River Spey Descent


Join us for a classic Scottish canoeing trip down the River Spey, as we paddle through Speyside in the scenic North East Highlands.

This wonderful Scottish river trip descends the famous River Spey passing a through pine forests, heather-covered hills and Scotland’s most celebrated whisky region.

The canoeing is easy at first but becomes more challenging as we travel downstream through several rapids. It is not just the character of the river which changes – the pine forests take on a new character with each season. These forests are home to a diverse range of wildlife including red deer and capercaillie, and there’s always the chance of spotting golden eagles and other large birds of prey overhead.

What’s Included 

  • 3 nights wild camping (2 people per tent)
  • All meals, from lunch on day of arrival through to lunch on day of departure (Meals included indicated as B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All transport, starting and finishing in Aviemore
  • The services of at least one experienced and knowledgeable canoe guide / driver throughout your trip.
  • All group equipment including tents, group safety equipment and cooking / eating equipment and utensils. Please note that sleeping bags are not included but are available for hire.
  • All specialist open canoe equipment, including canoes and buoyancy aids.


Trip Highlights: Canoeing – River Spey Descent

  • Paddle through tranquil pine forests and Scotland’s most famous whisky region as you journey the length of the River Spey
  • Experience a diverse range of river conditions, from gentle meanders to more challenging rapids towards the end of the trip
  • Enjoy a true wilderness experience camping under the stars


Trip Itinerary

Day 1 – The expedition begins!
Our canoe guide meets you at the railway station in Aviemore and we transfer to our put-in point, a short distance away. We cast off down the gently moving water learning a few paddle strokes as we journey down the river to our first night’s camp. (L, D)

Day 2 –Boat of Balliefurth to Blacksboat
Following breakfast, we paddle into the heart of malt whisky country. There is time to work on the open canoe skills which will be essential for negotiating the rapids which lie ahead in the second half of the journey. Indeed, the day finishes with a trip through the short rapid known as the ‘Washing Machine’ before we reach our next camp. (B, L, D)

Day 3 – Blacksboat to Craigellachie
Our rapid-running skills are tested to the full as we meet unforgettable rapids such as the Station Pool of Knockando and numerous shorter rapids. After an exhilarating day of paddling, we camp near the mouth of the River Fiddich. (B, L, D)

Day 4– Craigellachie to Spey Bay

Under the shadow of Ben Aigan, we spend the morning descending through the Rothes Glens to the beautiful river pools at Delfur. As the River Spey gathers speed in its race to the sea, we round the many bends that lead through the coastal plain to our journey’s end at Spey Bay. At the end of the journey, you are transferred back to Aviemore Railway Station where the trip ends. (B, L)



Blue Graded Open Canoeing Holidays 4-6

The Great Glen Canoe Trail is still suitable for people with no previous experience. However, a reasonable level of fitness is required.

For the River Spey Descent and the Whisky Trail previous canoeing experience is required as we will experience some sections of more challenging rapids, a good level of general fitness is also required for these trips.

For all Blue Graded canoe trips you can expect up to 7 hours of paddling each day with plenty of breaks.

These trips generally involve being further away from civilisation with multi-day wild camping.

Before joining this trip, the questions you should be asking yourself are:

Do you have a reasonable level of fitness?
Are you happy camping under the stars for a few nights?


Departures & Prices

Book with confidence – we guarantee our trips to run as soon as 2 people book.

Trip Date

Price $AU

Trip Status

28th Apr – 1st May 2017  $ Unconfirmed
30th Jun – 03rd Jul 2017  $ Confirmed
 08th Sep – 11th Sep 2017  $  Trip Full