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Sea Kayaking – The Summer Isles

  • 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.
  • All meals, from lunch on Day 1 through to lunch on the day of departure. (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • The services of an experienced and knowledgeable sea-kayak guide / driver throughout your trip. On trips with more than 4 clients, a qualified assistant guide will also be with the group throughout the trip.
  • All specialist sea kayaking equipment, including sea kayaks, waterproof cags and buoyancy aids.
  • All group equipment including tents, group safety equipment and cooking /eating equipment and utensils. Please note that sleeping bags are not included. However, sleeping bags and sleeping mats are available for hire.
  • All transport throughout the trip starting and finishing in Inverness.

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.

ACCOMMODATION AND MEALS

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.

Great food is essential to all our trips and expeditions are no different. While the guide will co- ordinate 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.

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 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.

Wild camping in remote parts of the northwest coast we will spend 5 nights immersed in the wilderness; paddling, exploring the islands and living the expedition lifestyle of teamwork and laughter. 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 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)

Distance 2km, 1hr

Day 2 – Exploring Achiltibuie’s coastline and Badentarbat Bay

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)

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 round the island and then find a quiet bay where we will camp for the next couple of nights. (B, L, D)

Distance 12km, 6hrs

Day 4 – Sea Kayaking the hidden shores of the Summer Isles

We leave our camp in place and 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 camp we pass a fragile sandstone arch which it is possible to paddle under at high tide. (B, L, D)

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)

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. Finally, we cruise into the natural harbour for the end of a memorable journey. We enjoy lunch in a local café, where there is often time for a celebratory drink, before we return to Inverness and drop you off at the railway station. (B, L)

Distance 8km, 4hrs

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Prices and Dates

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2019 Trip Dates

Trip Date
Price
Availability
Trip Status
 
18th May - 23rd May 2019
£925
6 place(s) left
22nd Jun - 27th Jun 2019
£925
8 place(s) left   
27th Jul - 1st Aug 2019
£925
8 place(s) left
17th Aug - 22nd Aug 2019
£925
7 place(s) left
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Trip Reviews

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.

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

5 star 62

4 star 8

3 star 2

2 star 0

1 star 0

by Hannah Brine 28/05/2017

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

3Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

3The 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.

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by Mary Twomey 05/08/2013

4Pre-Trip Service

4Trip Comments

4Accommodation and Food

5Your Guide

3The 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.

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Price from: £925

Next trip: 18th May

Duration: 5 night(s)

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Region: North West Highlands

Comfort: Wilderness Camping

Difficulty: 6

74 review(s)

Trip Photos

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