Our Journeys

Wonders and Whiskies of Scotland and the Island of Islay - Fall 2017
September 2nd - September 9th, 2017


Wonders and Whiskies of Scotland and the Island of Islay- Fall 2017

Discover the beauty of Scotland this coming September! On this 8-day tour, we will steep ourselves in Scotland’s intriguing medieval history and take in the splendor of the landscapes and seashores. Accompanying us on our journey will be Margarett Waterbury, the managing editor of The Whiskey Wash – recipient of the 2016 Whiskey Blog of the Year award. Along with Waterbury, we’ll explore the award-winning Scottish distilleries and smoking pagodas, spending our days learning the secrets of the legendary peaty whisky. We’ll take a journey on the majestic Jacobite Express, perhaps better known as Harry Potter’s Hogwarts Express, and explore the stunning city of Edinburgh, the charming ports of Mallaig and Oban, and the remote island of Islay – Queen of the Hebrides!

About the trip host:
Margarett Waterbury is the managing editor of The Whiskey Wash, an award-winning whiskey website named 2016’s International Whiskey Competition Blog of the Year. She is also the managing editor of Edible Portland, a Northwest food magazine, and regularly contributes to local and national publications about food, drinks, travel, and agriculture.


DAY 0 - September 1, Friday:

Fly from the US to Edinburgh, Scotland.

DAY 1 - September 2, Saturday:

Welcome to Edinburgh, a capital city rich in history, stunning architecture, and a distinctive castle standing guard over the city. Our group will meet this morning for check-in at our hotel in the city centre. Today we’ll have a guided tour of Scotch Whisky Heritage Center, where we’ll learn how whiskey is made and a thing or two about how to properly appreciate it! This afternoon we’ll stroll the Royal Mile, exploring Edinburgh’s historic bars for traditional backs. Sleep in Edinburgh.

DAY 2 - September 3, Sunday:

Today we’ll take a day trip to Glenkinchie distillery and farm, a classic lowland distillery set among rolling barley fields. We’ll have lunch together at the small coastal town of North Berwick, known for its award winning gardens, cute and quirky cafes, independent boutiques, and great views. This afternoon we’ll have a chance to explore the famous Edinburgh castle, followed by tea and pastries at the Elephant House. The Elephant House is one of the most beloved tea and coffee houses in Edinburgh, made famous as the place of inspiration to writers such as J.K. Rowling, who sat writing much of her early Harry Potter novels in the back room overlooking Edinburgh Castle. Sleep in Edinburgh.

DAY 3 - September 4, Monday:

Today we will depart Edinburgh and head toward the port town of Mallaig. On our way we will pass through Loch Lomond National Park, where we’ll stop for a hike with a naturalist, and then pick up our train in Fort Williams, where we will board the Jacobite express. Sleep in Mallaig.

DAY 4 - September 5, Tuesday

This morning we will have an early departure for Oban, the “gateway to the Isles” and seafood capital of Scotland. On our way to Oban we’ll stop to visit one of Scotland's most picturesque castles: Dunstaffnage Castle. In the afternoon, we’ll explore Oban’s charming city center and take a guided tour of Oban Distillery. Sleep in Oban.

DAY 5 - September 6, Wednesday

Today we will travel by ferry to the Isle of Islay, Queen of the Hebrides. The whisky gods have blessed this place, with its eight operating distilleries and abundance of friendly whisky appreciators. In addition to the area’s favorite drink, you will also find great seafood, plentiful wildlife, and turquoise waters. This evening we will visit the Islay Whisky Shop and dine at one of Islay’s seafood eateries. Sleep in Islay.

DAY 6 - September 7, Thursday

Today we will enjoy Islay and take guided tours of Bowmore distillery, one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, and Kilchoman distillery, one of the few distilleries still practicing floor malting. Sleep in Islay.

DAY 7 - September 8, Friday

This morning we’ll visit world famous Laphroaig Distillery and Port Ellen. We’ll then head back to Port Askaig to board the 3:30p.m. ferry boat to Kennacraig, on the mainland. From there, we’ll take highway A83 -- a lovely, scenic drive along the fiord of Loch Long -- to Glasgow. Tonight we’ll have our special farewell dinner in Glasgow. Sleep in Glasgow.

DAY 8 - September 9, Saturday

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight home, or we can help you extend your trip in the UK upon request.


Trip Details:
2 nights in Edinburgh
1 night in Mallaig
1 night in Oban
2 nights in Islay
1 night in Glasgow

Tot: 7 nights – 8 days

Price: 3,950 USD per person, double occupancy
Single room supplement: 650 USD

What is included in the trip

  • Accommodation in carefully selected, centrally located first category hotels and charming country inns
  • All group transportation in a deluxe air-conditioned private bus
  • Airport transfers upon arrival and departure (please ask us for more info about departure transportation and timing before you purchase your air tickets)
  • All breakfasts and one main meal per day, (inclusive of two alcoholic beverages). DAY 7 has all meals included
  • The services of a professional tour leader, local specialists and guides
  • Entrance to museums, castles, and attractions as per itinerary
  • All whiskey tastings, guided distilleries tours and related visits as per itinerary
  • The presence of Margarett Waterbury, whiskey expert, throughout the trip
  • 2 boat trips (Oban to Port Askaig / Port Askaig to Kennacraig)
  • 1 scenic train trip on the Jacobite Express
  • 1 Pre and post trip assistance

What is not included

  • International airfare from and back to the US
  • Personal expenses
  • Tips for drivers and guides
  • Travel and Cancellation insurance
  • The optional price for insurance is: Silver Plan (post-departure medical insurance): $ 35 per person, or Gold Plan (cancellation insurance): $250 per person


    New website coming soon!

    Hi Friends & Travelers,

    Big changes to our website are on the way this year! At times, our website might be down or some pages may be “under construction”. If you have any questions on itineraries or other materials, feel free to email us at info@customizedjourneys.com. We can send you full copies of itineraries and answer any other questions you may have.

    Looking foward to seeing you on an upcoming or future trip!!

    The Customized Journeys Team