The West Coast of Scotland Whisky Sailing Guide

 

Whisky Sailing Guide

Here at Flamingo Yacht Charters, we write regular blogs that we hope will inspire readers to hire one of our yachts and sail around Scotland’s majestic coastline. Anywhere you sail in Scotland will be incredible, and Largs Yacht Haven is perfectly positioned for anyone planning to explore Scotland’s West coast. If you are a whisky lover, you are really in luck as this part of Scotland is littered with whisky distilleries that make Scotland’s West Coast perfect for a whisky-centric sailing adventure. With this in mind, we’ve put together a comprehensive whisky sailing guide to help you plan your trip!

Eastern Kyle of Bute Scotland west coast whisky sailing guide

Eastern Kyle of Bute (Arran in the distance)

*A note about the stopping order of this whisky sailing trip

Most people are attracted to sailing because it offers absolute freedom to explore at their own pace. So, rather than offering a strict itinerary of stops, we’ve given you a suggestion for a trip that could last around 7 days and highlights some of the best whiskies and scenic spots along the West Coast. We leave it to you to use this to plot your own course and lengthen or shorten your journey at your leisure.

From Largs to the Crinan Canal

Aerial view of Crinan - Scotland west coast whisky sailing guide

Aerial view of Crinan

If you are planning to head to the far-flung distilleries of the Western Isles we would suggest heading for the Crinan canal first. Once you have picked up your yacht from our base at Largs Yacht Haven and familiarised yourself with your vessel, you should head northwest, up the Firth of Clyde towards Portavadie, Tarbert, and Ardrishaig. This is a beautiful part of Scotland with plenty to see and do on the way if you have the time. In Tarbert, you can stroll around the old fishing village, visit a 14th century castle that was once inhabited by Scotland’s national hero, Robert the Bruce or just head to the pub. In Portavadie, you can relax in the spa or rent bikes or even just walk along the peaceful coastal paths before enjoying some locally sourced food on board or in the restaurant at the marina resort.

You may wish to travel straight through the Crinan canal from Ardrishaig or you could choose to stop off in quaint Cairnbaan on the way to explore the area and get a bite to eat or moor up for the night.

Open swing bridge on the Crinan Canal, between Crinan and Ardrishaig Scotland west coast whisky sailing guide

Open swing bridge on the Crinan Canal, between Crinan and Ardrishaig

Travelling through the Crinan Canal is a joy. This is a supremely tranquil part of the world. There are few things as calming as crawling slowly along the canal in a yacht; it’s an excuse to take things as easy as possible and just take in the views as you dream of the distilleries that await you. Once you reach the other side, you can enjoy the beautiful seaside town of Crinan. If you have enough time, it’s well worth taking a walk through Crinan Wood and Knapdale Forest.

The Isle of Jura

The Jura coast Scotland west coast whisky sailing guide

The Jura coast

Now the true whisky part of this journey begins! As you exit the Crinan canal, you’ll see the Inner Hebrides looming in front of you. This amazing archipelago is home to many of Scotland’s most important whisky distilleries and to some of Scotland’s most beautiful islands including Islay, Mull, Rum, Jura and Skye.

Jura, with its jagged peaks rising up from the sea, is the first stop on your recommended route and its full-bodied whisky will be first in your tumbler. Jura whisky is famous all around the World for its nuanced notes of sweetness and smokiness. There is only one distillery on the island and it runs tours all-year-round, but you will need to book in advance.

Once you’ve sampled the whisky, take the time to explore the island of Jura. It’s a beautiful place with its own very special character. If you are a keen hill-walker, you could take a hike up the three imposing mountains that make up the Paps of Jura, or just relax and have another dram instead while you enjoy the surroundings and chat with the locals!

Islay

Stunning Islay coast Scotland west coast whisky sailing guide

Stunning Islay coast

Leaving Jura, we would recommend that you head for Port Ellen on Islay. It is the ideal place to moor up before visiting the myriad of distilleries on Islay. This wee island is a whisky lover’s paradise with 8 working distilleries to choose from including some of the best-known whisky names in the world; Ardbeg, Bowmore, Laphroaig, Lagavulin, Bruichladdich, Bunnahabhain, Caol Isla and Kilchoman.

