The Isle of Skye is one of Scotland’s most popular tourist destinations. With its dramatic landscapes and stunning coastal views, it is easy to see why. If you are planning a visit to the Isle of Skye, we have put together the perfect Isle of Skye itinerary for 2 days! In this blog post, we will tell you all about the best things to see and do on the island. So read on to find out more!
The article is structured that first explain the 2 days in detail and then you read where you can eat, where to stay, transport in Isle of Skye and many more topics that are important to know.
Why do you need at least 2 days for Isle of Skye?
The Isle of Skye is full of stunning sights and attractions, from the majestic Cuillin Mountains to the dramatic sea cliffs. To really make the most out of your time on Skye, you should plan for a 2-day itinerary. This is because there is so much to see that one day won’t be enough! Additionally, if you plan to do any of the more strenuous activities such as hiking, it is much more enjoyable if you spread them out over two days.
Isle of Skye itinerary of 2 days
On your first day, we recommend that you explore the Trotternish Loop. This is a beautiful driving route that takes in some of the most spectacular sights on Skye. On the second day, you explore the west side of the island. Here you will find some of the island’s most famous attractions.
The reason to start with the Trotternish Loop is that these sights are in our opinion the most beautiful ones. The benefit is that when you missed out on one of the sights, fear not! You can then include it to see it on the second day. When you do the Trotternish Loop on the second day and you were not able to see a sight you do not have the option to visit it the next day which is sad!
If you’re planning a trip to Skye, having your own vehicle is essential. Sure, there are buses available; however, these aren’t driving frequently and take a lot of time. This is not ideal because you do not have the time to lose much time traveling between places. So, hire a car when visiting Skye for maximum sightseeing potential in minimum time! We recommended using Rentalcars.
Tip: below, you see a map of all the activities, places to stay, restaurants, and more. This will make it easier for you to find your way around. If you click on the top right corner, you can make the map bigger. If you click on the star next to the title, you can save this map in your Google Maps account. In the folder, you can choose to show or hide different categories. Then when you are on the Isle of Skye, you can use this map to help you get around.
Isle of Skye itinerary 2 days | day 1
Start your first day of the Isle of Skye trip with the Trotternish Loop by visiting Fairy Glen. This is a beautiful area with hills, lochs, and waterfalls. After exploring Fairy Glen, you should head over to Quiraing for more breathtaking views. Then, continue on to Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls before making your way to Lealt Falls. Finish your day with a visit to the Old Man of Storr and Portree. Don’t forget to bring a packed lunch so you don’t lose too much time!
To be well prepared and to make sure you can see everything this day, you can follow our sample timetable. Start the day as early as possible to have enough time to explore everything. When traveling with a motorhome you can have breakfast at your motorhome. When you are traveling by car you can have breakfast at The Granary in Portree, here they serve Scottish and Vegan breakfast for £12.95 / $15.70.
|Morning||Fairy Glen||08:30 am – 09:30 am|
|Morning||Quiraing||10:00 am – 02:00 pm|
|Afternoon||Kilt Roch & Mealt Falls viewpoint||02:15 pm – 02:30 pm|
|Afternoon||Lealt Falls||02:30 pm – 02:45 pm|
|Afternoon||Old Man of Storr||03:00 pm – 05:00 pm|
|Evening||Portree||05:00 pm – 06:30 pm|
Tip: it is recommended to do this Trotternish Loop clockwise. This is because all the tours do it counterclockwise which results in you visiting the first sights and last sights without mass tourism. The first and last parts of the day are the most impressive ones to see. If you visit it during the middle of the day there are a lot of people.
