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Sea Kayaking – Scottish Sea Kayak Trail South – The Whisky Coast

  • The Scottish Sea Kayak Trail has made the National Geographic’s 2011 ‘Tours of a Lifetime’ and Outside Magazine’s coveted ‘Travel Hot List for 2011’
  • No camping, just comfortable beds, hot showers, excellent local restaurants and a little tipple on the way!
  • Sea Kayak from the Isle of Gigha to Oban, passing many beautiful Hebridean islands along the way
  • Link this trip with our ‘Scottish Sea Kayak Trail: Central – The Jacobite Coast’ trip, and also the Scottish Sea Kayak Trail North – The Gaelic Coast trip, which run on consecutive dates. Join all three trips for an epic sea kayaking adventure
  • 2 nights accommodation at a 3-star small hotel near Loch Fyne
  • 3 nights accommodation at a 3-star hotel on the shores of Loch Melfort
  • Most meals, from lunch on Day 1 until lunch on Day 6. (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All transport throughout the trip, starting and finishing in Oban
  • All specialist sea kayaking equipment, including sea kayaks, waterproof cags and buoyancy aids.
  • The services of an experienced and knowledgeable sea-kayak guide throughout your trip

Blue Graded Sea Kayaking Holidays 4-6

Our Blue grade sea kayaking trips are suitable for people with at least 5 days previous experience, although don’t worry if you have never Eskimo Rolled! You should be confident on the water and it is preferable if at least some of this experience was under instruction, such as on our Introduction to Sea Kayaking in Scotland course.

You should have a good level of fitness as you can expect up to 6 hours of sea kayaking each day, with plenty of breaks onshore to stretch your legs. The kayaking will be in coastal waters with few open crossings and you can expect to kayak up to 12km in a day, although this will be subject to weather and wind conditions.

Again, all of our blue trips are accommodation based, so you can enjoy hot showers and a warm bed throughout the week.

Before joining this trip, the questions you should be asking yourself are:

1. Do you have more than 5 days paddle experience?
2. Do you have a good level of fitness?
3. Do you love getting out and about in some beautiful wild places?

On this accommodation-based sea kayaking trip, you will stay in two different hotels along the route. For the first two nights, we stay at a 3 star small hotel located on the shores of Loch Fyne. Accommodation is in a choice of twin or double rooms.

We then move slightly further north and spend the final three nights in a 3-star hotel, located on the shores of Loch Melfort.

Breakfast and packed lunches are provided each day. For evening meals, we can choose to dine in the hotels or visit local bars or restaurants, enjoying the best of local produce.

SINGLE ROOM SUPPLEMENT

We do not charge single person supplements to people booking on their own. However you will be expected to share a room with another person of the same sex. It may be possible to book a single room, provided one is available. Please request this at the time of booking and we will let you know if one is available. For this trip, a supplement of £200 is charged if a single room is required.

You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide at Oban Railway Station at 1200hrs on Day 1 of your trip. Please make your way outside, to the front door of the train station ticket office where you will see the Wilderness Scotland minibus and trailer just across the road in the temporary parking area. Your guide will be waiting there for you. For full details on how to get to Oban, please see our website: Travel to Scotland

Customer Kudos

Every client receives a feedback survey when they return from their guided, self guided or tailor made holiday with us.

Once completed the review is published on our website just as soon as our database updates. The little touches and details are important to us and where issues are raised we make positive changes to our trips to improve your experience.

That's why we read each of our client's reviews and although we don't respond to all of them, if it's glowing feedback then we get the satisfaction of helping to make your holidays truly memorable.

5 star 20

4 star 4

3 star 1

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Robert Hampton 20/09/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
No one ever seems to answer your toll free telephone number in the US...very frustrating! If you are not going to staff the phone then do not give out the number as an option.

