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2-day the Isle of Skye itinerary: Edinburgh to Isle of Skye, Scotland

posted by Liza 7th June 2017 24 Comments
2-day the Isle of Skye itinerary: Edinburgh to Isle of Skye, Scotland

Last updated on December 5th, 2018

In this post, I’ll be sharing our 2-day Isle of Skye itinerary. We did this road trip from Edinburgh to Isle of Skye, Scotland in the beginning of June and also included Oban village in Scotland in our weekend trip. Last similar weekend trip we did in Scotland was in November 2016 and it was a one-day trip to the Scottish Highlands. You can read it here. But let’s get back to the Isle of Skye.

Why go to the Isle of Skye in Scotland?

The Isle of Skye is a unique island in Scotland, that is pretty well connected (via bridge) to the main territory of Scotland and thus, it’s easily accessible by car. The Isle of Skye is also really beautiful and if you keep reading this post, you’ll see some pretty awesome places you can visit there, including the Fairy Pools, the Old Man of Storr and the Neast Point. You need at least 4-5 days to explore the Isle of Skye, Scotland, properly (especially if you want to hike for long distances), but you’ll be able to see the main landmarks, if you only come for a weekend, like we did.

Road trip around the Isle of Skye

How to get to the Isle of Skye, Scotland

Edinburgh to Isle of Skye

If you’re based in Edinburgh or planning to visit Edinburgh and go to the Isle of Skye from there, the best option would be hiring a car, just like we did. We browsed rentalcars.com for the best deals and hired a car from Firefly. Even though you might think that the bigger the car, the better, for the Isle of Skye you need the smallest car ever. Many of the roads in the Isle of Skye are one lane only, so if you have a 4×4, you’ll struggle a lot.

Alternatively, you can book a tour “Edinburgh to Isle of Skye, Scotland” – check Tripadvisor or Rabbie’s for more options and information. I personally prefer Get Your Guide, because of the best customer service and great flexibility – also the prices are often cheaper on Get Your Guide.

Also, you can go by bus. Most buses, however, depart from Glasgow. So you need to get to Glasgow first and then get a bus to the Isle of Skye from there. Check Citylink bus page for more information.

Hiring a car for the Isle of Skye

Glasgow to the Isle of Skye

As I already mentioned above in the Edinburgh to Isle of Skye section, many buses to the Isle of Skye depart from Glasgow. Check Citylink buses for more information.

Inverness the Isle of Skye

It’s also possible to go to the Isle of Skye (Portree) from Inverness, bus 917 goes there and the journey time is about 2.5 hours. Here’s the latest time schedule.

Visiting Oban on our way to the Isle of Skye

If you ever visited this blog before, you probably already know, that we’re based in Edinburgh, Scotland. That’s the reason, why we drove to the Isle of Skye from Edinburgh. In case you are planning to visit Edinburgh, we got you covered. There is so much content about this beautiful city on Tripsget, so you can just check the entire category.

We also wanted to visit Oban a lot (Oban is a beautiful coastal fishermen village) and due to the fact that the only affordable hotel on the way to the Isle of Skye was located in Oban (we booked our hotels just a week before the trip, but it’s really risky, so don’t do it!), we decided to spend the Friday evening there. There is a separate post about Oban on my blog (read it here), so here I’ll just say that it’s a lovely town with the most beautiful sunsets and the cheapest oysters I’ve ever seen.

Sunset in Oban - Isle of Skye Road Trip

Oban even has a colosseum, chocolate factory and one of the oldest distilleries in Scotland, and it’s a departure point for the ferries that go to the Isle of Mull. Also, Oban is a stag and hen party destination and has a bar that is open every day until 3 am (and we just happened to stay in a room above it, so we only got 3 hours of sleep).

Oban, Scotland

Oban to the Isle of Skye

The next morning we departed to the Isle of Skye, but not as early as we wanted to (visiting the Oban distillery delayed us for a while) and then there were oysters… £8.55 for 9 oysters, that’s the best price I’ve seen in my life!
So only at 11:30 we left for the Isle of Skye.

On the way to the Isle of Skye, there is the Eilean Donan castle, which you probably have seen on some of the photos from Scotland. We didn’t have time to visit it properly, so we just stopped in a free parking before the castle and took some nice photos of it. If you have more time, go for it! It’s definitely worth a visit and it’s on the way to the Isle of Skye, so the Eileen Donan castle is impossible to miss.

Beautiful Eilean Donan Castle

Just a few minutes later, we took the Skye bridge and arrived at the Isle of Skye.

