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Whisky Galore

Scotlandís most famous export is undoubtedly our whisky. ĎUisge-beathaí the water of life when translated from the original Gaelic.

Bottle of Glenturret Lovers of Malt whisky know that each one has a very different flavour and characteristic, from the sweetness and rich complex flavours of the Speyside malts to the smoky, peaty, full-blooded flavours of the Islay malts. Many of the distilleries that produce these are open to the public and welcome visitors, allowing them to see the process and conditions that make each one unique and special.

This itinerary, which could stand alone as a short tour or be included into a longer one, visits some of Scotlandís best known distilleries as well as a cooperage to see barrels being made.

Day 1
Edinburgh. Visit the Scotch Whisky Heritage Centre on the Royal Mile, which tells the story of Scotlandís most famous product, and to Glenkinchie Distillery a few miles outside the city. Overnight Edinburgh, city centre hotel.

Day 2
Glenturret Heading north from Edinburgh take a diversion to visit Glenturret near Crieff - Scotlandís oldest working distillery. Returning to the A9 north of Perth there are a number of distilleries worth visiting before reaching Inverness, Blair Athol in Pitlochry, Dalwhinnie and Tomatin. Overnight Inverness.

Day 3
One of the most famous malt whisky names is Glenmorangie and their distillery is near Tain, on the Dornoch Firth north of Inverness. Then retracing ones steps drive eastward along the Moray Firth from Inverness to visit some of the distilleries on Scotlandís unique Malt Whisky Trail, which lies along the River Spey among the northern foothills of the Grampians. Here there are seven of these distilleries featuring famous names such as The Glenlivet, Glenfiddich and Glen Grant. Two nights accommodation in one of the charming small towns in this area.

Day 4
More stops on the Malt Whisky Trail and do not miss the Speyside Cooperage at Craigellachie, where their coopers practice the ancient craft of barrel making and repair over 100,000 oak casks each year which will be used to mature many different whiskies. Perhaps take some time out to see something different such as Baxters of Speyside in Fochabers, who are famous manufacturers of quality Scottish foods or The Cashmere Centre in Elgin.

Day 5
Return south, and finish the tour, with a visit to Fettercairn Distillery or a contrast would be the Bellís Cherrybank Gardens in Perth, which contains the National Heather Collection.