What to do
Islay has an abundance of large, beautiful and often deserted sandy beaches on the west coast such as Lossit, Kilchoman, Saligo, Ardnave, Gruinart, Kilinallan, and Sanaig Mhor, but it should be noted that swimming at these beaches can be dangerous and is not recommended due to the very strong undercurrents, created by the large Atlantic breakers. At low tide, large rock/sand pools are formed, particularly at Kilchoman and Saligo, and with a bit of care, it is possible to swim in these. Loch Indaal presents a much safer swimming environment and for the feint at heart, there is always the Mactaggart indoor swimming pool. Bowmore, which is open daily.
Birding, Fishing, Walking and Golfing
A fair number of rare birds can usually be seen on Islay. In the winter months there are thousands of Barnacle Geese. Golden Eagles, Chough, Corncrakes and Hen Harriers can often be spotted on the island. Loch and river fishing can be arranged through the local estates. Sea fishing can be arranged through local fishermen, or fish from the rocks and pier immediately in front of the house. There are some beautiful cross-country walks that can incorporate a visit to large, deserted sandy beaches. Most of these walks are suitable for families with young kids. For Golfers there is an excellent links course at Machrie, next to the airport.
Port Charlotte Hotel is located round the corner (50 yards). The Croft Kitchen is approximately 4 minutes walk. There is a SPAR shop at the local Post Office, which is only a 3-minute walk. A seafood platter at the Lochindaal Hotel is not to be missed and there is a well-equipped play park at the port Mor centre just outside the village. Bowmore, the capital of Islay, is 10 miles distant, and has a Co-Op supermarket and other attractive stores, including excellent butchers. The Museum of Islay Life Located in Port Charlotte is well worth a visit.
More about Islay:
The Islay Info website has a comprehensive section with activities on Islay, a blog with news and background information and many other pages with useful information. To access visit www.islayinfo.com. In addition there is an extensive Gallery with images of Islay