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      Sea Kayaking
      The Summer Isles

      74 review(s)

      Next Trip(s): 18th May | 22nd Jun Duration: 5 night(s)

      From £925 View Prices & Departures

      Trip Details & Highlights

      Trip created by Paul Easto
      View Paul's Profile

      Location: North West Highlands
      Trip Type: Sea Kayaking
      Comfort: Wilderness Camping

      Difficulty:

      All you need to know about your trip, this essential document is a must for all adventures.

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      Trip Details

      Sea kayaking in the Summer Isles is perhaps sea kayaking in Scotland at its finest, as we explore the many islands that dot this beautiful coastline.

      The Summer Isles are some of the most scenic islands and our guided sea kayaking expedition is an inspiring journey through a stunning seascape.

      Journeying by sea kayak we are able to experience this remarkable coastal environment up close – picking our way through the numerous channels and inlets between the islands. This area is known for its rich marine life with dolphins, porpoises, seals and even whales inhabiting these waters. In the sky, there are many varieties of seabirds and golden eagles can sometimes be seen as well. We’ll be able to explore the islands on foot, allowing you to get to know them from land and sea. This is the perfect trip for someone with some previous kayaking experience looking to enjoy a longer expedition in one of the best areas in the world for sea kayaking.

      Trip Highlights

      • Explore this archipelago of deserted islands, wild coastlines, rock arches and white-sand beaches.
      • Paddle in the crystal clear waters, enjoying the spectacular views of the coastal mountains.
      • Camp in beautiful, remote spots with spectacular views of the surrounding island and coastlines.

      Day by Day Itinerary

      Day 1 – North to the Summer Isles

      From Inverness, we travel north-west to the Summer Isles passing Ullapool and the beautiful Coigach and Assynt mountains. Late afternoon sees us launch the sea kayaks and enjoy a short paddle in sheltered waters to our first campsite, a small island located just offshore. Dolphins and whales are often spotted in these waters so we’ll keep our eyes open as we set up camp on the white sandy beach. (L, D)

      Route details: Distance 2km, 1hr

      Day 2 – Exploring Achiltibuie’s coastline

      Heading south, we sweep around the coastline, passing small sea-cliffs on our way to Badentarbat Bay. After lunch on the grassy bay, we round a point then cross to Horse Island to camp. History records that Spanish treasure is hidden on this island. According to local legend, 100 years ago a shepherd fell into a hole on the island and when he returned home, he found a gold coin in his shoe. Along with friends he returned to the island but could not remember where he had fallen – so the gold remains to this day! (B, L, D)

      Route details: Distance 12km, 6hrs

      Day 3 – Circumnavigating the isle of Tanera Mor

      A 2km crossing takes us to Tanera Mor. This is the largest of the Summer Isles and the only inhabited island. It used to be a major fishing port, where up to 200 vessels would jostle for room in the main bay, known as ‘the Anchorage’. These days only a café and a post office remain. We will paddle around the island and then find a quiet bay where we will camp for the next couple of nights. (B, L, D)

      Route details: Distance 12km, 6hrs

      Day 4 – The hidden shores of the Summer Isles

      We leave our camp in the bay paddle north to Eilean Flada Mor and its outlying skerries, admiring the spectacular sandstone architecture of these islands. We pass a seal colony before, if the conditions are suitable, crossing to Eilean a Char then paddling down Tanera Beag’s western shore to a small bay on its southern tip. Here we pull the kayaks ashore and enjoy a leg-stretching walk on this uninhabited island. On the return to our camp, we pass a fragile sandstone arch which it is possible to paddle under at high tide. (B, L, D)

      Route details: Distance 12km, 6hrs

      Day 5 – North to Reiff and the Rubha Coigeach

      We strike camp and paddle northwards, admiring the stunning views of the Assynt peaks to the east which cut into the skyline and dominate the panorama. Leaving the main cluster of islands, we follow the channel between the wildlife reserve of Isle Ristol and Eilean Mullagrach as we journey towards our northernmost point, a tiny landing spot at Faochag Bay. This is our camp for the night, a wild spot at the very tip of the peninsula with stunning views all around. (B, L, D)

      Route details: Distance 14km, 7hrs

      Day 6 – The climbers of Reiff and journey’s end

      Turning back southwards, we enjoy a leisurely paddle back to our starting point. As we pass the sea-cliffs to the north of Reiff, we will pause to watch the rock-climbers scale the sandstone cracks and overhangs. They often pause and gaze back at us! Finally, we cruise into the natural harbour for the end of a memorable journey. There’s often time for a quick drink at the local bar before we return to Inverness. (B, L)

      Route Details: Distance 8km, 4hrs

      Download Detailed Itinerary

      If you would like to instantly download a copy of our PDF Trip Itinerary which contains full details about this itinerary, please complete the form below:

      The telephone field is not required but if you would like us to give you a call to help find the trip for you, then enter the best number to call you on.

