Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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A Long Walk on the Isle of Skye
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Highlights

  • The fabulous geological features of The Trotternish Ridge.
  • Soaking in the atmosphere of Loch Coruisk as you begin your journey through the Cuillins.
  • Marveling at the jagged peaks of the Cuillin Ridge from Elgol.
  • Discovering the true history and people of Skye on your journey from end to end of this magnificent island.

The Isle of Skye draws walkers from across the globe because of it’s spectacular scenery, inspiring geology and deep history and this independent walking holiday on Isle of Skye is the perfect way to discover the true magic of this, the most famous of Scotland’s islands.

Self-guided holidays are more flexible and allow you to start on any day of your choosing and walk at your own pace.

The route begins at the ferry port of Armadale on the garden peninsula of Sleat which offers some of the best views of the Black Cuillin. From Broadford you can immerse yourself in the majesty and atmosphere of Skye’s unique landscape. Quiet trails through deserted villages, a boat trip to Loch Coruisk and then a unforgettable journey through the heart of the Cuillins to the famous Sligachan Hotel bring the first part of your journey to an end. The trail then heads north to Portree and onwards along the crest of the Trotternish Peninsula passing the Storr and Quirang until you reach the end of this inspirational walk at Flodigarry, looking across to the Torridon Mountains.

Day 1: Arrive Starting Point: Armadale

The best way to arrive on the isle of Skye is by ferry from Mallaig and then the island will slowly reveal its secrets to you.


Overnight: Ardvasar

There are a few lovely places to stay in the small village of Ardvasar which is about 1km away from the ferry port.


Day 2: Armadale to Ord: 12 Miles

You quickly leave the houses of Ardvasar behind as you climb the green slopes of Sleat to the seemingly deserted west coast of Sleat which you follow to the picturesque crafting township of Tarskavaig which is famed for it’s spectacular views of the Cuillins. A quiet minor road through mixed woodlands brings you to Ord where you will be collected and transferred to Broadford.


Overnight: Broadford B&B/Guesthouse


Day 3: Broadford to Torrin: 12 Miles

Your journey today over the moorland to the deserted villages of Suisnish and Boreraig is a sobering insight into the harsh reality of the Highland clearances of the mid-19th century which cleared the local communities to make way for sheep. The walking is on good tracks and the views across the sea to the small isle of Rum and Eigg are inspiring.


Overnight: Broadford B&B


After todays walk you will be required to take a local bus back to Broadford and then the next morning take the bus back down to Elgol to continue walking


Day 4: Elgol to Sligachan: 8-12 Miles

Your day begins with a short taxi transfer from Broadford to Elgol and then you have a choice of a spectacular boat journey to Loch Coruisk at the heart of the black Cuillin and the inspiring walk across the island to Sligachan or you can choose to walk all the way from Elgol via Camasunary Bay. Both are amongst the finest day walks in Scotland.


Overnight: Sligachan Hotel


Day 5: Sligachan to Portree: 12 Miles

You can let your mind float free as you follow a good path along Loch Sligachan to the Braes and enjoy the dramatic views across to Raasay. From the Braes you will follow a quiet minor road until you reach Varragill estuary were you join a track again and should be able to see a good selection of birdlife.


Overnight: Portree Guesthouse / Small Hotel


Day 6: Portee to The Storr: 8 Miles

Heading north from Portree the trail initially hugs the shoreline but then you climb to the cliff tops and the expansive vista they offer as you make your way to one of Skye’s most famous landmarks, The Storr which serves as a sentinel marking the start of the Trotternish Ridge.


Overnight: Portree Guesthouse / Small Hotel


We will arrange a return taxi transfer for you from the Storr back to your accommodation in Portee and return the following morning.


Day 7: The Storr to The Quirang: 12 Miles

Today begins with a steep climb via The Old Man of Storr to the highpoint of the Trotternish Ridge, The Storr at 719m. This is where the route enters real mountain country and although the journey along the Trotternish Ridge is truly spectacular the walking is challenging and mostly on pathless sheep cropped terrain. A series of cliffs, pinnacles and towers decorate the eastern slopes of the ridge and the view of the ridge and the sea on each side is breathtaking.


Overnight: Staffin B&B


You will be picked up from The Quirang for the short run down to Staffin for your overnight accommodation in this small highland community.


Day 8: The Quirang to Flodigarry: 6 Miles

You are dropped off at the foot of a path that takes you back up to the Trotternish Ridge. After climbing up you are afforded a couple of glorious viewpoints before making a loop around the Quiraing's most famous geological features. Taking in views of these features from above, then close up as you walk back through them to make your way to your evenings accommodation in Flodigarry.


