Combine the fabulously beautiful west coast of Scotland with the some of the world's best single malt whisky distilleries and you have a truly special whisky trail sailing holiday.
Sailing between islands such as Skye, Jura and Islay and visiting distilleries such as Talisker, Tobermory and Ardnamurchan is a match made in heaven. Anchor in beautiful bays, head ashore for tastings and some great walks.
Your boat is a world class racing yacht offering top class sailing with expert sailors providing tuition each day. Kick back in the evenings as you anchor in quiet secluded bays and plan your next day of adventure. This is undoubtedly a truly great sailing holiday.
Why We Love This Adventure
- Sail the beautiful Scottish coast
- Explore some of the world's best single malt whisky distilleries
- Anchor in quiet, secluded bays and explore the islands on foot
Enchanted, rugged isles with unwavering beauty, the isles of Scotland are breathtaking.
Oban, is a popular tourist destination that grew around the distillery. It is a fantastic place to learn about the history of whisky.
Islay, known as‘The Queen Of The Hebrides’, has numerous distilleries a prehistoric fort and medieval tombstones. it’s so bewitching that you’ll find it difficult to leave.
Despite being famed for it’s outstanding beauty, the isle of Skye boasts fifty amazing things to do!
The untamed isle, Jura is one of the wildest spots in Scotland, and of course Jura single malt whisky is far from ordinary.
This is a typical itinerary for the voyage headed north. If you are on the voyage headed south, just reverse it! What makes an adventure sailing holiday so special however is that there can be no fixed itinerary and no part of this is guaranteed. The wind and the weather ultimately shape what's possible each day but everything is very flexible within that. Maybe there's a stunning bay and you want to anchor for the night or a remote island that needs to be explored - then let's see if we can go and make it happen.
Day 1: Joining day
Join the boat between 1200 and 2000hrs (the closer to 1200 the better but we know flights and such like don't always work like that, so don't worry!) Get your belongings packed away and relax. There's plenty of things to do in the future but right now it's about relaxing, finding your way around the boat and enjoying the surroundings.
Day 2: Training day and mussels in Loch Spelve
Today is all about getting up to speed with the boat. Whether you are a complete novice or more experienced sailor, everyone benefits from detailed introductions, safety briefings and training sessions. You will have two highly experienced instructors guide you through every aspect that you need to know to have a great sailing holiday. By lunchtime we should be casting off the lines, hoisting the sails and working through all the key sailing manoeuvres such as tacking and gybing, reefing and knot tying! By the end of the day everyone on board should feel comfortable with the basics - even though there's more to learn and practice every day. We will anchor overnight with even the chance of fresh mussels from nearby Loch Spelve.
Day 3: Sound of Liung and Corryvreckan
Today will see us undertake our first serious navigation task as we navigate the narrows of the sound of Liung as we head south towards Jura. The infamous corryvreckan will be nearby and we should will have to time our passage right to make the most of the strong tidal streams that can run up to 8kts in this area. After the excitement of the tides we should be able to make anchor in the peaceful Criaghouse bay on Jura.
Day 4-5: Jura and Islay
With few miles to cover over the next couple of days we can take advantage of the many distilleries in this area, perhaps taking a day tour on Islay, home to no less than 8 distilleries. But with secluded bays, tidal navigation and even a remote brewery on Colonsay there is much more on offer.
Day 6-8: Exploring the islands
We will then make a big chunk of progress north to the Isle of Skye. This will take us past Iona with its famous cathedral, the low lying but beautiful isles of Coll and Tiree. A stop in Tobermory on Mull is always a favourite and allows time for a re-stock as well as another island distillery option. As we sail further we can take in the small isles as the imposing cuillin ridge on the isle of skye comes into view.
Days 10-12: Skye
Head to west of Skye and take in the Talisker distillery in Loch Harport and maybe even a short venture to the amazing Luskentyre beach on Harris if conditions allow. Or if an atlantic low is crossing as they do here then take the calmer but no less drastic route inside of skye, sail under the bridge and visit such gems as Plockton, Portree or Lochinver.
Day 13: sail to Oban
We'll finish with a lovely full day of sailing to banish any remaining whisky fumes and finish with a lovely charge south back to our finish point of Oban - where we may have time to visit the distillery (!) before we head into town for a lovely last dinner together enjoying the best of Scottish fair.
Day 14: Debrief & clean up
It's always amazing how quickly everyone has become firm friends and the boat and its routines seem so familiar. Yet it's time to wrap it all up and head home. We'll get the boat back to how we found it, sign logbooks, exchange emails and disembark by 1200hrs.
