The groups of islands off the coast of Scotland hold a strong fascination for the thousands of people who embark on the sea crossing each year. The islands are unique: remote, romantic and often mysterious, they exert a magnetic attraction which draws visitors back again and again. The Hebridean island of Islay lies off the coast of Argyll, linked to the mainland of Scotland by a year-round vehicle ferry. Its varied landscape makes it attractive for hill-walkers, and its long and sometimes bloody history has left plenty of traces in the landscape for amateur archaeologists to explore. Its beaches are pounded by the full power of the Atlantic surf, which has sculpted spectacular cliffs and formed empty miles of sandy strands, where Vikings once beached their longships. The ancestral seat of the medieval Lords of the Isles. Islay is brim full of history, but with a full range of modern services and accommodation for visitors. Famous the world over for its whisky, the spirit of 'the Queen of the Hebrides' lures people back again and again to enjoy its scenery and tranquility.