Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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Across the Isle of Skye Self Guided Walking Vacation
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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.

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