The Skye Trail

Overview

A Challenging 7 day Walk (8 Nights) on the Isle of Skye

The Skye Trail is a classic long distance walk, covering most of the length of Skye, and passing through most of the great 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 challenge, and should only be attempted by people with excellent physical fitness, sufficiently skilled in navigation to tackle some quite long sections of pathless terrain in wild countryside.

If you are able though, you can look forward to a week or so of walking through one of Europe's most exciting landscapes. Highlights might include a coastal walk through abandoned highland villages, a sail to magical Loch Coruisk, a track through the heart of the Cuillin mountains, a dip in one of the hundredsof mountain streams, and a day on the fabulous Trotternish Ridge taking in the crazy rock formations at the Storr and the Quiraing.

Accommodation can be in B&Bs, Hotels or hostels, depending on budget and availability.

In over 40 years of wandering through the wild places of Scotland I’ve often tried to define the curiously quintessential element that gives these mountains, coastlines and forests their essential character and vibrancy. Its an element I’ve never experienced anywhere else in the world
— Cameron McNeish, The Skye Trail, published by Mountain Media
 The old man of storr

The old man of storr

 from the quiraing

from the quiraing

Skye Trail - Suggested Itinerary (8 Nights)

Safety Note
On many sections, the Skye Trail does not follow a fixed path, and there are no paths at all for quite long distances. You must be able to navigate competently to undertake this route. This includes being able to use a map and compass in what can sometimes be difficult weather conditions. While Make Tracks provides a map of the route and safety advice, it is entirely your own responsibility to navigate the route and find your own way according to conditions on the day.
Day 1 Arrive Broadford With a direct bus link from Glasgow, Broadford is as accessible as you can get on the islands. Or travel on the famous West Highland Line and take the ferry and local bus. Accommodation in B&Bs, hostels, or Hotels.
Day 2 Broadford to Torrin
(12m, 19k)
A fairly gentle start including the cliffs of the Suisnish Peninsula, and the recently abandoned villages of Suisnish and Boreraig. Fine views of Bla Bheinn to the north. B&B ccommodation in Torrin or transfer to Broadford, depending on availability.
Day 3 Torrin to Elgol
(7.5m, 12k)
Great views of Bla Bheinn to start with. A mix of some tarmac sections with old footpaths and some good tracks. Great views of Eigg, Rum and Knoydart, another abandoned village, with a finish at the wonderfully picturesque village of Elgol. B&B ccommodation in Elgol or transfer to Broadford, depending on availability.
Day 4 Elgol to Sligachan Two options - take a boat trip to the spectacular Loch Coruisk, cross the shortest river in Scotland, and head over a pass to Glen Sligachan; or walk above Loch Skavaig to the magical spot of Camasunary and on to Glen Sligachan. Either way, you finish with a walk that pierces the mountains, between the Black and the Red Cuillin. Accommodation at Sligachan Hotel or Bunkhouse (or transfer to Portree)
Day 5 Sligachan to Portree
(7.5m, 12k)
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 very quiet coastal road, with a finish in Portree, the largest village on Skye. Accommodation in B&Bs, Hotels or hostels.
Day 6 Portree to The Storr
(13m, 21k)
A fabulous clifftop walk. A deceptively arboreal start from near the centre of Portree soon gives way to spectacular cliffs. Most of the day is spent along the clifftops, either by the sea or above what were raised beaches a little inland; 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.
Day 7 The Trotternish Ridge - The Storr to Flodigarry
(13m, 21k)
After a transfer from Portree, you will start on one of the finest ridge walks in Scotland. 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. Fine views all day to the mainland mountains, and finishing close to even crazier rock formations at the Quiraing. Accommodation at Hotel, Hostel or B&Bs
Safety Note - This is a long walk at high level, with no easy escape routes. Please be sure that you have the physical fitness and navigational skills necessary to complete the walk.
Day 8 Flodigarry to Rubha Hunish More 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 the best views in Scotland, and guards the route for a scramble onto the headland Rubha Hunish, the northermost point of Skye, and a short distance from the end of the walk near Duntulm Castle. Transfer back to Flodigarry for accommodation.
Day 9 Depart Local bus to Portree and Citylink bus to Fort William, Glasgow and the south, or local bus and ferry to Mallaig and the West Highland Train line.

Price for this itinerary from
from £570 per person
(2 people sharing & subject to availability)


Accommodation

Some of the overnight stops on the Skye Trail are in very small villages or hamlets, with very limited accommodation. We can't guarantee the same type of accommodation at each stop, so we adopt a flexible approach and work with you to get the best type of accommodation to suit you. The price quoted here is based on one night at the Sligachan Hotel and 7 nights in B&Bs. It includes transfers to Portree on night 6 and Flodigarry on night 8. Any other transfers or nights in Hotels would cost extra. Similarly, any nights in hostel accommodation will reduce the price. Door to door luggage transfer each day is included in the price.

Getting There

From Glasgow, several buses run daily to Broadford operated by Citylink, including two which run via Glagow Airport. See timetable for Glasgow - Fort William - Skye.

From Flodigarry, Stagecoach run several buses daily to Portree (see timetable), from where you can take the Cityllink bus south.See Stagecoach timetable for North Skye.