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:

Thanks for your feedback. We have a toll free number so it’s easier and cheaper for our North American clients to get in touch with us. This number connects directly to our office here in the Scottish Highlands and is manned during our normal office hours. I’m really sorry that you weren’t able to get a hold of anyone but I think due to the time difference we may have already closed for the evening by the time you called. Please do leave us a voicemail if this happens and we’ll be back in touch as soon as possible.
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Loch Melfort dinners, breakfasts and pack lunches were excellent. The Grey Gull Inn was not as good but acceptable. The issue with the GGI was more in the realm of dining room service...not enough staff (or coffee mugs...no joke...we were told more than once that coffee was not available because they had run out of mugs!)
Your Guide
Luke is an outstanding leader. At first blush I was surprised when he showed up at the station because he is so much younger than the leaders on my prior two WS kayaking trips. However, as often happen in life, appearances can be deceiving. He is the consummate professional...calm, strong and able to handle all aspects of the trip seamlessly...dealing with a range of personalities not being the least of it! My only comment for improvement would be for him to ditch the instant coffee he serves at lunch and brew some of the real stuff instead :)
This was Rory's first WS trip and he was terrific....very upbeat, high energy and totally focused on customer experience and service. He was able to deal with events, even unexpected ones, in stride. A great addition to the trip.
In the interest of providing some constructive feedback I would raise the issue of "intra-day" scheduling. The incident that comes to mind is our first full day of paddling. We headed out to the Isle of Gigha...it was a beautiful day but our actual paddling time was somewhat truncated. This was do to a number of factors...late start (exacerbated by the fact that the hotel does not serve b'fast until 8 AM) and a Sunday ferry schedule (limited sailings and last ferry of day departed mid-afternoon). My suggestion would have been to do that day's itinerary on a non-Sunday (weather permitting) or made arrangements with hotel for either a 7 AM breakfast or a continental "pack" breakfast.
The Bottom Line
I have now done all three legs of the Whiskey Trail kayaking trip...they have all been very enjoyable and I would highly recommend them. Of greatest importance are the guides...both for safety and enjoyment purposes...in this regard I can say that all six of the guides I have had have been fantastic. Interestingly, the accommodations have been a tale of two cities...i.e. the best of times, the worst of times. On each trip one of the venues has been outstanding while the second one has been "just okay" at best.

by Karen Robertson-Fall 18/09/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Many thanks for Tim's ability to have plan A, B, C depending on the weather conditions.
Trip Comments
This trip far exceed our expectations and we saw everything that we hoped to see and so much more!
Accommodation and Food
Great Highland breakfasts every morning and excellent lunches to keep us ready to go!
Your Guide
We appreciated how the guides helped every one at their own level and learn to exceed their prior skills and take part in the trip fully.
The Bottom Line

by Ted Lawson 18/09/2016

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Accommodation & food was a bit OTT for me, but that's my fault for choosing "Classic" instead of "Basic". The NTS bunkhouse in Torridon on my first WS kayaking trip was for me the best accommodation I've had on a WS holiday.
Your Guide
Rory and Luke both were both great, in complementary ways. My only comment is that the swell on the West coast of Seil came as a bit of a shock and I would like to have been better prepared for it. I had to work out for myself on the fly that to deal with it I had to concentrate on the stable land in the distance and not be put off by the chaotic waters around me. Anyway it was a memorable experience !
The Bottom Line

by Jacques Bergman 13/08/2016

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Ali was really an excellent guide
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
Ali was great. he adjusted the plans acording to the weather and requests by the group. Very proficient in driving the truck and getting us on and off the water. Great adjustements based on weather and wind conditions. A+ score!
The Bottom Line

by Diederik Bergman 07/08/2016

3Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

3Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line

by Beth Symonds 06/09/2015

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

4The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
standardised dates for pre trip info had drawbacks for me - I left home a month before trip as was travelling to other places in Europe (from Australia).

