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Isle of Skye: Multi-day Trips and Tours from Edinburgh
Just off the northwest coast of Scotland, craggy peaks and rolling hills give way to sea cliffs and sandy beaches. This is the Isle of Skye, one of the country's most rugged popular tourist destinations.
Though it may be best known for its dramatic landscapes, the Isle of Skye is also home to a number of historical sites and charming villages.
Whether you're hiking to the top of one of Skye's many Munros or enjoying a pint in a local pub, you're sure to fall in love with this phenomenal island. So why not take a multi-day trip to the Isle of Skye from Edinburgh?
How to get to the Isle of Skye from Edinburgh?
The Isle of Skye is located in the northwest of Scotland, over 365 kilometers away from the capital city of Edinburgh. The Skye Bridge links the island with the mainland.
From Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye by car
The journey to the Isle of Skye from Edinburgh takes slightly less than 5.5 hours. You'll leave the city heading west towards the Forth Bridge on the M90. You'll continue on that road until junction 10, where you'll take the exit towards Inverness and join the A9.
You'll continue until a fork in the road leads you onto the A889 and then quickly on to the A86. After 45 kilometers, you'll take the A82, followed by the A87 which leads you all the way to the Isle of Skye.
Guided tour to the Isle of Skye from Edinburgh
All tours start in the center of Edinburgh. Some begin at well-known spots such as the Edinburgh bus station, while others meet along the High Street. You can expect your Isle of Skye jaunt to begin between 8 AM and 9 AM.
What is the typical itinerary of a multi-day tour to the Isle of Skye from Edinburgh?
Itineraries vary widely when it comes to Isle of Skye multi-day trips, but most start around 8:30 AM in the center of the city. Leaving Edinburgh, you'll travel towards the Isle of Skye, stopping at various points of natural beauty or historic significance along the way.
You'll stay overnight on the mainland before spending a full day journeying around the island and discovering all of its rugged charms. On your way back to Edinburgh, you'll visit several more incredible locations including the Glenfinnan viaduct.
What kinds of tours are available to go to the Isle of Skye?
There are many different Isle of Skye multi-day tours and all of them vary in the itinerary, price and duration.
3-Day tour to the Isle of Skye plus Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh
This multi-day trip to the Isle of Skye takes you out of the noise of the city and travels through the Scottish countryside to the Trossachs National Park. There you'll see the tranquil waters of Loch Lomond, as well as Rannoch Moor and Glencoe. You'll stay in Inverness overnight before continuing on to the Isle of Skye the following day.
Around the island, you might see a pack of seals sunning their tummies, and you'll have the opportunity to visit the Cuillin Mountains. You'll also stop at the main town of Portree for lunch.
On your Isle of Skye excursion, you'll also go monster-spotting at the infamous Loch Ness and explore Urquhart Castle which sits in the middle. On your journey back to Edinburgh, you'll see several points of interest including Pitlochry and the Cairngorms.
3-Day budget tour to the Isle of Skye plus Scottish Highlands from Edinburgh
Budget tours are aimed at backpackers. The itinerary is still packed full of Scottish gems, but the cost is lowered by sharing dormitory-style accommodation. On your journey to the Isle of Skye, you'll cross the magnificent Forth Bridge and stop at the charming town of Dunkeld.
You'll also have the chance to seek out the monster that is said to lurk within Loch Ness and view Scotland's most photogenic castle.
You'll spend a full day on the Isle of Skye where you'll see highlights that include the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock and Portree Harbor. On the final day, you'll practice your best rendition of "Alohamora!" at the Glenfinnan Viaduct which is famous for its appearance in "Harry Potter."
You'll also take a trip to another iconic movie spot— Glencoe, which is featured in the "Skyfall" James Bond movie.
The multi-day trip to Isle of Skye takes a more serious turn when you reach the National Wallace Monument which has seen plenty of bloodshed throughout the centuries.
3-Day tour to the Isle of Skye plus “Hogwarts Express” ride
This tour follows a similar route to others, with stops at Dunkeld, Eilean Donan Castle and Loch Ness on the jaunt to the Isle of Skye. You'll visit the star attractions of the island, including Dunvegan Castle and Gardens, Kilt Rock and Portree before slowly making your way back to Edinburgh.
On the way, you'll have the chance to don your wizard hat and take a ride on the steam train that is legendary from the "Harry Potter" franchise.
5-Day tour to the Isle of Skye plus Loch Ness from Edinburgh
Five-day tours allow you more time to explore the area thoroughly. You'll visit the same locations as on quicker tours, however, you'll have the opportunity to slow down and discover the beauty of northern Scotland better.
You'll have ample chances to see the Loch Ness monster as you tour its home by boat. On the final day, you'll also take part in a whisky-tasting session and sample the national tipple of the country.
5-Day small group tour to the Isle of Skye plus Iona and Mull from Edinburgh
If you want to explore the untouched region of Scotland, this 5-day tour may be the right choice for you. The itinerary differs from other regional tours and visits treasures such as Loch Lomond, as well as lesser-known gems like the Isle of Mull.
You'll travel to the Victorian town of Oban which is famed for its succulent seafood, passing through Loch Lomond and Inveraray Castle.
The following day you'll continue on to the Isles of Mull, Iona and the uninhabited Isle of Staffa. You can also spot colorful puffins and other seabirds at Fingal's Cave. This tour journeys through the West Highlands and you'll see the mesmerizing Glencoe Mountain up close.
