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Isle of Skye Coast to Coast

Isle of Skye Coast to Coast

Overview

If the Skye Trail is too demanding for you, our Isle of Skye Coast to Coast walking holiday provides a great alternative to enjoy the spectacular scenery of Skye at a more leisurely pace. On this magnificent walk through the heart of the Cuillin mountains, you will be walking by quiet beaches, deserted villages and along remote cliff-tops.

Being based in Broadford and Portree, you will have a choice of walks for each day. From Broadford, you can walk on the remote and unspoiled Suisnish peninsula, and get right in close to the steep sides of the Cuillin. There is an option of starting one of the walks with a sea boat trip, visiting a seal colony and the picturesque Loch Coruisk, before setting off a cross-island walk. From Portree, you can go to the stunning rock formations of the Storr and the Quiraing, and follow the ridge beyond them.

Click to view map

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Broadford

Today you arrive in the town of Broadford, reachable from Glasgow by bus (6 hours) or rental car (4 hours). Accommodation in B&Bs or hotels.

Day 2: Suisnish and Boreraig Coastal Walks | 17 km

Nice coastal walks, including the Suisnish Peninsula cliffs, and the abandoned villages of Suisnish and Boreraig – victims of the Highland Clearances, part of Skye’s darker history. You will enjoy some fine views of Bla Bheinn to the north. Overnight in Broadford.

  • Walking for the day: 11 miles (17 km)

Day 3: Skye Coast to Coast | 13 km

Walk from magical Loch Coruisk to Sligachan through the heart of the Cuillin Mountains. The mountains rise dramatically from the sea creating formidable, enclosed sea lochs, with the absence of foothills enhancing their vast scale. This is among the finest walks in Scotland, short but not easy, with steep slopes and some hard terrain on the ascent from Loch Coruisk over into Glen Sligachan. You can optionally take a boat trip to reach the start of the walk at Loch Coruisk. Overnight in Broadford.

  • Walking for the day: 8 miles (13 km)

Day 4: The Fairy Pools Walk | 19 km

Walk from Sligachan into the heart of the Cuillin Mountains. At the foot of the Black Cuillins near Glenbrittle are the Fairy Pools, beautifully crystal clear blue pools on the River Brittle. These famous pools entice visitors from all over the world, and you can even swim in them if you dare to enter the cold water. For the less adventurous these magical Fairy Pools make some fantastic photos. Then walk by spectacular waterfalls to Portree for an overnight.

  • Walking for the day: 12 miles (19 km)
  • Accommodation (Days 4-6): Greenacres B&B or similar

Day 5: The Quiaraing Walk | 8 km

Enjoy the fantastic rock formations on the cliffs at the far north of Skye. As part of the Trotternish ridge, Quiaraing has been formed by a massive landslip which has created high cliffs, hidden plateaus and pinnacles of rock. This is an essential walk for any photographer as it passes through some of the most spectacular landscapes in Scotland. Marvel “the prison,” “the needle,” and “the table”. Overnight in Portree.

  • Walking for the day: 5 miles (8 km)

Day 6: The Old Man and the Storr | 10 km

This is properly the most famous walk on the Island. The ‘Old Man’ is a large pinnacle of rock that can be seen for miles around. As part of the Trotternish Ridge, the Storr was created by a massive ancient landside, leaving one of the most photographed landscapes in the world. Climb to the Old Man of Storr, with the option of walking up to the Storr itself (the highest point on northern Skye) and along the Trotternish Ridge. Overnight Portree.

  • Walking for the day: 3 miles (5 km) or 6 miles (10 km)

Day 7: Departure

From Portree, you can take the Citylink bus south.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation is in en suite B&Bs and hotels in Broadford and Portree. All places have been carefully hand-picked by us, and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view our default hotels for this trip

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a property of equal standard. We will provide full accommodation details upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included on all days. When no restaurant location is available on the route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. You can have dinner at the guesthouse you are staying at or at the village pubs and restaurants.

Difficulty & terrain

This route is graded moderate as it passes through remote country. Although part of the route is on good paths and minor roads much of it is on rough ground which can be wet underfoot and completely trackless in places. Some days will be more challenging than others and the terrain will be varied with some rough and rugged footpaths (read more about difficulty grades). We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to go

Using public transport, this trip is available to commence every day from 1 June till 30 September as the bus timetable does not come into force until the end of May. If you book the private transfers option, you can do the walk in April and May, too. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

Getting there

Up-to-date travel advice on the United Kingdom is available here (for Canadian citizens) and here (for US citizens). Some funny but useful travel advice about Scotland is available here.😊

Click to view travel options and route planner

By plane

Our recommended airport for this tour is Glasgow.

By train or bus
  • Glasgow: There are excellent air, train and bus services, allowing easy access from anywhere in the UK and overseas.
  • From Glasgow, several buses run daily to Broadford operated by Citylink, including two which run via Glasgow Airport.
  • From Portree, you can take the Citylink bus south.
  • A great website useful specifically for public transport planning within Scotland is Traveline Scotland.

Inclusions

Included

  • Pre-booked accommodation as per the itinerary
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • Door-to-door luggage transfers on all walking days
  • Bus pass for the entire island for the duration of your stay*
  • Maps & Road Notes (one set per booking)
  • Info on transport and local services
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as included in the programme

Options, extras & supplements

  • Single room supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is NOT available for solo travellers
  • Private return transfers* from the accommodations to the trails on all walking days where such transfers are needed as per the itinerary
  • Extra nights are available upon request

*All of the walks have been designed to fit the local bus schedule and we provide a free bus pass for the whole island for the duration of your stay. This allows you to get to the start and from the finish of each walk. However please note that there have been numerous issues with the reliability of the bus service on Skye, meaning we can never guarantee buses will run to their scheduled timetable. In this respect, we recommend that you book our optional private transfers package.

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Reviews

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Rating

     

Average rating:  5 stars  from 2 reviews

Graham T5 stars

We included this trip as part of a bigger Scottish adventure. As with previous trips we have taken with The Natural Adventure Company organisation was first rate, the information pack supplied before the trip was very comprehensive. The five days walking gave an excellent flavour for Skye. Route instructions & maps supplied were clear and easy to follow, the photos at various key points in the description an excellent idea.
Bed & Breakfasts that had been booked by the company were very clean & comfortable, with the friendly hosts providing excellent breakfast choices. If you are making the trip during a busy holiday time, its a good idea to book your evening meals as soon as possible. Both Broadford & Portree have great restaurants, but there are not many and get booked up quickly!!
Finally, we took up the trip option of using local taxi's to ferry us to and from the walks. I can heartily recommend this. The drivers were very friendly and efficient, offering advice on the walks and other local knowledge, plus flexibility of pickup times at the end of walks. This really added to the trip as the local bus services were seen to be not that frequent & not always on time!!
Overall, another excellent trip. We are already planning the next. Graham & Sandy

Marianne F5 stars

The Natural Adventure provided exceptional accommodations and everything was flawless.