Isle of Skye Tour from Inverness

With its majestic mountain scenery, stunning landscapes and dramatic coastlines, Skye is home to some of Scotland’s most iconic sights.

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Tour Highlights

  • The most comprehensive Skye tour visiting Kilt Rock, the Quiraing, Eilean Donan Castle, Portree, the Old Man of Storr & lots more
  • A legendary WOW Scotland tour guide to entertain and inform plus a dedicated driver.
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PricesFrom £69 p.p
Times9am - 7.45pm
DatesMarch - October
Covid Compliant TourAll our tours will fully comply with regulations

Itinerary and Map+

Itinerary & Map

1

The Journey Begins

The Journey Begins
Our Isle of Skye Day Tour starts in the Highland capital of Inverness.

We drive over the iconic Kessock Bridge and through the rolling farmland of the Black Isle, where we often see birds of prey, including red kites and ospreys. As the scenery changes, and we enter into remote Highland wilderness, we usually spot majestic red deer. After one hour we have our first stop in the village of Achnasheen, home to a scenic Victorian railway station. Here you will have 10 minutes to stretch your legs, use the facilities and snap a photo of the rugged mountains from the railway bridge.

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2

Kyleakin

Kyleakin
After crossing over the Skye Bridge onto the island, we stop in the pretty harbour town of Kyleakin.

After enjoying views of the magnificent mountain landscapes and lochs of the Northwest Highlands, we will arrive on Skye at around 11am. In the sleepy fishing village of Kyleakin you can enjoy great views of the Skye Bridge, Eilean Ban lighthouse and the legendary Castle Moil; this rugged ruin has a fascinating history and stands tall on a rocky promontory on the south east corner of Skye. A short walk takes you to a viewpoint which offers stunning views of this beautiful part of the island. We will spend approximately 20 minutes in Kyleakin and this will be your first opportunity to pick-up coffee and snacks from a local cafe.

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3

Portree

Portree
Craft shops, coastline, coffee and colourful houses are just a few of Portree’s highlights.

Set within a pretty natural harbour, and surrounded by rocky cliffs and rolling hills, Portree is a beautiful place to explore. With its quirky shops, cute cafes and interesting sights you will certainly find plenty to occupy you during our 40 minute stop here. Your guide will give you some top tips on the coach, and will also point you in the direction of the harbour viewpoint; from here you can admire the pretty pastel-coloured houses that the town is famous for. Alternatively, you may wish to take a short hike up to the top of the Apothecary Tower, where you can enjoy stunning vistas of the area.

For those who have not taken advantage of our convenient packed lunch pre-ordering service, this will be your opportunity to pick up lunch to-go.

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4

Old Man of Storr

Old Man of Storr
A loch-side spot to view the spiky rock pinnacle of the Old Man of Storr is next on our Skye bucket list.

As we venture further north we enter a supernatural and dramatic landscape which was created by volcanic activity millions of years ago. A short photo stop at a loch-side viewpoint gives you a chance to admire the unique rock formation of the Old Man of Storr. This 50 metre high pinnacle juts out from the awe-inspiring Trotternish Ridge and will be widely recognised from feature films including Stardust, The Wicker Man, Prometheus and The BFG.

We spend around 10 minutes here, and often stop at a second viewpoint too (weather permitting).

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5

Kilt Rock

Kilt Rock
From a clifftop viewpoint we see the towering basalt columns of Kilt Rock and its incredible 60m waterfall.

Kilt Rock is an exposed sea cliff, which resembles the traditional Highland kilt, and which wows our guests each and every time. It also boasts a waterfall that tumbles 60 metres (180 feet) into the Sound of Raasay below – a truly enthralling sight, and one made even more special when the wind blows the waterfall back up the cliff!

We spend around 15 minutes at Kilt Rock.

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6

Quiraing

Quiraing
Take time to find a peaceful spot and enjoy the supernatural scenery of the Quiraing.

Our next stop is certainly one of the absolute highlights on Skye. The Quiraing is a series of landslides that have combined to create high cliffs, hidden plateaus, buttresses and rock pinnacles. When mist swirls around the volcanic rock, it can be a positively spine tingling experience and, on clear days, the views are phenomenal. We have 35 minutes here and would recommend taking a short hike to find a unique vantage point.

