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The Isle of Skye
Scotland

The Isle of Skye

  • 8 days
  • singles, couples, w/ kids
  • spring, summer, fall

Explore the Isle of Skye. If you love nature, you'll be blown away! This trip will be made even more enjoyable by the accommodation, that is, if you choose our suggested fishing lodge, The Cottar, which we absolutely loved. You'll spend the first four days on the Isle of Skye and use the time to explore its beauty, before moving a little way below Ben Nevis, passing through Glen Coe. The last day is spent in Edinburgh, one of the most beautiful places in Europe. You can modify this trip and take advantage of a stay on the Isle of Skye or in Glencoe to plan a series of interesting and amazing treks. The only thing we would warn against is that the Isle of Skye will be overrun with tourists in the summer months! We highly recommend heading there in the off-season, even at the cost of cooler weather and shorter days.

5 / 5

First, you'll be on your way to the Isle of Skye – the journey from Edinburgh/Glasgow is a little longer, but you can make it more enjoyable with a few stops. The very next morning you'll start exploring the island, heading to the lighthouse that you may know from the postcards of the Isle of Skye: Neist Point Lighthouse. You'll then visit Dunvegan Castle & Gardens, followed by a short easy trip to Coral Beach.

On day three you'll head to The Fairy Glen in the morning, then put on proper hiking boots and trek the Quiraing loop. In the afternoon, you'll have a view of Mealt Waterfall and then a little trek to Old Man of Storr again. On day four, you'll spend the morning walking around the Fairy Pools and the afternoon relaxing in your accommodation, or you can try what it's like to swim in the local sea.

On the fifth day you will go for a ride on the sea and you might even get a glimpse of the seal. You'll explore one of Scotland's most beautiful lochs, Loch Coruisk. Then you'll leave the Isle of Skye. You'll visit the beautiful Eilean Donan Castle and one of the places made famous by the Harry Potter film saga: Glenfinnan Viaduct. On the following sixth day, you will drive through the magnificent Glen Coe, where several scenes from famous films were filmed. You will see the remains of Kilchurn Castle and visit the seafood capital of Oban.

On the seventh day you will transfer to Edinburgh. You will have half a day and a full evening to explore this unique city. On the last day, depending on your departure time, adjust your programme accordingly.

Author: Jirka Maleček
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Travel Info

Plane tickets – use your favourite flight search engine. If you don't have a favourite, try kiwi.com.

Car rental – there are several reputable car hire companies at Edinburgh Airport. If you don't have a favourite, try AVIS. Consider getting full car insurance – in the UK they drive on the left, plus some of the local roads are very narrow. Get a comfortable car, after all you will be using it a lot, so convenience is paramount. BEWARE of mileage restrictions – choose a no-restriction offer or your rental may become more expensive.

Accommodation – there are a number of accommodation options on the Isle of Skye. However, not an infinite number, so the earlier you book, the more choice you will have.

Prices in the destination – standard prices. The only thing that may surprise you are the relatively high prices for parking.

Money exchange – no need to change money, most places accept credit cards. Alternatively, withdraw money from an ATM at an established bank

Calling and data – The UK is not a member of the EU, check with your operator for call and data terms. WiFi is common in hotels and restaurants and is free. 

When to go – due to its overwhelming popularity, choose spring or autumn. In the summer months, it can be very difficult to get around by car on the narrow roads – the traffic is simply too heavy and it's easy for your holiday to turn into a road horror and stress about finding a free parking space.

Process

• Buy your plane tickets 

• Book your accommodation 

• Arrange car rental 

• Buy your Bella Jane boat tickets online 

• Adjust your itinerary for the first and last day to suit your time 

• Make reservations at recommended restaurants – especially Dulse and Brose in Portree and then Petit Paris in Edinburgh 

• Get travel insurance

What will you see on the way?

Trek Quiraing loop

Quiraing loop

A perfect circular route with a length of less than 7 kilometres and a total elevation gain of just over 300 metres. It’s mostly an easy hike, only in very wet conditions and maybe in strong winds it can be a bit harder. From the car park, head either in clockwise or counterclockwise direction - depending on your preference. We went counterclockwise and it was fine. Most of the hikers only walked the first mile of the hike and then turned back, so we only met a few people. The views were fascinating, and this mini trek is definitely one of the best we've done on Skye. Bring good quality hiking boots, or trekking poles if necessary.

Walk around Loch Coruisk

Loch Coruisk

Loch Coruisk is considered by some to be the most beautiful loch in Scotland. Beautiful yes, but I don't know if it's the prettiest. It's quite remote and the only convenient way to get there is by boat from Elgol harbour. You can then walk back but be warned this is a route only for experienced walkers as you will be met by The Bad Step (a separate POI). It is possible to go around the lake, but it is a long way (about 7 km) and it will take you at least 3 hours and it is not easy either. We bought return boat tickets and had just over an hour at the site, so just a short walk along the lake shore - even then, beware, it's wet everywhere and some of the rocks are very slippery.

James Bond Skyfall Road

James Bond Skyfall Road

A small section of Glen Etive Road where the opening scene of the James Bond film, specifically Skyfall (2012) was filmed. However, this whole narrow road is worth your attention. It's a beautiful road leading up to Lake Etive. BEWARE the road is very narrow, and you have to take the same route back, meaning you need to head here as early in the morning as possible, otherwise the local traffic will drive you crazy (even in low season). However, the scenery here is definitely worth a little rest! It really is a beautiful place. Chances of seeing deer here are high, but please don't feed them!

Daily itinerary

Day 1

Transfer from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye

On your journey from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye, you'll make several beautiful stops and, of course, pass through beautiful countryside.

Day 2

Getting to know the island

A trip to Neist Point Lighthouse, followed by a tour of the magnificent Dunvegan Castle estate and a walk to Coral Beach.

Day 3

Natural beauties of the Isle of Skye

Today you will need proper hiking boots; two shorter but beautiful treks await you.

Day 4

Walk by Fairy pools and a quiet afternoon

In the morning and early afternoon you can take two shorter hikes. Relax in the afternoon.

Day 5

Last moments on the Isle of Skye

Today you will enjoy a cruise on the sea, a walk at Loch Coruisk, the magnificent Eilean Donan Castle and much more.

Day 6

Getting to know the Scottish Highlands

Today you'll discover more beautiful places in the Scottish Highlands. Hopefully you'll be lucky with the weather, as you'll be treated to some of Scotland's most beautiful scenery.

Day 7

Driving to Edinburgh

Edinburgh, one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. Explore at least a small part of the city.

Day 8

Before departure

The quickest way to get to know the city is to take a private tour.

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