Going round the Point of Sleat, the southernmost tip of the Isle of Skye is a classic and a must do for any improver or intermediate sea kayaker. The whole trip is 29km, but it can be shortened and varied in many ways. The views change at every headland and never get boring, the Small Isles, Mallaig, Knoydart, Loch Eishort and the Cuillin Ridge….
Park in Armadale (limited car parking available, please car share) and launch from the beach. Go around the ferry terminal and head southwest along the coast. You’ll pass a few skerries, Eilean Maol (the bald island) and Eilean Sgorach (the notchy island). Please give the resident seals a wide berth. You’ll then get a lovely view of the village of Ardvasar. Keep close to the coast here to look for wildlife such as otters and sea urchins. Plenty little bays give opportunities for breaks. On the way south, visit the rock arch just before Tormore and enjoy the view changing from Knoydart to Mallaig, to Eigg and then to Rum.
It can be a bit choppy near Tormore where the headland reaches into the sea and around Aird, but Port a’ Chùil (the back port) gives excellent shelter for a snack stop before you head on to the Point. This is also a good lunch spot for beginners / slower groups and you can go back to Armadale from here. If you head on, you’ll pass the village of Aird, the last settlement before the Point. A few kilometers on, you will reach Camas Daraich (the bay of the oak) which is perfect for a lunch spot with its white sand and Hebridean colours. This is also a lovely walk for any non-paddling members of the family. You can also head back to Armadale from here if you don’t have a shuttle option.
The lighthouse at the Point is not a particularly picturesque one, but Orcas and dolphins have been spotted here. As you turn the corner, a breathtaking view unfolds to the Cuillin, which you can enjoy all the way to the landing point. The west side of Sleat is more rugged and the waters can be rougher as it is more open to the incoming swell off the Atlantic. Stop again at Dalavil which is one of the many villages deserted during the Highland Clearances in the 19th century and where you can enjoy beautiful white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and complete remoteness, all with the stunning views into the Cuillin.
The last stretch provides excellent opportunities for rock hopping until you finally pass the beach of Achnacloich (landing/launch spot at high water, but a long walk at low water) and finish either at Tokavaig, just before Dùn Sgathaich/Dun Sgaith Castle or at Ord.
Do you like the look of this? Come and join us on one of our Day Trips. We often do a part of this trip with beginners, and intermediate Paddlers have a strong chance of doing this trip.