Overnight: Flodigarry

Accommodation

One of the highlights of this tour is the high standard of the accommodation. You will stay in carefully selected 3 or 4 star B&B’s, guesthouses, country pubs and small hotels. Your room will always have an en-suite or private bathroom and a delicious breakfast is always included.


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

This independent walking holiday is not available to solo walkers. If you require single rooms in your party we will of course try to accommodate your request, subject to availability. Please note that singles may not be of the same standard as twins/doubles.


Accommodation Location

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.

 

 




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.


 

 

 


 

 

 




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.


 

 

 


 

 

 



Gairloch View - Staffin



Hallaig - Staffin

Relax and unwind in Hallaig, a comfortable and modern house, where your every need will be catered for, including a lift from the Quiraing at the end of a hard days walk.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Flodigarry Country House Hotel - Flodigarry

The hotel is set amongst stunning coastal scenery at the northernmost tip of the Isle of Skye, on the Trotternish Peninsula. Originally an old country house, now a lovely hotel, affording award winning service.


 

 

 

Availability 

The 'summer season' runs from May to September, when you will find that most of the facilities on Skye are open - outside of these times various attractions/restaurants may be closed or have limited opening hours, but you will enjoy the peace and quiet and have the island to yourselves! 


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

This independent walking holiday is not available to solo walkers due to the nature of the terrain. If you require single rooms in your party we will of course try to accommodate your request, subject to availability. Please note that singles may not be of the same standard as twins/doubles.


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.


Baggage Transfer 

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.


Grade & Terrain

This route is graded strenuous as it passes through remote country and some of the ground is rough and some days involve considerable ascent and descent. Although some of the route is on good paths and minor roads much of the route is on rough ground which can be wet underfoot and completely trackless in places. 


Navigation

This route is not waymarked and much of it does not follow a path so you will need to be a competent navigator with map and compass, however you will be supplied with route notes and detailed maps so you will have no problem following the route each day.


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 item, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and trousers), sun hat, sunscreen etc. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walk boots, warm and waterproof clothing for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for the summer along with a day pack etc.

By Air

Inverness Airport is located a few miles East of Inverness and is served by many airlines. A regular shuttle service runs to the city centre, where you can connect with public transport to Skye (4 Hours). Visit their website for details of operators and routes.


Web: www.invernessairport.com


Glasgow Airport is located 8 miles West of Glasgow and is also served by many airlines. A regular shuttle service runs to the city centre, where you can connect with public transport to Skye (6 Hours). Visit their website for details of operators and routes.


Web: www.baa.co.uk/glasgow


By Rail / Ferry

The West Highland Line runs from Glasgow to Mallaig several times daily and connects with the ferry to Armadale on Skye from where it is a short walk to Ardvasar. Total journey time is about 8 hours. For information on all rail routes contact National Rail Enquires or Calmac Ferries.


Tel: 08457 484950


Web: www.nationalrail.co.uk


Tel: 08457 484950


Web: www.calmac.co.uk


By Road

If you are driving I would recommend leaving your car in Broadford (public parking available), which is about five hours drive from Glasgow and then catching the local bus to Ardvasar. For the return journey a taxi/local bus to Portree and then a bus to Broadford will return you to your car. For directions and journey planner visit:


Web: www.multimap.com


By Coach

Services from UK destinations are operated by National Express.


Web: www.nationalexpress.com


Services from Scottish destinations are operated by Scottish Citylink. The Glasgow to Portree route (5h20) will drop you at Broadford and then you can take a local bus to Ardvasar. Services run several times daily. For the return journey take a local bus/taxi to Portree and then the return coach to Glasgow.


Services are also available to and from Inverness and journey time is slightly less.


Web: www.citylink.co.uk

Included

  • Accommodation in carefully selected B&B's, guest houses and small hotels.
  • Breakfast each morning.
  • Door-to-door baggage transfer.
  • A detailed pre-departure information pack.
  • Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of a problem.
  • Taxi Transfers as detailed in the itinerary.

Excluded

  • Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks.
  • Travel Insurance.
  • Personal Equipment.
  • Public Bus from Torrin to Elgol.
  • Optional boat trip to Loch Coruisk.

Extras

  • Single room supplements
  • Additional nights

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

Please don’t hesitate to contact us or perhaps visit our walking forum for more advice from our clients and team.

How fit do I need to be?

A Long Walk on the Isle of Skye is our most challenging walking holiday in Scotland and you need a good level of hill fitness, especially for the northern section. If you currently don’t enjoy that level of fitness regular walking in hilly terrain supplemented by cardio vascular exercise for at least 6 months prior to your walk is recommended. A good gym or personal trainer will be able to draw up a personalised training programme.

Do I need to be able to Navigate?

Yes, the walk is not waymarked and passes through high mountain areas with vague paths and you will need to be a competent navigator with map and compass. The navigation on the Trotternish Ridge can be extremely challenging in poor visibility.