TEAM WILDERNESS RESPONSE:

Thank you for your comments, we do send our final information out 2- 4 weeks before the trip start date but we would be happy to agree an earlier date in cases like yours. Please don't hesitate to ask in future.
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line
Really good, great trip for the right person

by Matthias Juenemann 06/09/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Downloading Trip Dossiers is annoying, as always contact data needs to be filled in
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Especially Loch Mellfort Hotel is excellent!!!
Your Guide
The Bottom Line

by Hanne Groth 22/08/2015

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
Your Guide
The Bottom Line

by Marc Sidwell 12/08/2015

5Pre-Trip Service

5Trip Comments

5Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

5The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
We thought that all of the information provided was excellent and that you answered all of our questions.
Trip Comments
Our guides went out of their way to find the best places to paddle every day and to provide a great experience.
Accommodation and Food
We loved the second hotel at Loch Melfort, but we didn't really like the first one near Loch Fyne.
Your Guide
Our guides were excellent - so knowledgeable and did exercises with us. They were interesting to talk to a great to be with after the paddle.
The Bottom Line
Great trip. We will do this again!

by Sharon Berg 06/08/2015

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

4Your Guide

3The Bottom Line

Pre-Trip Service
response time to questions could have been more prompt
Trip Comments
Accommodation and Food
I give a good because the first hotel was below expectations though not horrible. As I mentioned in my previous comment, the room was alright but the food was abysmal. The packed lunches were ample but the quality was very poor.

The second accommodation was very good. In every respect. Pleasant room, attractive common spaces and very good food.

WILDERNESS SCOTLAND RESPONSE:
Thanks for the comments about the packed lunches; I’m sorry that you didn’t enjoy them. We’ll pass on your comments to accommodation to ensure they are better for our next group.
Your Guide
see previous comment.

It was helpful to learn some good kayaking techniques from both Howard and Zoe.
The Bottom Line
I discovered that being on the water was not enough for me. I would have preferred a trip that combined some hiking and much more historical/ geographical information on the areas we passed through. It was a pleasure to make the acquaintance of some wonderful fellow travelers.

Please work to improve your response time to e-mail queries. That is a major issue. Apologies are not helpful.

WILDERNESS SCOTLAND RESPONSE:
I’m sorry that you thought our response times were slow. We do aim to respond to all emails within 24 hours during our working week, which is Monday to Friday. We had originally dealt with another member of your party who had to cancel her place on the trip. The one email we have from you was sent on a Thursday evening to a colleague who works part time. She was not in the office on the Friday and does have an out of office to that effect. The office is closed over the weekend so we responded to you on the Monday morning. I believe your email was about car parking and we’re always on the other end of the phone if you need help with that sort of thing quickly.

Our sea kayaking trips do focus on being on the water, exploring the coastline that way. It sounds like this probably wasn’t the ideal trip for you but hopefully you enjoyed the experience anyway!

Prices and Departures

14 people viewed this trip in the last week

Book with confidence - we guaranteee our trips to run as soon as 2 people book.

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
17th Jun - 22nd Jun 2017
£1,175
Places available
29th Jul - 3rd Aug 2017
£1,175
Places available
2nd Sep - 7th Sep 2017
£1,175
6 place(s) left

Trip Details

The Scottish Sea Kayak Trail is Europe’s first long distance sea kayak trail, stretching from Gigha in the south to the Summer Isles in the north.

The trail was created by sea kayaking aficionado Simon Willis to encourage sea kayakers to explore Scotland’s west coast, and has quickly been recognised as one of the best sea kayaking journeys on the planet.

This trip is designed to allow you to discover the best parts of the southern section of the Scottish Sea Kayak Trail, between the Isle of Gigha and Oban, on a series of day paddles. Rather than camping, accommodation is in sea-kayaker-friendly west coast hotels, meaning that you always have somewhere warm and dry to return to after a day on the water. We have a split the trail up into 3 manageable sections South, Central and North.

This trip will introduce you to wonderful coastlines such as the isles of Gigha, Luing and Seil, Loch Craignish and Loch Melfort. Each day we move a little further north, enjoying the fantastic sea kayaking to be found along the Scottish Sea Kayak Trail.

