Speyside: Explore the Whisky River by Canoe
Posted on May 03, 2017 by Sonja Jones
The Whisky River
First up on our tour of Scotland’s whisky regions is Speyside and we have a special three-day trip that literally takes you along the region’s beating heart – the Whisky River.
Speyside’s Beating Heart
Open canoeing along the Spey, is a diverse experience; from leisurely meandering to occasional adrenalin-raising rapids it’s a chance to learn about the true nature of the whisky river and how it has contributed to some of the world’s most famous malts. Enjoy a tranquil experience that’s a world away from the average tour bus; instead of catching a glimpse of the beautiful Scottish scenery through the window immerse yourself in it.
- Explore our other destinations for open canoeing in Scotland
- Read about how one boy got hooked on paddling after a family canoe trip in the Great Glen
Enjoy a Dram on the River Bank
This journey by open canoe along the lifeblood of Scotland’s most celebrated whisky region will take you among the pine forests and heather-covered hills and you’ll notice nearly every village boasts its own distillery. As you descend the River Spey you’ll paddle past distilleries such as Craigellachie, Knockando and Cragganmore. Of course the journey includes dropping in for a tasting too. When compared with other regions Speyside malts are said to be sweeter, lighter and more honeyed. Generally they aren’t as peaty as Islay or Highlands drams and have less salinity than the islands. But the best way to decide your favourite is to try a few yourself.
On day three you might want to hold off on the dram until you have negotiated the rapids at Station Pool near Knockando. After a bit of fun and excitement in white water what better way celebrate your newly honed canoeing skills than with a dram?
- Taking to the water not your thing? How about walking the Speyside Way instead?
Rest Under the Stars
Wild camping under the stars offers a true wilderness experience and a chance to grasp the wonder of Scotland’s dark skies. Your canoe is your transport and your backpack, and everything can be packed up again as you move downstream. It means plenty of fresh, delicious food can be packed into the canoes and you’ll never go hungry. You’ll camp along the banks of the Spey and make dinner over the campfire. As the evening descends take advantage of the low light pollution by simply looking up and taking it all in. In the morning your guide will brew up a pot of our own wilderness roast coffee to set you up for the day ahead.
- Get a taste for wild camping and canoeing by watching our Wilderness Episodes Film: Assynt Immersion
- Read our tips on what to take on an overnight canoeing trip
Fancy joining us on a trip? Perhaps you’d like to coincide a 2018 trip with the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival?
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