The Fairy Glen on the Isle of Skye is an enchanting experience not to be missed. With its rolling green hills, serene lochs, and an array of intriguing rock formations, the area is well worth exploring when visiting the Isle of Skye. It’s easy to get to the Fairy Glen – simply head towards Uig from Portree and follow the A855 until you reach a layby on your right with a sign for ‘Fairy Glen’. Once there, you can take in the incredible landscape with its lush greenery and stunning views as well as spot small fairies (or statues of them) scattered around the area. The highlight of Fairy Glen is the unique rock formations and the mysterious stone circle at the center which has been speculated to have magical powers and is believed to be used for rituals in centuries past. It’s unclear what exactly the stone circle symbolizes, but it still lends an aura of mystery and wonders to the area, making it all the more enchanting.
You can park the car at Fairy Glen Parking lot for £2 / $2.40 for 2 hours. From this parking lot you have to walk 5 minutes to Fairy Glen.
The Quiraing on the Isle of Skye is a must-see attraction! It is a dramatic landscape, with towering cliffs and jagged rocks. The terrain is rough, and the nice thing is that you can also see wild sheep grazing. Best of all, the views and unique flora and fauna make it one of the best destinations on the island.
The best thing to do at Quiraing is to do the Quiraing hill circuit. This walk is 6.5km / 4 miles and takes with stops +/- 4 hours to complete. When you do this walk you pass the highlights of the Quiraing. For us, this was the best walk and area we visited during our 3 weeks in Scotland! To follow the path of the walk is easy as there is only one trail to follow. At the parking lot, you will see a map of the walk which will help guide you. You can also use our map to navigate.
To get to Quiraing from Fairy Glen, follow A87 west for about 25 minutes until you reach an area called Flodigarry. From there keep driving west until you see signs pointing towards “Quiraing”. Follow those signs until you reach the car park located at the base of Quiraing.
Tip: bring your lunch with you and enjoy the views of the Quiraing.
Tip: try to be at the Quiraing around 10:00 am to avoid the tour buses that come in the afternoon.
Kilt Rock & Mealt Falls viewpoint
Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls viewpoint in the Isle of Skye is a must-see destination for any visitor! From this viewpoint, you can see the dramatic cliffs of Kilt Rock, as well as the powerful Mealt Falls cascading down into the sea below. The view from up here is truly spectacular. For safety reasons, make sure to stay within the fenced area so you don’t risk falling off the cliff edge.
You need +/- 20 minutes for this viewpoint so an ideal stop to enjoy the view and continue your journey afterward to Lealt Falls.
To see Kilt Rock & Mealt Falls, drive towards Valtos village on A855 for around 15 minutes. Once you reach the parking lot for the Kilt Rock & Mealt Falls viewpoint, you can’t miss it because there are signs and lots of cars and buses parked there.
Lealt Falls on the Isle of Skye is truly breathtaking and is only a 6-minute drive from the Kilt Rock & Mealt Falls viewpoint. From this viewpoint, you can admire the powerful waterfall that flows down from a great height. The great thing is that the waterfall is surrounded by rugged rocks and cliffs. It is well worth a visit when on the Isle of Skye for its natural beauty and unique landscape.
At Lealt Falls you can walk around the different plateaus to enjoy the different view perspectives from the area. If you like there is a food truck at the parking lot where you can order hotdogs, hamburgers, and coffee.
Also at this place, you need +/- 20 minutes to visit Lealt Falls and grab something to eat and drink.
Old Man of Storr
The Old Man of Storr in the Isle of Skye is a popular hiking destination! From the top, you can enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes, and the unique rock formations on the way up. Together with the Quiraing is the Old man of Storr the most popular hike to do on the Isle of Skye.
The hike starts at the Old Man of Storr car park. In the beginning, you can choose to follow the path on your right or left. The right path is quicker but more difficult. Later, the two paths come together, and you follow the road until you reach the top of the mountain. When you arrive at the Old Man of Storr, turn right and follow the path that goes behind it up to the mountain. Here you will find a plateau with an excellent view of Old Man of Storr.
Many people only walk to the beginning of Old Man of Storr and then turn back, but to get the best view, you need to walk to the plateau. Our map shows you exactly how to get there.
