From Glasgow take the A82 to Loch Lomond which then joins the A83 at Tarbet and continues all the way to the ferry terminal at Kennacraig, which is 5 miles past the pretty fishing village of Tarbert . It’s a lovely drive through some of Argyll’s best scenery and should take approximately two and a half hours but make extra time if you want to savour the views.
A daily bus service operates from Glasgow’s Buchanan Street Bus Station leaving around 9am which makes a connection with the ferry at Kennacraig. Check the timetable schedules for exact departure times with Scottish Citylink Coaches by telephone on 0871 266 3333 or book online at www.citylink.co.uk. Advance ticket bookings can often be rewarded with substantially cheaper fares.
Caledonian MacBrayne operates the two hour crossing from Kennacraig to Islay, which runs several ferries daily throughout the year. For details of timetables and vehicle reservations (advisable, particularly in the summer season) contact:
· 0800 066 5000 – all enquiries and reservations
· 01880 730253 – Kennacraig office
· 01896 840 620 – Port Askaig office
· 01496 302209 – Port Ellen office
· For online bookings and timetables visit www.calmac.co.uk
Ferries to Islay and Jura and now covered by the R.E.T scheme
The Road Equivalent Tariff (RET) scheme involves setting ferry fares on the basis of the cost of travelling an equivalent distance by road. This has made the ferry journey substantially cheaper.
Flybe run a 35 minute scheduled service, from Glasgow International Airport to Islay Glenegadale. Flying is the quickest way and can provide spectacular views over the islands and Kintyre. Buses to and from the airport are sporadic so if you don’t want to rely on them, consult the Getting Around section. For flight information and reservations contact Flybe at:
· 0871 700 2000 – within UK
· 00 44 (0) 1392 268529 – outside UK
· 01496 302022 – Islay airport
· To book online and view timetables visit www.flybe.com
To reach Jura a small car ferry run by ASP Ship Management Ltd on behalf of Argyll & Bute Council sails from Port Askaig on Islay to Feolin on Jura, the journey takes only 10 minutes. Telephone 01496 840681 for enquiries. There are around 14 ferries a day Mon-Sat with about half that number on a Sunday.
Cal Mac includes a courteousy timetable in their timetable booklet and also online. There is no reservation service and you pay on board but the ferry will put on extra sailings at busy times – no one gets left behind!