Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays

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Skye Highs Short Break walking holiday


  • The perfect 4-night escape to explore the magical Isle of Skye.
  • Crossing Glenfinnan Viaduct on the Jacobite Steam Train, ‘Hogwarts Express’.
  • A guided day trip; learning about Skye’s stories, history & wildlife from a local.
  • Walks to explore Skye’s Cuillin mountains, rocky Storr and wild beaches.
  • Kicking back with a cup of tea, large slice of cake and maybe a wee dram!

Escape to the Isle of Skye on the perfect 4-night short break, including a magical steam train ride on the ’Hogwarts Express’, an expertly guided day trip taking in Skye’s mountains, rocky peninsulas, remote lochs and wild beaches, topped off with some great walking.

Starting with one of the world’s greatest rail journeys, take the Jacobite steam train from Fort William to the west coast station of Mallaig where you’ll overnight. Then take a ferry across to Skye where you’ll stay 3 nights in pretty Portree.

Day 1: Fort William to Mallaig by Jacobite steam train, afternoon walk

Your short break to the Isle of Skye begins at Fort William, end of the West Highland Way, and at the foot of Britain’s tallest mountain, Ben Nevis. Jump on board the historic Jacobite on one of the world’s greatest rail journeys (10:15 departure*).

The 'Hogwarts Express' puffs its way over the 21 arches of the Glenfinnan viaduct, past mountains, sandy beaches and lochs,  to arrive at Mallaig (2h15).  There’s time to enjoy an afternoon walk with views to the Small Isles of Eigg and Rum.

*A later 14:30 departure possible Mon-Fri, mid-May to mid-September, and at weekends from early July to early September.  Pre-tour accommodation in Fort William is not included, but we can make arrangements for you. You can easily add this short break onto the ‘West Highland Line’ tour (we will deduct the Jacobite train fare).

Walk: 2-9 miles

Overnight: Mallaig

Day 2: Ferry Mallaig to Armadale (Skye). Bus to Portree & walk

Set sail by ferry (30 mins) from Mallaig to Armadale on the southern tip of Skye and the remote Sleat Peninsula.  Connect to the bus service north to Portree (1h30). 

Settle into your cosy B&B in this popular Highland village and choose from several short walks this afternoon to discover the coast, forests and hills around Portree. With its colourful harbour-front houses, Portree is the ideal base to spend your 3 nights on Skye.

Walk: 2-3 miles

Overnight: Portree (Skye)

Day 3: Full day guided tour of the Isle of Skye

Set off on a fantastic 8 hour guided tour around the Isle of Skye! Your local guide will bring to life the history and culture of this mysterious isle, with tales of the cleared villages and stories of such characters as Flora McDonald and Bonnie Prince Charlie whilst visiting the iconic Trotternish area and the Fairy Pools.

Highlights may include the brooding black and red peaks of the Cuillins, Faerie Glen, Kilt Rock waterfall, the striking landscape of the Quiraing, the rock pinnacle of the Storr and Staffin. Your guide will ensure you see Skye’s highlights, however the exact route and inclusions are weather-dependent.

Overnight: B&B, Portree (Skye)

Day 4: The Storr & coastal walk to Portree or optional boat trip

If you’re keen to explore Skye’s mountains and coastline on foot, then you can take a bus journey (25 mins) to The Storr; a rocky hill on the Trotternish peninsula. From here, walk along the wild and remote coastline before returning to bustling Portree.  

Alternatively, choose the option of a 2 hour cruise through the Sound of
Raasay with The Cuillin Mountains as your backdrop.  Encounter Golden
eagles and White Tailed sea eagles, often while dolphins and porpoises
surf alongside on the boats waves. The White Tailed Sea Eagles, who
regularly come close enough to the boat for photographs, are the UK’s
largest birds with a wingspan approaching 2 metres and weighing 7 kg.
Before returning to shore you will also cruise by Holoman Islands to
visit their Seal colony.

If you wish to book the Spindrift Boat Cruise, please advise us at the time of booking to avoid disappointment.

If a cup of tea and slice of cake is more your style, you can relax in a café and do a spot of souvenir shopping.

Calmac also operates a ferry service from nearby Sconser to Raasay if you prefer to explore one of the islands.