The hike of Old Man of Storr is 5km / 3 miles and takes 2 hours without stops. The hike is relatively easy but how further you progress how more challenging it becomes. But without a doubt worth the effort!
When you arrive at the Old Man of Storr the weather can be bad, but in Scotland, the weather can change quickly, so try to walk up whatever the weather, because when you get to the top it can also be nice weather.
We had ourselves that we were at the top and then there was a lot of fog. Everyone then left but we took the gamble and waited. Then after 45 minutes, it cleared up completely and there was no one left at all which was really magical!
To get to Old Man of Storr from Lealt Falls, head southwards in direction of Portree, and in about 8 minutes you reach a car park called Old Man of Storr Car Park. Here you can park for £3 / $3.60 for 3 hours
After your walk to Old Man of Storr, it is time to visit Portree. We recommend staying in Portree because it is centrally located and perfect for visiting all the sights on the Isle of Skye.
Portree is the largest town on the Isle of Skye, located in a harbor. You will find plenty of restaurants, cafes, and shops in the town center. Portree is fun to explore the street in the late afternoon. The best part is the harbor for stunning views over the city. Make sure to also check out some traditional pubs where you can grab a pint of local ale. Isles Inn is a great place to visit.
In Portree, you can do your grocery shopping for the next day at the supermarket Coop. You can also enjoy dinner at The Lower Deck or the Fish & Chips restaurants, which are both located on the quay of the harbor.
Tip: when you looking for detailed information about the Isle of Skye you can visit the information center: VisitScotland Portree iCentre.
Isle of Skye itinerary 2 days | day 2
Today you have the opportunity to explore Skye’s western side, which is not as heavily trafficked by tourists. When you looking for a good place to have breakfast you can go to The Granary on the first day or go to Birch Cafe to order toast, soup, or muesli.
Start off your day with a visit to Neist Point Lighthouse and admire its cliffs, followed by a visit to Dunvegan Castle which boasts views over Loch Dunvegan. Next visit is the majestic Fairy Pools, situated at the foot of the Black Cuillin. If you have time, why not challenge yourself with a hike up Sgurr Na Stri Trailhead? This trail will take you through some of Scotland’s picturesque lochs and mountains, with stunning views.
|Morning||Neist Point||08:30 am – 09:30 am|
|Morning||Dunvegan Castle||10:00 am – 11:00 am|
|Afternoon||The Coral Beaches||11:30 am – 12:15 pm|
|Afternoon||Fairy Pools||01:30 pm – 04:00 pm|
|Afternoon||Sgurr na Stri Trailhead||04:30 pm – 06:30 pm|
Neist Point is renowned for its stunning views of the surrounding cliffs and ocean. It’s a great place for photographers to capture some shots of the sea and coastline. Neist Point also has an iconic lighthouse set high above the rocks near the edge of a cliff – making it a must-see when you are visiting the island.
When you get to the parking lot at Neist Point, you can hike to the lighthouse. It will take about 20 minutes. Then, it is worth it to walk to the cliffs so you can see the lighthouse at the end. This is a very iconic scene that photographers love to take pictures of.
To get there from Portree, take the A850 southwards until you reach Glendale then follow signs for Neist Point.
When visiting Neist Point bring warm clothes – even during summer months it can be quite cold and windy out by the sea.
Dunvegan Castle is a must-see when visiting the isle of Skye. The castle is located on the shore of Loch Dunvegan and is surrounded by beautiful gardens and scenery. Inside, you can explore the 16th-century historic building which is full of fascinating artifacts that tell stories about Scotland’s past. You can also see the famous Fairy Flag from the 15th century, which is said to bring good luck and fortune.
Tickets for Dunvegan Castle are £14 /$17 for the castle and £2 /$2.40 additional if you also would like to see the gardens. You can buy the tickets at the entrance of the castle.
