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Tour Highlights

  • Swim the iconic and challenging Corryvreckan

  • Attempt the swim featured in Robson Green’s “Wild Swimming” programme

  • Fully guided saftey escort across the Corryvreckan

  • Savour the atmosphere of the hamlet of Craobh Haven

Take part in one of Scotland’s most iconic open water swims across the fabled Gulf of Corryvreckan. Situated to the north of Jura and lying just off Scarba’s southern shore, the Gulf is transformed into a whirlpool during both flood and ebb tides as the sea surrounds a pinnacle that rises to within 30 metres of the surface.

We swim safely across the Gulf during slack tide when the whirlpool is dormant, finishing under the imposing 400-foot cliffs of Scarba. You will be accompanied by a full safety escort throughout the duration of the swim, before having the opportunity to relax in the picturesque hamlet of Craobh Haven at the end of your adventure.

Legend of The Corryvreckan

Breakan, a Norwegian prince, fell in love with a princess of the Island of Jura. Her father only agreed to the relationship on the condition that Breakan must demonstrate his bravery by anchoring his boat for three whole days in the heart of the whirlpool. Breakan accepted the test and returned home, where he had three cables made of wool, hemp and maidens' hair. The women of Norway readily cut off their hair and plaited the rope. It was thought that the purity and innocence of the maidens would give the rope strength to hold the boat fast in the whirlpool. Breakan came back to Jura and anchored his boat in the Corryvreckan. On the first day the hemp rope parted. On the second day, the woollen rope parted. On the last day they set the cable of hair and all went well until a strong burst of wind broke the rope. The boat was sucked under the sea by the whirlpool and a surviving crewman and Breakan's dog dragged the body of Breakan ashore to be buried in the King's Cave on the northern shore of Jura overlooking the Corryvreckan.

When the crewman finally made it home again and told of Breakan's fate, one of the young Norwegian ladies was consumed with guilt, as she was not as pure as she had made out - it had been her hair which had weakened the rope.

Who is this trip for?

Conditions on this trip can be challenging, yet extremely rewarding, a good experience of open water swimming in challenging sea conditions is a must for this trip. Due to the nature of this trip there is a minimum swimming speed of 35min/km.

What's included?

  • Fully guided swim trip across the Corryvreckan
  • Safety escort on all swims

What's not included?

  • Travel to and from the start of the tour
  • Any food or drink required during the day

Related Links

Swim Schedule

We meet in the Craobh Haven Marina car park, once everyone has arrived we have a safety briefing during which we’ll explain the planned route, what to look out for and the safety escort cover that will be with you for the duration of the swim. Following the briefing, we’ll get you all in for a short acclimatisation swim en route to your swim. It is compulsory for everyone to take part in this as it allows the guide to assess the group’s swimming abilities and to group you accordingly. This is also an excellent opportunity for you to get acclimatised to the conditions too.

The journey from Craobh Haven to Jura takes roughly 30 minutes by boat. The swim sees you cross from the island of Jura to the island of Scarba under a full safety escort. The day will finish back at Craobh Haven harbour where, after changing, there is time to relax and reflect on your swimming adventure at the Lord of the Isles pub.

Meeting and Swim Times

The below meeting times are dictated by local tides in order to ensure that your swim takes place under suitable conditions. A decision on whether an attempt is made depends entirely on the conditions on the day and will be communicated to you by your guides and boat pilot as soon as this decision has been made. If conditions aren't suitable, it may be possible to make a second attempt later in the day, however this cannot be guaranteed and SwimTrek will not be liable for any accommodation or extra expenses that may be incurred as a result of taking part in this alternative swim. Please note that the approximate swim time is 1 hour 35 minutes.

Swim Date Meeting Time
4th August 07:00
5th August 07:30
6th August 08:00
7th August 08:45
8th August 09:00
9th August 09:30

Trip Schedule

Gulf of Corryvreckan Meeting Times
Start & Finish Point: Craobh Haven Marina car park - By Lochgilphead, Argyll, PA31 8UA
Meeting Time: Please see table below
Finish Time: Approximately four hours after meeting time

Meeting and Swim Times in 2017

The below meeting times are dictated by local tides in order to ensure that your swim takes place under suitable conditions. A decision on whether an attempt is made depends entirely on the conditions on the day and will be communicated to you by your guides and boat pilot as soon as this decision has been made. If conditions aren't suitable, it may be possible to make a second attempt later in the day, however this cannot be guaranteed and SwimTrek will not be liable for any accommodation or extra expenses that may be incurred as a result of taking part in this alternative swim. Please note that the approximate swim time is 1 hour 35 minutes.

Swim Date Meeting Time
4th August 07:00
5th August 07:30
6th August 08:00
7th August 08:45
8th August 09:00
9th August 09:30

Trip Information

Equipment List

In addition to your daily non-swimming clothes, we also recommend that you bring the following items:

Item Item
Swimming Costume and Wetsuit Towel
Swimming Googles* (x2) Waterproof Jacket
Sunhat and Sunglasses Small Day-pack
Waterproof Sun Cream Aqua Shoes

*Try to bring one clear lens and one tinted lens for different light conditions.

