There have been four Isle of Skye trips made by the Yolek household during the 3.5 years we have been in the UK. Skye’s natural beauty, evidenced by our previous two posts here and here, warrant an annual visit. Being public-transport travellers can be an impediment to enjoying Skye and our secret to a successful trip is Skye Scenic Tours, the well deserved #1 tour operator on Skye who run an amazing Skye day trip.
During summer 2017, Dalek booked a private day trip with Skye Scenic Tours to show the best of Skye to family and friends, our 3rd trip with the company. The difference this time was that we decided on a bespoke itinerary (based on our Skye favourites) that we’ll share in this post along with timings to give you an indicator for how long we spent on each stop and perhaps as inspiration for your own daytrip around Skye.
Note: this is NOT a sponsored post, we are very satisfied customers. Thanks Donald & Clare, stay awesome!
Why we love Skye Scenic Tours
- Excellent guides: Donald is one of the best guides we’ve seen, he is funny & friendly, knows the island in & out and is an excellent driver. Roddy drove us around during our private tour and he exemplifies many of the qualities mentioned. Additionally, he got us a wee treat at one of the stops 😉 Both were very considerate to our parents’ needs.
- Value for money: Our private day trip costed us £180 total for the 5 of us (price during summer 2017, a reasonable £36 per person). And a seat on their normal day tour is £40 per person. For the amount of awesomeness that this tour packs, every £ is well-spent.
- Flexibility: The best part of the private tour was that we had no fixed time at each stop. The simple direction was to come back when we were done. And yet, we finished the tour exactly at 5 PM. Additionally, Roddy reversed our whole itinerary based on his read of the weather and it paid off in spades.
- Lucky charm(?): Anyone who has been on Skye knows how the island’s passing showers can drench you in an instant. Somehow, during all three trips we’ve taken with them, it has rained only when we were in the car and dry when we reach our stops. And our private trip was the first time we saw the sun at most stops! We should’ve bought lottery tickets that day.
- A stress-free day: A lot of Skye’s roads are single-track and might pose challenges to first time visitors. Also, finding parking at the Skye hotspots during the summer is a challenge to say the least. Taking the daytrip not only supports a local business, it also takes any stress you might encounter driving with rules you’re not familiar with.
Trip duration: 7.5 hours (9:30 AM – 5 PM)
Our itinerary: Portree – Sligachan – Fairy Pools – Talisker Distillery – Oyster Shed (lunch stop) – Fairy Glen – Isle of Skye brewery – Quiraing – Staffin Beach – Kilt Rock – Old Man of Storr – Portree
Stop 1: Sligachan (TripAdvisor)
Arrival time: 9:50 AM (15 minutes from Portree)
Beautiful view of the Cuillin ranges, both Red and Black. The old stone bridge across the flowing Sligachan river is a great photo spot.
Departure time: 10:10 AM (20 minute stop)
Stop 2: Fairy Pools (TripAdvisor)
Arrival time: 10:30 AM (20 minutes from Sligachan)
One of the most beautiful places on the island and our longest stop on this tour as we had specifically asked for enough time to walk the trail and back.
Departure time: 11:45 AM (1 hr 15 mins stop including the trail walk)
Arrival time: 12 PM (15 minutes from Fairy Pools)
A Carbost two-for-one, outside of Talisker, the real attractions here are the scenic Loch Harport and a superb lunch at The Oyster Shed (featured in our list of 9 speciality foods across Scotland, a must visit).
Departure time: 1:30 PM (Lunch with a beautiful view, also saw off a shower)
Arrival time: 2:30 PM (an hour from Carbost)
It is worth spending more time here if you choose to climb to the top of one of the wee hills for the magical views. One of our party encountered a minor fall due to loose rock and Roddy came to our help immediately. At Uig, Roddy comped my friend our wee treat, a glass of the excellent Cuillin Beast.
Departure time: 3:05 PM (35 mins stop including a restroom break)
Stop 5: Quiraing (TripAdvisor)
Arrival time: 3:30 PM (25 mins from Uig)
This is one of the most unique landscape views in the country. (also the featured image) And we saw it in partial sunshine for the first time ever. It looked like a completely different place!
Departure time: 3:40 PM (10 mins stop )
Stop 6: Staffin Beach (TripAdvisor)
Arrival time: 3:55 PM (15 mins from Quiraing)
We didn’t manage to see the dinosaur footprint but the black sand of the beach makes it an aesthetically pleasing stop and a change up from the lush green colours.
Departure time: 4:10 pm PM (15 mins stop )
Stop 7: Kilt Rock (TripAdvisor)
Arrival time: 4:15 PM (5 mins from Staffin Beach)
The water flow at the falls wasn’t as strong as our previous trips but seeing a “sunny kilt” was a pleasure.
Departure time: 4:25 PM (10 mins stop)
Stop 8: Old Man of Storr (TripAdvisor)
Arrival time: 4:45 PM (20 mins from Staffin Beach)
Our last photo stop, the family looked over the iconic Skye landscape and we ended our daytrip with a happy family and friends photo 🙂
Departure time: 4:50 PM (5 mins photo stop, arrived into Portree at 5 PM sharp)
Dalek (real name: Anirudh, author of many of the posts on this blog including this one) has been chosen to be an official VisitScotland Ambassador!
The journey to this point began late 2016 when I signed up to the VisitScotland community forum. It is a very friendly group where anyone can create a discussion to ask VisitScotland staff and other Scotland travel experts questions about places to see and how to get there. There are also threads on events and traditions from around Scotland.
For over a year, I used my Scotland travel knowledge to give recommendations, create itineraries and assure many prospective travellers in the community that it is possible to see Scotland by public transport. Being a VisitScotland Ambassador gives me an opportunity to work closely with VS and take a more active role in promoting Scotland as a prime tourist destination. Watch this space.
The main change to the blog is that it stops being anonymous. To that end, here’s the first picture of real life Dalek (ie Anirudh, author of blog travel posts) and Yoda (author of blog stories) with the Old Man of Storr in the backdrop, shot by Donald on our first Skye daytrip 🙂
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