How Do I Get From Glasgow to Islay?

Need to find the best way to travel from Glasgow to Islay? Discover multiple options for a memorable journey with unique experiences.

So, you've decided to venture from the bustling streets of Glasgow to the tranquil beauty of Islay. You're probably wondering about the best way to make the journey, and the good news is that there are several options available to you.

Whether you're interested in a scenic bus ride, a ferry journey, or flying with Loganair, each mode of transportation offers its own unique experience. However, before you make your decision, there are a few key factors to consider that will ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip.

Key Takeaways

  • There are multiple transportation options to travel from Glasgow to Islay, including public transport, flying, guided tours, and driving.
  • Public transport options include taking a bus from Glasgow airport to Glasgow central, then a bus from Glasgow to Kennacraig, and finally a CalMac ferry from Kennacraig to Port Ellen or Port Askaig.
  • Flying is a quicker option, but more expensive, with Loganair offering flights from Glasgow to Islay.
  • The Rabbies Islay & the Whisky Isles 4-day tour is a recommended option for a small-group guided tour of Islay and other whisky isles.

Transportation Options From Glasgow to Islay

If you're considering traveling from Glasgow to Islay, you have several transportation options to choose from, each offering its own unique experience and convenience.

One option is to take the public transport route, which is more budget-friendly. You can catch the bus 500 from Glasgow airport to Glasgow central for 9£ one way, then hop on the bus 926 from Glasgow to Kennacraig for 22.40£ one way. Once at Kennacraig, you can board the CalMac ferry to Port Ellen or Port Askaig for 7.10£ per person one way. This option allows you to enjoy the scenic journey and is ideal for those who prefer a more leisurely pace of travel.

On the other hand, if time is of the essence, you might consider flying from Glasgow to Islay. While this option is pricier, it offers a quicker way to reach the island.

Another recommended option is the Rabbies Islay & the Whisky Isles 4-day Tour, which provides a small-group tour experience.

Regardless of the transportation mode you choose, it's important to consider the different ferry ports on Islay, such as Port Askaig and Port Ellen, and plan for local transportation and accommodation options on the island to ensure a seamless travel experience.

Cost Breakdown for Bus and Ferry Travel

To understand the cost breakdown for bus and ferry travel from Glasgow to Islay, let's delve into the individual expenses involved in this transportation option.

When you travel from Glasgow to Islay using public transport, the total cost without a car is around 69 GBP for a round trip.

To break it down further, the bus 500 from Glasgow airport to Glasgow central costs 9£ for a one-way trip, but you can get a discounted return ticket for 14.80£.

From Glasgow, the bus 926 to Kennacraig costs 22.40£ for a one-way journey.

Once at Kennacraig, the CalMac ferry to Port Ellen or Port Askaig costs 7.10£ per person for a one-way trip.

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Summing these up, the one-way cost from Glasgow airport to Islay comes to 38 GBP per person.

This cost breakdown offers you an insight into the individual expenses for both the bus and ferry travel involved in getting from Glasgow to Islay.

West Coast Motors and CalMac provide reliable transportation options for those seeking to explore Islay, allowing you to plan your journey with freedom and flexibility.

Getting From Glasgow Airport to City Center

Upon arriving at Glasgow Airport, travelers have the convenient option of taking the Bus 500 to reach the vibrant city center, offering a seamless and cost-effective connection.

Here are a few things to note about getting from Glasgow Airport to the city center:

  • Bus 500 runs frequently, every 10 minutes during peak times, and takes approximately 15-20 minutes to reach the city center.
  • The bus fare is affordable, at 9£ for a one-way ticket and 14.80£ for a discounted return ticket, making it a budget-friendly choice for your journey.
  • Once you arrive in the city center, you'll be at Buchanan Bus Station, a central hub that connects you to various transportation options, including buses to Kennacraig for your onward journey to Islay.
  • The bus ride from the airport to the city center offers scenic views of Glasgow's urban landscape, providing a taste of the city's atmosphere from the moment you arrive.

With a quick and efficient bus ride from Glasgow Airport to the city center, you'll seamlessly transition into the next phase of your adventure, whether it's exploring Glasgow or continuing your journey to the picturesque Islay.

Traveling From Buchanan Bus Station to Kennacraig

When departing from Buchanan Bus Station to Kennacraig, board bus 926 for a scenic and comfortable journey to your destination. The bus ride from Glasgow to Kennacraig takes approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes, providing you with breathtaking views of the Scottish countryside along the way. The bus makes a 10-minute comfort stop in Inveraray, allowing you to stretch your legs before continuing your journey to the Kennacraig ferry terminal. As you travel, rest assured that the bus is equipped with luggage storage and a bathroom for your convenience.

Upon arrival at the Kennacraig ferry terminal, you'll find yourself at the gateway to the stunning Isle of Islay. The Port of Kennacraig offers a picturesque starting point for your onward journey, with the anticipation of the ferry ride adding to the adventure. Be sure to book your bus tickets in advance on the CityLink website to secure your spot and streamline your travel plans.

