Stride climate

Trip Type : Group Tour
Kayaking, Walking & Whisky tour

Kayaking, Walking & Whisky

ROW Sea Kayak Adventures Premier
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.9 . Excellent
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
8 days
From: $ 3,990 $ 499 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Visit Old Inverlochy Castle
  • Visit Glen Coe
  • Explore Eilean Shona

Short Description

ROW Sea Kayak Adventures’ Kayaking, Walking & Whisky – Scotland’s Highlands & Coast is an active adventure that combines some of the best sea kayaking to be found in Europe with easy hikes and cultural exploration of the Scottish Highlands. On this exciting tour, dramatic scenery meets deep history among a lush green landscape, rugged coastline, and an array of castle ruins.

Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Trip Type Group Tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Kingussie
End City Kingussie

Trip Includes

  • Local accommodations as noted in itinerary
  • All meals, from dinner on Day 1 until lunch on Day 8
  • All transfers on tour starting and finishing in Edinburgh at the Edinburgh International Airport
  • The services of two highly-qualified and experienced local kayak/hike guides Four days of guided sea kayaking, including all kayaks and associated equipment (including paddles)
  • Buoyancy aids
  • Hoagies, dry-bags, etc.) Three days of easy guided hikes Entrance fees to two whisky distilleries
  • Tips for serving staff at meals

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Itinerary

Day 1: Embark from Kingussie Station, Dalwhinnie Distillery, arrive in the Great Glen

Meals Included: Dinner

Accommodations: Eden Coille

You will meet your guide and other travelers at the Kingussie train station in the early afternoon.  Be sure to grab a bite to eat on the train or have lunch in Kingussie ahead of time, as lunch is not included today.  A full stomach is especially important, as our first stop is the Dalwhinnie Distillery, where you will enjoy a private tour followed by an opportunity to sample the local whisky. At 1073 feet, Dalwhinnie Distillery is the highest altitude distillery in Scotland. Here, we see the distillers at work, harnessing the snow fed waters of the Allt an t’Sluic (considered by many the purest water in Scotland) and producing a wonderfully full-bodied, smooth, and warming malt whisky. Dalwhinnie, in Gaelic, means ‘the meeting place.’ Situated high in the Grampian Mountains, near the geographical center of Scotland, Dalwhinnie has for centuries been the meeting place for cattle drovers before driving their cattle onwards to the markets in Crieff and Falkirk.

We continue on to check into the Letterfinlay Lodge Hotel, located just north of Invergloy on the banks of Loch Lochy and overlooking the Great Glen. Following dinner at the hotel or a local restaurant featuring fresh produce, seafood, and more, settle in and enjoy the spectacular scenery and cozy rooms at the Letterfinlay Lodge, an environment fitting your first night in the midst of Scottish grandeur.

Day 2: Glen Nevis & Steall Falls, Fort William & Old Inverlochy Castle

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodations: Eden Coille

After breakfast, we loosen up with a hike to the 100m high Steall Waterfall in Glen Nevis. This 3km hike was called ‘the best short hike in Britain’ by acclaimed writer and mountaineer W.H. Murray. After lunch in a traditional Scottish pub, we pass through the town of Fort William and visit Old Inverlochy Castle. Though now a ruin, this was one of the most important castles in Scottish history. It has been the backdrop for two major historical events: the first and second battles of Inverlochy. Today, the battlefields around the castle may look different, but the setting on the banks of the River Lochy is still reminiscent of fleeing clansmen sailing away down the river to the loch. We return to the Letterfinlay Lodge Hotel for another optional short hike (if time allows), dinner, and to give you your kayak equipment for tomorrow’s sea kayaking adventure.

Hiking Distance/Elevation: 2.5 – 4 miles, 500 – 700 ft. elevation gain; possibility for additional light afternoon hike.

Day 3: Kayak Loch Leven, visit Glen Coe

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodations: Eden Coille

After breakfast, we begin our sea kayaking adventure in the fjord-like Loch Leven. Paddling the Loch Leven allows us to see the stunning landscape of Scotland from a completely new perspective. We paddle around the loch’s hauntingly beautiful islands (with the possibility of having our picnic lunch on one of the sacred burial islands) in search of guillemots, cormorants, and seals while learning about the history of the region. We then continue our paddle beneath the spectacular mountains of Glen Coe. Given the tranquil beauty of this valley today, it’s tough to imagine that it was the scene of a ruthless 17th century massacre when the local MacDonalds were murdered by soldiers of the Campbell clan. After kayaking, we drive into the glen, following one of Scotland’s most beautiful roads.  We will visit the fascinating Glen Coe Visitor Center, where you can learn about the terrible massacre of 1692 and take a walk through the surrounding grounds.  If time and group interest allows, we’ll visit a Glen Coe “climber’s bar” where locals and visiting hikers (and paddlers) gather to toast their day’s adventures.   We then continue on to dinner at a local gem in Fort William or back at Letterfinlay Lodge.  Either way, relax and enjoy dinner and drinks before settling in for a restful night of sleep.

