New online tours of Islay and Jura

Two new online guides to Islay and Jura have been launched giving visitors easy-to-follow guided tours of each of the islands. There’s information on various points of interest including photos, map references and an audio guide.

The idea was to create unique guides, aided by great story-telling, which should bring to life some of the stories behind these places of interest. The audio guides will tell of bloody battles, tragic deaths, hauntings and predictions, they include stories from famous inhabitants, explain the meanings – and pronunciations – of some of our more unusual names and highlight some of the lesser-known gems of these isles.

The Islay guide will take you round all of the distilleries, explore our havens for wildlife and transport you back in time to explore some of the significant spots in the island’s long – and bloody – history.

On Jura the tour will take you the length of the island stopping off at beautiful beaches, an ancient stone menhir, a little-known structure by a well-known engineer and will introduce you to some of the island’s famous former inhabitants.

The apps are part of a government-funded project with Geotourist and the University of Dundee, and Explore Islay and Jura are one of over 20 partners who have helped put together these guides, using our local knowledge.

You can find the guides here:

Explore Islay (Explore Islay | Tour Details — Geotourist)

Explore Jura (Explore Jura | Tour Details — Geotourist)

 Explore Islay and Jura’s tours will be live across the summer and beyond, leveraging immersive storytelling as a way of accessing destinations, attractions and locations across Scotland.

This project is funded by the Scottish Inward Investment Catalyst Fund administered by Interface.

Explore Islay and Jura co-chair Emma Clark said: “Our islands have so much to offer visitors. They often come for the whisky but stay, and return, for so much more.

“For total relaxation, quality accommodation, the freshest local seafood, venison and beef and an unrivalled number of renowned distilleries, gins and rums on these two small islands a visit to Islay and Jura provides the opportunity to indulge yourself in luxury.

“Our islands have a long history and evidence of the past is all around us in the standing stones, castle ruins, burial sites, memorials and other structures all over the islands – there’s so much to discover and learn.

“For the more adventurous or those who love to get out and about in the countryside there are a host of activities including cycling, golf, wild swimming, paddleboarding, walking, foraging, kayaking, birdwatching, painting, photography, sea trips and lots more.”

“There is nothing better though, than a walk at sunset or sunrise, along our stunning beaches – which you’ll often find you have to yourself and just to let yourself be enchanted by this place, breathe in the sea air and allow it to lift your spirits.

“The welcome people get from those on the islands is legendary – come and try it for yourself, we can’t wait to welcome you.”

Shaon Talukder, CEO, of Geotourist said:

 “We are overjoyed to welcome Explore Islay and Jura onto the project. Working on this project with all of our partners has been a hugely rewarding experience and we’re only really starting out. The partner mix is enormously compelling with many different aspects of the Scottish visitor economy ready to be explored. Every tour is special because it captures truly authentic content that showcases why Scotland is a world-class destination for any tourist. Now, we’re going to be able to see where they travel from and what they travel for. This project will directly inform decision making and help to make the most of tight budgets. Alongside the practical and business-focused outcomes of the project, we must not forget the storytelling experience which connects visitors to the world around them.”

Dr Keith Dinnie, Reader in Marketing and Associate Dean Business and Community Engagement, University of Dundee School of Business, said:

“I am delighted to see the wonderful range of destination stakeholder organisations that have agreed to participate in this ground-breaking project. Partners in the project come from all over Scotland, from the far north to the border with England in the south. Working with Geotourist on this project has been, and continues to be, an inspiring and highly productive experience.”

Howell Davies, Sector and Business Engagement Manager, Interface, said:

“It’s great to see Geotourist Ltd, one of the successful applicants of the Inward Investment Catalyst Fund with the University of Dundee, making an immediate impact on the Scottish Tourism sector.  The project will support companies gain greater insight into those visiting Scotland to create even better experiences while adding value for the businesses and the wider sector.   Through this exciting collaboration, Geotourist Ltd will be able to benefit from world class academic expertise and develop their Innovative Platform with a focus on the Scottish Visitor economy which benefits everyone involved.”