The Skye Trail is an unofficial long-distance route across the stunning landscapes of the Isle of Skye. The Isle of Skye attracts walkers from all over the world with its spectacular scenery, fascinating nature and rich history which you will discover on this demanding but inspiring self guided walking holiday. We will provide all luggage transfers and return transfers from the trail to accommodations where needed.
The route covers most of Skye’s length and passes through the best hiking areas of the island, including the Black and Red Cuillin, the Trotternish Ridge, Loch Coruisk, and Skye’s most northerly point on the wild headland at Rubha Hunish. This walk is a challenging one, and should only be attempted by people with excellent physical fitness who are sufficiently skilled in navigation to tackle some quite long sections of pathless terrain in the wild countryside. Our default itinerary goes from south to north, but depending on availability the route can also be completed north to south.
We also 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.
If this itinerary is too demanding for you, we recommend to consider our Skye Coast to Coast walking holiday.
- The Old Man of Storr – one of Scotland’s most iconic places
- 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
Today you arrive in Broadford, reachable from Glasgow by bus (6 hours) or rental car (4h). Accommodation in B&Bs, hostels, or hotels.
- 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 – victims of the Highland Clearances, part of Skye’s darker history. You will enjoy some fine views of Bla Bheinn to the north. Transfer back to Broadford.
- Walking for the day: 19km
Day 3: Torrin to Elgol | 12km
Today you will start with a walk offering some great views of Bla Bheinn. You will follow a mix of tarmac sections with old footpaths and some good tracks. Further on along the coastal path, you will enjoy great views of Eigg, Rum and Knoydart, another abandoned village, with a finish at the picturesque village of Elgol. Transfer back to Broadford.
- Walking for the day: 12km
Day 4: Elgol to Sligachan | 18km
Today you will have one of the most scenic walks. Walk above Loch Skavaig to magical Camasunary and on to Glen Sligachan, squeezed between the ‘Red’ and ‘Black’ Cuillin mountains which line either side. Today’s hike traverses the spectacular Cuillin mountains, providing wonderful views of the rugged landscape. Accommodation 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 in the 19th century.
- Walking for the day: 18km
- 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 on 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 you will enjoy a fabulous clifftop walk. A start from near the centre of Portree soon gives way to spectacular cliffs. Most of the day is spent along the clifftops; all of them give you fabulous views to the Storr to the north, the Cuillin to the south, and the 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 will start on one of the finest ridge walks in Scotland – but note that this is a very demanding walk with no easy escape routes. You start with an ascent through fantastic rock formations to the Storr (highest point in north Skye), then look forward to a long day of steady ups and downs along the cliff tops. All-day you will enjoy fine views to the mainland mountains, and finish close to 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 the 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 guards 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. Public transport from Rubha Hunish to Flodigarry for accommodation.
- Walking for the day: 12km
Day 9: Departure
From Flodigarry, Stagecoach run several buses daily to Portree, from where you can take the City link 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. 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 default hotels for this trip
*Note that hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel from the ones pictured above is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
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 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.
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
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
- 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 single room
- This holiday is NOT available for solo travellers
- Extra nights are available upon request