Isle of Jura expedition
This expedition has been created by Sea Kayaking UK to offer experienced sea kayakers an opportunity to circumnavigate the beautiful Island of Jura. Jura is an island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland situated adjacent and to the north-east of Islay. It is well know for its wiskey distillary scenic mountains. This expedition will take you on a tour the distrillery and give you the opportunity to enjoy the wisky drinking tradition and paddle in one of europes most peaceful and remote places.
For those who love the great outdoors, Jura is an idyllic place. Its three ‘Paps’ – or mountains - dominate the skyline, distinguishable from miles around. For those who like to explore, there is a wealth of historical sites and natural phenomena to discover; from stone circles and standing stones to ruined castles and iron age forts, from sandy beaches and secluded coves to stacks, pinnacles and caves, as well as raised beaches from the ice-age. Golden eagles, sea eagles, otters and seals are a common sight, and carry on about their business uninhibited by humans. Jura’s exceptionally mild climate has also allowed Peter Cool, the gardener at Jura House, to develop an extraordinary garden within its sheltered walls. Following a trip to Australia and New Zealand 30 years ago, he brought back numerous seeds all of which germinated successfully. Now the garden boasts exotic ferns and grasses which are allowed to mingle with more traditional garden flowers to bewitching effect.
Jura is an island rich in history, myths and superstitions. Excavations show it welcomed some of the oldest settlements in Scotland over 8,000 years ago. It also became a Viking stronghold, while its ancient grave-yard at Kilearnadil boasts a number of Knights Templar grave stones and is reputedly the resting place of a saint.
But for true whisky enthusiasts there is one over-riding reason to come to Jura, and that is to visit its distillery. Established in 1810, JURA’s single malts have won numerous awards and are distinguished for their subtle flavours which are dramatically different to the peaty whiskys from the neighboring island of Islay. Often the smallest of factors can affect the balance of flavours in whisky. Although much of a whisky’s character is decided by the type of barrel it is aged in, the finest single malts quite literally offer a taste of their location, starting with the water that is used to the local weather and atmospheric conditions. During the ageing process, the whisky not only absorbs the flavours of the wood, but the island’s atmosphere and sea breezes as they pass over the porous walls of the barrels. Jura’s exceptionally mild climate and gentle breezes, together with the local spring water, are significant factors contributing to JURA’s smooth, warm and complex flavours.
JURA offers ten year old, sixteen year old and twenty-one year-old single malts, as well JURA Superstition, with a characterful peaty tang. If you’re lucky you might even get to taste some of his other malts which are currently ageing gracefully in a variety of barrels and hogsheads which include American bourbon and French oak barrels.
Jura may be hard to get to, but as those who’ve been there will testify, it’s even harder to leave.
The Expedition will leave from Holyhead on the 1st August. Participants should meet the group at the SKUK office on Saturday the 31st July 2010.
There will be a live-on boat that accommodates up to 10 people (including instructors and staff). Therefore places on this trip are limited There are only six places available.
The boat will be the expedition base for the whole week.
Kayaks can be stored on deck alongside all kayaking equipment.
The boat is beautifully and newly decorated. It has all the necessary facilities, including: a fully functioning kitchen with oven and dishwasher, hot showers, toilets, bunk beds, electricity, cupboard space, and a small living room ‘view point’ and a seating area.
There will be time to do a small amount of hiking if you so wish.
The price of this expedition is £850 / head to include:
Use of Motor vessel