Whatever the weather, your experience here will be unforgettable.

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7

Trotternish

Trotternish
Dramatic coastal and mountainous views abound on this stunning peninsula.

At around 3pm we will begin our journey back down Skye’s most northerly peninsula; The Trotternish. This will give you the opportunity to marvel at the majestic scenery from a completely different angle, and also means that those enjoying coastal views on the way up will swap to mountain views, and vice versa. National Geographic experts voted Skye the fourth best island in the world a few years ago, with their criteria being to find the most unique, picturesque and unspoiled places on earth.

By this point in the journey we are confident that you will agree with their verdict!

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8

Black Cuillins

Black Cuillins
At the Cuillin Mountains we stop for breathtaking views, a scenic river hike and a cosy pub.

At Sligachan, we are welcomed by truly awe-inspiring views of the Red and Black Cuillin mountains. Here, there is an opportunity to go on a 20-30 minute off-the-beaten-track riverside hike to one of our favourite lesser-known spots. Alternatively, you could just take a short walk to the picturesque stone bridge. Or, if you’d rather relax after your eventful day, then pop into Seumas’ Bar, which is renowned for its collection of 400 malt whiskies, and even produces its own ale in the adjacent Cuillin Brewery. We spend around 40 minutes at Sligachan.

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9

Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle
We stop at a wonderful viewpoint to swoon over this truly iconic castle.

After crossing back over the Skye Bridge we embark on an alternative route to Inverness, with our next stop being the instantly recognisable Eilean Donan Castle. This is one of the most photographed castles in the world, and has appeared in many films including Highlander and James Bond – The World is Not Enough (in addition to numerous shortbread tins and calendars!). Our evening arrival is perfectly timed as the castle is closed and its visitors (an impressive half a million in 2017!) have gone home. This means that we enjoy the calmer evening atmosphere, and get much better photos. We will spend around 20 minutes at a classic viewpoint.

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10

The Journey Home

The Journey Home
Sit back, relax and just enjoy the unspoilt Highland scenery.

After so many world-class sights ticked off your list today, you will have an hour or so to sit back, relax and enjoy yet more beautiful scenery before our final stop. We will follow the shores of Loch Duich before travelling up into the hills, where we will see legendary mountains; The 5 Sisters of Kintail. Your guide will keep you amused with tales of legend and lore as we pass various sights of Jacobite military interest, including a spot where the Spanish battled the Dutch way back in 1719. As we tour alongside the shores of Loch Cluanie keep an eye out for the historic bridge and buildings which lie submerged in the loch, and which you can catch glimpses of when the water level is very low.

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11

Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle

Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle
See the legendary castle and world-famous loch from above.

Towards the end of our epic journey we travel along the northern shores of the legendary Loch Ness. Here, Nessie enthusiasts can keep an eye out for the monster, while the rest of us soak up the great views across the loch. At Urquhart Castle, we have our last stop of the day, where we spend around 10 minutes viewing the loch-side castle ruins from above – a WOW end to a WOW day!

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12

Highland Cows

Highland Cows
We’ll do our best to stop and say Hi to a hairy Highland Coo at some point during the tour!

We always try and stop to see the hairy Highland Cows on our Skye tour. The only reasons we will not see them are if they have moved away to eat juicier grass somewhere else, or if there is a road closure/diversion or other issue outwith our control. Rest assured that we see these guys on 95% of tours, and they generally like to chat to our guests (as well as admire their portrait on the side of the WOW coach!)

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FAQs+

Tour FAQs

What sort of vehicle do you use?+

wow mini coaches on the roadHere at WOW Scotland we only have two coaches, both of which were built to our precise specifications, to ensure the highest levels of passenger comfort. The vehicles have 30-seats and are very well-appointed with panoramic windows, comfortable reclining seats, USB ports under every seat and on-board WiFi. You can rest assured that you will be able to relax and enjoy the majestic scenery in complete comfort. You can read more about our coaches here.

Can I be dropped off in Skye after the tour?+

Yes – this is not a problem and is a great way of doing a trip around Scotland. You are welcome to bring your luggage with you, just let us know when booking. We typically drop people off in Portree, but if you’ve somewhere else you’d like to be dropped please contact us and we’ll let you know if we can make it happen. For more information please check out this page.

