Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Across the Isle of Skye Self Guided Walking Holiday
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Highlights

  • Soak in the atmosphere of Loch Coruisk as you begin your journey through the Cuillins
  • Stay in the iconic Sligachan Hotel, the home of mountaineering on Skye
  • Marvel at the jagged peaks of the Cuillin Ridge
  • Discover the true history and people of Skye on your journey
  • Make the most of Highland wildlife spotting opportunities

Enjoy the best of the Isle of Skye on our less strenuous Isle of Skye walking holiday. The Island draws walkers from across the globe because of its spectacular scenery, fascinating geology and deep history which you will discover on this inspiring walking holiday.

The route begins at the ferry port of Armadale (close to Ardvasar) 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. Finally two days of walking along the spectacular coastline of the Trotternish peninsula bring this fabulous walk to an end.

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 1 km away from the ferry port.


Day 2: Ardvasar to Ord: 12 miles / 23.5 km

Leave the houses of Ardvasar behind as you climb the green slopes of Sleat to the seemingly deserted west coast of Sleat where you follow to the picturesque crafting township of Tarskavaig, 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: Torrin to Broadford: 11 miles / 17 km

Starting in the small village of Torrin, this walk follows a clear path that hugs the dramatic coastline. As the path rises to follow the clifftops the views to the right of the Cuillin Ridge, towering above the expanse of open sea, are imposing and impressive. You will then pass deserted crofters communities long since burnt out by landowners, dramatic sweeping cliffs, sheltered beaches and tumbling waterfalls. As the path heads North again towards Broadford, you will ascend to a moorland plateau, through a protected forest reservation, past an abandoned marble quarry and back into Broadford - a small town full of cosy pubs and homely guesthouses.


Overnight: Broadford B&B


Day 4: Kilmarie to Sligachan: 10.5 miles / 17 km

Your day begins with a taxi transfer from Broadford to Kilmarie from here cross moorland to the tranquil shores of Camasunary bay. Wind your way between Bla Bheinn and the Cuillin, over mountains streams into Sligachan on one of Scotland's finest day walks.


Overnight: Sligachan Hotel


Day 5: Sligachan to Portree: 12 miles / 19.5 km

Begin your day in Sligachan, and follow the edge of Loch Sligachan to Peinchorran before following sleepy winding lanes across the coast and down to a riverside path. Follow the path into the harbour town of Portree after reaching Varragill estuary, where you join a track again and should be able to see a good selection of birdlife.


Overnight: Portree Guesthouse / Small Hotel


Day 6: The Storr Dam to Portree: 8 miles / 13 km

A morning transfer will drop you off at the The Storr Lochs Dam from where you'll hug the coastline all the way to the charming town of Portree. Begin near the Bearreraig Bay viewpoint and make your way across moorland following coastal cliffs to the trigpoint on the highest point of the coastal ridge (Sithean Bhealaich Chumhaing). From here the path descends towards the entrance of Portree Bay, and you cross some farmland before joining a path through the trees on the seashore to enter the town of Portree.


Overnight: Portree Guesthouse / Small Hotel


Day 7: Free Day in Portree/The Old Man of Storr Walk - 3 miles / 5 km

There are several excellent walks available from Portree or you may choose to take a tour of the other areas of Skye. A popular choice is to take the bus from Portree, or arrange a taxi, to the car park at the Old Man of Storr. It's then a 5 mile walk (allow 3-5 hrs in total) to get up close to this incredible geological area. Return by bus/taxi (approx. 18 mins) to Portree.

Overnight: Portree Guesthouse / Small Hotel


Day 8: Onward Travel

After breakfast, bid farewell to the Isle of Skye and make your onward journey, or contact us to extend your stay in the Highlands. 

Accommodation

We specifically choose the hotels, inns, guesthouses and B&B’s to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay on the Isle of Skye. All offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food.


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


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. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs and restaurants.

 

 

 




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.


 

 

 


 

 

 




Homeleigh - Ardvasar

Nestled in the hillside, Homeleigh is a modern detached house providing all the comforts of home, within one mile of the Armadale to Mallaig ferry terminal.