The whiskies of Islay are best known for their smoky, salty flavours which come from the water and the island peat that is kissed by the seaspray before entering the traditional distilling process. The distilleries are all very welcoming and make for fascinating visits. If you are a distillery aficionado, it is worth noting that on the island, only Bowmore, Laphroaig, Lagavulin and Kilchoman have their own malting floors.

In terms of taste, Ardbeg, Lagavulin, Laphroaig are the “big peaty boys” for those who like a punchy, smoky-flavoured robust whisky that makes you instantly feel like you are sitting by a fire in a cosy cottage. Bruichladdich and Bunnahabhain, Caol Isla & Bowmore are slightly less smoky on the palate and have lighter mossy notes evoking thoughts of the sea and the greenery of the island.  Kilchoman is an interesting farm distillery which opened in 2004 and they even grow their own barley which goes into their whisky production resulting in a dram that is said to taste of dried fruits, dark chocolate and peat smoke.

When you have completed your whisky mission, Port Charlotte is a lovely little seaside town to wander around before you head off to sea again.

A selection of Scottish whisky Scotland west coast whisky sailing guide

A selection of Scottish whisky

The Mull of Kintyre

Lighthouse on Mull Scottish whisky Scotland west coast whisky sailing guide

Lighthouse on Mull

After Islay, if you are heading south again, we would recommend sailing around the Mull of Kintyre to Campbeltown (weather and tide permitting). Perhaps sing a verse or two of Paul McCartney’s 1977 hit song ‘Mull of Kintyre’ as you go! Campbeltown has plenty of restaurants and shops for you to choose from if you need to re-stock.

Although Campbeltown once claimed to be the whisky capital of the world with over 30 distilleries in its heyday, it now only boasts three: Spingbank, Glen Scotia, and Glen Gyle.

Taste-wise you will find Springbank to have a strong, peaty, smoky flavour with a hint of the sea. Glen Scotia is lighter and fresher tasting with mossy, grassy notes whilst the Kilkerran whiskies which are produced by the Glen Gyle distillery tend to be lightly peated with fruity notes.

If you want a wee break from distillery hunting, you could take a wander up to An Ceardach Garden. This used to be a blacksmith’s cottage with five acres of abandoned land, but several local gardeners have transformed this space into an incredible garden.

The Isle of Arran

The Highlands of Arran Scottish whisky Scotland west coast whisky sailing guide

The Highlands of Arran

Casting of your lines or hauling up your anchor at Campbeltown, we would recommend that you now head to the Isle of Arran for some final whisky tasting at Lochranza before you head home to Largs Yacht Haven. Heading into the anchorage at Lochranza you will feel dwarfed by the mountains that surround you as you pick your spot for the day or evening near the beautiful castle and within spitting distance of the Isle of Arran Distillery. This distillery is home to Arran’s first legal whisky distillery for 160 years and it’s one of the newest single malt whiskies in Scotland. The friendly staff at the distillery and visitor centre and the interesting array of malts being produced here make it well work a visit.

Arran is often referred to “Scotland in miniature” as it offers a little bit of every type of Scottish scenery within its boundaries. It is also a source of fascination for geologists as it is home to many types of rare and ancient rock formations and types.

If you have a bit more time to spare before you head back to Largs, sail round to Brodick and visit the impressive castle and gardens or climb Goatfell before doing a spot of holiday souvenir shopping for your loved ones at James’s Chocolate shop, the Arran Brewery, the Arran Cheese Shop or Arran Aromatics.

Lochranza at night Scottish whisky Scotland west coast whisky sailing guide

Lochranza at night

We hope this guide has inspired a few readers to start planning a West Coast sailing trip. It’s perfect for whisky lovers, but it’s also just a beautiful, tranquil part of the world. If you would like to know more about our range of yachts, please feel free to get in touch. You can start planning your Scottish West Coast Whisky trip today!

Posted in: Updates
 
 

Why Choose a Sailing trip for a Corporate Day Out?