Day 4: Paddle the Sound of Arisaig

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodations: Lochailort Inn

Today, we kayak in the world-renowned Sound of Arisaig. The clear blue waters are a haven for wildlife, and views of the offshore Isles of Skye, Eigg, and Rum are simply magnificent. Enjoy beautiful beaches, deserted islands, forest-clad lochs dotted with crumbling castles, and with luck, close encounters with wildlife such as seals, otters, and basking sharks.  If weather conditions cooperate, expect a full day on the water of this incredible paddling destination, with a picnic lunch break on one of its islands.  We land back on the shore in the afternoon, near the historic village of Arisaig.  After a hot coffee or real Scottish ale, we'll move on to our evening's accommodations.  We spend the next two nights at the Lochailort Inn, a traditional Scottish hotel dating from at least the 1870's (but extensively refurbished in 2017).  You will enjoy the Lochailort's location close to the hills and lochs of the western highlands, as well as its fresh cuisine, friendly and informal service, and overall relaxing ambience. 

Day 5: Kayak in Loch Moidart, storm a castle, & explore Eilean Shona

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodations: Lochailort Inn

Combining sea kayaking with a splash of history today, we kayak in the hidden sea loch of Loch Moidart. A narrow channel makes it difficult to find when approaching from the open ocean and also ensures that it offers generally sheltered waters for kayaking. This area is noted for its variety of wildlife with a marvelous range of birds, flowers, and sea life. Eagles, buzzards, ospreys, and goosanders may be spotted, as well as otters and pine martens.  In the sea loch, we could see colonies of seals, ducks, oystercatchers, and cormorants.  We explore the wooded islands of the loch and pull our kayaks ashore on the sandy beach to marvel at the striking ruins of Tioram Castle. Commonly pronounced “cheerum”, the castle is the ancestral home of the Clan Ranald and is perched on a rocky island just off the shores of Loch Moidart.  Loading into our kayaks again, we make our way toward the open ocean, paddling along the shores of the relatively large island of Eilean Shona.  Stopping for lunch and enjoying the views in all directions, we have paddling options from here.  Depending on conditions, we may paddle the open ocean and circumnavigate Eilean Shona or retrace our route back past Tioram Castle.  Whichever option your guides choose, the scenery is rustic and romantic, with hills rising steeply from the loch shore. In the evening, we return to the Lochailort Inn for dinner, drinks, and relaxation.

Day 6: Navigate the Arisaig Skerries, arrive in Newtonmore & Cairngorms National Park

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodations: Coig na Shee Guest House

Today, we paddle through the majestic Arisaig Skerries, a group of tiny islands and sandbanks which are home to seals, porpoises and lots of other wildlife. This is one of the best places to sea kayak in Scotland - if not the world – replete with white sandy beaches, sparkling aqua marine seas, blue skies, warm air, and serenity of peace and quiet.  In fact, the Arisaig Sound & Skerries are considered highlights of the world-renowned Scottish Sea Kayak Trail, Europe's first designated sea kayaking "trail".  Made famous by sea kayaking videographer Simon Willis, most of the kayaking you'll do throughout the week is on (or very near) the trail.  While we can't cover all ot it, know that you are experiencing some of the best sections, and the Arisaig Skerries is certainly one of them.

Coming off the water late afternoon, we pack up and transfer east (approximately 2 hours) to the quaint town of Newtonmore and Cairngorms National Park.  Cairngorms National Park is the largest national park in the UK and is one of the country’s most special and cared for landscapes, featuring a wide variety of traditional and unique villages and communities, not to mention landscapes and outdoor activities. Tonight, we stay at the lovely Coig na Shee Guest House.  Located in the village of Newtonmore and the center of the Spey Valley, this friendly lodge built in 1903 and now owned by a welcoming and attentive couple offers fantastic breakfasts and dinners, and a great spot to wind down and relax on the final two nights of your tour.  Enjoy a short walk into town upon arrival, or simply put your feet up in your cozy room or one of the Coig na Shee's inviting sitting rooms.

