Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Isle of Skye Cycling
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Highlights

  • Gaining a whole new perspective on Scotland’s most famous island.
  • Breathtaking views around every corner will have you constantly reaching for your camera.
  • Welcoming bike friendly accommodation
  • Staying at the famous Sligachan hotel

The Isle of Skye off the north west coast of Scotland is a playground of mountains and lochs that delivers breathtaking vistas at every twist and turn of the narrow roads which thread through the beautiful landscapes of the Isle of Skye. A cycling holiday on the Isle of Skye is the perfect way to discover the welcoming people and amazing scenery of Skye.

Arriving by ferry in Armadale on the peninsula of Sleat, you can feel the excitement and anticipation build as you look forward to your journey on the Misty Isle. A place of mystery and moods that you will come to know well. Initially you head north through the Garden of Skye to Broadford, enjoying views of the Black Cuillin. Amazingly the scenery just continues to improve as the light, mountains and sea combine in an ever changing panorama as you cycle north to Dunvegan and then Uig. The Quirang, Storr and Portree are all on the itinerary as you head south on your journey back to Armadale.

Cycling on Skye is an unforgettable way to discover all the reasons the Isle of Skye is just such a wonderful island to visit. Skye is home to some of the most dramatic landscapes in the British Isles, quiet country roads, prolific bird and wildlife including sea and golden eagles, a strong Gaelic culture and a warm and welcoming people. Combined with hand-picked B&B’s, guesthouses and small country hotels, daily baggage transfer this makes for a wonderful cycling holiday in Scotland.

Self guided cycling holidays are a wonderful relaxed way to discover the Isle of Skye. We will supply you with a clear map and a pre-departure info pack to guide you every step of the way. Your baggage will be collected and moved onto your next accommodation so that you are free to cycle each day with just a pannier or daypack. In the unlikely event you should require emergency support our office is always more than happy to help with your queries so you can relax and look forward to an unforgettable self-guided cycling holiday.

DAY 1 - Arrive Starting Point: Armadale

Armadale at the quiet southern tip of the Isle of Skye is best reached by the ferry from Mallaig which connects with trains from Glasgow. (6 hour journey time from Glasgow). Alternatively you can drive via the Skye Bridge (5-6h from Glasgow).

Overnight: Ardvasar


Armadale and Ardvasar enjoy beautiful views over the sound of Sleat to Mallaig and have a wonderful tranquillity. The Armadale Castle has wonderful gardens that you may like to explore.


DAY 2 - Armadale to Broadford—28 Miles

The lovely run to Broadford follows the quiet road on the western side of Sleat via Tarskavaig and Ord. This section of sometimes hilly single track road rewards with some of the best views in Skye across Loch Eishort to the Cuillin Hills. Sleat is more wooded than the rest of Skye and this relatively easy day is a great start to the week.

Overnight:
Broadford


Broadford is the second biggest town on Skye and has a choice of restaurants and a large co-op supermarket as well as the normal facilities. It is a great place to add an extra night and either cycle down to Elgol (33 mile round trip) or catch the public bus so that you can enjoy a boat cruise to Loch Coruisk at the heart of the Black Cuillin.


DAY 3 - Broadford to Dunvegan —40 Miles

You leave Broadford knowing that a tough but very rewarding day lies ahead. Initially following the A87 which can be busy. The views across to the Isles of Scalpay and Raasay are great and you soon leave the main road at Sligachan, skirting the jagged Black Cuillin as you head to Drynoch, Bracadale and eventually Dunvegan. The short diversion to taste Talisker Whisky at Carbost is always tempting.

Overnight:
Dunvegan


Dunvegan nestles at the head of Loch Dunvegan tucked away from the worst of the winter storms. Several B&B’s and hotels offer a warm welcome and the imposing Dunvegan Castle, seat of the Clan Macleod, gives a fascinating insight into the life of a clan chief.


DAY 4 - Dunvegan to Uig—27 Miles

A cracking day of cycling on quiet and picturesque roads. You traverse the Waternish Peninsula before heading up the west coast of the Trotternish Peninsula. The sea and mountain views are constantly changing and the quality of light is enchanting.

Overnight:
Uig

Uig has a lovely end of the world feeling, tucked away in a protected bay, huddled around the ferry port to the Outer Hebrides. The Skye Brewery and Uig Pottery are both worth a visit for different reasons. On certain days of the week it is possible to do a day trip to either North Uist or Harris on the ferry, both of which can be explored by bike. An extra night in Uig is easily arranged if you would like to explore the outer Isles.