 

Many of our customers are businesses (both SMEs and large corporations) looking for the perfect team-building activity. Sailing is a fantastic way to work on communication skills and to bond with co-workers you might not normally spend time with outside of work hours. It’s also worth noting that getting out into nature, moving along Scotland’s incredible coastline, is guaranteed to reinvigorate and inspire your workforce. In this blog post, we’d like to make a case for choosing a sailing trip with Flamingo Yacht Charters for your next corporate day out.

sailing-scotland-corporate-day-out

Sailing is the Perfect Team-Building Exercise

Team-building exercises have been incredibly popular in recent years, and many big companies are strong advocates of their benefits. The idea is relatively simple: give your colleagues/employees a fun but challenging experience that encourages them to work together and bond as a team. Sailing is the perfect team-building exercise, for three main reasons:

Sailing requires clear communication

A team can’t function well without good communication, and sailing a yacht is impossible without good communication. Even the simple act of changing direction requires clear communication as there are several different components of the yacht that have to be coordinated and moved in unison. Without good communication, the yacht won’t go where you want it to, and the unique challenge sailing creates helps develop stronger communication lines between co-workers.

sailing-team-building-corporate-day-out

Sailing requires a clear chain of command

This point can also be seen as an extension of clear communication. When sailing, everyone needs to perform their specific role, and this usually necessitates taking orders from someone in charge — someone looking at all of the parts of the yacht and what they need to do as a team. In a way, this is also very true of the business world. If you choose sailing for your corporate day out, you can either have a manager serve as the captain of the yacht or you can rotate this role, giving each team member an opportunity to practice their leadership and delegation skills.

The challenge of sailing bonds a team together

Sailing can be difficult. It isn’t always difficult, but it certainly can be. The challenges of working together on a yacht can push a team closer together as they help each other out and interact more closely than they are used to in an office environment. The sometimes not-so-simple act of sailing a yacht is incredibly satisfying and rewarding once everything starts to work. Sailing together can give colleagues/employees a strong sense of camaraderie that they perhaps couldn’t get from office work alone.

Getting Out in Nature Is Good for Your Health

sailing-day-out-positive-health

Restored 13th century Duart Castle on the Isle of Mull

Team building and improving communication skills are obviously important for any big company, but there are other valuable reasons to choose a sailing trip for your next big corporate day out. Perhaps the best reason is this: being outside, in nature, is incredibly good for our mental and physical health. There’s no point in having a brilliant team of professionals if they are too stressed or anxious to perform to their best abilities.

There is plenty of evidence that being outside, in nature, is good for us, and this article roughly summarises many of the benefits. For instance, a Dutch study found that being out in nature, performing repetitive tasks, can improve your stress levels far better than other leisure activities. It’s also worth noting that fresh air improves blood pressure and being outside, exposed to sunlight, can help normalise your sleeping patterns.

In addition to all of these points above, being surrounded by beautiful scenery can be immensely pleasurable and it can give us a strong sense of wellbeing. That’s why the incredible locations along the west coast of Scotland provide the best backdrop for your sailing trip. Scotland frequently reaches the top spot in international polls asking people where in the world they believe has the most beautiful scenery. Competing with New Zealand, Canada, and Iceland, Scotland has some of the most stunning views and landscapes and its jagged west coast is guaranteed to take your breath away.

We hope this blog post has convinced a few readers to make their next big corporate day out a sailing trip! It’s an incredibly rewarding experience and Scotland has one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. Take a look at our yacht charter service or get in touch if you have any questions. We are happy to work with you to create the perfect corporate experience for your team.

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Early Bird Special – Book Your 2019 Sailing Holiday Today

 

Book your 2019 sailing holiday with us by 31st October 2018 and we’ll give you it at this year’s prices PLUS we will offer you a whopping 10% off on top!

Summer sailing

You would be crazy to miss out on this amazing offer.

BOOK YOUR YACHT NOW – Call Lisa on 01475 686088

Posted in: Special Offers
 
 

Three Stunning Locations to Sail in Scotland this Summer

 

Scotland is repeatedly placed at the top of travel guides and list articles as the most beautiful country in the World, beating Iceland, New Zealand, Italy, and Canada. Scotland’s rugged landscape and beautiful coast has a wildness that captures and inspires the hearts of millions of people around the World and we think sailing a yacht around the coast is one of the best ways to explore the country. This guide will cover three of the most stunning locations to sail in Scotland this summer!

Sail Around the Mull of Kintyre

Scotland’s coast is jagged and irregular, making it a joy to sail around and explore. From the water, you can get a better idea of the geography of the coast and the land beyond it; the view from the water offers a perspective that you just can’t find on land. This is perfectly illustrated when sailing around the Mull of Kintyre, the ideal way to start your sailing holiday when you pick up one of our yachts from Largs.