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as you can as the Isle of Skye is 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 good walking boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc.

When is the best time of year?

Traditionally April/May has always been the most popular time of year because the theory goes that the weather is better and the midges have not yet appeared. Although having walked the way in every summer month I believe any time between March and October offers a wonderful experience.

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.

Am I able to take my dog?

Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate walkers with dogs as many of the accommodation providers we use do not accept pets and several sections of the way are closed to dogs as they are permissive paths through farm land.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

You can use public transport, local taxis or our baggage van may be able to move you to the next overnight stop. Full details are included in your info pack.


REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
macs adventureA Long Walk on the Isle of Skye
 
4.5

(based on 23 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (12)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (11)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Well organised (22)
  • Great accommodations (19)
  • Fun (15)
  • Once in a lifetime experience (13)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Holiday (21)
  • Trying something new (8)
  • Relaxation (7)
  • Thrill seeking (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Avid adventurer (8), Occasional traveller (7), World traveller (4)

Reviewed by 23 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

Perfectly organized

By John MacSkye

from Bavaria - Germany

About Me Avid Adventurer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Great Accommodations
  • Once in a Lifetime Experience
  • Well Organised

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Holiday

    Comments about macs adventure A Long Walk on the Isle of Skye:

    As always the tour was very well organized and scheduled. The selection of the accomodation was well done. All together I can say that the the 2-weeks trip was again an exciting adventure with some real individual highlights chosen and booked by MacsAdventure. Thank you for this. We will for sure come back to you next year.

     
    4.0

    Wonderful, challenging hiking in an incredible place.

    By John the gentleman adventurer

    from USA

    About Me Avid Adventurer, World Traveller

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Great Accommodations
    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
    • Well Organised

    Cons

    • Taxi service, while convenient, was necessary

    Best Uses

    • Holiday
    • Thrill Seeking
    • Trying Something New

    Comments about macs adventure A Long Walk on the Isle of Skye:

    The walk was very challenging. From bog hopping in the south to hill walking without visible trails to white out conditions in the Quiraing and a good dose of rain almost every day, one needs to be committed to the task at hand. Downloading GPS maps into our ViewRanger app on our iPhones allowed us to track our progress through the areas without visible trails and was a life saver. It is free and I highly recommend some sort of GPS device. It can be dangerous in the high country from Storr through the Quiraing. Be ready to do the alternative hikes if conditions dictate. This is the kind of challeng my wife and I relish!

     
    5.0

    Great week in Skye, with great service by Macs Adventure

    By JjB

    from Brussels

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Fun
    • Great Accommodations
    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
    • Well Organised

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Holiday
      • Thrill Seeking
      • Trying Something New

      Comments about macs adventure A Long Walk on the Isle of Skye:

      It became obvious that someone in Macs Adventure had done the Long Walk in the Isle of Skye recently and taken excellent notes, because we found the Route Book extremely useful and informative. Logistics were perfect, and on the single occasion with a little misunderstanding Macs Adventure took quick and effective action to correct and compensate. We finished the week very satisfied both with the experience and with the support of Macs Adventure.

       
      5.0

      Just great!

      By Bettina&Manfred

      from Tuttlingen

      About Me Passionate Hikers

      Pros

      • Great Accommodations
      • Once in a Lifetime Experience
      • Stunning scenery
      • Well Organised

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Holiday
        • Trying Something New

        Comments about macs adventure A Long Walk on the Isle of Skye:

        We did a lot of long distance hikes like Tour de Mont Blanc, Alto Argon,Trans Swiss Trail but a pathless trail was a completely new experience.
        As we had great weather do navigation was quite easy.
        With at least 8 h the estimated hiking time for the Trotternish range is certainly quite realistic, so an early start is important. Our pick up time at 9 was definitively too late. It should be arranged earlier especially when you do the tour mid of September with much shorter days.
        Being fast hikers we arrived 8 h later at the car park but there wasn't much room for
        breaks.
        We added another night in Flodygarry and used the day to hike to Rubha Hunish which we thought to be just the logical last day of the tour- we can just recommend it.
        Everything was perfectly organised, the B&Bs were very nice and the people more than welcoming.
        A great trail in a great country!

         
        4.0

        Why go to the Med when Skye is like this?

