You can say Isle of Skye is jewel of Scotland, if you are visiting Scotland we will highly recommend a road trip to Isle of Skye. It is indeed one of the top things to do in Scotland, hence we are here with a travel guide to Isle of Skye.
When to visit Isle of Skye?
Good News! You can visit Isle of Skye throughout the year, but if you are looking for perfect temperature and longer days then summer is your best bet. Therefore it is obvious that summer months are going to be the peak season to visit the island. June to August is considered peak season to visit Isle of Skye, it gets crowded, all the accommodations get booked pretty fast and gets expensive as well.
Low season is winter months, most likely you will have very less number of tourists during these months. If you don’t mind being cold, shorter days and fewer option of stay and food then this is the perfect time to have to isle all by yourself.
Our recommendation will be to visit during Spring End of March to end of May. It will definitely be colder than the summer months and still many businesses will not be open but it will be drier, sunnier and longer days.
Isle of Skye weather?
Isle of Skye will be cold and windy even in summers, but the temperature will be pleasant 21 degree celsius in day and at night can drop 10-11 degrees.
Winters are cold but rarely gets to sub zero temperature. Snowfall is common but not very frequent.
The island is in scottish highlands, so expect rain at any time or crazy wind at time. The weather can change drastically without giving any warning, hence it is wise to be prepared for the same.
How many days are needed?
We recommend to have 2 full day to explore Skye, based on that you determine when you reach and how many days accommodation you want to book. You can easily spend 2-3 more days extra and explore nearby islands or hike all the famous trails.
It is also possible to drive around the island in one day and enjoy the beautiful scenery. You will be able to visit few of the sights .
How to get to Isle of Skye?
The closest airport to reach Skye is Inverness, you can take flight to Inverness, rent a car from there and drive to Skye. It takes two and half hour drive to reach portree from Inverness.
You can also reach Inverness, by train from all major cities in Scotland and England.
There are buses to Isle of Skye from Inverness, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
In case you can’t drive and leverage public transport only then buses from Inverness to Portree is your only bet.
Getting Around Isle of Skye
Best way to explore Skye at your own pace is to hire a car from inverness and drive around. If you can not drive then you can opt from bus services from Portree to see the major sights. Please note you need to plan according to the bus time table if you want to cover this by public transport. You can find the bus time table here.
Another option is to go on day trip with group tour companies that start from Inverness, a very popular one is Rabbies Travels ( not sponsored).
Accommodation in Isle of Skye
If you are planning your trip to Skye make sure you book your stay months ahead, cause during peak season it has a tendency to get sold out. Specially, if you are planning to travel by public transport you need to stay near Portree, that get sold out pretty quickly. When we visited in April, we could not manage to get an accommodation in Portree.
If you have car then we highly recommend the cabins in middle of nowhere, gives you another vibe all together.
Incase you chose to travel during winter months, then do keep in mind many B&Bs close down in winter so, you will have less option to stay.
Where to eat?
Most of the famous restaurants and takeaways are located in Portree. Please keep in mind this is an island life, so in off-season/ shoulder-season many restaurants will be closed. It is also normal here to be open during lunch and dinner time only, so you might be left hungry if you land up for late lunch.
We faced that issue in April, also parking in Portree is a challenge, so we just cooked in our B&B kitchen.
Top things to see in Skye
This is the list of things you can see in Skye, please note you won’t be able to do it all so chose the one you liked the most
- The Old Man of Storr
- The Quiraing
- Fairy Glen
- Fairy Pool
- Neist Point
- Sligachan Bridge
- Dunvegan Castle
- Coral Beach
- Talisker Bay
- Kilt Rock Waterfall
Top things to do in Skye
- Boat trip to Lewis and Harris
- Hike Quiraing/ Fairy Pool/ Old Man of Storr
- Hike the Black Cullens
- Talisker Whiskey Tasting
What to expect ?
- You need to be prepared for rain at any time, in Skye weather can change anytime.
- You can drive campervans as well to visit here and stay at campsites.
- Roads are narrow but maintained, be prepared to drive in roads where only one car can pass. In these type of roads, you need to give way to oncoming vehicles. So you might have to reverse to a point where the car in front can pass.
- In summer season there are midges ( a mosquito like flies), so you need to carry insect repellent. You also need to make sure where you are staying there are no nearby puddles or lakes.
- You need to take this into consideration that many of the places requires minimum walking of 30 mins one way, few more than an hour. You will need time to to hike all the places and come back and hike again to the next one.
- If you have kids then do consider visiting Dinosaur museum and Village museum in the island, kids will enjoy.