Mull of Kintyre in Scotland, a stunning place to sail in Scotland!

The Mull of Kintyre

The Kintyre peninsula is a large peninsula stretching along the southwest coast of Scotland. When you sail around it, you can enjoy views of parts of the Scottish coast in two or three directions. From the Mull of Kintyre, if you look westwards on a clear day, you’ll even see Northern Ireland’s Antrim Coast. It’s pretty incredible to be able to see and admire the Scottish and Irish coastlines at the same time!

Arran

Easily visible from our base at Largs, and well worth a visit, the Isle of Arran is the largest island on the Firth of Clyde. Arran’s coastline is beautiful and we would recommend taking a sail around at least part of the island before mooring up and exploring on foot. Arran looks and feels as though it’s part of the Hebrides, but the Kintyre Peninsula cuts it off from the rest of this island chain.

Isle of Arran in Scotland, a stunning sailing location

Isle of Arran

Arran sometimes referred to as ‘Scotland in miniature’ is a fascinating place to visit, with an interesting mix of low and high-level terrain, wild landscapes and pretty villages. Its recorded history reaches back as far as the Neolithic era and Arran’s rock formations have interested geologists for decades. A dinosaur footprint has even been found on the island!

Arran’s natural beauty never ceases to impress. The hills, mountains, forests, lochs, beaches, and rivers all combine to ensure that Arran offers the complete package and its scenery is truly stunning.

Kyles of Bute

The Kyles of Bute is the area of water between the north of Bute and the Cowal peninsula. This part of Scotland is one of the country’s National Scenic Areas and is protected from any developments or activities that could impact on its stunning natural beauty. The Kyles of Bute have been a huge tourist spot since the late 19th century when people would visit on a Clyde steamer from Glasgow.

Kyles of Bute on Scotland's West Coast - a stunning sailing location

The Kyles of Bute

Cruising the Kyles of Bute, you can expect to see some incredible scenery and wildlife, especially birdlife. Look out for oystercatchers, eider ducks, guillemots and herons — to name only a few. The Kyles of Bute are best seen from the water, sailing through the coastline and spotting things you’d never see by land.  And if you decide to step onto dry land, you can enjoy a meal at one of the shoreside hotels or take a walk along part of the “West Island Way” on part of the western shore of East Kyle. You’ll never be short of things to see and do around here.

That’s all we have time for today. We hope we have inspired you to sail around Scotland this summer. Whether you visit Arran, the Kyles of Bute, or around the Mull of Kintyre, you’re bound to have an incredible time. If you’d like to organise your next Scottish sailing trip, take a few minutes to browse our fleet of yachts. We offer bareboat, corporate and skippered charters, so no matter what your level of experience, we’ll be able to offer a yachting experience tailored to your needs. If you have any questions about our yachts, hire rates, or any of the locations mentioned on this blog, please get in touch. Plan your next big Scottish adventure today!

Posted in: Updates
 
 

Yacht Charters: A Day in the Life of a Skipper

 

Spending your holiday on the seas is the ultimate getaway. It’s just you, your crew, the boat and the waves. If you are planning to charter a yacht – here is what a day in the life of your skipper might look like.

Up with the larks

The skipper is the person that has ultimate control of the vessel, so they will usually be the first up, preparing for the day of sailing ahead.

Check the weather and the tides

First on the list, after a coffee perhaps in the glorious fresh air on deck, is to check the weather. The weather, and in particular the wind, will determine the itinerary for the day.

Landscape view out across Iona and Mull

Fine weather on Iona and Mull, Inner Hebrides, Scotland.

Check the itinerary and choose the sailing route

Most of the time, you’ll have already set your itinerary, but the skipper will regularly check the forecast to make sure that the plans still suit what the weather has in store. If you need to make a change to the itinerary, then the skipper will do that before you set sail. One of the rules of sailing is to keep an open mind as things do change.

Loch Fyne, Inveraray.

Loch Fyne, Inveraray – one of the most popular sailing destinations on the Scottish west coast.

Check the boat, any supplies and fuel

Before you set sail for the next destination, the skipper will check fuel and any key supplies – along with the crew and whoever has been nominated as first mate. They will also usually check the engine and oil levels etc. When you are chartering a yacht, things are always in very good condition, but the best skippers understand the need to check.