From Neist Point, take the A863 northwards until you reach Dunvegan. When you get there, you can park at the car park next to the castle for free.
The Coral Beaches
The Coral Beaches are awesome to visit. Located on the northern side of the aisle, these beaches have stunning white sand and crystal-clear water that make them perfect for swimming and relaxing. The coral is also visible at low tide, giving it its name – which is why swimming is recommended at high tide.
Adjacent to the stunning Coral Beaches lies a hill known as “Coral Beach Rock”, from the top you have a magnificent view of the area.
To get there, take the A863 northwards from Dunvegan Castle until you reach the Coral Beach car park which is located near Uig Bay. From the car park, it is 20 minute’s walk to Coral Beach.
The Fairy Pools are one of the most beautiful attractions on the Isle of Skye. The pools are located right at the foot of the Black Cuillin mountains and are a great destination for nature lovers. If you want you can take a dip in the cold water or admire its crystal clear waters while walking along its rocky banks.
The best way to explore the Fairy Pool is to follow the trail Fairy Pools and Coire Na Creiche. During this trail, you will encounter several waterfalls. It is also a great opportunity to see some of the isle’s most stunning landscapes. The hike is 8km / 5 miles and takes +/- 3 hours to complete. It is important that you wear good shoes because the terrain is often slippery and uneven
Getting there is quite simple. From Dunvegan Castle take the A863 southwards until you reach Uig and then follow signs for Glenbrittle and Fairy Pools. The car park is free.
To get to the Fairy Pools from The Coral Beaches, head north on the A863 until you reach the car park in front of the Fairy Pools near Glen Brittle. From there, it is about a 20-minute walk. The Fairy Pools are free to visit but you have to pay £6 / $7.30 for the parking. You can park for free just a 10-minute walk from the official parking lot. Check our map to see where you can find it.
Sgurr na Stri Trailhead
If you have the time, we recommend that you visit Sligachan Old Bridge and start your walk from this point. There are several walks you can start at this point. We recommend the Sgurr na Stri Trailhead hike if you don’t have much time. If you want to do the whole walk, it will take you 7-8 hours, but you can walk as far as you want. We walked 2 hours of the route and liked it.
After the walk you can enjoy the evening. You can do this in Portree or in one of the surrounding villages. Or when you travel in a motorhome by going wild camping. We drove towards the south of the island in the evening so that we could reach Eilean Donan faster the next day.
What to do more in Isle of Skye if you have more time?
If you have more time to explore the Isle of Skye, there is a lot more to see and do. You could also visit Talisker Distillery is a great place to visit and is located in Carbost on the isle of Skye. At Talisker Distillery you can learn about the process of making whisky and taste some yourself during a tour. It is recommended to make a reservation for a tour via the official website.
Next to Dunvegan Castle, you can also visit Armadale Castle. This is a destination for history enthusiasts, as it is considered one of the most impressive castles in Scotland. Armadale Castle is home to several historical artifacts, such as paintings and sculptures from the 16th and 17th centuries. Tickets are £9 / $10.90 and can only be bought at the entrance.
If you like hiking it is worth doing the hike Sgùrr na Strì. This hike is 23.5km / 14.5 miles and takes 7-8 hours to complete. The hike is one of the best hikes to do on the Isle of Skye and is also known as “The Cuillin Ridge”. The hike is quite strenuous. Details about the hike can you read at Walking Highlands.
Eilean Donan Castle is officially not located on the Isle of Skye but just next to it. We recommend visiting this castle when you arrive or leave the Isle of Skye. This castle is one of the most iconic castles in Scotland it is worth making a stop here. Eilean Donan is located close to the Kyle of Lochalsh, and tickets can be bought at the entrance for £10 / $12.20.
On Skye, you can also see a lot of wildlife and Aros Park Nature Reserve is one of the better places. There are boat trips to follow but for these specific wishes, we recommended you visit the information center at Portree how to arrange this as we do not have experience with this.