        By IainB

        from Derby

        About Me Avid Adventurer, Scrambler And Hiker, Wife Is A Strong Walker

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Best Walking Country
        • Brilliant Views
        • Great Accommodations
        • Well Organised

        Cons

        • Duntulm Better Finish
        • Should End Walk At
        • Steep Slope Quiraing

        Best Uses

        • Good Challenge
        • Holiday
        • Trotternish

        Comments about macs adventure A Long Walk on the Isle of Skye:

        The weeks walk has good day walks with options eg to climb nearby hills on a good day is logical and very rewarding on this route.Ben Tianavaig is a must. There are sea eagles and seals. Harder to claim other sightings. Really good b+b's Hotels were very attentive, and staff were really helpful where they could have ignored us! I think they do appreciate the increasing numbers of walkers coming through.
        The walk could go on a loop to Duntulm to at least let you see the end tip of Skye, the Quiraing walk is very good but a walker like my wife didn't feel great on the scree by the Needle Rock. We took gregs advice and found the other end route was far moe doable

         
        5.0

        Surprising Solitude

        By Joe & Cindy

        from Seattle

        Pros

        • Excellent Hiking
        • Fun
        • Great Accommodations
        • Well Organised

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Holiday
          • Relaxation
          • Trying Something New

          Comments about macs adventure A Long Walk on the Isle of Skye:

          We've done several self-guided long distance walks/hikes and really loved our time in Skye. This hike doesn't have the walker camaraderie you'd find on the West Highland Way, Coast to Coast or Tour du Mont Blanc. Instead, we saw just a handful of fellow hikers and were pleased with the relative solitude. The accommodations were very good with rooms overlooking the sea or hills and very kind hosts. We loved the gorgeously situated Flodigarry and wished we had a chance to have upgraded to a sea view room there. We left our rental car at the hotel because we had to catch a plane in Edinburgh early the next day. That all worked out fine thanks to Dan's assistance and the friendly staff at Flodigarry. This walk is not terribly difficult but unfortunately we weren't able to do the long Trottenish Ridge Day because of the low mist and rain. Really liked the alternate suggestions provided, that helped a lot. So, we still enjoyed our day. One needs to be prepared for lots of weather in Scotland and realize that's part of the experience. It would help to have a good GPS with the way marks entered for the last couple of days (not the early walks). The notes provided prior to departure were very good. We relied mainly on the Skye Trail map and not the other ordinance maps. We would definitely do another walk with Macs.

           
          4.0

          Stunning scenery, tough day 6

          By Magnus an Frida

          from Stockholm, sweden

          About Me Avid Adventurer

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Fun
          • Great Accommodations
          • Once in a Lifetime Experience
          • Well Organised

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Holiday
            • Relaxation
            • Thrill Seeking

            Comments about macs adventure A Long Walk on the Isle of Skye:

            Great scenery and nice walks ranging from pretty easy to really long.
            Most days were fairly easy going with moderate amount of ascent/decent. Day 6, the ridge, is however quite different from the other days with 1500m ascent and 21km (we measured 25) on trackless terrain. A stunning walk however if you come fit for the task and the weather is forgiving. We managed to have all weathers in one day, barr snow. We managed a pace of just over 3km/hour for the day which is very much slower that the other days due to the terrain. Make sure you start as early as you can that day, 8h is definitaly not too much.
            Very well organized, great guide material, great accommodation
            Only drawback (sound strange but still) is the overall beauty of the island and the accessibility to great scenery which make the dividend for the actual walking a bit lower. Well recommended trip!

             
            5.0

            Excellent service! Precise logistics!

            By Tim & Anne

            from Boulder, CO

            About Me Avid Adventurer

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Fun
            • Great Accommodations
            • Once in a Lifetime Experience
            • Well Organised

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Holiday
              • Thrill Seeking

              Comments about macs adventure A Long Walk on the Isle of Skye:

              The hardest part was navigating using the MacsAdventure directions and maps. Recommend buying your own 1:25000 for the more sketchy parts.

               
              5.0

              Spectacular walk

              By David and Ria

              from Sydney

              About Me World Traveller

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Fun
              • Great Accommodations
              • Well Organised

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Holiday

                Comments about macs adventure A Long Walk on the Isle of Skye:

                We did the West Highland Way first, rest day in Fort William, then followed on with the walk across Skye. The WHW was a great walk but Skye was the highlight with wilder, more spectacular, and more isolated country. There was marked variation in landscape from day to day with spectacular views in every direction ranging from local mountains and sea shore to the mainland mountains and nearby islands and outer Hebrides. The Trotternish Ridge was fantastic, not too hard, but need some modest navigation skills and clear weather. An extra hour should be allowed.The accommodation and food were excellent. Macs organisation was faultless, as was our experience with them with 2 previous walks. All taxis and transport turned up on time. We give them the highest possible recommendation.

                 
                5.0

                Most relaxing vacation in a long time!

                By Eva Shmeva

                from Zürich

                About Me Occasional Traveller

                Pros

                • Fun
                • Great Accommodations
                • Relaxing
                • Well Organised

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Holiday
                  • Peace
                  • Relaxation

                  Comments about macs adventure A Long Walk on the Isle of Skye:

                  You can walk for miles and miles and nor meet anyone. You really get the feeling to experience scottland.

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