The airport on Islay is operted by Highlands & Islands airports andy is called Glenegedale with international airport code ILY.
It is between Port Ellen and Bowmore, about 5 miles from either.
It is well served by a Loganair operated FlyBe flight twice a day from Glasgow GLA, www.flybe.com and if booked 4 weeks or more in advance costs from about £41 one way witha generous 30Kg hold allowance. There are also scheduled Hebridean Air flights from Oban.
The plane is a SAAB 340 34 seater, and if the flight is not busy is sometimes twinned with the. flight to Campnbeltown in the morning, calling at Islay first.
There is a cafe and two car hire options at arrivals, it is I think ESSENTIAL to book car hire in advance. Please note that although you are surrounded by glass showcases of single malts the cafe no longer serves alcohol !!
Local buses connect the villages together. Bus lines run from Portnahaven-Port Charlotte-Bowmore-Port Askaig-Port Ellen-Ardbeg. Service is fair during the week but only a couple of buses run on Sundays.
My original intent was to rent bicycle and use the local buses to see Islay. There are several places you can rent bicycles on Islay - the post office of Bowmore, the Playing Fields at Port Ellen and another place or two as well as one place in Port Charlotte. Islay is reasonably flat, though you will run into the occasional 15% grade, but normally that is only for a fairly short stretch. Still, there are a lot of little ups and downs and distances can be a factor, so plan your trips somewhat closely. Weather is a huge factor. When I was here for four days, three were devoted to heavy rains and the one clear day gave me 35 mile per hour headwinds to contend with. Renting a bike costs 10 pounds for the day, but I found that by renting a car from D& M McKenzie (whose cars you find over all of the island) is only 30 pounds per day. With the extra money spent, I was still able to cover a lot more ground quickly.
Most roads are single lane affairs off the main road which links the villages together. Your car will be a manual which is always fun coming from a country with right-hand drive. Roads on Islay are not heavy with traffic, though, so it is a good area to practice your left-hand drive skills.
Some people fly over to Islay - the airport dates to World War II when a squadron of Beaufighters was stationed here among others - but most come the old fashioned way, the Caledonia Macbrane ferry. There are a couple of boats a day out to Islay with the morning boats coming and going from Port Ellen and the afternoon boats to Port Askaig. To take your car over is expensive. Round trip for a foot traveler with a CityLink Explorer pass (50% fare reduction) was only 8.85 pounds. The ride is about two hours and in good weather is very scenic with the occasional seal to be spotted. Buses connect with the ferries both on Islay and the Kintyre Peninsula with the 2.5 hour bus to/from Glasgow meeting you right at the ferry terminal in Kennacraig on the Kintyre. There is also a summer bus connection from Kennacraig over to Claonig (much like Kennacraig, only a ferry landing and nothing more) where you can catch another small ferry to Lochranza on the Isle of Arran.
Use the ferries to get to the islands. You'll be glad you went out there. Caledonian MacBrayne ( CalMac) runs a great operation, with various sized ferries to the different islands. You can usually get a bite to eat on the larger ones, and sometimes there is a bar. Though I can't guarantee that it will be open, discovered that on way back from Islay.
Pic is of friends I was with on way back from Islay, my ex is playing the pipes, providing a little musical entertainment for our fellow passengers.
For more info: CalMac Ferries
The ferry ride to Islay departs from Kennacraig 1-2 times a day. The trip takes a little over 2 hours.