Why should we choose WOW to take us to Skye?+

We know that there are a number of companies in Inverness offering similar tour itineraries to ourselves, and we appreciate that it can be difficult to decide which company to use.  We wanted to summarise the main benefits of coming on our tour, so that you can make sure you are making the best choice for your group.  So..here goes…

  • First and foremost, we are the only operator from Inverness to provide both a tour guide and a tour driver on all Skye tours.  Your comfort and safety is of utmost priority to us, and we feel that your driver should be 100% focused on the road.  This is particularly the case on the single track, winding roads on Skye, where considerable attention is required to navigate the vehicle, and be constantly alert for other drivers (generally tourists, who are unfamiliar with our roads!).  Meanwhile, your tour guide can focus on keep you entertained, comfortable and informed about what you are seeing, what he would recommend at the next stop, and other important information!
  • We are the only company to offer a seat reservation system for our front row and extra legroom seats so, if sitting with a companion, room to stretch or taking uninterrupted photos is important to you, this will be a great benefit.  You can read more about the coach in our blog
  • We are the only company to offer a lunch pre-ordering service on-board; we work with a local delicatessen in Portree who supply us with tasty packed lunches.  This is an entirely optional service which we provide in order to save you from wasting precious sightseeing time; you only have one day on Skye, and we want you to make the most out of it!
  • We offer free WiFi on board all Skye tours
  • We have the newest and smartest tour vehicle (ok, this is partly subjective, but we are pretty confident!)
  • We are the only local company offering coach tours to Skye from Inverness (we operate from Tomatin, 20 miles south of Inverness, and the company owner is an Invernessian born and bred!).  We think that this is important, as it means that the money you pay for your ticket goes back into the local economy.
  • Skye has a fragile economy which is very dependent on tourism, and we want to ensure that the local community see the benefit of our tours.  We work with a local supplier  in Portree to provide all meals, and all of the money that you pay goes directly to them
  • We have been awarded 5 Star Tour status by our national tourism organisation, Visit Scotland, for the last four years, which means that they have rated our tours as “exceptional”
  • We have over 1700 5 star reviews on TripAdvisor (over 500 of these are specifically for our Skye tours – that’s a lot of very happy customers!)
  • We care about the Highlands!  Every time we go to Skye we pay to plant trees through Trees for Life, in order to offset the carbon produced by our coach.  We also use fully biodegradable packaging for our meals, to reduce waste going to landfill.  You can read more about all that good stuff here

We very much hope that you will choose to come with us to Skye, and are looking forward to meeting you, and showing you the best the island has to offer, very soon!

How often are bathroom/toilet stops?+

There are six stops where toilets/bathrooms can be accessed, and the longest time between bathrooms is around two hours, For the rest of the day the average length between stops is around 75 minutes.Below we have listed the times when bathrooms are available (times are for our 0900 departures and can vary slightly but this gives you a very good indication of time between comfort breaks);10am (Achnasheen), 11.15am (Kyleakin), 12.30-1pm (Portree), 3.10pm (Staffin Stores), 4.10-4.45pm (Sligachan) and 5.40pm (Eilean Donan Castle).Outside of these times it may be possible to make unscheduled bathroom stops – please just ask our driver or guide to see what they can do for you, as the last thing we ever want is for our passengers is to be uncomfortable.Please note that there are bathroom facilities available in Inverness bus station which you can use prior to tour departure (at a cost of 30p per person).

Can we book a private tour instead?+

If you have a large group (i.e. 9 or more people) we may be able to offer you a similar itinerary on a private basis, in our 28 or 30 seater coach, when available (we have most availability between October and April, and limited availability between May and September).In 2020 we will not be offering any small private tours; for groups of 1 – 8 we would highly recommend our scheduled Isle of Skye Tour or our Skye Fairy Pools Tour.

Will we be stopping for coffee/snacks enroute?+

There are a couple of places where you can pick up a coffee or a bottle of water, but doing so means that you will have less time to spend exploring the sights. Consequently, many of our guests prefer to bring some light snacks and drinks with them on the coach, to keep their energy up for the adventure!If you do wish to purchase drinks and snacks on the tour the main opportunities to do this are in Portree (you have approximately 45 minutes here and there are a number of cafes, bakeries and shops) and at the Sligachan Hotel (there is a bar there, with a great selection of whisky!).