Travel to Isle of Skye alone or with a tour guide?
The best way to explore Isle of Skye is up to personal preference. If you like having an organized plan and the security of an experienced local guide, then a guided tour is probably your best bet. A tour will take you around to all the popular hotspots on the island and provide knowledgeable commentary along the way. Alternatively, if you enjoy the freedom of self-exploration and the flexibility to change plans at your own will, then traveling solo is the way to go.
We recommend doing it yourself. You can follow this Isle of Skye itinerary 2 days to explore Isle of Skye’s hidden gems that are not included in most tour packages.
Do you prefer a Isle of Skye tour? In that case, you can book a full-day tour from Portree where you visit the highlights of Isle of Skye.
Daytour to Isle of Skye
When you’re in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness or other places in Scotland and want to visit the Isle of Skye from one of these places, but prefer it organized, there are a few options. See below per destinations which tour you should take:
Where to stay in Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye is a stunning destination for nature lovers. If you want to make the most out of your visit to Isle of Skye, it is best to stay in Portree as this is the biggest village on Isle of Skye and is centrally located. Staying in Portree means you can easily visit all the attractions of the Isle of Skye in 2 days without having to drive too far.
As Portree is the largest village on Isle of Skye, it is also home to the most accommodation, restaurants, and other facilities for tourists. You can find different types of accommodation that fit your budget and preferences.
We recommend that you stay at one of the accommodations below when traveling by car.
Tip: book a place to stay on Isle of Skye one year in advance. This is because many rooms fill up quickly.
The Skye Inn: is a guest house that is perfect for budget travelers. The Skye Inn offers comfortable accommodations and is clean, neat, and welcoming. You can also enjoy breathtaking views of Portree Harbor from some of the rooms. There is also free parking available at the Inn.
Portree Youth Hostel: this is a good option for those looking for more of a hostel vibe and the cheapest place to stay. The Portree Youth Hostel is located close to the city center, making it easy to explore Portree and its surrounding area. The hostel is also conveniently equipped with laundry services and is family-friendly.
Rockview: is a luxury boutique hotel that is perfect for travelers looking for something more luxurious. The Rockview is located in central Portree and is surrounded by stunning views of the Isle of Skye. It features modern rooms with all the necessary amenities, as well as a restaurant serving delicious cuisine from local ingredients.
Bracken Hide Hotel: this is the option for those looking for a special stay. It is one of the few hotels in Isle of Skye that is located directly on the waterfront. Bracken Hide Hotel is situated at the foot of Ben Tianavaig Hill, offering breathtaking views of Portree Bay and nearby hills from every room.
When traveling with a motorhome, you can stay at a campground. When you visit the Isle of Isle during high season (July and August), you need to make reservations for the campsite. In other months this is not needed.
Skye Camping and Caravanning Club Site is the best campsite. The reason is that it is located between the sights you visit during the first and second day, so it’s very convenient.
If you want to go wild camping, this is possible. We stayed next to the B885 road which is centrally located, you can see the exact location on our map. The last night we stayed in the south of the Isle of Skye close to the water to enjoy all the peace and quiet and so that we can be at Eilean Donan Castle faster the next morning. Use the park4night app to easily find (free) camper spots.
Where to eat in Isle of Skye
There are many great places to eat on the Isle of Skye. Whether you’re looking for a quick bite or a full dining experience, there’s something for everyone. Some of the top restaurants include the Three Chimneys, in Colbost, Kinloch Lodge on Loch na Dal, Seumas Bar, and The Oyster Shed at Uig. Seumas’ Bar is a Bar & grill restaurant where they serve a lot of different plates. The place is cozy and recommended to visit after the second day because you end at Sligachan Old Bridge which is a few minutes walk.
For those looking to save time during lunchtimes, it is recommended to bring your own lunch with you.