DAY 5 - Uig to Portree—33 Miles

The Trotternish Peninsula is the most northernmost of Skye’s wings and as you cycle round the northern point you can see Uist, Harris and Lewis on the horizon although the highlight of the day is cycling down the east coast. The Trotternish Ridge is a spectacular line of huge cliffs and towering pillars. Both the Quiraing and The Storr should be explored.

Overnight
Portree


Brightly coloured houses and inns crowd around the working harbour in Portree to lend Skye’s capital a lively atmosphere. There are plenty of great places to eat and drink and live folk music most nights in the Isles Inn.


DAY 6 - Portree to Broadford—28 or 42 Miles

A choice of routes, the shorter following the busier A87 takes you back to Broadford. Personally I prefer the longer route as you get one more great close up view of the towering Black Cuillin.

Overnight: Broadford


DAY 7 - Broadford to Armadale—16 or 28 Miles

A last relaxing day on the Isle of Skye as you meander south on the Sleat Peninsula, time to reflect on a rewarding journey on the Misty Isle. Hopefully like me you will simply want to come back again soon.

Overnight:
Armadale/Ardvasar



DAY 8 - Onward Travel

Either pick up your car in Ardvasar for the drive home or catch the ferry/train back to Glasgow (6h).

Accommodation


One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodation. We specifically choose the hotels, inns, guesthouses and B&B’s to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. All offer a warm welcome to cyclists, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. Bike storage is always available and many of our accommodation partners will go out of their way to help cyclists.


Additional Nights

I would recommend extra nights in Broadford so you can go to Elgol, Uig for a day trip to the Outer Hebrides and Portree for just relaxing and taking in some gentle walks.Sligachan is also a great place for an extra night as it sits underneath the Black Cuillin at the head of Loch Sligachan. Please just request any additional nights when you book. 


Fewer Nights

We are happy to tailor this cycling holiday to suit you so if you wish to reduce the number of cycling days or overall lengh of the holiday just let us know and we will put together a custom itinerary. 


Solo Cyclists & Single Rooms

This independent cycling holiday isavailable to solo cyclists but there is a solo supplement payable to cover the additional baggage transfer costs as well as a single supplement to cover the additional accommodation costs for sole occupancy.


If you require single rooms in your party we will of course try to accommodate your request, subject to availability but it can be difficult to source over two single rooms in one B&B or guesthouse. 


Accommodation Location

We always book accommodation within walking distance of local pubs, shops or restaurants or that offer evenig meals. We will always try and accommodate you at the locations detailed in the itinerary, but because of limited availability we may have to accommodate you at an alternative location. Alternative details will be noted on your accommodation sheet.


Meals

A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Most of your accommodations will more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Alternatively your info pack includes details of local shops and convenient lunch stops on the way. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs and restaurants and your info pack will of course have details.


 


Below you will find an abbreviated list of the accommodation we regularly use which will give you a good idea of the standard of accommodation we use




 

 



Morar B&B, Ardvasar



Morar Bed and Breakfast - Ardvasar

Morar Bead and Breakfast is a large comfortable house on a working croft overlooking the sea in the village of Ardvasar.With sweeping sea views, an indoor swimming pool and excellent service Morar is a favourite for tired cyclists.


 

 

 


 

 

 




The Ardvasar Hotel - Ardvasar

The Ardvasar Hotel was built in the early 1800's making it one of the oldest hotels on Skye. Personally run by the owner Richard Jeffrey, it is situated in the beautiful "Garden of Skye" overlooking the Sound of Sleat and the magnificent Knoydart Mountains beyond.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Kilmuir House Bed and Breakfast



Kilmuir House - Dunvegan

Kilmuir House is situated on the outskirts of Dunvegan and offers wonderful views of Macleod's Tables and Loch Dunvegan.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Sligachan Hotel - Skye

It would be hard to find a more dramatic and inspiring setting in the whole of Scotland, let alone Europe, than the one enjoyed by the world famous Sligachan Hotel.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Quirang Guesthouse - Portree



Quirang Guesthouse - Portree

The Quirang Guesthouse is a few minutes walk from the centre of Portee and offers a traditional warm highland welcome, comfortable accommodation and a delicious breakfast.


 

 

 

Accommodation

Please note that Skye is exceptionally popular throughout the Summer months.  As a result it may be necessary to book upgraded accommodations and / or taxi transfers to accommodate your dates.  Your specialist will inform you of this prior to confirming your booking and advise of any supplement payable.


You can start your Isle of Skye Cycling holiday on any day of the week during the months indicated below. Option prices will be displayed as part of the booking process.


Time of Year

This holiday is available from March to November. Spring and Autumn can be cold and the weather wild but road are quiet. April, May, June and September are recommended as the Island is very busy in July and August.


