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Cycling the Isle of Skye

8 Days & 7 Nights 4.4 Read 9 reviews
  • Gain a new perspective on the iconic Isle of Skye from the saddle
  • A heady combination of sea and mountain scenery around every corner
  • By night enjoy well-earned dinners and sample the local ale
  • Why not enjoy visits to Dunvegan Castle or Talisker Distillery?
  • Stay in bike friendly, family-run Highland accommodations
The Isle of Skye, Scotland's largest island, off the northwest coast is a playground of mountains and lochs delivering breathtaking vistas around every twist and turn of the narrow roads. A cycling holiday on the Isle of Skye is the perfect way to discover the welcoming people and amazing scenery of Skye at your own pace. Arriving by ferry in the village of Armadale on the remote Sleat peninsula, feel the excitement and anticipation build as you look forward to your journey on the 'Misty Isle'. Pedal north through the lush landscape of the 'Garden of Skye' to the town of Broadford, enjoying views of the jagged Black Cuillin. Amazingly, the scenery 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 iconic rock formations of the Quirang, Storr and the colourful harbour town of Portree are all on the itinerary as you head south on your journey back to Armadale. Skye is home to some of the most dramatic sea and mountain 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. Hand-picked B&Bs, guesthouses and small country hotels, and daily baggage transfer combine for a wonderful cycling holiday in Scotland.
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What To Expect

This holiday is best suited to regular cyclists and is graded moderate to strenuous. Highland roads can involve lots of ups and downs, so although the distances are not long the terrain is undulating. The weather on Skye notoriously variable, meaning you can expect to experience every season in one day, but rain showers are followed by glorious rainbows. Most of the route is on quiet country roads but some sections are on main roads which can be busy during the summer months. After your rides seek out hearty pub food or more refined options - the island boasts great fish & chips and Michelin guide listed restaurants alike!

Trip Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active holiday.

Activity:

Inn to Inn Cycling | A classic point to point cycling holiday, staying in a different location each night

This trip is suitable for:

Solo Travellers

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Wildlife
  • Coastal & Island

Inspiration:

  • Most Popular
  • Classic

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

This route is not waymarked but is easy to follow with access to route notes, detailed maps, and GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app. Simply mount your phone / chosen device to your handlebars and follow the tracks for hssle-free navigation. Check out our points of interest along the route and stop in at recommended cafes. 

Accommodation Information

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.

Solo Cyclists & Single Rooms

This independent cycling holiday is available to solo cyclists but there is a solo supplement payable to cover the additional baggage transfer and sole occupancy costs.

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 evening meals. We will 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.

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.

Included
  • 7 Nights in hand-picked 3*-4* star B&B’s, guesthouses or small hotels
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • Baggage transfers
  • Information pack
  • Access to route notes, detailed maps, and GPS tracks in the Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app
  • 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our office
Excluded
  • Travel to / from Armadale
  • Bike hire (standard hybrid)
  • Upgrade to a road or e-bike
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks & drinks
  • Personal equipment
  • Travel insurance (required)
Extras
  • Additional nights along the route
  • Bike hire (standard hybrid)
  • Upgrade to a road or e-bike

When To Go

This holiday is available from March to October. Spring and autumn can be cold and the weather windy, but the roads are quiet. July and August tend to be the busiest months on the road (with campervans and road trippers) and generally April, May and September are the best weather months in terms of less rain and midges so you may find these are the best months for cycling on Skye.

Getting to the Start

By Rail & Ferry: North of Fort William but well-connected Skye' easiest to reach from Glasgow if you're not a Scotland local. From Glasgow take the train (6 hours) to Mallaig via Fort William and then the ferry (1 hour) to Armadale. Remeber to pre-book your bike is bringing your own on the Scotrail train. For train and ferry times visit www.calmac.co.uk

By Road:  The drive via Mallaig or the Skye bridge is 6 hours from Glasgow. Once you have arrived there's quiet on-street parking in Armadale/Ardvasar.

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 15 kg per person.

Equipment

Either a road bike, touring bike, or hybrid bike are recommended if you plan to bring your own bike. The entire 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 can arrange bike hire through our local bike hire partner on the Isle of Skye, who will provide a bike fitting on arrival and drop your bike off at your first night's accommodation. For more detailed information on the high quality bikes our local partner can provide please contact us or let us know in your enquiry. All bikes are equipped with a rear pannier rack, repair kit, pump and lock, and you are welcome to bring your own pedals.

The standard hire bike is a comfortable hybrid bike, perfect for the terrain on Skye. However, if you are an experienced rider who prefers the riding posture of a road bike this can also be arranged.

Alternatively, if you'd like some assistance on those hill climbs we recommend an e-bike. If you're interested in the possibility of hiring an e-bike please give plenty of notice as these are limited in number on the island and can be booked up quickly, especially during the summer season.

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.

How fit do I need to be?
How busy are the roads?
How far in advance do I need to book?
What personal equipment do I need?
How do the baggage transfers work?
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What are the midges like?
What happens if I can’t cycle a stage?

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Armadale and overnight Day 2 Cycle from Armadale to Broadford 28 miles / 45 km Day 3 Cycle from Broadford to Dunvegan 40 miles / 64 km Day 4 Cycle from Dunvegan to Uig 27 miles / 43 km Day 5 Cycle from Uig to Portree 33 miles / 53 km Day 6 Cycle from Portree to Broadford 42 miles / 68 km Day 7 Cycle from Broadford to Armadale 28 miles / 45 km Day 8 Onward travel

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