Isle of Arran landscape on a sunny day - yacht charters

Sea coast on the Isle of Arran – perfect place to explore on your yacht charter.

Set sail for your preferred destination

When the boat has been checked, the weather studied and the supplies are in place – then it’s time to set sail for the next destination on your holiday cruise. Whilst the boat is sailing, the skipper is ultimately in charge of everyone’s safety on board and navigating the boat successfully to the next destination. The skipper will be juggling navigation, maritime traffic rules as you pass other boats, safety, and most elements of marine engineering and meteorology. The skipper is a busy person! It’s just as well sailing also involves a lot of relaxation too.

Skye Bridge, Isle of Skye, Western Isles

Over the sea to Skye – is this your preferred destination?

Moor the yacht in time for the afternoon stop

A typical day on board will involve a morning sail to a picturesque bay in time for lunch. The afternoon’s sailing itinerary is likely to be built around making it to the next holiday spot where you can  choose to swim (if you are brave enough), explore the coast, play golf, visit a distillery, tour a castle, spot some wildlife before stopping for dinner with a waterfront view & perhaps spending the evening at the local bar or socialising onboard your yacht. You set the pace, it’s your holiday and the itinerary can usually be changed to suit you. Such an idyllic break – and like we said, it’s the ultimate getaway.

Do you fancy booking your own ultimate yacht charter?

Perhaps we can help you by setting you up with one of our yacht charters – either bareboat charter or skippered charter. We offer a wide range of top quality yachts for hire in an amazing location.  Flamingo Yacht Charters is based at Largs on the west coast of Scotland. If you are planning a sailing trip on the west coast of Scotland, start your adventure here. You can count on us to help you to create your perfect holiday on the water.   You can find out more about us at flamingoyachts.com or on our Flamingo Yacht Charters Facebook page.

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Learn the Lingo: Sailing Terms You Need To Know

 

Sailing is a skill as well as a pleasure, and you will not be surprised to know that it has its own lingo. So, if you are developing your nautical skills, and you would like to know the difference between ‘sheet’ and ‘ease’  – then here is our guide to the sailing terms you need to know before you hit the high seas.

Bow

The front of the boat.

Stern

This is the back of the boat.

Port

Port is to the left of bow. It also refers to the whole left-hand side of the boat (from the bow). The port light on a boat is red and marks the left-hand side of the boat.

Starboard

Starboard is to the right of bow. Similarly, it refers to the whole right-hand side of the boat (from the bow). The starboard light on a boat is green and marks the right-hand side of the boat.

Starboard view of the Kyles of Bute

Starboard on our Jeanneau 44i, sailing up the Kyles of Bute.

Mast

This is a vertical spar that the mainsail is attached to.

Boom

This is a horizontal spar extending backwards from the mast that the sail is attached to. It is adjusted in relation to the direction of the wind to set the sail to the best angle to catch the wind and propel the boat along.

Deck

The deck is the part of the boat that you walk on when you are outside “on deck”.

Deck of a Flamingo Yacht boat - the gorgeous Hanse 400

The deck of Tramontane, Flamingo Yacht Charters’ gorgeous Hanse 400.

Windward

When you sail, where the wind is coming from is very important, so this is one of the important sailing terms. The windward side of a boat is the side of the boat nearest to where the wind is coming from.

Leeward

Similarly, this refers to the side of the boat further away from the direction the wind is coming from.

Ease

To let out the sails.

Sheet in

To pull the sails in

Trim the sails

To ease or sheet the sails to the optimum angle in relation to the wind direction to create speed.

Head Up

To direct the boat’s course closer to the wind.

Head Down / Bear Away

To direct the boat’s course away from the wind.

Tacking

One of the most basic sailing manoeuvres when the bow of the boat turns through the wind, so the wind changes from one side of the boat to the other. You tack back and forth to get to your destination.

Sailing up the Clyde

Heading up the Clyde. Beautiful!

Gybing or Jibing

This is the opposite of Tacking. This time the stern of the boat is turned through the wind so that the wind changes from one side to the other. The boom of the boat changes from one side to the other.

Are you planning to set sail on the West Coast of Scotland this year?

