Explore the stretch of coastline from Port Ellen to Ardbeg distillery, taking in Laphroaig and Lagavulin distilleries on the way.
An easy-going walk from Port Ellen’s beach on Frederick Crescent out of the village following the dedicated 3 Distilleries walkway and cycle path passing Laphroaig and Lagavulin on the way to Ardbeg the final distillery on this stretch of the island's coastline. We have included a short detour to the Dunyvaig Castle ruins, which afford an excellent view across a calm bay to Lagavulin distillery. When you reach Ardbeg the route follows the same path back into Port Ellen. Take your time and enjoy this opportunity to take in 3 of Islay's most famous distilleries!
If you have booked the Laphroaig premium afternoon tour you may wish to do the bulk of this route in the morning as the informative guides on the tour tend to run over time-wise.
The route is all on dedicated pathway beside the road except one short section near Lagavulin which is on the road, and a short grassy detour to a ruined castle.
Points of Interest
The Laphroaig Distillery has been officially in operation since 1815 when it was founded by two farmers Donald and Alexander Johnston. The distillery reamined in this family until 1954. After WWII the distillery was run by Bessie Williamson for 34 years - Bessie retsored Laphroaig to it's former glory and indeed grew it's fame wordlwide. Find out more about the distillery on a tour: https://tourbooking.laphroaig.com/index.php.
There has been whisky distilling activity at the site of Lagavulin since 1742, but a legal distillery wasn't esablished here until 1816 by John Johnston. Situated on the shore within site of Dunyvaig Castle ruins the location is a peaceful one well worth a visit. The distillery tour and tasting offting can be found here: https://www.malts.com/en-gb/distilleries/lagavulin?type=redirect.
Founded around the same time as Laphroaig and Lagavulin, Ardbe was established (officially) by John Macdougall in 1815, before being bought over by a Glaswegian Merchant Thomas Buchanan, but John's son Alexander still managed the distillery. In 1981 production at the distillery ceased and no whisky was produced here until the distillery was purchased in 1987 by Allied Lyons, and then by Glenmorangie in 1997 - from here the distillery has gone from strength to strength. Why not visit to find out more? https://www.ardbeg.com/en-FR/visit-us/tours
Bus timetable from Port-Ellen to Ardbeg
Food & Drink
There are plenty in places in Port Ellen to eat and get provisions. If you are booked on the Laphroaig Water to Whisky premium tour (summer months) then a picnic lunch is included. Otherwise the café at Ardbeg distillery has good café serving cakes and meals.
A short walk on easy terrain, we recommend a small rucksack with waterproofs and plenty of water and snacks along with a comfortable pair of walking shoes or trainers.