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Isle of Skye

We will be at the Isle of Skye in mid May 2017 on a cruise ship stop at Portree. The ship will arrive around 8:00 am and depart 4:00 pm. We tender in to Portree so some time will be taken up getting to the town. We are hoping to find a small/private tour to see the Trotternish Peninsula and, if possible, visit the Quirang on foot. I understand the walk/trail at Quirang is approximately 7 km in length. We are “older” types, and while physically as mobile as most folks in their 60’s; we’re wondering if the 7 km length might be a bit much. Is there a tour that would travel the perimeter road of the peninsula and stop at the Quirang with ample time to allow to us to experience some of the 7 km walk (maybe a kilometer or two). I suppose we could rent a car, however Portee is no metropolis, and I would think rental cars would be limited. We definitely don’t want to see the peninsula on a tour bus with 50 or 60 people on board. Oh yes, one more thing. If it is heavily overcast when we arrive ( I suspect the weather can be somewhat unpredictable), how would this impact a motor trip around the peninsula?

Posted by
5576 posts

Hi Jon,

I don't know if you'll hear from anyone, but you might try emailing the Tourist information centre. Here's a link that has their contact info.

Posted by
453 posts

Jon, my wife and I are 63-65 and visited Skye in 2013. Quirang was one of my favorite spots, much of our visit was for hiking and viewing natural beauty. We did the hidden valley in Glen Coe, hikes of that nature. My input on Quirang is not that it was tremendously physically challenging, wht we struggled with was "fear of heigth" issues. We choose to hike beginning on the lower trail and very quickly you are faced with a long step, jump up, on a spot in the trial that has a huge drop on your right. We are not long legged and are somewhat intimidated by cliffs/drop offs so this was a major challenge. Interesting is there were folks there from Germany and Switzerland that very nimbly hopped across the spot in the trail but they admittedly were hikers in their homeland and found this not to be an issue. It was really difficult for me. (5'7" short legs) We have done hiking in Lake Tahoe and last fall along the Cinque Terre and have become more accustomed to narrow trails with huge drops and no railing. So, my guess would be physically this hike will be taxing but very doable with waterproof boots. Fear of heights may turn you back. My main input would be Quirang is WELL WORTH THE EFFORT even if you don't do the long hike down around or down and back. I am not sure where you are from but if this is your first driving experience on Skye and left hand driving I would suggest getting a driver or taking a tour, the road also is pretty intimidating. You will not regret the time you invest to visit Quirang, it is magical on both sides of the road! As you are limited for time and wont want to miss your departure be sure to know that travel times up to Quirang are going to be slow and I would add at least 25% to any times you see listed if you are doing the driving!

Posted by
696 posts

Thanks for the responses. I've checked the noted links and have contacted the local Tourist Information Center (have yet to receive a reply). Thanks Jarrardd for the "up close" description--most helpful.
Jon

Posted by
63 posts

Hi Jon, I hope you got more information from the Tourist board? We just did this hike last month. We had a group of 8 and 3 of them did the high hike and 5 of us did the lower hike. The high hike consisted of walking straight up to the top and them along the flat top and down. We who did the lower hike, walked along a path without too many uphills. There were a few spots were you had to pick your way across streams below waterfalls but if you came to anything you didn't want to do you could just turn around. We didn't go all the way- just most of it and stopped for a picnic and headed back. Lots of people of all different abilities there.

Do note- No toilets here! You should go in Portree before you leave as there are not many trees either. Much harder for women to find a rock to go behind and you risk sinking in the spongy heather and tipping over.... Or so I hear.

Posted by
63 posts

Oh, and if it is heavily overcast and raining the hike might be treacherous. There are mini tour buses out of Portree and there were car rental places there. You could book a car and then see what the weather is like when you get there? We did one other hike in the rain and I have never gotten so wet in my life. And I live in Vancouver!