Perhaps we can help you with one of our yacht charters now that you know the sailing terms!  Flamingo Yacht Charters is based in Largs on the west coast of Scotland. We offer a substantial range of yachts for hire  – one of the best ranges in Scotland. If you are planning a sailing trip on the west coast of Scotland, then please do get in touch to discuss your needs.  You can find out more about us at flamingoyachts.com or on our Flamingo Yacht Charters Facebook page.

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Top 5 Lochs to Sail in Scotland

 

The Scottish coast is the ultimate playground for sailors. There are lochs and anchorages galore to explore. Some of the Scottish sea lochs are particularly impressive because they offer a really heady mix of dramatic scenery and wildlife as well as being close to interesting towns and villages. You can find sea lochs up and down the west coast, so it’s been tricky to narrow the list down to our favourite five, but here they are:

Loch Fyne

Loch Fyne is Scotland’s longest sea loch. Like all Scottish sea lochs, it is special because of its wonderful scenery. From here you’ll see the beautiful Arrochar Alps, a collection of mountains, popular with walkers and climbers. There’s also picturesque Inveraray – with its stunning Scottish Castle, which is home to the Duke and Duchess of Argyll. The area is renowned for its seafood, with the ever-popular Loch Fyne Oyster bar further along the loch at Cairndow. (You will need to book ahead!). Loch Fyne is also famous for its wildlife – there are otters, seals and even dolphins living in and around the loch. On the western edge of Loch Fyne, you’ll find the Crinan Canal – linking Loch Fyne and Ardrishaig with the sound of Jura. There are fifteen locks along this canal  – peppered with good pubs and hotels. Enjoy! 

Sunset over Loch Fyne, Scotland.

Loch Fyne – our longest sea loch, home to Inveraray and Tarbet, wildlife, history and wonderful sea food.

Loch Sunart

The west highland loch is situated in the Ardrnamurchan peninsula. It runs from Strontian to the most westerly point of the British Mainland. Loch Sunart also offers some wonderful wildlife spotting opportunities – including otters and perhaps even sea eagles. If you go here, then there are some wonderful other lochs to explore whilst you are in the area, too. Read on!

Loch Sunart with Sandy Beach in the Highlands, Scotland.

Loch Sunart and the edge of the British Mainland.

Loch Linnhe

Further along the west coast is Loch Linnhe. Fort William sits on the banks of Loch Linnhe – and if you look up, you’ll see Britain’s tallest mountain – Ben Nevis. If the conditions are right, you might even want to spend a day climbing the Ben. If you are a serious climber, then there are numerous Munros close to the Loch. Follow the Loch south and then east at the Ballachulish Bridge to head for the villages of Ballachulish and Glencoe – two beautiful and picturesque settlements, surrounded by dramatic mountains, and steeped in Highland history. Sail south along Loch Linnhe towards Oban and the gateway to the Isles. En route you’ll pass Port Appin and the wonderful Castle Stalker – or you could sail to the connecting sea loch, Loch Etive – a remote and beautiful area, deep in mountainous terrain.

Sunset over Loch Linnhe in Scotland.

Sunset over Loch Linnhe

Loch Duich

Further north in the Skye and Lochalsh area is Loch Duich, it’s here you’ll see the famous Eilean Donan Castle –one of the most photographed buildings in Scotland. It’s situation where Loch Duich, Loch Alsh and Loch Long meet, and definitely worth a visit. Loch Duich is right in the middle of a rugged, beautiful and unspoiled part of the country. Popular with hill walkers given its proximity to the five sisters of Kintail mountain range, and with nature lovers – since it’s the perfect host for otters and eagles.

Loch Duich and Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle – one of the most photographed buildings in Scotland, near Loch Duich, Long Long and Loch Alsh.

Loch Carron

Further north again is Loch Carron, on the shores of the beautiful villages of Lochcarron and Plockton. Plockton has the appeal of a seaside village – there are even palm trees thriving along the shoreline. You’ll also find wonderful inns and pubs serving locally caught seafood, as well as art galleries, traditional highland hospitality and stunning views.

Loch Carron looking out over to Plockton

Beautiful Plockton on the shores of Loch Carron, Wester Ross.

Are you planning to set sail on the West Coast of Scotland this year?