Where to stay on the Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye has a very limited number of properties and they are often sold out. We were very lucky to book our hotel because somebody just cancelled their reservation. Normally, try to book a hotel at least 5-6 months in advance!

These properties on the Isle of Skye are very well-rated and recommended: 

Kinloch Lodge, Loch Caroy Pods, Skeabost House Hotel. 

What we have visited on the Isle of Skye during 2 days (even less, in fact)

The Old Man of Storr

Our first point of interest on the Isle of Skye, Scotland, was Storr. Storr (the Old Man of Storr) is an impressive rock high in the mountains, where you have to climb for at least an hour.

However, just when we were halfway to the Storr, it started raining a lot. As you can imagine, hiking with a heavy rain is not the best possible activity, so we decided to stop for lunch on our way. Luckily, there was a Sligachan hotel, which had a huge restaurant open all day, so we stayed there for 1.5 hours.

When it stopped raining, it was already 4 pm, so we headed to Storr and reached it by 4:30 pm. In order to hike the route, you need some proper hiking shoes or free range rubber boots (like the ones we have from Hunter, they were perfect for hiking). Also, you need the wind & waterproof jacket, because the wind is very strong there. The route up was quite slippery, but the good thing was, that there were not many people hiking, so we were able to take some pretty nice photos. The full packing list for the Isle of Skye you can find here. 

The Old Man of Storr

The best view of the Old Man of Storr is from the mountains above it, but it’s hard to climb them & you need a special gear. So we hiked a hill on the right side of it and the view was still very nice.

In total, it took us about 2.5 hours to get up to the Old Man of Storr, take some photos and return to our car. Luckily, in Summer, it gets dark very late on the Isle of Skye, around 10:30 pm, so we were able to see more things.

Hiking the storr
The Old Man of Storr

The Kilt Rock viewpoint

After visiting the Storr, we headed to the Kilt Rock viewpoint, since it was less than 15 minutes away (driving, of course). We spent about 5 minutes there because we were attacked by mosquitos, which were really unbearable (imagine 2000 mosquitos surrounding you) – so I literally had to run to take 3 photos and run back to the car. Yes, we had repellent on us, but that didn’t help.

The Kilt Rock really looks like the Cliffs of Moher in Ireland (check our post about visiting the Cliffs of Moher), only it was full of mosquitos and less crowded.

The Kilt Rock, Isle of Skye, Scotland
The Kilt Rock

The An Corran Beach

This beach is located not so far away from the Kilt Rock, but it involves a fair amount of walking. You need to leave your car and walk for about 20-30 minutes to reach the beach. However, it’s worth it, because the beach is really nice!

The An Corran Beach, The Isle of Skye, Scotland

After visiting all these sights, we got back to Kyleakin, Isle of Skye, Scotland,  where we spent a night in a hotel Glenarroch. It was around £99 per night and included a decent breakfast, but the best part was the bathtub in the room – perfect for the relaxing after hiking the whole day. Kyleakin is a nice village just at the entrance to the Isle of Skye, to the left from the Skye Bridge and it has plenty of hotels, which, however, have to be booked in advance (at the reception they told us that they are sold out until October).

The Neist Point

The next day we woke up around 8 am and at 9:30 am we headed to the Neist Point.
The Neist point is a lovely location on the North-West of the Isle of Skye. It took us slightly more than 1.5 hours to drive there from Kyleakin, because the road to the Lighthouse gets very narrow at some point and often you have to wait for 5 minutes to let the cars pass, so you don’t get trapped.

The Neist Point is a lovely location with impressive cliffs and a nice lighthouse. You can park your car and take some nice photos of the cliffs (we even had a picnic there), but in order to get to the lighthouse, you need to take stairs and then walk for about 20-30 minutes.

Isle of Skye picnic

The Fairy Pools

After the Neist point, we headed to the Fairy pools, as they were on the way to the exit from the Isle of Skye. The Fairy pools is a natural waterfall with amazing blue and green colours. Unfortunately, when we were there, it wasn’t sunny, so the colours weren’t bright at all. If you have more time, you can go on a lovely hike starting at the fairy pools, however, we were somewhat short of time, so we just reached the pools and headed back to the car.

The fairy pools, Isle of Skye

The Talisker Distillery

We didn’t visit the Talisker distillery this time, but Pepe has been there before, in 2015, so we’ve got some photos of it. This whisky distillery is definitely worth visiting & taking a tour to see, how whisky is produced (if you haven’t been to a distillery before).

