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Holidaymakers searching for holiday rentals in Islay also enquired about apartments in Edinburgh, holiday homes in Aberfeldy, Loch Tay and Glen Lyon and cottages in Stirling & Falkirk area

Enjoy a traditional Hebrides welcome with self catering cottages in Islay

Islay is the southernmost island in the Inner Hebrides. The island is known as Queen of the Hebrides and has a rich history stretching back to prehistoric settlements. In more recent times, the island was home to a Norse settlement and was part of the Gaelic Kingdom of Dail Riata during the Middle Ages. Many of the traditional customs such as observance of the Sabbath and use of the Gaelic language remain common throughout the island where a warm welcome awaits travellers.

HomeAway has a diverse selection of holiday cottages in Islay. Large groups and families of ten or more may wish to consider one of the traditional cottages with popular amenities such as dishwashers, inviting living rooms with satellite television and DVD players and bathrooms with power showers. A cosy cabin may be more of an appropriate choice for couples and solo travellers, and many are also located within easy reach of the coast. Those visiting during the summer months can also make use of the barbeque facilities available at many of the self catering cottages in Islay.

Whilst holiday cabins in Islay offer a peaceful and tranquil base from which to explore local wildlife, landscapes and historical sites, The Scottish Islands and Mainland have a great deal more to offer to visitors of all ages. From holiday cottages in Castle Douglas there is a wealth of Roman and recent history to discover, whilst cottages in Moray are the ideal base for those wishing to explore traditional Scottish villages in abundance.

Things to do

History: The island enjoys a long and rich history with evidence of Mesolithic flint tools which were used by some of the earliest settlers to the area. The entire history of the island has been well catalogued and the Museum of Islay Life is home to many artefacts as well as knowledgeable staff. In addition, there are a number of local tour guides to chart local landmarks and places of interest.

Whiskey: Islay is famed for its whiskey and it is believed that Irish monks first introduced distilling on the island as the ground was so fertile. Even now, it is widely acknowledged that the peat rich soil and pure water help to produce the best barley for whiskey making. There are a number of distilleries on the island with visitors centres, factory tours and tastings available.

Family activities: The flat landscape and welcoming atmosphere make Islay holiday cottages the perfect home from home for families. There are many walks suitable for younger children with plenty of activities to take part in on route. In addition, the Islay Natural History Centre has a number of interactive activities for young minds, and there are daily sea tours where guests can spot dolphins and other marine life.

Horse riding: The hills and flats of the island make them the ideal location for pony trekking. There are a number of equestrian centres where visitors of all ages and abilities may be matched with a suitable steed and all the equipment they could need for a slow, gentle trot through the idyllic countryside.

Weather

The meeting of the Gulf Stream and the Atlantic Ocean mean that Islay has a relatively mild climate. Although snow and frosts are rare, strong winds are not uncommon. The weather is known for being highly changeable and the wind is a constant feature. Spring and summer days are very long with June offering almost 18 hours of daylight. The temperatures may rise as high as 16°C in June, July and August, although these are also wet months. During the winter temperatures rarely reach freezing point, although the wind chill factor may make it appear colder and snow can sometimes be seen on the higher lands and hills.

Travel

The only way of reaching your self catering in Islay is by crossing the water. Islay has her own airport (ILY) with arrivals and departures from Glasgow International Airport. The flight takes approximately 40 minutes. Alternatively, the ferry from Kennacraig operates daily and can carry cars as well as a coaches. These run from Glasgow to Islay twice daily. For those arriving by plane, there is a bus service or the option to hire a car.

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                                                                                                      Recent Reviews

                                                                                                      Great location of house

                                                                                                      4 of 5
                                                                                                      Gallanach cottage is situated just meters from the sea, and is great for anyone planning to bring a kayak or boat. The area around the house gives plenty of opportunities for outdoor life. Other than the outdoors, there is not a lot of attractions nearby, which our teenagers found a little boring. For younger kids just being outside playing was great. Some outdoor toys in the house would have been great. The house itself is a good size and decent standard, although the kitchen utensils could do with renewal (or an available knife sharpener). The next door neighbour is very friendly, and helped us find excellent local mussels which we made a delicious supper out of.
                                                                                                      • Review Submitted: 20-Jul-2016
                                                                                                      • Date of Stay: Jul 2016

                                                                                                      Beautiful quiet location, comfy cottage

                                                                                                      4 of 5
                                                                                                      The cottage was lovely and had really comfy furniture. It was clean and welcoming. Some windows need repairs and it would benefit from a proper path to the front door and some closer to the house to park. I couldn't get through the the gate. There was no smell as a previous reviewer mentioned. A really nice touch was the wood burning fires were set up and ready to go and there was plenty of wood left for me. It is a drive to the local shop - not sure how far as I took what I needed. The water is from a spring so is coloured by the peat landscape, it took some getting used to but had no odour and I brushed my teeth in it and was fine. The owner had kindly left bottled water for drinking although the tap water is drinkable. The bathroom was lovely and the cottage warm.
                                                                                                      • Review Submitted: 18-May-2016
                                                                                                      • Date of Stay: Apr 2016

                                                                                                      Great escape

                                                                                                      5 of 5
                                                                                                      Small cosey cottage ideal for a little getaway. Kitchen fully equipped to make dinners at home. Comfy double bed, we had great sleeps due to the darkness and tranquility of the place. Washing machine and dryer if you get drenched. Local deserted beaches. We managed 8 mins in the sea in Feb! Ordinance survey maps so you can exercise your right to roam in the quiet outdoors. Would advise going to tarbert and picking up some fresh seafood, there is a fish guy who operates from his garden just up past the tourist office on the left. We got 4 meals worth of scallops/langoustines/kippers/sea bass for 14 quid. Good walk up from the castle as well. We will be back
                                                                                                      • Review Submitted: 21-Feb-2016
                                                                                                      • Date of Stay: Feb 2016