Hike to the Skye Fairy Pools | Shuttle Bus from Inverness
Rated 5* on TripAdvisor TripAdvisor by more than 1750 happy customers # 1 on TripAdvisor for Scotland tours from Inverness

Tour Highlights

  • The jewel in Scotland's walking crown!
  • Get off-the-beaten track on this self-guided 10km hike
  • Secret waterfalls and stunning mountain scenery abound
  • Point-to-point hike - we'll drop you off at the start and pick you up at the Fairy Pools
  • Only suitable for experienced hikers who can navigate using a map and compass
Prices£65 pp
Times0815 - 2015
Free CancellationUp to 72 hours before tour starts
UpgradesFront row seats

Itinerary and Map+

Itinerary & Map

1

Your adventure begins!

Your adventure begins!
Lace up your hiking boots and board our well-appointed mini-coach, either from the centrally-located Inverness Bus Station or from selected city hotels.

Our journey skirts the shores of Loch Ness for the first 45 minutes; keep your eyes peeled for Nessie, and also for the iconic Urquhart Castle, which juts out on a promontory into the famous loch. As we venture further west the desolate mountainous landscapes become increasingly dramatic, until we reach the shores of Loch Duich on the stunning west coast.

Throughout your time on the coach our highly experienced driver guide will provide an informative and entertaining commentary, providing a fascinating insight into the history, culture and landscapes of the Scottish Highlands.

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2

Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle
Admire this fairytale fortress from a loch-side viewpoint.

Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most photographed castles in the world, and the setting for films including The Highlander, James Bond – The World Is Not Enough and Rob Roy, to name but a few. We will spend around 10 minutes here, to enable you to take some photos of the iconic castle, and use the facilities.

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3

The Cuillin Mountains

The Cuillin Mountains
Your hike begins at the foot of the Black Cuillin Mountains.

At around 11am we will arrive at Sligachan, a stunning spot where your hiking adventure begins. Before you set off take a stroll over the distinctive Sligachan Bridge and admire the impressive bronze memorial to Norman Collie and John Mackenzie, two pioneering climbers who made many first ascents of the mighty Cuillin peaks which dominate the landscape here.

You will require an OS map (either number 32 South Skye on the 1/50 or 411 Skye Cuillin Hills on 1/25) and compass from this point as the walk is wholly self-guided. You are responsible for getting yourself from here to the meeting point at the Fairy Pools. Whilst the walk itself is not physically challenging, there are places where it is possible to get lost, so you do need hiking and navigation experience.

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4

The banks of the Alt Dearg Mor

The banks of the Alt Dearg Mor
Prepare to be impressed; the first 4km of the walk is stunning!

The stony path ascends gently alongside the lively Alt Dearg Mor stream, and you will quickly lose count of the number of waterfalls and pools it features along the way. Twisted rowan trees adorn the banks of the stream and the crystal clear water bubbles down over a rocky bed.

Although the beauty of the cascading waterfalls is mesmerising, this is more than matched by the surrounding vistas; as you walk you will find yourself torn between where to look! Accompanied by the roar of the stream you can admire a 360 degree panorama of highlights including: Loch Sligachan; the mountains of Glamaig, Bla Bheinn and Marsco; the famous Black Cuillins; and heather-clad moorland.

After around 4km the path flattens out, the stream recedes to a trickle and the resulting calm atmosphere gives you a true taste of the remote nature of hiking on Skye. Be sure to keep an eye out for the red deer which graze here sometimes.

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5

The Bealach na Mhaim

The Bealach na Mhaim
Reach the plateau with a sense of achievement

2 – 3 hours after you have started your hike (we allow plenty of time for taking photos, paddling and simply enjoying the world-class views!!) you will arrive at the highest point of the walk; the Bealach na Mhaim.

When you reach this plateau it is a fairly flat walk for around 1km, past a couple of peaty mountain lochans in the shadow of the Black Cuillins. By this stage you will have ascended 335 metres (1100 feet) and will be truly immersed in the awe-inspiring wilderness of the mountains.

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6

Coire na Creiche

Coire na Creiche
An easy traverse under the imposing peaks of the Cuillins.

It’s time to get up close and personal with the hills you have been admiring from afar as you start the easy traverse of the stony slopes of the Bruach na Frithe. The path is rough and rocky for the next couple of kilometres as you make your way around to Coire na Creich, which translates as the corrie of devastation (ask your guide to explain why later!). As you stand at the top of the corrie you can see the stream snaking its way down the mountain to the Fairy Pools, which start just a short walk away.

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7

The Fairy Pools

The Fairy Pools
You have reached your destination, now take time to enjoy it!

You have walked 7km from Sligachan, and will now have approximately two hours to walk the last 2.5km, giving you plenty of time to soak up the beauty of the Fairy Pools as you go. From your starting point in the shadow of the Black Cuillin you will get a bird’s-eye view of the other visitors, who will be concentrated down at the start of the path near the largest pools and most impressive waterfalls. We’d recommend spending most of your time further up the track, as it is more peaceful but you can still enjoy the beauty of the mesmerising blue waters. We will meet you at the carpark at 4.30pm, ready for a prompt departure at 4.45pm. The Fairy Pools is a stunning sight and is popular for a very good reason. However, by taking the more adventurous option to hike here it enables you to escape the crowds and enjoy the world-class scenery at your leisure. See the Fairy Pools like a local, and enjoy your very own slice of Skye paradise.

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8

Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle

Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle
Enjoy a well-earned rest on the journey back to Inverness

As we embark on our journey back to Inverness it is time for you to sit back and relax in the comfort of our mini-coach (your tired legs will definitely appreciate the spacious reclining seats by this stage!). It’s not time to doze yet though, as our guide will keep you entertained with plenty more stories on the way home, accompanied by a lively soundtrack to keep the mood upbeat.

Our last stop of the day is at Urquhart Castle. Here you will have the opportunity to view this iconic castle from our favourite road-side vantage point, perfect for taking a few final photos of an awesome day out.

This hike to the Fairy Pools is truly one of Scotland’s best, and is where we at WOW take our friends when they come to visit. By the time we arrive back in Inverness at 8.15pm we are certain that you will have fallen in love with the Scottish Highlands, and will agree with us on this one!

Again, please remember that the hike is entirely self-guided and is only suitable for guests who have hiking experience, and are comfortable navigating using an OS map and compass. You are responsible for getting yourself to the meeting point.

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