Day 7: Hike the trails of the Cairngorms, Whisky tasting & dinner on the River Spey

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Accommodations:  Coig na Shee Guest House

Hiking Distance/Elevation: 6.5 – 10 miles, 850 – 1000 ft. elevation gain

Cairngorms National Park is home to five of Scotland’s six highest mountains and is also the heartland of Scotland’s whisky industry, with countless distilleries lining the banks of the famous River Spey. Today we’ll travel to the beautiful Rothiemurchus Estate, home to the oldest stands of ancient Caledonian Pine forest in Scotland. Taking advantage of a high level trail, we hike across the moors, enjoying wild mountain views, Highland air, and the possibility of wildlife sightings including a herd of reindeer that calls this area home.  For those with the energy to extend the hike a little, a shapely peak rises in front of us and affords wonderful vistas across the Cairngorms.  We'll have our lunch mid-hike, with multiple options for the route back to the trailhead, but all with exceptional terrain and scenery.

Back in the glen, we stop by one of the locals’ favorite pubs.  Set on the River Spey in Aviemore, the Old Bridge Inn is a great post-hike watering hole.  Under the direction of our guide, sample whiskies from across Scotland, allowing you to experience the variety of tastes from different regions. After a dram or two of whisky (and maybe a pint to follow), we'll continue with a fantastic dinner at the Old Bridge or another nearby restaurant, or possibly head back to the Coig na Shee Guest House for our evening meal.  In any case, enjoy some well-deserved relaxation and your last night with your new friends in Scotland.

Day 8: Uath Lochans hike, Highland Folk Museum, Departure

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Hiking Distance/Elevation: approximately 2.5 miles/550 ft.

On our final morning, we enjoy Coig na Shee's breakfast delights, pack up, then take a tranquil hike around the Uath Lochans. This series of small lakes is well off the tourist trail but is a locals’ favorite, both for the lush, green scenery and the wildlife. After the hike, we make the short drive back to Kingussie where you can enjoy the informative and enjoyable Highland Folk Museum.  We will have lunch at the museum or at another café in the Kingussie area before dropping the group back at Kingussie station by mid-afternoon.  From there, you can catch your train back to Edinburgh or Inverness for your flight home, or continue your travels independently.

Note: if you prefer to depart Kingussie earlier and skip the museum and lunch, we can drop you off at the station shortly before noon.

Availability

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Price From $ 3,990
Price Per Day: $ 499 per day
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  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 550

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with ROW Sea Kayak Adventures.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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Stride Featured in

Stride Feature In

15 ROW Sea Kayak Adventures Travel Reviews & Ratings

100%
4.9 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 14
Great 1
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 0
Value
4.9
Guide
5.0
Activities
4.9
Lodging
4.9
Transportation
4.9
Meals
5.0

Kayaking, Walking & Whisky

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Company Reviews

Amazing trip! Great experience!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We had a fantastic time on our blackfish tour! We enjoyed learning from our guides, enjoying their great cooking, and seeing all of the wildlife! It exceeded our expectations (which were high to start)!
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Trip of a Lifetime!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Absolutely loved this trip with ROW! It was my first time sea kayaking and the guides were very helpful with making me feel comfortable throughout the trip. The areas we visited were very beautiful and we also experienced such unique wildlife encounters! I have a new love for that area and a passion for the Orca's & Humpback whales. Can't wait to go again next year!
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Great trip, great company

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide5.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals5.0
Despite the very windy conditions and therefore less paddling time than I would have liked, I had a great time. Our guides did an awesome job, were very concerned with safety, very knowledgeable and great cooks. One of them even caught fresh fish for dinner!!
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Magic in the Sea of Cortez

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We spent 6 days kayaking between the mainland of Baja from Loreto to two different Islands in the Sea of Cortez. The guides were amazing- extremely knowledgeable, passionate about the area and great fun to be around (let alone awesome cooks)! We paddled around the Island of Danzante and Carmen and saw tons of manta rays, dolphins, birds and more. The snorkeling was spectacular on these two islands. The beaches felt untouched and we never saw another human besides those (12 people) on tour with us. It was truly a once in a lifetime experience- I would highly recommend touring in Baja with Sea Kayak Adventures!
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Incredible adventure in the Saguenay Fjord wilderness and Quebec City

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
This trip provided incredible access to remote parts of Quebec and the Saguenay Fjord, while still allowing you to soak in the beauty of Québec City and Tadoussac, two charming French inspired cities. We had the opportunity to paddle the entire Saguenay Fjord in search of Beluga Whales, which we saw plenty of! The cuisine in Quebec is fabulous and we enjoyed many great meals while on tour, even when camping! The ROW guides were wonderful, providing a welcome introduction to the culture, food, history and wildlife in the region. This is a trip not to miss!
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I didn’t MEAN to become such a fan of ROW Sea Kayak Adventures but…

