Islay Travel and Local Transport Information
Travel to Islay (Kennacraig) by Citylink Coach from Glasgow
The Citylink Coach travels to Kennacraig twice a day, every day, from Buchanan Street Bus Station, usually at 9am or 1pm to arrive in time for the connecting Calmac ferry to Islay. You can also get the bus from Glasgow International Airport, there is a change at Glasgow Buchanan Bus Station.
Leaving at 8:08 and 12:45
Arriving Kennacraig 12:25 or 16:57
Glasgow Buchanon Bus Station
leaving at 09:00 and 13:30
Arriving Kennacraig at 12:25 or 16:57
Web: The Citylink Online Booking system
Phone: 08705 50 50 50
Prices (from Glasgow airport): Single: £26.60 - Day return: £31.60 - Open return: £38,60
Insurance of 99p is included and covers the following: Personal Accident up to £10,000, Personal Property up to £500 and Personal Public Liability up to £1 million
Travel to Islay by Calmac Ferry
For a detailed description of three possible routes from Glasgow to Kennacraig complete with a detailed map have a look at the following page on the Islay Blog: Car Routes from Glasgow to Kennacraig.
For an overview of the current Calmac ferries operating this route, general information and background information on the Islay ferry please visit the Islay Ferry Feature Page.
Information on the Jura Ferry is available on the Jura Ferry Information Page
Calmac Winter Timetables 27th October 2014 to 2nd April 2015
A credit card is required for using the The Calmac Online Booking System and payment. The tickets are then sent to your home address or can be collected at the port of departure. Reservations can also be made by telephone. The office is open Monday - Friday: 07:00-21:00, Saturday and Sunday 08:00 to 20:00 UK Time. The phone number is 0800 066 5000. International or mobile users call +44 1475 650 397. The email address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
If you need transportation from Tarbert or from the Arran ferry at Claonaig to Kennacraig you can contact www.pepcars.co.uk, they can also collect up to four people from the airport or the city centre for £125.
Tel: + 44 (0)8457 650050
Tel: + 44 (0)1880 730253
Port Askaig Terminal:
Tel: + 44 (0)1496 840536
Port Ellen Terminal:
Tel: + 44 (0)1496 302209
For the latest Service Status updates visit http://status.calmac.info/service-status.aspx. There are also Apps for the following platforms: iPhone, BlackBerry and Android
Travel to Islay by Plane
Two departures are made daily to/from Glasgow International Airport to Islay Airport (ILY). The distance is 72 miles or (116 Km) and duration is 0hr 40min. The plane leaves from terminal M at Glasgow International Airport. The plane, a Saab 340/340B, is operated by Loganair, Scotland's Airline.
For general information and pictures on Islay Airport (regulations, car hire, parking, history etc) please visit the Islay Airport Page
Check the Online Timetables for up-to-date information.
Reservations can be made online through the website of FlyBe or through your local travel agent.
Fares start as low as £30 for a one way ticket including all taxes.
Hebridean Air Services - Oban - Colonsay - Islay
Hebridean Air Services operate a Tuesday and Thursday day return service from Oban and Colonsay to Islay. This service is running since June 2010. The aircraft will depart Oban at 0805, routing through Colonsay to Islay. This will give Colonsay residents the opportuntiy of flying to Islay to connect with the FlyBe service to Glasgow. Islay residents will also have the availability of a day return sevice to Oban departing Islay at 0930 and departing Oban for Islay at 1510. Passengers intending to use the Air Service at Islay, should use the long term car park, available free of charge, where there is located a portakabin for the use of Hebridean Air Services passengers. This is great idea for a daytrip to Oban. Standard rates are £65, the early bird rate with limited seats is £50.
For more information check out the website at www.hebrideanair.co.uk
Islay Bus Service
A local bus service is available on Islay and operates on several different routes on the island between 7am and 6pm on weekdays and Saturday. There is no Bus Service on Sundays. The main routes on Islay are:
- Portnahaven - Bowmore - Port Ellen - Ardbeg; service 450 and Postbus 196
- Port Askaig - Bridgend - Bowmore - Port Ellen - Ardbeg; service 451 and 456
- Ardbeg - Bowmore - Bridgend - Portnahaven; service 450 and Postbus 196
- Ardbeg - Bowmore - Bridgend - Port Askaig; service 451 and 456
If you want to travel from Port Askaig to Port Charlotte take the bus from Port Askaig to Ardbeg and leave the bus at Bridgend, there you change over to the bus to Port Charlotte. Bridgend is the place where all the bus routes pass. Use the following link for a detailed map: Detailed Islay Map
Download the current Islay Bus timetables (revised 1st July 2012).
Travel to Islay with your own boat or yacht
Anchorages can be made at the following locations:
Port Ellen, Lagavulin, Portnahaven, Port Charlotte, Port Askaig (strong currents in the Sound of Islay), Caol Ila distillery, Bowmore.
Detailed information about Port Ellen Marina can be found here. Check the Port Ellen tides here
Alternative travel ideas
There are several private operators in this part of Argyll who offer tours to and from the mainland to the islands in the area and even travel as far as Northern Ireland. If you are in to a different, tailor made and perhaps more exciting way of travelling this could be your thing. There are two companies that are active in the region:
Islay Sea Safari - who run a (RIB) Rigid Inflatable Boat service for the Inner Hebrides & Northern Ireland and offer a sea taxi service as well as island hopping and distillery trips.
Gigha Sea Tours - Gigha based operator that also runs a RIB boat service. Although the focus is on Gigha they offer (bespoke) island hopping tours to almost every island in the southern Hebrides as well as Oban.
Books from Amazon
Norman Newton - Islay guide
A small book, loaded with gorgeous colour pictures of this beautiful Island in the Hebrides. Has a useful Information and Places to visit Guide. Includes a map, distillery info and lots more.
Margaret Storrie - Biography of an Island
Dr Margaret Storrie gives a compreh account about the past and present of Islay. Anyone wishing to learn and understand the history of Islay will find this book fascinating.
Gilbert Carmichael - Old Islay
A lovely book with many pictures from The Old Days on Islay including the distilleries, peat cutting and steamers at Port Ellen
George Robertson - Islay and Jura
George Robertson (Lord Robertson of Port Ellen), has produced an intriguing and, dare I say it, eccentric collection of photographs of his favourite islands Islay and Jura.
Hamish Haswell Smith - The Scottish Islands
Fascinating book dealing with all the beautiful islands Scotland has to offer. A must for the Island Hopper.
Landranger Islay Map
This map is part of the Landranger (Pink) series and is designed for people who really want to get to know an area. This map makes your Islay Discovery a lot easier and is a must for every visitor of Islay.