Walks: 6-8 miles

Overnight: Portree

Day 5: Onward travel

You can return to Glasgow either by bus from Portree or take the bus to Fort William and then continue your journey by train to Glasgow or elsewhere in Scotland.

The journey south from Fort William to Glasgow is spectacular; soak up the last of the Highland scenery from your seat as you speed through the fertile Great Glen to Rannoch Moor. Pass by the bonnie banks of Loch Lomond to arrive in Scotland’s largest city.

Travel to Glasgow and accommodation tonight are not included. Please contact us should you wish us to make arrangements.


4 nights accommodation is included in hand-picked guesthouses and B&B’s of a 3-star standard.

We carefully select small and friendly accommodation that offers great value, food and welcomes. The properties we normally use are detailed below, however are subject to availability and therefore alternatives of an equal standard may be offered.  

You can add extra nights at either side of your tour in Fort William, Glasgow or Edinburgh - please contact us for details. 

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This holiday is available to solo walkers, although a single supplement is payable. If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate your request, although it is not generally possible to secure more than three single rooms in a party. A single supplement is payable.


Breakfast is included each morning while lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Your accommodation will be more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival, alternatively your guidebook also includes details of local shops and convenient lunch stops on the way. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs and restaurants.




Ashdale B&B - Mallaig

Ashdale B&B - Mallaig

Ashdale B&B enjoys fantastic views across the Sound of Sleat to Skye, Rum and Eigg. Guests enjoy free WiFi and there is ample parking. Rooms are stylish and have tea and coffee making facilities.







Duirinish B&B - Portree

Duirinish B&B - Portree

Ruth and Allan are your friendly hosts at Duirinish B&B, located just a five minute walk from the lively town centre of Portree. Enjoy complimentary in-room tea and coffee-making facilities, and there is WiFi for guests.





Our Skye trips are firm favourites among our clients so this year to better ensure Macs guests can enjoy time on the island we have some guaranteed availability in the colourful seaside village of Portree in July and August. Contact our team for more details!

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This trip is available to solo walkers, although a single supplement is payable. If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate your request, although it is not generally possible to secure more than three single rooms in a party. A single supplement is payable.

Grade & Terrain

This trip is graded easy to moderate overall, although you will find some suggested walks more on the moderate end of the scale. We include suggested daily walks of up to 7 miles. The terrain may be rugged underfoot with some hills but not too strenuous. Perfect for those with a relatively good level of fitness.


We supply you with maps and route notes so you will easily find your way.

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 Fort William 

By Air: Convenient airports for getting to Fort William are Glasgow, Edinburgh and Inverness.  Glasgow and Edinburgh in particular are well-served by low-cost and scheduled airlines. With each of these airports a regular shuttle bus (and also a tram for Edinburgh) operates into the city centre; duration approx. 30 mins.

By Bus and Train to Fort William: from Glasgow take a bus (3hrs) or train (4hrs), from Inverness take a bus (1h50), from Edinburgh take a train or bus first to Glasgow (1hr) then onward travel as aforementioned.

Getting from Portree

By Air: Again, Glasgow and Inverness are the most convenient airports. You can also travel to Edinburgh.

By Bus and Train from Portree: to reach Glasgow take a bus all the way (6h20) or bus to Fort William (3 hrs) then a train (4 hrs). To reach Inverness take a bus (3hrs). To get to Edinburgh take a bus to Glasgow (6h20), then train or bus (1hr) to Edinburgh.

The website is fantastic for researching train and bus timetables throughout Scotland. Your pre-departure information pack will also have handy hints and tips about journeys and transport services.  Please note that outside the Scottish school holidays and peak summer months, bus timetables are reduced.


  • 4 Nights in guesthouses and B&B’s (3* standard).
  • 4 Breakfasts.
  • Jacobite steam train from Fort William to Mallaig (standard class).
  • Ferry Mallaig to Armadale.
  • Guided tour of Skye.
  • Maps & route notes (and access to our free Macs App GPX tracks).
  • 24/7 Telephone support from our UK office.


  • Travel insurance (required).
  • Public transportation on Skye (payable locally).
  • Suggested optional excursions on Day 4 from Portree.
  • Dinners.
  • Lunches.
  • Drinks and snacks.
  • Personal equipment.
  • Mountain rescue/emergency assistance.