Where will we get lunch & dinner?+

We are delighted to be working with Relish in Portree to offer a packed/box lunch. The lunch is priced at £7.50pp and we will take pre-orders and cash (only) in the morning. We will then deliver the meals to you at lunch time (1.15pm approx.) to be eaten on the coach.To see the full menu options please click here to go to the Skye lunch menu page.You are welcome to bring snacks and drinks with you as there are limited opportunities to purchase these along the way.The lunch pre-ordering service is organised purely for your convenience, and in order to save you from wasting precious sightseeing time. It is very difficult to organise options which please every customer, particularly as the choice of suppliers on Skye is very limited (especially for weekend tours). Consequently, if you do not like the sound of our menu options then please feel free to bring your own food. Alternatively, you will have 45 minutes to pick up something in Portree at lunchtime, but please be aware that the town can be incredibly busy, and there are a limited number of food outlets, which is why we offer the pre-ordering service.Please note that, for the comfort of other passengers, we do not allow any hot fried food to be brought onto the coach.The packaging used for our meals is fully compostable Vegware and the water is supplied in eco-friendly cartons. We are doing out utmost to minimise our environmental impact.For dinner we would recommend booking a table in Inverness and we will send you a list of a few of our favourites a few days prior to the tour.

Can I reserve seats on the tour?+

Yes. Due to customer demand, we have a booking system for the following seats;

  • 4 front row seats – these give you unparalleled views out of the front windows, and the opportunity to disembark first at every stop.  Our most popular seats.
  • 4 second row seats – many guests prefer to sit near the front of the coach, or be reassured that you will be seated together if they are a couple/group, both of which you get with this option.  These seats also have a little more legroom than these front row seats.  These are available on some tours only.
  • 2 extra legroom seats – these are situated near the back of the coach and have approximately 50% more legroom than regular seats.  They are particularly suited to those who are tall, or like to stretch out.
  • 4 back row seats – these are ideal for groups who wish to sit together.  Unlike on most other coaches we have removed the fifth/middle seat so the seats are spaced further apart, giving you more elbow room.

The price of the upgrades vary depending on which tour you are on, with prices between £2.50 and £22.50 per person.  If they are available, upgrades will be given as an option when booking.Please note that it does not make any difference which side of the coach you sit on, so we don’t take requests for specific sides.The rest of our seating works on a first-come-first-served basis, as we feel that this is the fairest system of allocating seats. It is not possible to reserve window seats, or seats together if you are travelling as part of a group but, if you do wish to choose your seat, we would recommend arriving early at the bus stop (i.e. a few minutes before check-in closes). If you are unhappy with your seat please let your tour guide know and he will do his best to accommodate your requests, although obviously many guests would prefer a window seat so it is not possible for everyone to have these!Note that any fees paid for seat upgrades are non-refundable if you cancel your tour.

Can we visit the Fairy Pools or Talisker Distillery?+

We do not visit the Fairy Pools on this tour but, if this is top of your list of must-see sights, we would recommend considering our Isle of Skye Fairy Pools Tour, which visits all of the sights from this tour, plus gives you time to hike to the wonderful Fairy Pools.We do not visit Talisker Distillery on any of our tours, as it often gets exceptionally busy there and, as such, we are unable to guarantee the quality of the experience offered.  However, if you are a whisky fan, we would strongly recommend our Whisky Tour, which visits four excellent distilleries and a cooperage, giving you outstanding tours/tastings at each.

What times does the Skye tour start and finish?+

This tour departs at 9am. Please ensure that you are ready to board the bus at 8.50am (0850) as we will leave promptly at 9am (0900), and are unable to wait for any latecomers, The tour will return to Inverness city centre at approximately 8pm (2000). It is possible that we may return a bit later than this, although we always try to keep to our schedule as much as possible.March and OctoberThis tour departs earlier and returns later in March and October, due to the limited daylight at these times of year. Exact timings will be available to view when booking.

