With such a great coastline, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of water-based activities. Badachro and Shieldaig harbours offer some of the best sheltered anchorages in the north-west, and are ideal for kayaking, windsurfing, and sailing.
A range of fishing, wildlife-watching or scenic cruises are run from Gairloch harbour. The award-winning Glass Bottom Boat operates short trips around the relatively sheltered waters of Loch Gairloch, and is great for families. It gives good opportunities to see underwater wildlife, as well as seals and seabirds, and occasionally dolphins and porpoises. The knowledgeable captain ensures an interesting trip.
For the slightly more adventurous wildlife spotters, Gairloch Marine Life Cruises, operate further out into the loch. For the more adventurous still, Hebridean Whale Cruises operate a fast rigid-inflatable boat (RIB), that can travel beyond the loch into the Minch and offers longer trips and thus greater potential to see whales and dolphins.
Gairloch has a local boat club, and welcomes visitors. Loch Gairloch is popular with sailing boats and many visiting yachts anchor around Badachro and Shieldaig, or by the pontoon in Gairloch harbour. Private chartered sailing trips are available locally.
Several canoe operators offer instruction or guided trips locally, for individuals and groups, in the sea or in freshwater lochs. For example, locally-based Ewe Canoe, provide qualified and experienced instructors to ensure you have a memorable canoeing adventure in Wester Ross. Many people bring their own kayaks to use while on holiday.
If you time your visit right, you might even experience a trip on the last seagoing paddle steamer in the world, Waverley, which visits Gairloch once a year in the summer time.