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Alternatives to Portree

Where would you stay on or near the isle of Skye if you had left it too late, and any room in Portree costs a fortune? Also, if you didn’t have a car.

Posted by
407 posts

There is a Poster here from Skye who can give more details, but I think you’d have a hard time seeing anything without a car. Can you check any availability with tours of a few days? They might be ok unless you wanted to do more hiking than a bus tour allows.

Posted by
6113 posts

If I didn’t have a car and I couldn’t actually stay on Skye, then I would head to the Glencoe area rather than trying to see Skye from afar. It takes long enough to get round by car even when based on the island that I wouldn’t want to be “near” Skye.

When are you travelling? Much of the accommodation there gets booked up a year ahead, particularly during school holidays.

Posted by
9720 posts

I would revise my planning to stay elsewhere than Skye.

Posted by
1157 posts

Skye is almost impossible without a car. Public transport is woeful and the bus schedules are based around the school run, which is pretty useless at the best of times (and school is now out for summer). There is a facebook group called Skye Rooms that matches accommodation providers who have availability with folks who need last minute rooms. But to be honest I wouldn't recommend coming here without a car.

Best wishes
Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
4202 posts

Skye Rooms looks like a really helpful FB group - I have watched it for a couple of years but not used it. I have no idea of availability but I just stayed near Broadford for 3 nights (but could not have done so without a car). I am also seeing black tour vans as I drive - but I haven’t paid attention to the companies. I did see a Rabbies van today and they do multi-day tours (just not all days on Skye). If you have a week here, you could probably work with private tours and the public bus - just doing slow travel. But overcoming both no car and no housing sounds like a less than ideal time here.

Posted by
27253 posts

I agree that Skye would be a lot easier with a car. In addition to thin public transportation, you have to deal with unpredictable weather. You'll need to book ahead of time for any tour you want to take, and possibly also if you want to hire a taxi for a half day or so. Then you're stuck if the weather turns foul. If you had a car, you'd be a lot more flexible.

You might find a room in Kyle of Lochalsh, near the Skye bridge.

Posted by
1256 posts

The 57 bus route round the top of the island is very quirky indeed

Posted by
1376 posts

The Stagecoach 55 bus from Broadford to Glasnakille/Elgol was running when we were there in mid-July, but service has been cancelled. I don't know if that's just for today or if it's until the next school term starts. I agree that it's virtually impossible to get around Skye without your own transportation. You can get to Kyleakin, Broadford, Portree, Sligachan, and Uig on the big Stagecoach buses, but once you get off the bus, you're on your own.

Problem is, even if you find accommodation in Portree, without a car there's not a whole lot that you can see. You can pretty much explore the whole town in an hour or two. After that, you would need to find transportation to any of the other places you want to visit.

However, if you have your heart set on visiting Skye, and don't mind sharing accommodation, there are hostels in Kyleakin, Broadford, Sligachan, Glenbrittle, Portree, and Uig. There is also the Skyewalker in Portnalong, but you'd need transportation to get there. Probably Glenbrittle as well. The Dunollie Hotel in Broadford can sometimes be counted on for a spare room - they cater to large tour groups mainly - although the rooms are now in the 100 pound range.

Don't give up on Skye completely - just be aware of the limitations.

Best wishes and good luck!

Mike (Auchterless)

Posted by
1157 posts

This is the up to date Stagecoach bus timetable for Skye services. Stagecoach Skye

Rumours of the demise of the 55 appear to be somewhat exaggerated.

Jacqui (Skyegirl)

Posted by
1256 posts

I am very taken with the 57A, 57B and 57C services.
When told what the letters were for genuinely thought it was a trick to test tourists

Posted by
1157 posts

Ooh is there a B route too? I thought A was anticlockwise and C was clockwise.

Posted by
1256 posts

Laughing.
You are quite right ,B,is a figment of my imagination.
Bill is a very nice bus driver