How much time will we spend on the coach on the Skye tour?+

This is a 11 hour tour which covers all of the most popular sights, both en-route to and on the Isle of Skye. Although there is approximately 7 1/2 hours of driving involved the scenery along the way is stunning, and of course the commentary will keep you informed and entertained, so the time onboard will fly by! The tour also incorporates around 3 1/2 hours of stops so there is plenty of time to get out and explore!

Can children come on this tour?+

We welcome children over the age of six on our tour. It should be noted that approximately 60-70% of the day is spent on the coach, so it may be an idea to bring some toys, games and snacks with you.Unfortunately, due to the duration of the tour and time on the coach, we do not feel that this tour is appropriate for children under the age of six, so the tour is not open to this age group. This is for the comfort of other passengers and also to ensure that the driver and guide can focus on doing their jobs without any distractions.UK law states that each passenger must have their own seat and use their seatbelt at all times. Consequently, it is not possible to take a child on your lap. From experience we know that, very occasionally, parents try to bring children on without purchasing a seat. However, we would like to make it clear that this is not allowed and there will be no refund if you are refused entry to the tour for taking children under 6 or those whom you haven’t booked.

Can wheelchair/walking frame users come on the Skye tour?+

Unfortunately not all of the stops offer wheelchair access, as a lot of the terrain on Skye is very rugged. Also, the coach is not equipped for passengers to remain in their wheelchairs.That being said, if you are able to get out of your wheelchair at the coach steps and walk onto the coach, there is no reason why you could not enjoy the tour from the comfort of the coach and we will make every effort to accommodate those with mobility problems.

What should I wear on the Skye tour?+

At stops such as The Quiraing and Sligachan there are opportunities to go on short walks. As the ground is often wet, muddy and slippery we would ask that you wear hiking boots or, as an absolute minimum, sensible shoes/trainers/sneakers which have good grip and which are suited to this type of terrain. Also, please bring a waterproof jacket (waterproof trousers can also come in useful if you have them!).Even if the sun is shining brightly when you leave Inverness, they do say that you only really experience Scotland when you see four seasons in one day, so please be prepared!

Where is the pick-up point in Inverness?+

We pick-up from Stance 7 at Inverness Bus Station, Margaret Street, Inverness, IV1 1LT. Look out for the kilted WOW guide and WOW-branded coach and you won’t miss us!

Skye Tour Lunch Menu+

At WOW Scotland, on our Isle of Skye day tour although lunch is not included we do have connections with the amazing Relish in Portree, who provide lunch to anyone on the tour who needs something made up.

Your guide will take your order and cash in the morning. The meals will be delivered to you at lunch time (usually upon departure from Portree) to be eaten on the coach.

Lunch Options

Your packed/box lunch will contain your choice of white filled roll (or gluten free wrap), a traybake, an apple, a packet of crisps (chips) and a carton of water.  The price of this is £7.50.

Choose from the following fillings:

  • Hot-smoked salmon, with salad leaves and cucumber
  • Piri piri chicken, with salad leaves, tomato and mayonnaise
  • Cheese and ham, with plum and apple chutney
  • Brie and cranberry, with salad leaves (Vegetarian)
  • Hummus, with salad leaves and tomato, no butter (Vegan)

You may be interested to know that…

We work with Relish in Portree, who make our meals to order every day. The money you pay goes straight back to this fantastic local deli.

Relish use local suppliers as much as possible: salmon is from Skye Fish; meat is from Murdoch Brothers; fruit and vegetables come from Williamson’s of Inverness.

The packaging used for the meals is fully compostable.

We think that the food is delicious, and we hope that you do too!

For Dinner;

We would highly recommend booking somewhere in Inverness for after your return to the city at 8pm – we will send out our restaurant recommendations in your final pre-tour email three days prior to your tour date.

 

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Meet your guides

Gordon Pearson

Founder & Tour Guide

  560 Reviews

Gordon founded WOW Scotland in 2010 and hasn’t looked back since. He loves talking about the Scottish Highlands, both on tour and on the TV and radio.

Sandy Dear

Tour Guide

  350 Reviews

Sandy has been working in Scottish tourism for over 25 years and has been a key part of team WOW since 2014. His knowledge of the Scottish Highlands is outstanding and he delights our visitors on each and every tour with his phenomenal story telling skills.

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