Ferry Journey to Islay

Embark on an unforgettable journey to Islay by boarding the CalMac ferry from Kennacraig to experience the breathtaking beauty of the Scottish coastline. As you set sail across the waters, here's what to expect:

  • Marvel at the stunning views of the rugged Scottish coastline, with its dramatic cliffs and picturesque landscapes, as the ferry makes its way to Islay.
  • Feel the cool sea breeze on your face and soak in the tranquility of the journey, offering a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of city life.
  • Keep an eye out for wildlife such as seals, dolphins, and seabirds, which are often spotted during the ferry ride, adding an element of adventure to your trip.
  • Take in the unique charm of the CalMac ferry, with its comfortable lounges, onboard amenities, and friendly staff, ensuring a pleasant and relaxing voyage.
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As you plan your ferry journey to Islay, remember to book your CalMac ferry tickets in advance and coordinate your travel times using the CalMac Journey Planner. With your bus tickets and ferry reservations sorted, you're all set for an enchanting adventure to the captivating island of Islay.

Driving Routes From Glasgow to Islay

Consider embarking on the scenic drive from Glasgow to Islay, immersing yourself in the breathtaking landscapes and charming villages along the way.

The driving route from Glasgow to Islay takes you through the stunning west coast of Scotland, offering picturesque views of Loch Lomond and the historic town of Inveraray. The journey, which takes approximately 2.5 to 4 hours, culminates at Kennacraig Ferry Terminal, where you can board the CalMac Islay Ferry for a memorable sea voyage to the island.

Having your own car gives you the freedom to explore the route at your own pace, stopping to admire the rugged coastline and rolling hills. As you traverse the scenic roads, take in the dramatic landscapes and perhaps make a few detours to visit hidden gems along the way.

With the convenience of a car, you can also ensure a seamless transition from the ferry to your Islay accommodation, without having to rely on taxi availability.

Glasgow to Islay via Loch Lomond and Inveraray

Embarking on the scenic drive from Glasgow to Islay via Loch Lomond and Inveraray offers a captivating journey through the stunning west coast of Scotland. Driving in your car, you can look forward to a day trip filled with breathtaking views and charming stops along the way.

Here's what to expect:

  • Loch Lomond: As you leave Glasgow, the road takes you through the picturesque Trossachs National Park, with Loch Lomond as a stunning centerpiece. Take a moment to soak in the beauty of the largest inland stretch of water in Great Britain, offering plenty of opportunities for photography and short walks.
  • Inveraray: Continuing on, you'll reach the quaint town of Inveraray, nestled on the shores of Loch Fyne. Visit the historic Inveraray Castle or wander through the town's charming streets to appreciate its Georgian architecture and scenic waterfront.
  • Coastal Scenery: As you approach the coast, the drive becomes even more mesmerizing, with panoramic views of the rugged coastline and the possibility of spotting wildlife such as seals or even eagles.
  • Ferry to Islay: Finally, you'll arrive at Kennacraig, where you can board the ferry for the scenic voyage to Islay, marking the end of a truly unforgettable journey.
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Gourock to Cairndow and Tarbert

As you continue your journey from Glasgow to Islay, another scenic route option unfolds, taking you from Gourock to Cairndow and Tarbert. This route offers a captivating drive through picturesque landscapes and charming coastal towns.

To embark on this adventure, take the M8/A8 route from Glasgow to Gourock, then catch a ferry to Dunoon. From there, follow A885/B836/A886/A8003 to Portavadie and finally take A83 to Kennacraig.

This alternative route is especially useful when the Rest and Be Thankful route is closed. The ferry cost for a car and driver is £20, with a waiting time of about 20-60 minutes for the return journey. Keep in mind that two ferry crossings are required for this route.

The total travel time is estimated to be 4 to 7 hours, covering a distance of approximately 70 miles by car. It's advisable to check the latest ferry information before setting off. Additionally, a bus service runs along this route, providing another convenient option for travelers.

Gourock to Dunoon, Portavadie, and Tarbert

Upon departing from Gourock, the scenic 20-minute ferry journey to Dunoon provides captivating views across the Firth of Clyde. As you glide across the water, take in the stunning coastal scenery, with the rugged hills and charming villages dotting the landscape. Upon reaching Dunoon, you'll be greeted by the bustling waterfront and a welcoming atmosphere.

From there, the ferry to Portavadie beckons, offering a leisurely sail with breathtaking vistas of the Kyles of Bute and the surrounding area. The journey continues as you board the ferry to Tarbert, where you can revel in the picturesque sailing across the tranquil waters of Loch Fyne. The gentle waves and fresh sea air create a sense of freedom and tranquility, setting the stage for the next leg of your adventure.

Glasgow to Islay via Arran

After experiencing the scenic ferry journey from Gourock to Tarbert, consider taking a captivating route from Glasgow to Islay via Arran for a unique and picturesque travel adventure. To help you plan your journey, here's a handy guide to getting from Glasgow to Islay via Arran:

Mode of TransportDetails
Bus to KennacraigCatch the bus 926 from Glasgow to Kennacraig. Make sure to purchase your ticket in advance. The bus ride offers stunning views of the Scottish countryside and costs 22.40£ one way.
Ferry from Kennacraig to IslayOnce at Kennacraig, board the CalMac ferry to Port Ellen. The ferry ride costs 7.10£ per person one way and provides breathtaking views of the coastline.

Taking this route not only allows you to enjoy the beauty of Arran but also provides access to the charming Port Ellen in Islay. Be sure to plan your journey around the bus schedule, as Islay buses only operate from 8 am to 5 pm, Monday to Saturday. With this route, you'll have the freedom to explore the stunning landscapes and historic sites while making your way from Glasgow to Islay.