A nine day, self-guided walking holiday following the Isle of Skye Trail along the length of the island, the largest of the Inner Hebrides archipelago where lochs, rugged peninsulas and valleys are wrapped around the foothills of its mountainous interior. Staying in locally-owned guesthouses or hostels, follow this long eastern trail through some of the island’s finest natural heritage including Black and Red Cuillin, Trotternish Ridge, Loch Coruisk, and Skye’s most northerly point, Rubha Hunish. This is a challenging Caledonian adventure and one that requires plenty of wild walking experience.
We provide all luggage transfers, as well as transfers to trailheads on some days. Our standard itinerary goes from south to north but, depending on availability, we can also organise it in the reverse direction.
For a more moderate level of walking holiday, check out our Walking on the Isle of Skye holiday.
- The Old Man of Storr
- Loch Coruisk
- The Cuillin Mountains
- Duntulm and the walk to Rubha Hunish
- Portree, the capital of the Isle of Skye
Click to view map
Day 1: Arrive Broadford
Arrive in Broadford, the second largest town on the Isle of Skye, in the shadow of Ben na Calliach. This is your base for the next three nights.
- Accommodation (Days 1-3): Hillview B&B (Broadford) or similar
Day 2: Broadford to Torrin | 19km
A warm-up walk, including the Suisnish Peninsula cliffs, and the abandoned villages of Suisnish and Boreraig, the latter being victims of the Highland Clearances, part of Skye’s darker history. Take in fine views of Bla Bheinn to the north. Transfer back to Broadford.
- Walking for the day: 19km
Day 3: Torrin to Elgol | 12km
Today’s walk starts with some great views of Bla Bheinn, following a mix of tarmac sections with old footpaths and some good tracks. Further on along the coastal path, the islands of Eigg and Rum come into view as does Knoydart, another abandoned village, with your walk coming to a close in the village of Elgol, on the shores of Loch Scavaig. Transfer back to Broadford.
- Walking for the day: 12km
Day 4: Kilmarie to Sligachan | 17.5km
Short transfer to the walk start point at Kilmarie. Today’s walk is one of Skye’s most magnificent trails. Walk alongside Loch Skavaig to Camasunary Bay, a secluded spot that can only be reached by hiking or by boat. Continue on to Glen Sligachan, squeezed between the Red’ and Black Cuillin mountains. You then continue to traverse the Cuillin mountains, with some of the island’s most spectacular views. Accommodation tonight is at Sligachan Hotel or transfer to Portree, depending on availability. If staying at Sligachan, soak up some of the mountaineering histories, as the hotel was the base for many of the pioneering first ascents of the Cuillin Mountains in the 19th century.
- Walking for the day: 17.5km
- Accommodation: Sligachan Hotel or similar in Sligachan
Day 5: Sligachan to Portree | 12km
The start of the walk is along a good coastal path, with a couple of river crossings where your feet might get wet. The latter part of the walk is along a tranquil coastal road, with a finish in Portree, the largest village and capital of Skye.
- Walking for the day: 12km
- Accommodation (Days 5 and 6): Greenacres B&B or similar in Portree
Day 6: Portree to The Storr | 21km
Today’s clifftop walk starts near the centre of Portree, with most of the day spent along the clifftops; all of them give you fabulous views to the Storr to the north, the Cuillin Mountains to the south, and mainland mountains over the sea to the east. Transfer back to Portree for a second night.
- Walking for the day: 21km
Day 7: Trotternish Ridge – The Storr to Flodigarry | 29km
After a transfer from Portree, you start on one of the finest ridge walks in Scotland. Please note that that this is a very demanding walk with no easy short cuts to come off it. Start with an ascent through fantastic rock formations to The Storr (highest point in north Skye at 719m), followed by a long day of steady ups and downs along the cliff tops. The day comes to a close near the rock formations at the Quiraing.
- Accommodation (Days 7 and 8): Dun Flodigarry Hostel or similar in Flodigarry
Day 8: Flodigarry to Rubha Hunish | 12km
A final day of fine coastal walking – a mixture of beach and clifftops, with a few short excursions across open moors. You may get your feet wet at one of the several river crossings. At the end of the day, an old coastguard hut has one of Scotland’s best views and marks the route for a scramble onto the headland, Rubha Hunish, the northernmost point of Skye a short distance from the end of the walk near Duntulm Castle. Take public transport from Rubha Hunish to Flodigarry to reach your accommodation.
- Walking for the day: 12km
Day 9: Departure
From Flodigarry, Stagecoach run several buses daily to Portree, from where you can take the Citylink bus south.
What to expect
Our aim is to always offer accommodations with comfortable en-suite double or twin rooms, but we recommend that you have some flexibility over the type of lodging (ranging from hostels to guesthouses and more expensive hotels and sometimes even a bunkhouse or a self-catering facility) as the Isle of Skye is very remote and there are not many options at certain locations. They have been carefully selected based on a variety of criteria including their location, warm hospitality, fine local food or commitment to responsible tourism.
Click to view default hotels for this trip
Hotels are subject to availability. In the event of a particular hotel being fully booked for your chosen dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included on all days. Breakfast on days eight and nine will be served at the Flodigarry Hotel, a short walk from the hostel. 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 and terrain
This walk is a challenge, and should only be attempted by people with excellent physical fitness, and sufficiently skilled in navigation to tackle some quite long sections of pathless terrain in wild countryside. 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.
By request, we can organise private transfers so that 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. For detailed info, see our blog on the Best time to go to Scotland.
Click to view travel options and route planner
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 Flodigarry – Stagecoach run several buses daily to Portree, from where you can take the Citylink bus south.
- A great website useful specifically for public transport planning within Scotland is Traveline Scotland.
- 8 overnight stays as per the itinerary
- 8 breakfasts
- Door-to-door luggage transfers on all walking days – 1 piece per person up to 20kg
- Transfers from trail to accommodation and return, as indicated on itinerary
- Maps and road notes (one set per booking)
- Info on transport and local services
- 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative
- 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 and supplements
- Single room supplement applies to members of a group who require a room of their own
- This holiday is NOT available for solo travellers
- Extra nights are available upon request