PriceOban to Oban, Apr 28 - May 11 2019 , £1,499 Stornoway to Oban Sept 04 - 15 2019 & October 02 - 14 2019 £1,499
- Foul weather clothing to keep you dry in any conditions.
- Fladen immersion suits. These will keep you warm in even the coldest, windiest conditions.
- Ocean-spec lifejackets. These are the best on the market.
- All on-board food and snacks.
- Daily sailing lessons and tuition from two highly experienced instructors.
- RYA sailing qualifications where applicable. Find out more about RYA certification here.
What's Not included
- Your travel to and from the start and end points.
- Travel insurance (see our travel insurance page here)
- Any alcohol – but feel free to bring your own or buy some along the route
- Any meals you eat ashore
Trip Duration12 days
Start LocationOban / Stornoway UK
End LocationOban, UK
Average Group Size9
The yacht itself is an expedition yacht that was previously a round the world race boat. The accommodation on the yacht is comfortable, warm and spacious. Each bunk is 6′ 7″ long and has its own USB charger and light. Sleeping is in one 8 berth cabin. There are two toilets, a shower, hot water and lots of food!
We eat very well on board and we will take as much fresh fruit and veg as we can. Ocean sailing is an exercise in using food creatively but you can expert lovely warm meals, as much as you can eat, freshly baked bread and more. We can cater for most diets and have loads of veggies on board. If you have any severe allergies you must check with us before booking.
JOINING & LEAVING THE BOAT
You should join the boat in Oban, Scotland after 1200 hrs on the joining day, or Stornoway if on the Stornoway to Oban route. It is good if you can join us as close to 1200 hrs as possible, but if your flight or ferry gets in later than this, that is fine. We will ask you closer to the time to let us know your travel details.
You will disembark the boat in Oban on the last day at 1200hrs
GETTING TO AND FROM THE START AND END POINTS
The closest airport to Oban is Glasgow (IATA code: GLA). From their or the railway station, it is around a four hour train journey to Oban (a very beautiful one)
Stornoway airport is served by direct flights from the mainland (all less than about an hour’s duration) from Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and Inverness. Flights are by Flybe and Eastern Airways.
Caledonian MacBrayne ferries sail at least twice daily in each direction between Ullapool and Stornoway (one each-way crossing on Sundays).
Scottish Citylink coaches operate service number 961 (booking essential) from Ullapool to Inverness (& v-a-v), with luggage handling through to Stornoway arrivals hall. Citylink connects with coach services from Glasgow and Edinburgh, which in turn connect with the National Express network.
This Trip is Suitable For
These adventure sailing holidays are open to everyone aged 18 years and over. If you are aged 70 or over, or have any concerns about your health, we ask that you get a doctor’s note before booking. This is just to make as certain as possible that you will be okay out on the water.
Frequently Asked QuestionsDo I need Experience?
No previous sailing experience is requiredDo people come alone?
Almost everyone comes alone. Couples and groups are very welcome and we do get them. On the whole, however, most crew join solo and so if you are coming alone, you will be one of the crowd!How many people are on board?
Except in exceptional circumstances, we limit the crew size to 9 plus two instructors. This means that there are enough people to sale the boat safely, but you will still have lots of time helming, navigating, trimming sails and such like.Is this a sailing holiday?
Absolutely. First and foremost, we are here to ensure everyone has an amazing time. Sailing is bout having fun, experiencing nature at its most majestic and gently pushing yourself to try and learn new things. Voyages are a unique mix of sailing and training, and you will get far more involvement and training than on any other sailing holiday you may try!Who else joins?
We have a remarkably similar group of people who join all our trips. They come from all around the world, are an even mix of men and women and with an average age of 35-65. As we said above, most come alone and experience varies from none at all to Yachtmaster. Most of the crew would describe themselves as having a rusty Day Skipper.
Dates & Availability
- 28 Apr 2019 – 11 May 2019
- 04 Sep 2019 – 15 Sep 2019
- 02 Oct 2019 – 13 Oct 2018
We love this sailing company’s ethos – to help people do three things: sail, train and explore. They are passionate about enabling people to experience life out on the open ocean, building sailing skills and exploring some beautiful countries. After years of training people to become professional sailors, and having covered thousands of miles between them, the company Founders realised that so many people had dreamt of setting off across an ocean, but hadn’t the skills, the boat or crew to make those dreams come true.
The company now runs expeditions on a specialised 60’ yacht to some of the most exciting places out there – often largely inaccessible from land. With no previous sailing experience required, the two instructors will guide you every step of the way as you develop your sailing skills, maybe even earning an RYA qualification during the week. Exploring on land as they go is just as important and the bikes and a kayak mean you can head off and enjoy everything there is to see along the route.
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