Perhaps we can help you with one of our yacht charters.  Flamingo Yacht Charters is based in Largs on the west coast of Scotland. We offer a substantial range of yachts for hire  – one of the best ranges in Scotland. If you are planning a sailing trip on the west coast of Scotland, then please do get in touch to discuss your needs.  You can find out more about us at flamingoyachts.com or on our Flamingo Yacht Charters Facebook page.

Posted in: News
 
 

Five Reasons to go on a Sailing Charter Holiday in Scotland

 

If you’re poring over holiday and hotel brochures trying to decide where to go on your next trip, stop what you’re doing and consider something completely different – but something 100 times more memorable and relaxing. Consider a sailing charter holiday in Scotland. Here’s why:

All the Perks of Sailing but None of the Work!

Whether you are new to sailing or you’ve sailed before, a skippered yacht charter holiday in Scotland will be your most memorable holiday yet.  It’s better than a hotel!  Going on a sailing charter holiday with your own dedicated professional skipper means you’ll get all the perks of sailing, but none of the work. You’ll be free to sit back and relax on the water while the skipper takes care of the sailing for you.  You can simply focus on your surroundings, and believe us when we say, there’s nothing like seeing the beauty of Scotland from our waters.

Build Your Own Itinerary

The itinerary is completely up to you. Where have you always wanted to sail? Would you like to cruise up the loch to one of our renowned seafood restaurants (did we tell you that Scotland’s seafood is highly sought after by the best chefs in Europe – it’s that good)? Or would you prefer we take you to some of our best, and quietest, beaches and bays. Alternatively, would you prefer to visit somewhere a little livelier on the coast to enjoy some fabulous Scottish hospitality – perhaps Inveraray, Oban, or Brodick on Arran, an island that’s often referred to as Scotland in miniature. Like most charter companies, we’ll work with you to come up with your perfect itinerary. You’ll benefit from our experience and the knowledge of the skipper (generally our skippers are the friendliest, most professional seafarers ever).

 

Landscape view of Loch Fyne in Inveraray - Sailing charter holiday in Scoland

The mirror like waters of Loch Fyne around Inveraray

 

Scotland’s Landscape

A sailing charter holiday in Scotland is particularly special, and one of the best sailing destinations in Europe. Why? The landscape. It is awe inspiring and even if you’re from Scotland or you’ve visited before, seeing the country from the water gives you a completely different perspective on those majestic mountains and sweeping glens. Then there’s the wildlife. Depending on the time of year and exact location, you could see otters, seals, eagles, and sea eagles – even dolphins and whales. Or you might see the regal red deer stags roaming the hillside from your spot on the water. View our fleet of vessels that will potentially provide the means for you to truly enjoy Scotland’s beautiful landscape.

Landscape image of Lochranza on the Isle of Arran with red deer silhouetted in the foreground - Sailing charter holiday in Scoland

Sunset on Lochranza, Isle of Arran – and silhouettes of our native red deer stags

See More – Without the Traffic!

Not only will you see the country from a new perspective, but you’ll see lots of the country too! In other words, you will cover lots of ground – or should that be water?! We think it is a much better experience traveling aboard the comfort of the yacht than it is being in the car or bus, traveling from A to B. You’ll see far more as you travel, and there won’t be any traffic jams or ferry timetables to worry about. You could go island hopping on the Inner Hebrides, or explore the rugged and beautiful west coast – from Arran all the way to Ardnamurchan, the choice is yours. Every day you’ll wake up to a new view.

Freedom and Tranquility

You will really enjoy the feeling of freedom and tranquility. You’ll wake up each morning on tranquil and peaceful waters, with a real feeling of freedom. You and your party will be the only tourists around. Your holiday will be private and peaceful if you want it to be – and that’s difficult to achieve in the modern world these days, isn’t it? It’s the perfect getaway and chance to recharge, which is so important in modern life.

Coloured houses reflecting on the water in Tobermory on the Isle of Mull - Sailing charter holiday in Scoland

The tranquil, yet colourful waters around Tobermory on the Island of Mull mirror the famous coloured houses

 

So – what do you think? Is going on a sailing charter holiday in Scotland something you’d like to do?  There’s one other thing to point out. Chartering holidays are cheaper than you think. Flamingo Yacht Charters would be delighted to help you and discuss your requirements. We offer a substantial range of yachts for hire  – one of the best ranges in Scotland.  Please do get in touch.  Please contact us at info@flamingoyachts.com if you have any questions, or alternatively, visit our Flamingo Yacht Charters Facebook page.

