Scotland - Highlands and Islands
Islay is the southernmost Inner Hebridean island also referred to as ‘Queen of the Hebrides’, with ancient prehistoric heritage. Islay become part of the kingdom of Scotland in medieval times. Its population peaked in the mid-19th Century. Today there are around 3,000 islanders.
Islay’s economy depends on whisky, tourism and agriculture. There are 8 working whisky distilleries. In about 720 AD Irish Saint Columba visited the Isle of Islay on his way north, Celtic crosses and carved stones can be seen in various locations around the island. Finlaggan, in the north of Islay, is an important archaeological site, once the centre of the Lordship of the Isles with greatest influence during the 14 and 15 C.
Islay's climate benefits from the warm Gulf Stream, bringing cool winters with little frost or snow and mild summers offering stunning scenery and a rich diversity of wildlife.