The old county of Argyll (in Gaelic, Earraghaidheal, "coastland of the Gael"), on and off the coast of western Scotland, is a rewarding journey. Summers along the coast are usually cool and damp and winters relatively mild but wet, with little snow.

The major center of Gaelic culture for the district is Oban ("small bay"), a great port for the Western Isles and the gateway to the Inner Hebrides.

There are several island destinations off the Argyll coast that merit your time. The long peninsula of Kintyre separates the islands of the Firth of Clyde from the islands of the Inner Hebrides.

From the Isle of Islay to the Mull of Kintyre, the climate is mild. The land is rich and lush, especially on Arran. The peat deposits on Islay lend flavor to the making of such fine malt whiskies as Lagavulin, Bruichladdick, and Laphroaig. There's a diversity of scenic beauty: hills and glens, fast-rushing streams, and little roads that eventually lead to coastal villages displaying B&B signs in summer. The unspoiled and remote island of Jura is easily reached from Islay. And the best news for last: These islands, as well as the Kintyre Peninsula, are among the best travel bargains in the British Isles.