Posted in: Updates
 
 

10% off your first booking when you join our mailing list!

 

Make your dreams of sailing on the West Coast of Scotland into a reality. We are offering a fabulous 10% off your first booking when you sign up to our mailing list.  Not only will you get 10% off a fantastic sailing holiday, you will also be the first to know about new developments and special offers and we will send you our newsletter packed with sailing info and tips.

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Posted in: News, Special Offers, Updates
 
 

Scotland’s West Coast Wildlife

 

Scotland’s West Coast wildlife is truly amazing! The wildlife in our waters make sailing here a nature lover’s paradise. Here are five types of wildlife to look out for when sailing on the West Coast:

Bottlenose Dolphin

The Bottlenose Dolphins are larger than the dolphins you can find elsewhere in the world. They are around 3 to 4 metres long and they will live in pods of around 10. They will swim up to 20 mph and you can usually spot them breaching – jumping up out of the water. They are frequently sighted on the Moray Firth in the north of Scotland, and on the west coast around Mull, the Firth of Lorne, Skye and Canna. They are resident throughout the year, but you are certainly more likely to see them in summer, as the sea conditions will be calmer.

Bottlenose dolphin breaching water - West Coast Wildlife, Scotland

Summer is a perfect time to spot Bottlenose Dolphins on the West Coast of Scotland. Keep that in mind when planning your sailing trip in 2018.

Minke Whale

This Baleen whale can be found in Scottish waters – off the west coast. It measures around 9 metres long, and can usually be seen on its own, or if female, it may have a young calf with it. It rarely breeches, but since it needs to breathe air you can see it near the surface of the water. They can regularly be seen in summer around the Small Isles – Rum, Eigg and Muck, as well as in the waters around Skye and Mull.

They can be quite nosey – so look out, as they may approach your boat.

Minke Whale - Wildlife on Scotland's West Coast

The Mike Whale is a regular in the waters of Scotland’s West Coast

Killer Whale (Orca)

According to recent research by Aberdeen University – the pods of Orcas that can be seen around the northern and eastern coasts of Scotland are visiting pods. However, there is a small pod on the west coast of around nine or ten, which seem to be resident. Orcas are instantly recognisable from their black and white markings and vast size. The pod on the west coast can be spotted around Skye and the Small Isles – Rum, Eigg, Muck, Canna. On the north coast – you can spot the migratory pods in summer around Orkney and Shetland.

Orca breaching from the water - West Coast Wildlife, Scotland.

Orca – there is a small pod of Orcas that frequent the western coastal waters of Scotland.

Otters

Otters are one of the most elusive mammals in Scotland. However, if you are on the West Coast of Scotland you have a good chance of seeing them in the wild. You can find them in freshwater locations, close to the shore, during the day. You’ll find them in and around the Isle of Skye and Mull.

Portrait shot of an Otter - West Coast Wildlife, Scotland

Otters, our elusive but beautiful west coast neighbours all the year round.

Sea Eagle (White Tailed Eagle)

Sea Eagles are absolutely stunning creatures. Majestic and massive – in fact it’s the largest bird of prey in the UK, with a wingspan of 2.5 metres in length, and one metre tall.  Amazingly, the sea eagle was reintroduced to the area in the 1980s after being previously hunted to extinction. You can see Sea Eagles in and around Skye, Mull and Rum, as well as along the West Coast of the mainland.

White Tailed Sea Eagle soaring in the sky - West Coast Wildlife, Scotland

The sea eagle is the UK’s largest bird of prey – and it’s home is the West Coast of Scotland.

See the wonderful West Coast wildlife for yourself:

Seeing Scotland’s West Coast Wildlife from the water gives one a different perspective. Add in the chance to see all this wonderful wildlife and you’ve got a really memorable experience. Flamingo Yacht Charters can help you make this happen – we are based in Largs on the west coast of Scotland. We offer a substantial range of yachts for hire  – one of the best ranges in Scotland. If you are planning a sailing trip on the west coast of Scotland, then please do get in touch to discuss your needs.  You can find out more about us at flamingoyachts.com or on our Flamingo Yacht Charters Facebook page.

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