Solo Cyclists & Single Rooms

This independent cycling holiday isavailable to solo cyclists but there is a solo supplement payable to cover the additional baggage transfer costs as well as a single supplement to cover the additional accommodation costs for sole occupancy.


If you require single rooms in your party we will of course try to accommodate your request, subject to availability but it can be difficult to source over two single rooms in one B&B or guesthouse.


Grade & Terrain

This cycling holiday is graded moderate to strenuous because a couple of the longer days involve plenty of climbing so the trip is slightly more demanding than the relatively modest distances might indicate. Most of the route is on fairly quiet roads, the exception being the section between Broadford and Portree which can be busy in the summer so you should be comfortable cycling on roads and we wouldn’t recommend this trip for families.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

This route is not waymarked but is easy to follow with the help of the two supplied maps and route notes.


Baggage Transfers

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 15kg per person.


Bikes & Equipment

Either a road bike, touring bike, hybrid or mountain bike with semi slick tyres would be fine. The whole route is on tarmac. You will need a helmet, cycling clothes, waterproofs and warm clothes as well as casual clothes for the evenings. Your info pack will have a detailed equipment list.


Bike Hire

We do not have a local bike hire depot but have hire locations in Fort William, so you can collect/drop-off your hire bikes on the way to Skye by train or car. We use excellent quality mountain bikes with slick tyres or hybrid bikes equipped with a rear pannier rack, repair kit, pump and lock.


Bike hire costs £95 for this tour plus £15 per day for any extra days.


Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.


General Information

The distances and ascent/ descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.


Getting to/from Skye/Armadale

Glasgow is the best access point. From Glasgow take the train to Mallaig via Fort William and then the ferry to Armadale.


For train and ferry times visit www.calmac.co.uk


Mon—Sat trains leave at 0821 or 0851 and 1221. Sun trains leave at 1220. The journey takes about 6 hours. Bikes must be pre-booked on First Scotrail services.


The drive via Mallaig or the Skye bridge takes 6 hours from Glasgow and parking is available in Armadale/Ardvasar.

Getting to/from Skye/Armadale

Glasgow is the best access point. From Glasgow take the train to Mallaig via Fort William and then the ferry to Armadale.


For train and ferry times visit www.calmac.co.uk


Mon—Sat trains leave at 0821 or 0851 and 1221. Sun trains leave at 1220. The journey takes about 6 hours. Bikes must be pre-booked on First Scotrail services.


The drive via Mallaig or the Skye bridge takes 6 hours from Glasgow and parking is available in Armadale/Ardvasar.

Included

  • Seven nights bed and breakfast accommodation in handpicked 3 or 4 star B&B’s, guesthouses and small hotels in ensuite rooms.
  • All accommodation is en-suite (attached w/c & bath/shower).
  • A hearty breakfast every morning.
  • Daily door-to-door baggage transfer.
  • Detailed maps covering the route.
  • Comprehensive route notes covering the entire route and suggested side trips.
  • Detailed information pack
  • Emergency telephone support.

Excluded

  • Bike Hire
  • Travel insurance
  • Transport to the start or from the Isle of Skye.
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks or drinks.
  • Equipment.
  • Optional excursions or attraction entries.
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage

Extras

  • Bike hire
  • Extra nights accommodation before, during or after trip
  • Solo cycling supplement

We are often asked the following questions and I hope that you will find the answers useful.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more advice from our cycling experts.

How fit do I need to be?

Although the average daily distances are not that long there are a couple of longer days and the roads have plenty of up and down so this holiday is better suited to regular cyclists with a reasonable level of fitness.

How busy are the roads?

The beauty of cycling on the islands is that the roads are generally very quiet.Often there will be a rush of traffic when the ferry docks but generally the cycling is relaxed and traffic light.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the islands are extremely popular over the summer months. You will find up to date availability on our website and we will always try and accommodate your plans.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need a helmet, normal cycling clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers and some warmer cycling clothes, a full detailed kit list will be included in your info pack.

How do the baggage transfers work?

Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 15kg per person.

When is the best time of year?

Traditionally April/May and September have always been the most popular time of year because the theory goes that the weather is better and the midges are not as fierce. Although having cycled in the western isles at all times between March and November I think it always offers a wonderful experience as long as you are properly equipped and clothed.

What are the midges like?

Midges are small biting insects (much like north American knats) which are prevalent in the summer months. They are particularly bad on still, overcast days but do not bother you if you are moving, the wind is blowing, sun is shining, it’s raining, or you are inside so as long as you carry repellent for the odd occasion you may need it they shouldn’t have any impact on your experience.

What happens if I can’t cycle a stage?

