Eco-holidays with sustainable food and bike hire on Islay

Three cyclists at sunset.

Eco-friendly holidays on Islay

Ensuring your holiday is as environmentally friendly as possible is important to many people who visit the island. That’s because Islay is such a natural and wild place to visit. Sometimes it feels like being back in the good old days, olde-worlde if you will, where everyone still waves to every car as they pass. So there are now many options available to you to do this, including bike hire on Islay or the use of electric vehicles to get around and see the sights.

And oh, what sights! You’ll always be on the lookout for something magical on Islay when out and about. The island is a haven for birdwatchers, with golden eagles, peregrine falcons and merlins all resident. There are also healthy deer and otter populations, as well as seals visible along the sea. Of course, you need a healthy dose of luck if you are going to see all of these animals, but keep your eyes peeled and you never know.

If you are looking to immerse yourself in nature, here are a few ways you can go green whilst staying with us on Islay. 

Bike hire on Islay

One of the best ways to see the island is by bike. This lets you travel freely on smaller paths that cars cannot go, and allows you to see more of the island than just walking would allow. The roads are mainly single track and you never know what animal you might see around the next bend!

Cycling on Islay can be exhilarating and is a favourite place for cyclists to visit. Check out our cycling blog here for more information. 

There are a couple of places you can hire a bike here on Islay, including Islay Cycles and Islay e-wheels which offers electric bikes. Bikes can be delivered to the cottage ready and waiting for you to start your adventure on day one.  If you are looking for a cycling adventure, the Islay has got to be top of your list.

Islay car hire

Sometimes a bike isn’t the right option for visitors. In this case, car hire on Islay is also available. This will allow you to tour the island in warmth and comfort. 

Whilst cars aren’t the most environmentally friendly modes of transport, electric cars are much better than petrol or diesel. So if you are planning to bring your own electric car, then there is good news! Islay now has an electric charge port in Bowmore. It is just behind the Tourist Information Centre at Bank Car Park. This way you can charge up whilst you have a lovely meal at Peatzeria, so you are ready to head out again in the morning. 

Sustainable shopping on Islay

Islay was at one point in danger of losing its post office in Bowmore. This would have had terrible repercussions, so fortunately it was saved, and it has become part of the island’s environmentally friendly economy. 

It is now called the Wild Islay Refillery and Community Post Office. It offers a sustainable and eco-friendly choice in food items and personal care products, alongside eco-friendly post related items.

The shop offers zero-waste food and eco products whilst also being an organic food specialist. And there is a large range of organic herbs and spices too. It’s the perfect place to stock up on eco-friendly and organic food and resources for your stay at the cottage. 

Shopping locally is something people do here on Islay, especially crafts. There are so many independent shops around the island that you are sure to find that one-of-a-kind gift you are looking to take home. Have a look at a few across the island here. From jewellery to photo prints to soap, there are so many ideas, and all made by local islanders too! There’s even somewhere you can watch pottery taking form before your eyes. Persabus is a lovely place to visit for unique pottery gifts, and you can even take some of these hand-crafted beauties away to decorate yourself.

Another great environmental push has been to make the distilleries on the island environmentally friendly. Bruichladdich is leading the fight and pushing to reduce emissions. In fact, it has set itself the challenge of ensuring that by 2025 its distillation process will be net zero. You can visit the distillery and find out more for yourself during your visit.

And don’t forget that sustainable shopping continues when you eat out too. At our restaurant, Peatzeria in Bowmore, we use sustainable and local ingredients wherever possible. This includes locally sourced scallops and lobster!

Enjoying a green holiday on Islay

So from bike hire on Islay to buying sustainable food products from Bowmore’s post office, there are many options to help keep your holiday as environmentally friendly as possible. The island is at the forefront of becoming more environmentally friendly and using resources sustainably. Find out more about what the island and our community is doing – and perhaps even ways you could get involved – at Islay Development

Finally, back to our delightful little cottages and the large luxury house at Kilchoman. All of our holiday cottages and self-catering accommodation options on Islay are set in historic buildings on the island. As such they enjoy big thick stone walls for insulation, lovely open fires to warm you up after a day walking the beaches and hills. So join us, and step back in time for a wonderful holiday in one of nature’s most unspoiled ecosystems.

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