The Isle of Skye is one of the top destinations in the world and is a ‘must-see’ when visiting Scotland. To drink in its landscape and breathe the fresh Skye air is a blessing to all that experience it. It might be a rural part of Scotland, but it is absolutely worth the small effort it is to get there.
Here is our guide on how to get to the Isle of Skye!
You’ll first need to get yourself to Inverness – the Capital of the Highlands. If you’re traveling from outside Scotland, the most direct way is to fly into the closest local airport – Inverness Airport, which is only about 112 miles from Portree on Skye. Inverness is around 3 hours north of Edinburgh and is easily reached by rail and by road.
It’s quite the scenic journey north as well and is a well-traveled route by those looking to discover what is the heart of Scotland, as the road north takes you through historic rural towns and major cities alike.
Method 1 – Guided Tour:
If you’re looking for the perfect tour to the magical and misty Isle of Skye, then the easiest and best way to make the most of your time on the road to Skye is taking a tour to the island from a local guide.
Operators like IT Tours have a fantastic 10-hour tour from Inverness that can guide you through the most iconic sights and the lesser-known gems that the road to Skye has to offer. Sites such as the iconic Loch Ness – home to the mysterious Loch Ness Monster (Nessie) and fortifications and buildings full of romance and intrigue like Urquhart Castle and Eilean Donan Castle.
Guides are full of local knowledge and will take you to all the spots that can be missed by the uninitiated, and there are plenty of pearls strewn around the Scottish countryside.
A guided tour 10-hour tour from Inverness to Skye from IT Tours costs only around £390 for 4 people, but the memories it will leave you with are priceless.
Method 2 – Car Hire:
Traveling to Skye via car is the preferred option by many visitors to Skye, whether it be self-drive or through a tour operator. It allows the flexibility to come and go as you please and allows you to explore the more remote parts of the island as well as enjoy the landscape at your own pace on the way to Skye.
There are plenty of car hire companies available at the Inverness Airport listed if you are looking to drive yourself to Skye. You can also arrange car hire on the island with Morrison Car Hire in Portree if you’re wanting to scoot about the island untethered to the infrequent public transport. Booking in advance is essential, especially during the busy tourist season.
Method 3 – Train:
Unfortunately, there is no railway on Skye. There are train stations on the mainland that are accessible from Inverness, however, you will need to take alternative transport methods to get on the island itself.
From Inverness, you can travel to Kyle of Lochalsh by train (2.5 hours). There, you can catch a local bus over the iconic Skye Bridge onto the Island.
Method 4 – Bus:
A national bus operator runs a frequent service from Inverness to Skye. A bus will, of course, take a little longer than driving yourself and timetables may be subject to change due to the current pandemic.
Like with all public transport options, prices will vary for travel and is best to check the bus operator’s website for the most current prices.
Timetables can be found on the CityLink website, and it is recommended that you book your seat in advance to avoid disappointment.