The Trail itself is completely unmarked and undeveloped so the sea kayaking offered is a pristine experience. Under the watchful eye of our experienced guides, you can develop your sea kayaking skills while discovering the amazing seascapes and wildlife of Scotland’s west coast.

At the end of each day, you can enjoy a hot shower and a visit to the local restaurant or pub for dinner before snuggling down with your duvet in our cosy accommodation. If you (like us) you enjoy your sea kayaking and your home comforts in equal measure, then look no further than this itinerary!

Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – Welcome and onto the water!

You will be met by your guide in Oban and we’ll transfer south to the Kintyre Peninsula for an afternoon paddle, refreshing your sea kayaking skills and introducing you to the wonderful southern Highland scenery. Late afternoon, we transfer to our first accommodation, located on the shores of Loch Fyne and enjoy an informal whisky tasting, sampling a selection of the finest whisky from the 11 distilleries within a 30 mile radius. (L, D)

Day 2 – The Scottish Sea Kayak Trail Begins!

From our hotel, it is a short transfer to the put-in point and the start of the Scottish Sea Kayak Trail. If conditions are good, we may paddle across to the Isle of Gigha, one of the prettiest Hebridean islands. Alternatively, we can explore West Loch Tarbert and its many small islands and skerries. We return to the hotel late afternoon. (B, L)

Day 3 – Sea Kayaking in Loch Craignish and Skerries

There are many possible destinations today as we leave our hotel and travel north a short distance, crossing the Crinan Canal along the way. Our likely destination is Loch Craignish, which offers good sea kayaking in fairly sheltered waters. Its many islands are dotted with the remains of ancient sites such as forts, chambered cairns and sculptured stones. Overnight at Loch Melfort. (B, L)

Day 4 – Sea Kayaking: Croabh Haven and Shuna

Today we sea kayak in the bay directly in front of our hotel. We can plan our route over breakfast, surveying the bay from the breakfast room’s panoramic windows. There are many small islands and ports to explore and we will land in a few places to explore on land as well. (B, L)

Day 5 – Sea Kayaking: Luing and Seil

A memorable day of sea kayaking as we explore the beautiful Seil Sound. If conditions are good, we may kayak to the island of Easdale, which is home to the World Stone Skimming Championships! If tides are right, we may paddle along a narrow channel and under the Bridge over the Atlantic – you’ll be amazed at its span! (B, L, D)

Day 6 – Final morning’s paddle

After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll enjoy a morning of sea kayaking, either on Loch Melfort or in the Sound of Kerrera, completing our exploration of the southern section of the Scottish Sea Kayak Trail. We return to Oban early-afternoon which offers us the opportunity to have a guided tour of Oban Distillery and allow time for people to connect with trains home. (B, L)

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Prices and Departures

14 people viewed this trip in the last week

Book with confidence - we guaranteee our trips to run as soon as 2 people book.

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
17th Jun - 22nd Jun 2017
£1,175
Places available
29th Jul - 3rd Aug 2017
£1,175
Places available
2nd Sep - 7th Sep 2017
£1,175
6 place(s) left

Price from: £1,175

Next trip: 17th June

Duration: 5 night(s)

View prices & departures

Location: West Highlands including Knoydart

Comfort: Classic

Difficulty: 5

25 review(s)

Trip Photos

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Trip reviews

Customer Kudos
I have now done all three legs of the Whiskey Trail kayaking trip...they have all been very enjoyable and I would highly recommend them. Of greatest importance are the guides...both for safety and enjoyment purposes...in this regard I can say that all six of the guides I have had have been fantastic. Interestingly, the accommodations have been a tale of two cities...i.e. the best of times, the worst of times. On each trip one of the venues has been outstanding while the second one has been "just okay" at best.

Robert Hampton
20/09/2016

5

Karen Robertson-Fall
18/09/2016

5

Rated 4.8 out of 5 based on 25 review(s) of Sea Kayaking – Scottish Sea Kayak Trail South – The Whisky Coast

5 star 20

4 star 4

3 star 1

2 star 0

1 star 0

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