  • Additional nights.
  • Accommodation upgrades.
  • Single room or solo traveler supplement if required.

How fit do I need to be?

This trip is graded easy to moderate, although some walks are more on the 'moderate' end of the scale. Terrain may be rough and boggy under foot from time to time, as you will be walking in the Scottish Highlands after all!

How far in advance do I need to book?

We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalised as the Isle of Skye is extremely popular, especially over May/June and July/August. However we will always try and accommodate your plans.

What personal equipment do I need?

You will need good walking shoes/boots (ideally waterproof), comfortable walking clothes, waterproof jacket and trousers, a daypack and hats/gloves etc. Our info packs have a list of all equipment to bring on your walk.

When is the best time of year?

Traditionally 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 in every summer month we believe any time between late May and October offers a wonderful experience.

What if I want to add this onto another tour?

This tour fits in perfectly with anyone finishing the West Highland Way (in Fort William).  It also makes the perfect extension to our West Highland Line tour, which finishes in Mallaig (as the Jacobite steam train is already included in both tours, we will make a deduction of the fare from this tour so that you don't pay for the train twice! Please contact us for details).

What are the midges like?

Midges are small biting insects (much like North American gnats) 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.

A great adventure!


This was my first time using Mac's Adventure or any travel organized through a company. It was a great experience! The accomodation was great, finding everything was easy and their notes were very useful. I would however, since you're changing lodging a few times, are going on and off trains etc. try to pack lightly. Also, some of the hikes, while labeled 'easy', if like me you're an office worker, they may still be a bit difficult. Try to have a moderate level of fit ess before going on your trip. Overall amazing and I would do it again in a heartbeat!




A couple issues


Our tour date was wrong. Luckily by a day early so we did not miss it but unlucky for me I woke a teen up when I didn't have to.




Perfectly Organized and Full of Fun!


Our family group enjoyed the comfortable accommodations and the advanced information which allowed us to plan our days according to everyone's physical and mental needs along the trip. Sometimes we wanted to take on long walks and sometimes we wanted to take it easy and we had the resources to plan for that and the flexibility to keep those adjustments within the overall itinerary. The support online and on the phone was reliable and comforting.


Maui, Hawaii


Macs Adventure Skye Highs Short Break was GREAT!


This was great for an active traveller not wanting the "tour bus" experience. It was essential the accommodations and Jacobite Train were prearranged since tourist facilities were full (esp Portree.) There was a little glitch at Mallaig hotel - they didn't know we were with Macs Adventure and the hotel in Portree wanted full payment from us-until they called you to confirm our prepayment. Instructions for the start of the Loch an Nostarie Loop Walk could have been clearer like "start the walk at the the Cornerstone store and walk up the "Davies Brae-Annies Brea" road for 1.5 km and turn left just before the intersection with Highway A830'" or do the walk in the opposite direction. The instructions for the other hikes were great!

Stan the Canmore Hiker

Canmore, Alberta


Awesome Skye Highs Short Break


MAC Adventure was highly recommended to us by a friend of a friend who had used them to do hard core hiking for 2 weeks in Scotland. While we were traveling to Scotland for close to the same amount of time, we were looking to do some hiking but not for our entire trip. When I contacted MAC Adventure, the Skye High Short Break was suggested. The Isle of Skye was high on our list of places to see as well as the Jacobite Steam Train ride traveling through the Glenfinnan Viaduct (where Harry Potter was filmed). The short break included both as well as the ferry ride from Mallaig to the Isle of Skye so we proceeded to book this short break (duration: 6 days & 5 nights in total). I can't say enough about Jess Cohen, the specialist who assisted us! Jess was a pleasure to deal with, helpful and very responsive to our requests and inquiries. If she didn't know the answer, she said she would look into it and get back to me which she always did. The information packet that was mailed to us included tickets, information booklets/detailed itinerary and instructions to download their app with suggested trails. It was very professionally done and was extremely helpful in navigating this portion of our trip. We booked the standard 3-Star accommodations with them which were quite sufficient for the time we spent in them, and they provided a lovely breakfast each day that was included. Based on our experience with MAC Adventure, I would highly recommend them for assistance in planning all or a portion of a trip abroad!!

Deb ❤️ Scotland

Pennsylvania, US


Skye Highs Short Break

4.6 5


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