canoeists on spey river in scotalnd
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Sample the famous Spey Valley Whiskies Paddle down quiet rural rivers Explore the Highlands' Cairngorms National Park Bed down in historic hotels and inns Tackle exciting whitewater on the Spey River

Canoe Scotland: Whitewater & Whisky

Classic Inn to Inn 7 days Leisurely  From $5395

Paddling the Spey River Valley

The Spey River, Scotland's fastest flowing river, stretching for almost 100 miles through beautiful Highland countryside, provides a truly carbon free way to explore the Highland Whiskys. Toss in delightful nights in historic upscale Scottish hotels, plus a smattering of hearty Highland cuisine and just a dash of whitewater paddling and you have our Canoe Scotland: Whitewater & Whisky.

Our adventure begins in the Cairngorms National Park, renowned for its hiking trails and landscapes, where we warm up on Loch Morlich with its surrounding mountain views. From there we turn our canoes downstream enroute to the Sea, with overnight stops in picturesque villages, in the area's best hotels. And you spend two nights in each hotel, so no need to pack and unpack everyday.

Your guides will introduce you you the famous whiskys from the 40 odd distilleries in the Spey Valley, from global names like Chivas and Dewars to little known gems like An Cnoc or Tamdhu. In addition to our organized tastings, our hotel watering holes have a vast array of others. But don't taste too much because you have to paddle the next day, while your baggage and recently purchased bottles get shuttled to our next hotel.

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Canoeing Scotland's Spey Valley Whisky Region  

Warmup paddling Loch Morlich, Whisky Tasting
We meet in Inverness at 1pm and transfer (1 hour) to Loch Morlich, in the heart of Cairngorms National Park. Our canoes are waiting and we get straight onto the water. It's a chance to refresh skills and enjoy the big mountain views from this scenic lake, before the journey begins tomorrow. We overnight in the nearby mountain village of Aviemore. After dinner, our guides will offer an informal whisky tasting in the hotel bar.
Paddle: 4 mi
Eat: Dinner
Sleep: Cairngorm Hotel  

Paddling Loch Insh, Spey River to Boat of Garten
Our journey down the River Spey starts in earnest today. A short transfer (15 mins) takes us to our put in point at scenic Loch Insh. Following the outflow, we glide down the River Spey, passing through Aviemore and continuing to the village of Boat of Garten. We end our first day here and transfer back to Aviemore (15 mins) for the night.
Paddle: 12 mi
Eat: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sleep: Cairngorm Hotel  

Paddle to Grantown, Distillery visit and Whisky Tasting
An easy morning in the canoes today as we glide from Boat of Garten downstream to the town of Grantown on Spey. Arriving around midday, we have lunch and then spend the afternoon getting better acquainted with the local malt whiskies! We'll visit a local distillery for a tour and tasting and pop into our favorite whisky shop - a tiny store packed with over 600 malts, including some very rare ones! We spend the night in the attractive town of Grantown-on-Spey.
Paddle: 4 mi
Eat: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sleep: Speyside Hotel  

Paddle past historic old Spey Bridge, Whitewater afternoon
Paddling away from Grantown-on-Spey, we pass under a couple of bridges, including the Old Spey Bridge which was built in 1754. There is time to work on the skills that will be essential when negotiating the rapids that lie ahead in the second half of the journey. We'll put these skills to use at the end of the day with a trip through the short but exciting rapid known as the 'Washing Machine'. A short transfer returns us to Grantown-on-Spey where we enjoy a night out at a favorite local restaurant.
Paddle: 13 mi
Eat: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sleep: Speyside Hotel  

Whitewater on the Spey, Blacksboat to Craigellachie, Whisky Tasting.
We return to where we left off yesterday for a fun day on the river. Our moving water skills are tested today as we meet unforgettable rapids such as the Station Pool of Knockando, and numerous shorter rapids. We'll also pass by a few small villages (most of which have a whisky distillery) before finishing near the village of Aberlour, our base for the next 2 nights. Our guide will lead another whisky-tasting in a favorite local bar in the village.
Paddle: 10 mi
Eat: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sleep: Dowans Hotel  

Final day of Paddling to Spey Bay.
We canoe along the final stretch of the Spey, where the valley widens as we approach the sea. We will put our new skills to good use on this stretch where the Spey twists its way through rolling rural farmland. We pass many beautiful pools and small islands before passing under a bridge at Fochabers, where the coastal plain emerges and we travel alongside gravel banks before reaching our journey's end at Spey Bay. We return to Aberlour to celebrate our journey with a memorable final night meal and, of course, a 'wee dram' of the local malt whisky.
Paddle: 14 mi
Eat: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Sleep: Dowans Hotel  

After a relaxed breakfast, a 90 minute transfer takes us to the capital of the Highlands, Inverness, where our trip ends. We can drop off at the airport (regular flights to London, Amsterdam and Dublin), the railway station or at a city center hotel.
Travel: Shuttle to airport
Eat: Breakfast

Getting There

The Scotland: Whitewater and Whisky meets and ends at Inverness Airport in Inverness, Scotland

Guests should plan their flights to arrive in Inverness before 12:00 (noon) on Day 1 of the tour and their departing flights after 12:00 (noon) on Day 7.

Inverness Airport code: INV     Local Time: GMT

  Travel Tip:   Inverness can also be reached by train or intercity buses from various gateways aound the United Kingdom.


Documents Please

Passports are required for all guests. Visas maybe required depending on your nationality, check with the nearest Embassy of Scotland.

Whatcha Gonna Get

  • Expert local bilingual guides
  • Entrance and activity fees
  • Handpicked lodges, ensuite rooms, double occupancy
  • Daily breakfast, lunch, snacks*
  • Dinners featuring fine local cuisine*
  • Whisky tastings*
  • Baggage transfer between hotels
  • Free use of canoe and safety gear
  • Airport pick up & drop off

*as noted in itinerary

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