Episode 5 - Islay and Jura
Scottish Island Adventures: Islay and Jura with John Carmichael
Islay and Jura are the southernmost islands of the Hebrides and have been inhabited since 10,000 BC.
The Islands are surrounded by a vast expanse of turquoise waters, perfect for swimming, sailing kayaking, or paddleboarding. If you prefer to stay dry there are lots of opportunities for walking, climbing, or golfing making Islay and Jura a great option for an active holiday!
There are over 10 distilleries producing Islay and Jura's whiskey exports beloved across the world. At the museum of Islay Life you can get clued up on the Islands' long history which saw Celtic settlers, viking invasions, and the islands' role during the first and the second World War.
Find out more Islay and Jura
Feis Ile - The Islay Festival
The first ever Islay Festival was held in 1986 in an effort to encourage more tourism to the Island. Its original schedule included just one whiskey tasting but since then Islay's distilleries have become the festival's focal point attracting thousands of Whiskey lovers to the Island each year. As well as the many Distillery open days, the 9 day Feis Ile programme includes activities such as ceilidhs, Scots language lessons, and Folk Nights.
Find out more about Feis Ile
Loch Gruinart, The Oa Reserve
Loch Gruinart and the Oa Nature Reserve are two of the top wildlife sites in Scotland and are designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SISS). Loch Gruinart is home to a variety of Hebridean birds and other wildlife including Otters, Hen Harriers, and Barnacle Geese and if you're lucky you may spot a Golden Eagle soaring above the Oa. The Gruinart and Oa Trail takes in sweeping views along the sea cliffs, freshwater lochs, and coastal grassland.
The Islay Book Festival
The volunteer-run Islay Book Festival grew from a small book club in Port Ellen in 2006. Sessions range each year from crime and contemporary fiction to poetry and performance workshops. The festival also aims to emphasise Gaelic culture and sends authors to schools across Islay and Jura. Invited writers have included big names such as Ali Smith, Bernard MacLaverty, and Ian Rankin.
Find out more on Islay Book Festival