SwimTrek will supply swim hats. We will have a limited supply/range of flippers, rash vests and wetsuits available on the trip, however we cannot guarantee sizes for all. If you have your own flippers, rash vest or wetsuit, we would recommend you bring these with you in order to maximise your enjoyment of the trip. Please note that SwimTrek will provide water and electrolyte drinks in shared water bottles on your safety boat. If you prefer to use your own drink bottle, please feel free to bring one along.

Swimming Distance

The point to point distance across the Gulf of Corryvreckan is approximately 1½km.

Swimming Conditions

Swimming in the sea is a fantastic experience, however you should be aware that certain marine life such as sea lice, jellyfish, sea urchins and coral could be present during the swims. In all cases we will work on reducing your contact with these creatures, however if you suffer from anaphylaxis, please consult the office prior to booking.

Temperatures

Month Water Temperature* Air Temperature*
August 14-16°C / 57-60°F 22-23°C / 71-73 °F

*Please note that these temperature are indicative and should be used as a guide only.

Weather Caveat

For safety reasons, we rely on decent weather conditions when carrying out our swim. As a consequence, open water swimming holidays require a certain degree of on-trip flexibility which can result in changes to the planned itinerary. These changes often add a touch of uniqueness to your trip and will be communicated to you by your SwimTrek guides as quickly as possible. We will always try and carry out the crossing on the first opportunity (in the morning), however an alternative swim time (in the afternoon) may be required, depending on conditions on the day.

Group Size and Boat Support

This trip has a maximum group size of eight guests. The group will be split into a maximum of two groups, based on speed, with each group being accompanied by their own safety vessel/escort. 

Boat support on this trip includes one main boat and one inflatable boat to be piloted by your SwimTrek guides and a local boat pilot. Please note that this boat support is subject to change without notice and cannot be guaranteed.

Getting There

The easiest way to get to Craobh Haven is by car, although there is the option to fly into Glasgow International Airport and rent a car, too. The postcode needed to get to the meeting point at the start of your trip is: PA31 8UA.

While we have outlined various travel options below, they are subject to change and should be used as a guide only. Whichever route you choose to take, we recommend confirming your flights and other travel arrangements as early as possible in order to avoid price rises and availability issues.

Travel to Craobh Haven

From Glasgow, Craobh Haven will take approximately three hours to reach by car. It is also 20 miles south of Oban, which has National Rail and bus links available too. For further details on prices and timetables please see the below information:

Information tickets and timetables for trains to Oban can be found at National Rail.

Information tickets and timetables for buses Scotland or the rest of the UK to Oban can be found at City Link

Information on local buses from Oban to Craobh Haven can be found atWest Coast Motors.

Practical Information

Accommodation and Meals

Should you want to stay in this beautiful area, then we suggest staying at the following B&Bs:

Hotel Website Telephone Number
The Dancing Fox The Dancing Fox (0) 1852 500 657
The Galley of Lorne Inn The Galley of Lorne Inn (0) 1852 500 284
Primrose Cottage, Ardfern Primrose Cottage (0) 1852 500 205
Craobh Haven Watersports Craobh Haven Watersports (0) 1852 500 665

*The owner of the Dancing Fox is an open water swimmer with a good understanding of swimmers’ needs, so this is a perfect place to stay after the swim should you need accommodation in the area.

Extra Expenses

You should bring money with you to cover items such as snacks, lunch, drinks, souvenirs, etc. Please note, showers and a changing room are available at Croah Haven Watersports, however they do charge £2 per person to use. Croabh Haven Watersports also have a fantastic cafe on site, plus a picnic area by the water’s edge which is ideal for any spectators or family. They even run fishing trips in the evenings during the summer as well as kayaks and paddleboards to hire, please click on the following link for more details Craobh Haven Watersports.

Passports and Visas

Scotland is part of the United Kingdom. Non-residents of the U.K. require a full passport to enter the country, which should be valid for six months beyond the expected length of stay. Citizens of most countries, including all E.U. member states, U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand are given ‘leave to enter’ the UK. Citizens of the EU do not need a visa to enter. Please note that visa regulations are subject to change and we advise that you check your own visa requirements prior to travel.

Vaccinations

There are currently no essential vaccination requirements for U.K., however it is advisable to re-check this information eight weeks before you travel. You should also ensure that your immunity to tetanus and polio is up-to-date.

  • A life affirming and enriching experience. Wish everyday could be a SwimTrek day!

    Seonaid H. UK - 2016
  • Truly magical to finally realise a life long ambition to swim the Gulf of Corryvreckan.

    Janine C. UK - 2016
  • Great experience in a great location.

    Phil L. UK - 2016
  • The swim was every thing I wanted it to be, unlike most events I take part in this was not a competition, and I enjoyed taking the time to enjoy the setting and and the whole experience. It was well organised and good value.

    Ian M. UK - 2015
  • Thanks for giving me the confidence to get in the water, I did 3 more swims post Corryvrecken whilst on holiday. I no longer have a fear of seaweed!

    James M. UK - 2015
  • Lovely swim with lovely guides! Well worth the money.

    Phia S. UK - 2014
  • A fantastic swimming experience with great guide & local skippers that made this a incredible swim in a beautiful part of Scotland

    Gary M. UK - 2014
  • A magical swim with excellent support, including good swimming tips on the trip back. Awesome!

    Gillian, August 2013, UK
  • I totally loved the swim, experience, guides and people, and would recommend this trip to others. Would like to say a massive thank you to Bruce, and Chris!

    Jo C, August 2013, UK
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