 

 

 


 

 

 




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.


 

 

 

Availability

Across the Isle of Skye is available to start on any day of the week from April to October.


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.


Meals

A hearty breakfast is included each morning. Lunch and dinner are not included so you are free to choose from the available options each night. Most of your accommodations will more than happy to provide a packed lunch on request and this can be booked on arrival. Dinner is available either at your accommodation or nearby pubs and restaurants.


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 20kg per person.


Grade & Terrain

This route is graded moderate to strenuous as it passes through remote country and some of the ground is rough. 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. 

Getting to Ardvasar

Glasgow or Inverness Airports are the closest to the Isle of Skye. From Glasgow take the train to Mallaig (approx 6 hours) and then the ferry to Armadale, which is a 800m walk to Ardvasar. Alternatively the bus to Broadford and a connecting local bus is a good option.


Getting from Portree

City Link run buses direct from Portree to Glasgow (6h) and Inverness (3h20). Local buses will get you back to Armadale with one connection.


Inverness/Glasgow International Airport

Inverness Airport is located a few miles East of Inverness and is served by routes from around Britain and the world. 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. 


Glasgow Airport is located 8 miles west of Glasgow is served by routes from around Britain and the world. 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.


Rail and 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. Web: www.nationalrail.co.uk Web: www.calmac.co.uk


Driving

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 Broadford will return you to your car. 


Bus

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 CityLink services run several times daily from Portree to Glasgow (6-7h) and Inverness (3h10) Web: www.citylink.co.uk

Included

  • Accommodation in carefully selected B&B's, guesthouses and small hotels
  • Breakfast each morning
  • Door-to-door baggage transfer
  • A detailed pre-departure information pack, route notes and map
  • Emergency telephone support from our office in the event of any problem
  • Taxi transfers as described in the itinerary

Excluded

  • Travel to the start or from the finish of the walk
  • Lunches, dinners, snacks and drinks
  • Travel insurance
  • Personal equipment

Extras

  • Single Room Supplement(s)
  • Extra night(s)

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

Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you need any further information.

How fit do I need to be?

Across the Isle of Skye is a fairly challenging walk, which crosses some rough and remote countryside so you should have a very good level of walking fitness.

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.

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 we believe any time between March and October walking in Scotland offers a wonderful experience.

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 is 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.

Yes it was terrific & great value for money

5

It was all very good , people friendly & helpful - even the weather was kind & stunning views & delicious food

Ro

East Sussex

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Great organisation, took away all the hassle

5

We booked fairly last minute. There tends to be a shortage of accommodation and finding appropriate places to stay at short notice would have been tedious - Macs took care of all that and also, as the bus service had temporarily collapsed, they arranged taxis (without extra charge) in advance - a great service

Ian

Hertfordshire

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Unforgetable walk through stunning landscape

5

I've been already the second time in Scotland using Macs Adventure as organizer of our journeys. We've been always - without exception- satisfied with the well chosen locations and accommodations. The organization was this time again perfectly done. Planning process and execution can not be done better. Thanks to the TEAM - great job !!! We will come back to you next year again.

Johnny Walker

Augsburg - Germany

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I would recommend this product

4

Cloudy, rainy, boggy, muddy, but we saw seals, eagles, deers and ... a broken specter! And we met wonderful people Don't forget your gaiters and a tick card!

Bonanza

Lyon, France

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Five wonderful days.

5

We have never experienced so wet and cold hikings. We also have experienced quick changes in the weather with some wonderful sun hours. But for us were not the weather the important thing. On the contrary were the quick changes in the weather together with the fantastic nature the most important thing that will do this hiking to one of the most beautiful experience we have done For us from Sweden were everything from the train from Glasgow to Mallaig to the last day we had in Edinburgh exotic. The outstanding service that the nice women on the bed and breakfast gave us together with the wonderful views on the mountains at the hikes will also do this journey to a fantastic memory.

Peter and Åsa from Sweden.

Gotland, Sweden

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Fascinating Skye

4

Great variety of landscapes, different types of walks (hilly, coastal, on path off path...) Focus is on south skye, great accomodation, good breakfast, walk from loch coruisk to Sligachan was perfect!

Eric

Zurich

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Great Trip for Fit Travelers

5

This trip took us through areas showcasing diverse types of scenery, from crofting townships through natural wonders. Our accomodations ranged from very satisfactory to wonderful, with very friendly hosts and excellent food. The trail was relatively easy to follow (if not always clearly marked or visible), with some points where compass navigation was necessary. We would not dissuade anyone with adequate fitness from taking this trip, with some caveats: Some areas of the trail (more than were specified in the accompanying materials) would have been hazardous in bad weather, particularly any cliffside trails. There were many, many parts of the trail where it was necessary to pay close attention to footing to avoid tripping. Other possible downsides included passing through many sheep pastures or roads that sheep have free reign over; this means that we wound up walking through many areas covered in sheep droppings. If you are greatly bothered by this sort of thing, this might not be the right trip for you. Luckily for us, when we booked this trip the Sligachan Hotel was booked up, and we were lodged at the Sconser Lodge, which was the most beautiful accommodation of the entire trip. For our final day of walking, we chose the optional trip to the Old Man of Storr, which is not to be missed. We would recommend that others choose this option and have a day to spend leisurely exploring this geological wonderland.

Tim and Cam

Chicago, Illinois

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Great scenery and coast line

4

This is an energetic five day walk through some spectacular areas on the Isle of Skye. Days two, three and five were simply stunning with varied terrains and landscapes on each of those days. The optional boat trip to Loch Coruisk on day three is not to be missed. The area is rich in sea and bird life. There is an excellent café in Torrin at the conclusion of day two, called The Blue Shed Café, where we rewarded ourselves with coffee and cake etc and relaxed while overlooking the Cuillins. The accommodation, breakfasts and hosts at all locations were very good, however our night at the Sconser Lodge Hotel was a standout. This was an old hunting lodge that has been turned into a hotel/lodge and was simply superb especially the cooking. If you are looking for peace, free from crowds and enjoy walking, this walk is recommended. We enjoyed good weather and took many photos to remember our holiday on Skye. Well done Macs Adventure!

David & Elizabeth

Brisbane Australia

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Sunny Skye

4

We enjoyed our journey very much. Most of the accomodations have been nice and friendly managed. Nevertheless, in Portree, our B&B should be cleaned more carefully. As the weather was very fine, we could stay outside the whole day long. The first tour from Ardvasar to Ord, the longer way along the coastline, has been very hard, because of missing the trail.[...] And : If you visit Skye, don`t forget Sun blocker!!! Our Ski underwear (!!!) was not used.

reinhard&verena

Berlin

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Wonderful Holiday on the Isle of Skye!

4

My husband and I had a fantastic trip on the Isle of Skye- it was just what we were looking for! We had hoped to plan a holiday that involved a lot of long and interesting walks- this did not disappoint! [...]This trip is very self-guided in that you are provided with a written booklet with routes and notes- so be prepared to use your map very often. The trails can be poorly marked, and in some cases, there are no trails at all, but if you are comfortable with a map (and/or with a GPS) it's no problem at all. People along the way on Skye were very helpful and friendly too. The self-guardedness was something that appealed to me and my husband, so it worked perfectly. [...]The accommodations are nice, clean and friendly, but I would caution that they are not necessarily luxurious. We had chosen the highest level of accommodation and very much enjoyed our time at the Sligachan Hotel but some of the guest houses were quite modest- in particular the Pink Guest House in Portree. My husband and I are both reasonably fit and good walkers but the walks are challenging! Also be prepared to be wet- and do invest in some good rain pants and a rain coat. All in all we had a wonderful holiday and would recommend Macs to anyone looking for a self-guided adventure on Skye!

Amy

New York, NY USA

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Across the Isle of Skye

4.5 17

100.0

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