The Complete Isle Of Skye Travel Guide
December 7, 2021
Scotland
By guy yefet
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Planning a trip to the Isle of Skye? Great. In this Isle Of Skye travel guide you will find all the information and details you need to know about this magical and beautiful place.

Isle Of Skye Travel Guide: All the things you should know

The Isle of Skye is one of the most beautiful places in Scotland, and as such it enjoys a high number of visitors, despite its tendency to be rainy and foggy.

The spectacular views, the animals in the water, in the air and on land, and the beautiful hiking trails, attract many nature lovers here, and in recent years also lovers of gourmet food.

road in isle of skye



What and where is the Isle of Skye?

The Isle of Skye belongs to the Scottish Highlands and is connected to central Scotland by a road bridge.

The island is considered a popular destination among tourists from all over the world thanks to its stunning scenery.

The capital of Skye and the larger city on the island (relatively large) is the picturesque port city of Portree.

About 10,000 residents currently live on the island but at the peak of the season during the summer months, dozens of tourists come to visit the Isle of Skye.


When to visit isle of Skye?

The recommended time in terms of weather is between May to September.

In the summer and especially in July-August the island is crowded and bustling with tourists, if you plan to arrive at this time of year you will have to book accommodation in advance.

I recommend it to anyone who can avoid this time of year and if possible it is advisable to arrive in the shoulder seasons whether it is in the spring which is in May or in the fall in September.

The weather in the shoulder seasons is still particularly good time for hiking and without all the amount of people arriving in July and August.

I visited the island in late October early November and luckily I had perfect weather with 5 clear days.

What’s special about this time I traveled in late Autumn is that there are no tourists and the island is very quiet.

I felt like I had the whole island to myself, an amazing experience.


How long should you visit the isle of Skye?

You will not want to leave the Isle of Skye.

To experience the place you need at least two days, two full days will allow you to mainly see the highlights of the island.

Three days or four days will allow you to travel in a more relaxed and comfortable way with more things to see and reach the less touristy places.

man standing on a rock with ocean and Mountains view in isle of skye


How to get to Isle of Skye?

By car

Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye (5 hours / 230 miles)


There are 2 ways to get from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye

The direct and faster way is to take the m90 road towards Perth and from there continue on the a9 road on the way you can do in loch Leven and the charming town of Pitlochry

The second way is to drive via Stirling (road m9) and pass by loch Lomond which is a must stop and it is recommended to stop there overnight, after loch Lomond through the beautiful town of Glencoe and from there via road a87 to the island of Skye


Glasgow to Isle of Skye (4.5 hours / 210 miles)


Same way as the other way from Edinburgh

Take the a82 road that passes through Loch Lomond until the road connects to the a87 road and from there you will reach to the Isle of Skye.


Inverness to Isle of Skye (2.5 hours / 110 miles)


Drive on the a82 road through the famous lake loch ness (Beautiful stop) until you join the a87 road that takes you to the Isle of Skye.


By bus

There is a bus that leaves from Glasgow so if you are in Edinburgh you will first have to get to Glasgow and from there take the bus to the Isle of Skye.

City link bus departs from Glasgow to the Isle of Skye (city link 915,916) and arrives at Portree on the Isle of Skye via the town of Fort William.

Travel time is about 3 hours. You can often get a ticket for a third of the price by pre-booking on the city link website.

*if you take the bus try to sit on the left side so you can see the views of the Cuillin Mountains from the road.


Getting around Isle of Skye

The easiest and most convenient way to get around the Isle of Skye is by car.

many places in Skye can not be reached by public transport so that an efficient car and the most convenient solution in this case so you can get around the island freely without restrictions and reach all the beautiful and magical corners of the island.

When I traveled in Scotland I rented a car for 3 weeks through the Auto Europe company that I always rent through.

I have good experience with them as for many years I rent regularly through Auto Europe and have never encountered any problem with them.

The car has served me faithfully throughout my 3 weeks in Scotland and also in my days on the Isle of Skye.

small car on the road of isle of skye


Isle of Skye map with points of interest

What to see and do on the Isle of Skye?


The Quiraing - an amazing hiking trail on the Isle of Skye, vast expanses, stunning mountain views when every time you pass a certain bend another lake or bay is discovered.


kilt rock & mealt falls - One of the famous pictures from the Isle of Skye belongs to a stunning cliff with an impressive waterfall about 90 meters long. A Must-see stop on the island.


Neist Point - The lighthouse of the fishermen, the westernmost point on the island that a road reaches. Quiet and green area with wide expanses befitting Scotland.

A feeling of the end of the world.


Elgol - a small fishing village located on a secluded road.

Despite the remote locations, the village is known to tourists thanks to the beautiful views of the Cuillin Mountains.

It is recommended to leave Elgol on an organized boat trip that will take you towards the beautiful bay and towards loch Coruisk where you will see the special Cuillin Mountains at their peak of glory.