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I have now traveled with ROW Sea Kayak Adventures for several trips over the past two years from Baja to British Columbia and now to Cuba. When I was first looking for a company to do a kayak trip with, I was looking for a company that did not take away from an area but perhaps gave BACK to an area. Supporting the local economy and environment were important elements to me. My research of Sea Kayak Adventures seemed to do just that in Baja so I thought they would be be worth a try. I found their guides and support staff to be local, professional, FUN, have incredible knowledge of the marine life and the area. All the staff I have been in contact with there speak English and the guides are fluent in English. All have been kind enough to help me improve my Spanish as well. They provide ALL equipment for; Camping - (tents, sleeping bags with liners, and pads), Kayaking - high quality kayaks, paddles, dry bags for your gear and pfds, Snorkeling - shorty wetsuit, fins, mask and snorkel. Bring your personal stuff and you are ready to go! The only down side was the food was so good that it was harder to fit into our kayaks by the end of the trip. After a few Baja trips (yes, I ended up taking more than one), it was time to try them out on their OTHER trips. I had several conversations with the office staff in Idaho only to discover they too have high level of expertise. Their knowledge of the offered adventures were often from first hand experiences. Their backgrounds are diverse, their commitment to providing you with an amazing journey is HIGH and they are completely fun human beings. So, off to British Columbia I went. The same level of high quality professional staff, support staff and excellent equipment was true for the North as well as the South. Both in Baja and British Columbia, ROW Sea Kayak Adventures used local talent, support local business, use local food, beer & wine and appear to have a great respect for the areas and the places they are doing business in. They use high quality equipment for the activities which adds to the experience. I didn’t MEAN to become such a fan of ROW Sea Kayak Adventures but… Then they offered Cuba! Really? Could they REALLY match the high level of travel experience there as well? In a word, YES!!! I was lucky enough to get to be on the first trip to Cuba with ROW. You would think as they were working out the details on this first trip that one would have to be “understanding” of issues that could arise. I have no doubt the level of learning of what worked and what needs to be improved will continue to morph the trip but rest assured, this was a trip of a lifetime and will be for all the next groups that follow. No “understanding” was needed. I got to see first hand how hard they work to support the local economy and give back to an area that ROW visits. I got to see the owner’s philosophy of ADDING to an area visited, not taking FROM, in action! Each place we went to , the generosity, care and appreciation of it’s people were modeled by the staff and owner of ROW Sea Kayak Adventures. They walk their talk. This will NOT be the last time I travel with ROW/SKA… In fact, my next adventure is already booked.
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 8

3 to 8 Guests

Accomodations

Over the course of the trip, you’ll stay in three different 3-star hotels and inns, each chosen for the friendly welcome, beautiful location and comfortable accommodation.

 

Hotels in Edinburgh

 

We highly recommend arriving into Edinburgh a day early to adjust to the time zone and get a good nights rest prior to your tour. There are two hotels that we recommend that are easily accessible and right on the tram line from Edinburgh International Airport: Apex Waterloo Place Hotel, and the Apex Haymarket Hotel. There are many more options to consider for lodging in Edinburgh, we recommend checking out Trip Advisor for alternate hotel options.

 

Cancellation Policy:

Cancellations and Refunds

If you find it necessary to cancel your trip, you should notify ROW Sea Kayak Adventures in writing, by e-mail or fax immediately.  If written cancellation is received (call to verify) before the final balance is due, you will be given a refund less the amount of the deposit.  Deposits are not refundable.  If cancellations are made on or after the final balance due date, no money will be refunded.  If you are unable to go on the trip, you are welcome to find a replacement for yourself.  Any replacement participant must be able to meet trip criteria, complete a trip application, sign a waiver form and agree to the Terms and Conditions. Please understand that once you’ve signed up, we lose the right to sell your reserved space to other individuals or groups. Therefore we regret that we cannot make exceptions for personal emergencies. For this reason as well as those listed above we strongly recommend you consider purchasing a travel protection plan.

ROW Sea Kayak Adventures, Inc. must normally make substantial payments to its suppliers far in advance of scheduled departures. If a trip is canceled due to force majeure (acts of God, war, labor strikes, flooding, earthquake, etc.), ROW Sea Kayak Adventures, Inc. will promptly refund the portion of the trip cost not advanced to suppliers and use its best efforts to recover and refund the balance as promptly as possible. However, ROW Sea Kayak Adventures, Inc. does not guarantee recovery of any or all of the advance payments made, and our use of best efforts to recover these payments will not include the institution of any legal proceedings in foreign jurisdictions.

Age Notes

Minimum age:

Because these are rudderless, single kayaks, we recommend that youth are at least 16 years old in order to join the paddling trip. However, as size and maturity is very individual, give us a call if you are curious about your child's suitability for the tour. Double kayaks are often available to rent for a surcharge, which would allow younger paddlers to enjoy the trip.

Min. Age: 16

Trip ID#:

KayWalRow

Trip Excludes

  • Personal expenses
  • Gratuities for guides
  • International airfare

Meals Included:

8 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches and 7 Dinners

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