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      What's Included

      Accommodation - Accommodation in carefully selected guest houses and hotels Read More

      ACCOMMODATION
      On this trip, we wild camp near the shore in spectacular coastal locations. These camps may be remote and difficult to access by foot and this element of isolation adds to their appeal. We provide single tents unless you are travelling with a partner or in a group and would like a tent to share. We also carry a base camp tipi, which means that we can all gather together for dinner and a hot drink even if the weather is inclement.

      SINGLE TENTS
      On this trip, we are happy to provide single tents for solo travellers, but if you are willing to share with another traveller this does help reduce our camp size, giving us more options of where to camp and reducing our impact on the ground.

      Meals - Meals Info (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner) Read More

      Great food is essential to all our trips and expeditions are no different. While the guide will coordinate the cooking and help out, everyone is asked to lend a hand as this ensures the best meals in the shortest possible time after what are often long days. We will carry plenty of food to cater a varied and satisfying menu throughout the trip, and some of these may even be prepared on an open fire. Dietary requirements can still be catered for but please ensure we know at the time of booking.

      Travel - All transport throughout the trip Read More

      ARRIVAL AND DEPARTURE
      You will be met by your Wilderness Scotland Guide in the centre of Inverness Railway Station at 10:30 on Day 1 of your trip. You will be returned to Inverness Station for 4:00pm on the final day of the trip.

      For advice on getting to and from Scotland please our travel advice page on our website: www.wildernessscotland.com/faq/travel-to-scotland/

      Trip Dates & Prices

      Trip Dates for 2019 Availability Status Price Book
      18th May - 23rd May 2019 6 place(s) left CONFIRMED £925 Book Now
      22nd Jun - 27th Jun 2019 Female only date 8 place(s) left UNCONFIRMED £925 Book Now
      27th Jul - 1st Aug 2019 7 place(s) left UNCONFIRMED £925 Book Now
      17th Aug - 22nd Aug 2019 7 place(s) left UNCONFIRMED £925 Book Now

      Make This Trip Private

      Sometimes it's nice to get family and friends together and travel privately for some quality time. This means you benefit from all the features of the group departure, including hand-picked accommodation and expert local guides and we'll take care of it all. Then you can make your choice of departures dates and we'll get back to you to finalise the details.

      Speak to an Expert

      As founder of Wilderness Scotland Paul’s craving for adventure and knowledge of Scotland knows no bounds. His leadership has resulted in Wilderness Scotland twice being named as Best Green Tour Operator in the World at the World Travel Awards and ranked as No.1 Adventure Travel Company in Europe by National Geographic. Paul’s commitment to excellence in all that he pursues becomes obvious in the routes we paddle and the little touches included in this trip.

      - Paul Easto

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      Trip Reviews

      Rated 4.70 out of 5 based on 74 review(s) of Sea Kayaking – The Summer Isles

      Show all star ratings

      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.

      HB

      Hannah Brine

      Reviewed on 28/05/2017

      The Bottom Line

      The Bottom Line

      This is my 2nd kayaking trip with wilderness - the first was an introduction to kayaking - we stayed in a bunk house and had good weather and calm water for the most part. The wild camping and sea kayaking was quite a step up from this - if you love camping and are hardy this is great, but I would recommend waiting until July/August for a better chance of good weather and less choppy seas with wind. The Summer Isles are so pretty its nice to see them when the sun is shining.

      MT

      Mary Twomey

      Reviewed on 05/08/2013

      The Bottom Line

      The Bottom Line

      The trip wasn't as interesting as I'd hoped, although the rest of the group were very good company. The wild camping was, to be honest, tedious - and I've done a lot of wild camping! I was also disappointed to have a boat that was too big for me. One small boat on a trip that includes 6 women? And the skeg was almost impossible to operate, to such an extent that I pulled intercostal muscles on my left side, making paddling on day 5 very painful.

      Difficulty Grades Explained

      Blue Graded Sea Kayaking Holidays 4-6

      Our blue graded sea kayaking trips are suitable for fit paddlers with a minimum of 5 full days of sea kayaking experience, with a basic level of technical competence. You can expect 6/7 hours of sea kayaking each day, with plenty of breaks onshore to stretch your legs. You will also be asked to assist with carrying the boats to and from the water, working as a team.

      The kayaking will be in coastal waters with few open crossings but you can expect to be paddling in some choppier conditions during the trip. This may be around Sea State 3 (with waves up to 1m high). On the higher Blue grade trips you may be paddling in more exposed areas and encounter stronger winds and waves up to Sea State 4.

      If you are unsure about your experience or about Sea States, please give us a call or email to discuss. If you do not yet have enough experience we suggest our Green graded sea kayaking trips.

      In the event of bad weather preventing us from kayaking your guide will offer an alternative activity such as a hike.

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