You'll also cover the Isle of Skye and Pitlochry before heading back to Edinburgh.
6-Day guided tour of the Isle of Sky plus Outer Hebrides
This small group multi-day tour of the Isle of Skye travels to the largely unexplored territory of the Outer Hebrides. You'll see all of the landscapes Scotland has to offer, from towering peaks to soft, sandy bays and more.
Standout locations on this trip include Ullapool, Stornoway, the Isle of Harris and the Isle of Skye. As well as scenic vistas, you'll discover historic monuments such as the Callanish Standing Stones which are unexplained by archaeologists and date back before the creation of Stonehenge.
8-Day tour to the Isle of Skye plus Orkney from Edinburgh
This eight-day adventure allows you to discover the best of the Isle of Skye and its surrounding area. Not only will you visit the stunningly wild Isle of Skye, but you'll also head to the Orkney Islands.
If you're a lover of our friends in the sea, this will be the trip for you. You can see puffins, seals and even the occasional whale from these jagged isles.
You'll see glimmers of the Bronze Age at Kilmartin Glen and hear about the tragic massacre at Glencoe. You’re also bound to be amazed by the Orkney village that dates back over 5,000 years.
How much does a tour to the Isle of Skye from Edinburgh cost?
Three-day tours of the Isle of Skye and Scottish Highlands cost £300 per person. Accommodation in a B&B, round-trip transportation from Edinburgh and a tour guide are all included in the price. Entrance fees are at your own expense.
Budget Isle of Skye multi-day trips start at £199 and include two nights of accommodation in a hostel. You'll also have a local driver guide to give you an engaging commentary on the many sites and attractions of the region.
Tours that feature a ride on the famous "Harry Potter" steam train cost approximately £479. You'll stay in a local B&B for two nights and breakfast is included. Round-trip transportation, a professional guide and a steam train ride are also included in the price.
Five-day trips include B&B accommodation for four nights with a traditional Scottish breakfast. A steam train ride, boat cruise of Loch Ness and whisky tasting session are all included in the price.
All transportation, including ferries, is taken care of and you'll have a local guide to ensure your tour is fantastic. You can expect to pay £829 for the 5-day tour.
Four nights accommodation, a driver-guide and transportation are all included in a 5-day tour that travels to the Isle of Mull. You'll be part of a small group of 16 or fewer participants and the trip costs £816. Ferry crossings are covered in the cost, but the trip to Staffa will be at your own expense.
Multi-day tours to the Isle of Skye and the Outer Hebrides include all transportation as part of a small group, numbering 16 or less. Five nights accommodation with breakfast is included, as well as a driver-guide. Prices start at £946 for this excursion.
The longest multi-day trip to the Isle of Skye lasts eight days and includes B&B accommodation. You can choose between a twin room or double room for your adventure, and both include breakfast. All transportation is included, as well as a cruise of Loch Ness and a visit to Urquhart Castle. The starting price of this tour is £1,290.
What will you see and do on the Isle of Skye?
The Old Man of Storr
The Old Man of Storr is one of the most iconic features of the Scottish landscape and is located on the north of the island. This towering 50-meter mass of rock has stood for centuries, attracting visitors from all over the world.
While it looks impossible to climb, the rock has been scaled a number of times over the last 50 years.
The origin of the name for the cluster of rocks comes from its resemblance to an old man's face, and "storr" means great man in Norse.
Hikers can follow the popular Old Man of Storr walk which travels to the pinnacle of rocks. The hike takes around 45 minutes from the car park to the base of the Old Man and parts of the path can be difficult to walk.
Once you've arrived at the Old Man of Storr, you'll be able to see a panoramic view for miles around, overlooking the Trotternish region.
Kilt Rock is a striking sea cliff that gets its name from its resemblance to a kilt. Visitors to Kilt Rock can enjoy extraordinary views of the surrounding coastline, as well as the many seabirds that make their home on the cliff face.
In the 18th century, Bonnie Prince Charlie traveled to Skye after fleeing to the Outer Hebrides with a bounty on his head. He is said to have climbed Kilt Rock, and you can still see where he carved his initials into the stone today.
From this viewpoint, you can see the plummeting waters of Mealy Falls which travel 100 meters down the cliff face into the raging seas below. Kilt Rock is a popular attraction on a multi-day tour of the Isle of Skye.
Dunvegan Castle is a fortified castle that has been the seat of the Clan MacLeod for over 800 years. The castle sits nestled in the middle of the 4,200 acres that make up the estate. The first recorded mention of Dunvegan Castle is in a charter from 1250, though it is likely that the castle was built sometime before that.
The castle has been extended and remodeled over the centuries, and it now contains a number of interesting features. These include a museum dedicated to Clan MacLeod history, various relics of Bonnie Prince Charlie and a garden with one of the oldest rock gardens in Scotland.
Visitors to Dunvegan Castle can also take boat trips on Loch Dunvegan to see the local wildlife, which includes a resident seal colony.
When is the best time to visit the Isle of Skye?
July and August are the warmest months to visit the Isle of Skye. However, don't get your swimwear out just yet, as temperatures reach highs of just 16 degrees Celsius. You can also expect rain showers even during the summer, and these months also attract the most tourists to the island.
If you wish to avoid the crowds, then you should consider visiting in May or June, when the island experiences the most sunshine. The weather is mild and you'll also find accommodation options cheaper, as these months are outside of the main tourist season.
Are there any tours to the Isle of Skye from other cities in Scotland?
Yes, there are other tours departing from several other cities in Scotland: