its abbey: Maybe it's the remoteness—especially if you explore beyond the abbey—that adds to the almost mystical sense of history here, but a visit to this early center of Scottish Christianity is a magical experience. This was also the burial place of Scottish kings until the 11th century.
Fantastic fishing and golf: The largest skate in Britain are found in the waters off the Isle of Mull. There are 20 coastal settlements suited to sea angling where charter-boat companies offer trips. If it's loch and river sites you're after, there are 50 for game fishing that yield salmon, trout, and other fish. Prefer to tee off? Western Scotland has about two dozen golf courses, notably some fine coastal links. Machrihanish, near Campbeltown, is the best known.
Glorious gardens: Plants flourish in the mild Gulf Steam that brushes against this broken, western coastline. For vivid flowers, trees, birds and butterflies, visit Crarae Garden, southwest of Inveraray. The Achamore House Gardens on the Isle of Gigha are another colorful extravaganza.
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