We ordered fish and chips at the harbor in Portree next to The Lower Deck. While waiting for our fish & chips we saw that many people were waiting to enter The Lower Deck to have dinner, from the outside it looked very cozy place.
The Granary in Portree is a good place to go for breakfast if you want to have Scottish breakfast or vegan breakfast. Breakfast costs £12.95 / $15.70 per person. Birch Cafe is another place to go for breakfast where you can order toast, soups, or mueslis.
For the rest, we cooked everything ourselves because we traveled with a motorhome so we saved a lot of money by doing so.
Transport in Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye has several transport options to get around the island. There are regular bus services that connect Portree to many other towns and villages across the island such as Uig, Dunvegan, Staffin, and Broadford. You can also take ferries from Mallaig and Armadale to get from one side of the island to the other or across to nearby islands such as Raasay. The best way to see Isle of Skye is by car. This way, you can enjoy winding roads and breathtaking views.
How to get to Isle of Skye
The town of Portree on the Isle of Skye is easily accessible from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, and Fort William. Best way to travel to Isle of Skye with a car. If you are looking for a car to rent, you can rent it through Rentalcars. We use Rentalcars when we want to travel by car to discover new destinations. They’re easy to use and book with.
It is possible to travel to Portree from Edinburgh or Glasgow, but it would take 15 hours. If you use a car it would only take 5 hours and 20 minutes, so it is better to use a car.
If coming from Inverness or Fort William you can take the bus. From Inverness, you need to take the bus 917 from King Street, which takes 3 hours and 15 minutes. In Fort William, you need to take the bus 915 from Leisure Centre which take 3 hours and 10 minutes. But again when you arrive in Isle of Skye you still need a car so better to rent a car via Rentalcars :).
In the overview below you can see how long it takes to reach Portree (Isle of Skye) from popular destinations:
- Edinburgh to Portree: 5 hours and 20 minutes | 380km / 236 miles
- Glasgow to Portree: 5 hours | 345km / 215 miles
- Inverness to Portree: 2 hours and 40 minutes | 180km / 113 miles
- Fort William to Portree: 2 hours and 30 minutes | 170km / 107 miles
- Glencoe area to Portree: 3 hours | 200km / 125 miles
Best time to visit Isle of Skye
The best time to visit the isle of Skye is from April through October when temperatures are mild, and the days are longer. This is also a great time for outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and exploring the isle’s many attractions. The summer months of July and August have the most tourists which can make it difficult to find accommodation, so make sure to book in advance. The island is also known for its unpredictable weather. Make sure you always dress properly. In the late autumn and winter months the island is much quieter, and it is a nice period if you like peace and quiet.
We visited the Isle of Skye in September and had wonderful weather! But with Scotland, you never know how the weather will be :).
No matter what time of year you travel, it is important to have travel insurance when visiting the isle of Skye. Travel insurance will provide peace of mind knowing that you are covered in the event of an accident or emergency while on the island. It is also important to have coverage for lost luggage, transportation, medical expenses, and other unexpected costs that may arise during your travels. Therefore, it is highly recommended to purchase a travel insurance policy before you travel to Isle of Skye. We recommend using WorldNomads.
Do you want to see more of Scotland?
After the isle of Skye, you can visit the area of Fort William. This is an ideal location if you want to experience Scotland’s breathtaking scenery and explore some of its most iconic attractions such as Ben Nevis (the highest mountain in Scotland) and the Glennfinnan Viaduct (Harry Potter train).
An unforgettable experience is visiting Glencoe with its majestic scenery. Here you will find some of the most impressive vistas you can imagine.
Another option is to travel to Loch Lomond National Park. There are so many options! Check our 3 week Scotland itinerary if you looking for some inspiration to build your own itinerary.
Other useful articles to check are:
- Scotland trip cost: in this article we share how you can travel to Scotland with a budget.
- Scotland travel guide: a general guide that contains all essential information about Scotland.