Fans of hiking and whisky can now partake in a 115-mile whisky trail while they island hop around Scotland and take in the breathtaking scenery. The new Hebridean Whisky Trail, which has been inaugurated this month, guides travelers to a variety of distilleries on the country's northern coast on the remote Hebrides islands, including the Isle of Skye, Raasay, and Harris.
The Isle of Skye, which is known for its stunning cliffs and ancient castles, features many quaint restaurants and pubs, as well as distilleries like the Talisker, which was built in 1830 and is the oldest working distillery on the island. The distillery, on the shores of Loch Harport, provides gorgeous views of the Cuillin mountain range that can be enjoyed while sampling the range of full-bodied single malts. Other distilleries on the Isle of Skye include Torabhaig, which showcases the island’s unique process for distilling single-malt scotch whisky, as well as Blair Athol, Caol Ila, Cardhu, Clynelish, Cragganmore, Dalwhinnie, Glenkinchie, Glen Ord, Lagavulin, Oban, and Royal Lochnagar.
Raasay, a favorite of hikers due to its endless woodland trails, ancient railroads, open moorlands, and coastal pathways, houses the Isle of Raasay distillery, which uses the island’s volcanic mountain water to create its peaty whisky. Raasay also offers luxury accommodations within the distillery for guests to stay overnight. Three of the rooms have beautiful views of the Cuillin mountains on the Isle of Skye, while the other three overlook the distillery’s production yard. Designed by local architect Olli Blair and renowned Scottish designer Anne Hunter, the hotel, known as Borodale House, also features luxury amenities, double or queen-sized beds, and possibly the best views from any distillery in Scotland.
Finally, Harris, with its numerous beaches and wool workshops, is home to the Isle of Harris Distillery, also known as The Social Distillery, which employs five local distillers that have been trained to create true island spirits. The island’s first distillery hopes to lay the foundation for the future of the community as they distill world-class spirits. The distillery, which features a peat fire at the heart of the building, is open six days a week for those who want to learn more about the process of distilling whisky and sample the local flavor.
Hikers can set off on the Hebridean Whisky Trail by road or by sea. Scotland also offers the Malt Whisky Trail, which includes seven distillers in the region of Speyside.