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Trip created by Rachael Gavan
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Join us on a journey to the beautiful Hebridean island of Islay, one of the most wildlife-rich locations on the west coast of Scotland. Home to some of the most incredible spectacles, including Barnacle Geese, which flock to Islay in their thousands each year. Here, you will experience the incredible wealth of birdlife and marine life that seek refuge in the wild places of this intriguing island. Let your guide bring this island to life with their knowledge and interpretation of behaviour so that you don’t miss a thing. Set foot on white sandy beaches, coastal trails and the endless expanses of grassland found in the famous coastal ‘machairs’ as you gain a fascinating insight into the tapestry of island life.
Experience the true spirit and hospitality of Islay with a tour and tasting of one of the islands famous whisky distilleries. Relax in your handpicked luxury hotel accommodation and enjoy delicious, locally sourced produce each evening.
Arriving in Tarbert this afternoon, we’ll set foot on the Kintyre Peninsula and head out to spend the afternoon visiting the coastal wildlife reserve of Largiebaan. Enjoy a leisurely walk and keep an eye out for the wildlife that inhabits this area including oystercatchers, kestrels and skylarks. Settle into your historic accommodation for the night, tucked away just a few miles from Tarbert, on the northern tip of the peninsula. (L, D)
Approaching Islay by ferry this morning, we set out to explore the Oa Peninsula in the far south of the island. Our hike today takes though the Oa Nature Reserve, an area of breathtaking beauty which includes dramatic sea cliffs, freshwater loch, and wide-open moor and grassland. We’ll visit the American Monument, which commemorates the loss of two ships of troops in 1918. The viewpoint here is just 200m high, but it offers expansive views of the Atlantic and, on a clear day, the coast of Northern Ireland can be seen. Continuing on through the Nature Reserve we’ll keep a close eye out for a few island locals including twite, hen harriers and the majestic golden eagles that soar through the endless skies. (B, L)
Today we head north to the sweeping white sands of Loch Gruinart and Loch Gorm. During October around 20,000 geese arrive here from Greenland for the winter. There are sometimes so many that they turn the fields black. The sight and sound of such abundant life if is an incredible experience. We’ll explore this area on foot, looking to identify other species. This is a good area to see birds of prey including hen harriers, sparrow-hawks, merlin, peregrine and golden eagles as well as the flocks of small birds who feed in the stubble fields. (B, L)
Embark on a coastal walk along an easily accessible pathway that links the distilleries of Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Ardbeg. We’ll stop here for an intimate tour and dram at one of these renowned distilleries before continuing on to Claggain Bay and Ardtalla beach. Your guide will help you spot the local birdlife and, if you’re lucky, you may get a visit from a native grey seal colony longing on the rocks along the shore. (B, L, D)
After a relaxing breakfast, we will take the morning ferry back to the Argyll mainland. Keep a lookout for marine wildlife and admire the captivating backdrop formed by the Paps of Jura as we go. Once back in Kennacraig, it’s a 90-minute transfer back to Oban. We should arrive at the train station by 2pm, where your trip will end. (B)
This itinerary is based in two different locations throughout the course of the trip, with one night on the mainland and three nights on the Isle of Islay. Each of the accommodations offer double and twin rooms, most with en-suite facilities.
For solo travellers: Accommodation is based on sharing a twin room with another solo traveller of the same gender. A limited number of rooms for single occupancy are available on a first come first served basis, subject to a single supplement. Please enquire for availability.
Included on this trip are lunch and dinner on day 1, breakfast and lunch on day’s 2 through to 4 with dinner also included on day 4 and breakfast only on your last morning. Please see daily itinerary for inclusions.
Throughout the journey, varied island produce will be served up in hearty meals. Enjoy some of the finest local produce from the land, air and sea and of course, any special dietary requirements are happily catered for.
On this trip we generally eat dinner as a group however if you would like to make alternative arrangements you are free to do so. Your guide will have an evening off during this trip where they do not eat with the group. They will recommend options for dinner that evening and will help you make any necessary reservations.
This trip includes the following:
All transport and travel is included from your pick up point on Day 1 at Oban Train Station until you are dropped back there on day 5
If you would like to use your own vehicle on the trip please get in touch with our team to discuss.
|Trip Dates for 2021||Availability||Status||Price||Book|
|22nd Oct - 26th Oct 2021||1 place(s) left||CONFIRMED||£965||Book Now|
|29th Oct - 2nd Nov 2021||8 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£965||Book Now|
|5th Nov - 9th Nov 2021||7 place(s) left||UNCONFIRMED||£965||Book Now|
Fancy this trip just for your group? Get together with family and friends spend quality time exploring wild places. A private trip allows you to benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides but with the advantage of the flexibility to tailor the days to your group. Make the trip more or less challenging depending on your experience or choose to add in some optional extras like castle or distillery visits depending on your interests. The price of a private trip will depend on the number of travellers in your group. Let us know your prefered departure date and we'll take care of the rest.
Rachael is a true gem and we regularly receive feedback thanking her for designing inspiring itineraries and for being such a pleasure to chat to. In many cases the people Rachael designs tailor made trips for, actually become friends and she’s had more than one invite to far off lands as a result. Rachael believes in only the highest levels of customer experience and service.Ask Rachael a Question
Green Graded Wildlife Holidays 1-3
All of our wildlife trips are graded Green and involve straightforward hiking with no major ascents, as well as other activities which are pitched at novice level. You can expect to be active for around 5 hours each day so you will need a reasonable level of fitness. Please note that there may be some early starts and late nights as we seek to maximise our chances of finding wildlife, although you can always opt out of activities if you prefer an early night or long lie in the morning!
So to help you decide if you are fit enough for this kind of trip, ask yourself: