Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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A Long Walk on the Isle of Skye
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Highlights

  • The geological features of The Trotternish Ridge
  • Soak in the atmosphere of Loch Coruisk as you begin your journey through the Cuillins
  • Marvel at the jagged peaks of the Cuillin Ridge from Elgol
  • Discover the history and people of Skye on your journey across 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 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 / 17.5 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: Elgol to Sligachan: 8-11.5 Miles / 12-18.5 km

Your day begins with a taxi transfer from Broadford to Elgol from where you begin above the seaside village of Elgol, from here cross the clifftops to Camasunary bay, before winding your way between Bla Bheinn and the Cuillin, over mountains streams into Sligachan. If you wish to shorten the walk, you can take a boat trip from Elgol to Loch Coruisk, in the heart of the Cuillins and, from there, join the longer route into Sligachan. Although the route is shorter it is not easier, with steep slopes and some boggy terrain on the ascent from Loch Coruisk over into Glen Sligachan. Both are amongst the finest day walks in Scotland.


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 to the into the harbour town of Portree after reaching 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: 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 sea shore to enter the town of Portree.


Overnight: Portree Guesthouse / Small Hotel


Day 7: The Storr to Quirang: 12 Miles / 22.5 km

Today begins with a steep climb passing The Old Man of Storr to the highpoint of the Trotternish Ridge, The Storr at ~720 m. 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 drive down to Staffin for your overnight accommodation in this small highland community.


Day 8: The Quirang to Flodigarry: 6 Miles / 10.5 km

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 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.
  • Access to GPX tracks, route notes and detailed mapping on the Macs Adventure smartphone app.
  • 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.


This is an excellent trip.

5

Summary: I would recommend this trip to anyone that enjoys walking. My wife and I are over 60, we enjoy walking and have travelled different places to walk. To us this is the best way to meet the people and see how people live in the area. Preparation: This trip requires a bit of preparation, there are long days of walking, the weather will change during the day and the terrain shifts from marsh to cliffs. We started looking at this trip almost a year before we booked the trip. Scotland is a unique country, rain, midges, varying temperatures, and for us the sun stayed out for a long long time. We looked at May, this was the least amount of rain for the Isle of Skye, we would rather be dry as much as possible. I looked at different companies to book our adventure, MACS adventure was recommended by a lot of people and the reviews were very positive. We contacted Taylor St. John, and she set our trip accommodations, taxis, shuttle service etc. Everything went as planned. She did an excellent job. She sent us our packet of maps, with all the directions for accommodations, helpful hints. They had the necessary phone numbers and addresses. I downloaded ViewRanger app for my iPhone, and then downloaded maps of the Isle of Skye trail from Walking the Highland web site. The maps were very useful on our trip and you are able to use your phone in airplane mode so you don't get any roaming charges.

Mark L.

Lakeland, Florida

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Great walk, great hosts, great trip

5

I did this trip with 3 friends and we enjoyed every minute of it. Diverse walks, diverse weather. Hospitable hosts, good beers and whisky. The build-up was good, the short day after the long walk was well planned. The home stays were superb: Driftwood and Achtalean. We are still trying to wrap our minds around how Greg walks from Quirang to Storr in just 3 hours?! If you want to be active, outside, basic during the day and comfortable during the night: this is your trip! Beware that public transport is poor to non existant on Sundays!

Marloes

The Netherlands

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Perfectly organized

5

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.

John MacSkye

Bavaria - Germany

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Wonderful, challenging hiking in an incredible place.

4

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!

John the gentleman adventurer

USA

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Great week in Skye, with great service by Macs Adventure

5

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.

JjB

Brussels

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Just great!

5

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!

Bettina&Manfred

Tuttlingen

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Why go to the Med when Skye is like this?

4

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

IainB

Derby

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Surprising Solitude

5

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.

Joe & Cindy

Seattle

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Stunning scenery, tough day 6

4

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!

Magnus an Frida

Stockholm, sweden

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Excellent service! Precise logistics!

5

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

Tim & Anne

Boulder, CO

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A Long Walk on the Isle of Skye

4.5 26

100.0

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