Getting back to Edinburgh

This time, we had to head straight to Edinburgh, however, we stopped in the Hotel Cluanie (the only place that was open) for a lunch. I tried Cullen Skink, which had a very interesting flavour. In total, the drive to Edinburgh (through Perth) was around 5 hours.

Summary

The Isle of Skye is a great place to visit in Scotland and it is perfect for a long weekend road trip. It’s also possible to visit the lovely village of Oban on your way and try the freshest and tastiest seafood. The high season on the Isle of Skye is summer and June is a great month to go there. However, if you’re planning a trip to the Isle of Skye, do it in advance. You can, of course, buy a ready tour, but if you’re planning to rent a car and book a hotel, try to do it at least 3 months in advance. However, we planned everything just 1 week before the trip, but we were very lucky.

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24 Comments

Brooke Fryer 7th June 2017 at 8:04 pm

Road trips in the UK are some of my all time favourite road trips. Great post!

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Liza 7th June 2017 at 9:57 pm

Thanks a lot, Brooke!

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Cali 7th June 2017 at 8:46 pm

OMG! Your photos are stunning. I want to do this roadtrip. I am pinning this for when I make this trip a reality!

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Liza 7th June 2017 at 9:57 pm

Thank you so much!

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Jasmine 7th June 2017 at 9:11 pm

Currently in the midst of planning a trip for my grandparents to Scotland, so I’ll definitely need to refer back to this when planning their days in the Isle of Skye!

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Liza 7th June 2017 at 9:57 pm

Yay, thanks a lot, Jasmine!

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Ana Sofia 7th June 2017 at 9:16 pm

For whatever reason, I haven’t done too much research into Scotland, it was always kind of I want to go there eventually place. But your pictures make me want to go ASAP! I love the picnic you had, and the smart car!

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Liza 7th June 2017 at 9:56 pm

Thank you so much! You should definitely go to Scotland 🙂 But it requires at least 2 weeks to see everything!)

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Tessa Torrente 7th June 2017 at 9:28 pm

Ok – Scotland looks amazing. I only went to Glasgow last time and now I am itching for a return trip!!!

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Liza 7th June 2017 at 9:56 pm

You should definitely return one day! There are so many places to discover 🙂

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Jurga 7th June 2017 at 11:03 pm

I haven’t been to Scotland since almost 20 years, and your post made me realize that another trip is long overdue! What a beautiful area to explore, despite the rain and mosquitoes. Have to start planning a trip soon!

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Danique 7th June 2017 at 11:15 pm

The photos look incredible! Scotland is just so beautiful. I lived in Edinburgh once for two months and did some road trips around. I haven’t been to the Isle of Sky unfortunately, but I definitely will go back once.

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AlexisRae 8th June 2017 at 7:46 am

This seriously looks like a fairytale. I didn’t make it to Scotland on my last trip to the UK, but you bet your butt Im not making any excises next time!

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Alyssa Jaren 8th June 2017 at 11:07 am

You’re making me missing the UK so badly! We did Scotland but didn’t had the time to fit in the Isle of Skye. I did however stopped by Edinburgh, Glasgow and took the Jacobite train (as a Harry Potter fan it was the best trip ever!!)

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Mel | The Wandering Darlings 8th June 2017 at 3:02 pm

I’ve heard and read so much about the Isle of Man and this is making me want to explore even more. How amazing does the landscape look!!

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Joanna Niles 8th June 2017 at 4:03 pm

Looks like a nice trip for hiking and camping. I’ll keep this post in mind when visiting the UK

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Sue Reddel 8th June 2017 at 5:48 pm

I haven’t been to Scotland but I have been to Ireland and you’re right The Kilt Rock does look a lot like the Cliffs of Moher. I’d love to visit but we’d have to visit when the mosquito is over. My wife is highly allergic to those little critters and it sure sounds like there’s a ton there.

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Alex 8th June 2017 at 11:16 pm

Sounds like you had a blast – and your photos are amazing! It brought back loads of memories seeing the landscape, it’s very unique isn’t it! Glad you had fun!

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Clazz - An Orcadian Abroad 11th June 2017 at 9:37 pm

Awesome post!! I’m looking at going to Skye soon (I live in Scotland so it’s a huge oversight having never been there!) so this post is really useful, especially how long it took you in each place. 🙂

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Liza 13th June 2017 at 3:03 pm

Thanks a lot for your comment! Good luck with your trip 🙂

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