My husband and I will be visiting Skye for the first time in May (staying three nights in Portree). I have arranged for a full day with Skye Jeep Tours for one of our days. I realize May is still quite a bit of a way out and am mindful that weather can impact and may alter whatever we plan. However, I am wondering what those of you who live on the island and others of you with extensive knowledge and experience on the island might suggest we plan to visit ourselves (via our rental car) and what you would suggest we plan to see and do with our Skye Jeep guides. We will, of course, be taking our guides’ suggestions into account in our planning, but they are allowing us quite a bit of input regarding how to spend the day, so … I am hoping some feedback from those among you here will allow us to make better decisions for our limited time on Skye.
I would like to use our day with Skye Jeeps to reach less accessible locations or “must-see” sites that are more squirrelly to navigate—even when it comes to parking. My husband did not relish the driving on a trip to Ireland a couple of years ago (though I thought he handled it fine and we had no mishaps, and we will have an automatic transmission this time). Still, this is one of the primary reasons I’ve booked a day with Skye Jeep Tours.
On our first day we will be arriving on Skye via an early morning ferry from Mallaig (the 7:40 or 9:40?—I haven’t reserved yet). Thus, we will have that travel day and then two more full days on Skye before heading, at our leisure, over to Inverness via the Skye Bridge. We do need to check in with our B&B hosts on our first day between 4:00 and 6:00 PM, so whatever we do on this day, we have to be mindful of arriving at our B&B within this window of time. Skye Jeep Tours leave from Broadford (if that might be important).
For a bit of context, my husband and I are in our 50s and active. We’d like to take some short walks on Skye (five miles or less, such as the Quiraing Circuit), are interested in history of all eras (but don’t consider ourselves to be “buffs”), and enjoy whisky, but don’t want to spend a lot of time on distillery tours unless one is going to be markedly different from those we will have experienced elsewhere or are just really interesting. (A bit of time in a tasting room will generally suffice quite nicely.) We enjoy landscapes and views, and people. Good food and drink are always a bonus, but we are not gourmands. We live near the coast in North Carolina and are recreational boaters, but neither of us are “beach people.” Waterways, ferries, and the sea itself, however, are very appealing.
These are the general, flexible itineraries Skye Jeeps has suggested for our consideration:
Trotternish Tour: Sligachan and the Cuillin Mountains, Portree, Old Man of Storr, Lealt Falls, Kilt Rock, Dinosaur/Fossil Museum, Staffin Bay, Quiraing, Duntulm Castle, Museum of Island Life, Uig, a “secret” waterfall, and the Fairy Glen.
Way out West Tour: Broadford, Sligachan, and the Cuillin Mountains; the Fairy Pools; Talisker Distillery; Dunvegan Castle; Angus McKaskill Museum or the Coral Beaches; Neist Point; and then possibly at visit to Skye Weavers, Skye Skyns tannery, the Waternish Peninsula, the ruined church at Trumpan, and the Fairy Bridge (depending upon the route taken).
South Skye: Broadford, Armadale, the Tarskavaig Road, Gaelic whiskies at Eilean Iarmain, Torabhaig Distillery, Cill Chriosd Church, Duncan House, Elgo, and maybe a boat trip on the Bella Jane or the Misty Isle.
Otter Tour/Ring of Bright Water: Kyle of Lochalsh (or Kyleakin), Kylerhea Pass, Wildlife Hide, Glenelg Ferry, Pictish, Sandaig Islands, Loch Hourn, Sheena's Tea Hut. Options on return that could include Mam Ratagan mountain pass, Carr Brae, and/or Eilean Donan.
A day on Raasay which could include a whisky distillery tour, Calum’s Road, etc.
Suggestions? Thoughts? Your advice appreciated.