Self-Guided Walking Tours & Biking Tours


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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
  • 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 its spectacular scenery, inspiring geology and deep history. This independent walking holiday on the 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 an unforgettable journey, through the heart of the Cuillins to the famous Sligachan Hotel, brings 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. Here you'll follow trails to the picturesque crafting township of Tarskavaig, famed for its 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 crofter's 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, and from here you'll cross moorland to the tranquil shores of Camasunary bay. Wind your way between Bla Bheinn and the Cuillin, over mountain 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'll 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: 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 720m. 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 with the sea on each side is breathtaking.


Overnight: Staffin B&B or Portree Guesthouse / Small Hotel


You will be picked up from The Quirang for the short drive down to Staffin or Portree to your overnight accommodation.


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 a 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 evening's 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.

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.


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