Fairy Glenn - The most magical place communicates with fairies and is called Fairy Valley.

An area of ​​small, green hills in the center of the valley is a spiral-shaped stone circle.

According to legend, all the hidden desires of the girl who will dance in the center of the circle will be fulfilled naked....

Portree - The main town on the Isle of Skye. Portree harbor is small and charming.

Colorful houses that reach the water, fishing boats moored in the harbor, and small boats come and leave the pier.

The city streets that climb from the water up are full of beautiful shops.

Whiskey - Scotland is known for its great whiskey.

So if you did not know the Talisker distillery is also on the Isle of Skye so if you were wondering how the famous drink is produced or you just want to enjoy fine whiskey you should definitely visit the distillery. The tour is fascinating even for those who like whiskey less and in the end, it is worth going through the distillery and stocking up on the special edition of Isle of Skye.


Read more: 15 best things to do in the Isle of Skye

Kilt Rock Mealt Falls isle of skye
Kilt Rock & Mealt Falls
Portree Isle of Skye
Portree, Isle of Skye


Where to stay on the Isle Of Skye?

Portree Youth Hostel - Part of a network of hostels scattered throughout Scotland. An excellent option for those traveling on a low budget.


Hostel Skye backpackers - another option for low-budget travelers.

Although the hostel is not inside the island itself I visited there and spent the night there before arriving at Skye. A cute and homely hostel suitable for backpackers.


Cullin Hills Hotel - Stunning hotel with spectacular views of Portree Bay and towards the Cuillin Mountains. Very suitable for couples.


Shulista Croft Wigwams - If you want a different experience from a regular hotel, this is the place for you.

Very kind hosts and luxurious cabins and breathtaking views. One of the most special places I have stayed.


Wild Camping

It's possible and it's free!

For those who are interested in a camping experience, there are amazing points to spend a night in a tent with beautiful scenery on the Isle of Skye.

* Please note that those planning to travel at the peak of the summer months of July-August must book accommodation in advance.

glamping isle of skye
Shulista Croft Wigwams
glamping room isle of skye
The view from inside
Wild camping near Neist Point isle of skye
Wild camping near Neist Point


Where to eat on the isle of skye?

Kinloch Lodge Restaurant - A Michelin-starred restaurant - at the Kinloch Lodge Hotel, in the Sleat area of ​​the South Island.

This hotel was Lord McDonald's hunting lodge. The current Lord married Lady Claire, a respected cook-chef, who has written many cookbooks and also runs a cooking school (for those interested, you can come for a few concentrated days).

Together they run a luxurious and pampering boutique hotel here, and of course - the restaurant.

As a guest at the restaurant, you will receive, in addition to the excellent food and wines, also the bonus of a conversation with the Lord, who usually goes out to the guests and exchanges a few words with them.


The Three Chimneys - Local food. The owners of the restaurant are proud of the use they make mainly of local produce - first of all, materials found on the Isle of Skye and only then products that come from other areas in Scotland.

The food, as mentioned, is excellent and the view from the restaurant is amazing.


Isle Of Skye tips

Driving

The roads on the Isle of Skye may be congested during the summer months and therefore must be patient and courteous especially as all the roads in Skye are a one-lane road with detours.

If you do not know what such a road looks like it is a narrow road with detour bays when a car comes in front of you you have to wait in the detour bay until it passes you and only then continue driving.

Weather

The weather on the Isle of Skye is very changeable and rain can pop up any day of the year so it is important to always be equipped with raincoats and closed shoes.


Cellular Coverage

Cellular internet reception is pretty bad on the Isle of Skye.

In the city of Portree, you will have 3g but outside the developed cities there is a chance that you will find yourself without any absorption at all.

if you have a Vodafone sim card its seems to have the best coverage on the island.


Midges

There's no such place as a midge-free location on Between May and September, midges come and go with the time of day and the weather.

They are most prevalent in the early morning and the evening. They are also around when there are cloud cover and no wind.

The Midges do not interfere with enjoying this beautiful island, you just have to be prepared and take it into account and bring you a mosquito repellent just in case.

During the autumn and winter, the mosquitoes disappear on their own.


Book in advance

If you are planning a trip to isle of Skye in the peak months of the year July-August you must book accommodation in advance because everything has been caught long before.

Do not wait for the last minute and if you know you are going to arrive in the summer book in advance as early as you can.


Take it slow

Do not try to catch everything in one day or a few hours.

The real charm of the Isle of Skye is found once you hike slowly and calmly without rushing so you can experience the place like the locals.

Give yourself enough time to enjoy the stunning scenery of the Isle of Skye.

Typical Road In Isle Of Skye
Typical Road on the Isle Of Skye

Hopefully, my travel guide to the Isle of Skye will help you to plan your trip to this beautiful island.

The isle of Skye is a must-see when you Travel to Scotland so don't miss it!

Where Next?

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