We use local taxis to transfer your baggage and they can normally move you, your bike and baggage to the next stop in case of emergency. Local buses can also sometimes take bikes.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureThe Isle of Skye Cycle Tour
 
4.2

(based on 6 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Fun (6)
  • Well organised (4)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Holiday (6)
  • Relaxation (3)

Reviewed by 6 customers

Displaying reviews 1-6

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5.0

Magical - peaceful - beautiful - interesting

By Dave

from Eugene, Oregon, USA

About Me Occasional Traveller

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Fun
  • Great Accommodations
  • Well Organised

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Holiday
    • Relaxation

    Comments about macs adventure The Isle of Skye Cycle Tour:

    Wonderful, scenic ride all around the Island. It rained, it blew and it was sunny. We totally enjoyed being outside for all of it! The accommodations were without exception, comfortable, warm, dry and elegant, Much nicer than the motels I usually stay in! I felt treated to the wonderful breakfasts every morning. The route was good though we made some slight modifications to it to avoid traffic. While the roads are narrow, the drivers were accommodating and polite. I would do this again and recommend it to anyone interested in comfortable bike touring.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Great way to see a spectacular part of the British Isles

    By Robin

    from Suffolk, UK

    About Me World Traveller

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Fun
    • Well Organised

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Holiday
      • Thrill Seeking
      • Trying Something New

      Comments about macs adventure The Isle of Skye Cycle Tour:

      This ride is for the reasonably fit cyclist and certainly not for a beginner: as some of the hills are pretty challenging, especially combined with a strong headwind. It's an interesting experience to come to a halt going DOWN a steep hill unless you pedal!
      The only negative was the amount of time – probably of necessity – spent on fairly busy main roads, which (as everywhere), expose you to one or two discourteous motorists and a few heavy trucks and coaches.
      Definitely go prepared to withstand very wet weather with particular attention to feet and hands, or you can have an unpleasant time.
      The accommodation was a little varied – from a little rundown to very pleasant and well-equipped places with welcoming and helpful hosts.
      The baggage transfer worked smoothly and was nice and prompt – arriving on all days before 2pm.
      Good food was available in all locations.
      All-in-all, a terrific week's experience.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Recommended

      By Boss

      from London

      About Me Occasional Traveller

      Pros

      • Fun
      • Mostly good accommodation
      • Well Organised

      Cons

      • One Night With Bad Accomm

      Best Uses

      • Holiday

      Comments about macs adventure The Isle of Skye Cycle Tour:

      Very well organised tour and great fun. weather proof clothing essential. Very good route, saw whole island. Very good accommodation except night in Portree (The Isles Inn) which was awful!
      Restaurant suggestions for evening meal would have been useful. On Day 5 (Portree to Broadford) would have been good to have alternative route option via small single track route via Moll around the coast rather than the big climb on the busy main road.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Beautiful Trip!

      By E&J

      from Illinois, USA

      About Me Avid Adventurer, World Traveller

      Pros

      • Beautiful Route
      • Fun
      • Good Cycling Roads

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Holiday
        • Relaxation

        Comments about macs adventure The Isle of Skye Cycle Tour:

        My husband and I just finished a combination trip that included the Isle of Skye and Lochs and Glens cycling trips. We did more than the recommended milage on many days and that was appropriate for us. We thought the roads were great for cycling and the scenery was incredible. The luggage transfer worked well and all the accomodations were clean. We were impressed with the quality of the food throughout the trip - and of course the Scotch!

        (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Good value

        By Martyn

        from Hove

        About Me Hardy cyclist

        Pros

        • Fun
        • Great Accommodations

        Cons

        • A couple of glitches

        Best Uses

        • Holiday
        • Relaxation

        Comments about macs adventure The Isle of Skye Cycle Tour:

        On the whole this was a well organised holiday and I got what I paid for. Where there were a couple of issues, the company were courteous, patient and did there best to sort the problem. On one occasion, my luggage failed to transfer. The company sorted this pretty well and thereafter my bags were collected and delivered to the onward guesthouse very promptly. The other glitch occurred when one of the guest houses had double booked and so I didn't have a room. The guest house arranged for me to stay elsewhere locally. Whilst this worked, the accommodation I ended up in wasn't a patch on what I had been used to on the rest of the trip. I wondered whether there should be a clearer arrangement between the Company and the Guest House whereby similar problems are directed straight to the Company for them to sort thus ensuring clear lines of accountability. In short, on this one night, I didn't get what I paid for.

        (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        The best way to see Skye

        By Enthusiastic oldie

        from North Yorkshire

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Fun
        • Great cycling
        • Spectacular scenery
        • Well Organised

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Holiday
          • Trying Something New

          Comments about macs adventure The Isle of Skye Cycle Tour:

          Poor weather made some days challenging.
          Very friendly b&b accommodation

          Displaying reviews 1-6

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