An Isle of Skye day trip is a great option if you’re short on time but really want to include a trip to this famous Scottish Island on your Scotland trip.
A day trip to Skye will never be enough to see everything but by focusing on the Trotternish Loop, you can see several of the main sights all in a day trip to the Isle of Skye using this itinerary.
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Isle of Skye day tour options
If you would prefer to have a day trip to Skye organised for you, there are several options for day tours to Skye that would organise the transport, route and sights for you.
This Isle of Skye day trip from Inverness is the perfect option to visit Skye on a day trip and also includes a stop at Eilean Donan Castle. It’s the highest rated Skye day tour on Get Your Guide. It’s also the most budget friendly at just £49 per person.
To get a bit more for your money, there’s also a similar 12 hour Isle of Skye tour from Inverness which covers a lot more and starts from £75 per person.
If you are looking for a longer trip, they also have a great 3 day Isle of Skye tour from Edinburgh which also includes the Highlands. It’s really well reviewed and starts from £270 per person.
One day Isle of Skye itinerary
If you prefer to do the trip yourself, following the Trotternish Loop on the east peninsula of the Isle of Skye is a great way to see some of the main sights on Skye and really maximise your Isle of Skye drive.
Start your 1 day in Skye at the main town in Portree. Wander along the pebble beach and enjoy the views of the colourful harbour. A great vantage point is on the main road above the beach – Bosville Terrace, as you drive out of the town.
Portree is a great place to stock up on food for the day. The Co-op is also on the main street and around the corner is a great sandwich and snack shop – Relish.
Also two recommendations from locals for fish & chips is The Chippy opposite Co-op and The Lower Deck on the harbourfront.
As you start your Isle of Skye drive, head out of Portree north on the A855.
Old Man of Storr
Just 14 minutes from Portree is the famous Old Man of Storr hill hike. Old Man of Storr is part of the Trotternish ridge, the large ancient landslide that dominates the western side of the island.
You can see the pinnacle rocks for miles on a clear day and they stand above the grassy slopes with views across the valley and the ocean.
There’s a large car park area and also road parking, all of which is pay & display.
The walk to the top is fairly easy to do but it can get muddy during the wetter times of the year and the weather can change very fast. Make sure to wear appropriate clothing and footwear.
The route is the same on the way up and the way back and takes around 1.5 hours round trip, although longer if you stop for photos and breaks.
Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls
Another short 10 minutes drive north along the A855, you’ll reach a parking area on the side of the road for Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls.
Don’t miss this beautiful coastal waterfall. Head out to the viewpoint of the coast and see Mealt waterfall flowing off the cliffside and into the ocean.
The viewpoint is just seconds from the car park and parking is free, a perfect quick stop with amazing views!
Part of the same ancient landslip as Old Man of Storr, Quiraing is a spectacular landscape of grassy slopes and jagged rocks piercing through the earth.
You’ll turn left off the A855 if you’re following the satnav. The route does get narrow but there are passing places, driving slower is advised though and watch out for sheep!
The Quiraing is up to you and how long you want to spend there. The car park is at the top of the valley, just follow the road to reach it. From here you can follow the circular walking route which takes around two hours, or you can just enjoy the view of the incredible landscape from the viewpoint at the car park.
Doing both the Quiraing walk and Old Man of Storr route in your 1 day is possible but you would have to start early and stick to a good pace to do both and visit all the stops.
The car park is pay & display.
Continue on the A855 until it loops around the northernmost point of the island at Dutulm Viewpoint. There is the Duntulm Castle ruin and viewpoint here, but also the drive itself is part of the experience on the Trotternish Loop.
Look out for the quaint villages, wild landscape, red telephone boxes and breathtaking landscapes, you’ll definitely want to stop a few times to take it in!
As you continue on the A855 loop, it becomes the A87 as you start heading back south towards Portree. On this road, you’ll reach the turn off to Fairy Glen just near Uig.
This landslip area is covered in lush grassy hills and glens. The area’s association with fairies and folklores has also led to there being stone circles, mysterious mounds and an otherworldly atmosphere to this place.
There is no set walking route here, just roam around, enjoy the views but don’t disturb the stone circles! You can climb to the top of Castle Ewen rock, a towering rock in the centre of the glen that looks like a castle ruin.
Parking is limited here and just on the side of the road. Although a new car park is being built to accommodate the growing number of visitors to this more off-the-beaten-path stop on the Trotternish Loop.
Sligachan Old Bridge
As you head back to the mainland as you leave the Isle of Skye, you’ll pass by this beautiful old stone bridge which runs alongside the road at Sligachan.
This is a great, easy last stop to add to your Sky day trip as the car park is next to the road and it’s free.
This bridge is not only picturesque on its own. It’s even more breathtaking with the view of the Cuillin Mountains in the background – a must stop for any photographer!
There are also two nearby statues of those explorers who discovered the mountains, which you can find on the other side of the bridge.
There are several great walks you can do from here if you’d like to hike in the mountains here. This is also the turnoff if you’re looking for the Fairy Pools further south on the island.
Isle of Skye Day Trip summary
This is by no means an exhaustive guide to everything there is to see and do on the Isle of Skye. But this covers several of the most well-known and must-see places in Skye that you should include on your trip.
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