The Isle of Skye off the northwest coast of Scotland is likely the most popular place to visit in the Scottish Highlands. Now that we’ve been to Skye on 3 different occasions, we feel confident enough to be able to offer some advice for those planning their first road trip to Skye!
1. Don’t Underestimate the Size of Skye!
It is very likely that visitors from bigger countries will look at Scotland on a map and think that it’ll be so easy and quick to see Scotland due to its small size. While Scotland is a small country and Skye does look very tiny on the map, do not think or expect that you can “do” Skye in 1 day!
There are many points of interest on Skye that require proper walks to get to said point of interest, so if you’re just driving through because you didn’t allocate enough time, you won’t be able to see many attractions. In our next blog post, we’ll cover some of the main attractions on Skye and approximately how much time you should allocate to each one.
2. Spend More than 1 Day or Night on Skye
As mentioned in the initial point, it’s not really possible to see Skye in 1 day or even over 1 night! You’d only be grazing the surface of this beautiful island and you won’t be doing it any justice. Allow a minimum of 3 nights on Skye to take in its beauty and go at a decent pace.
3. Stay Outside of Portree (But Not Outside of Skye!)
Many tourists come to a secluded island like Skye and decide to stay in the main town! This is, of course, fair enough if you are coming via public transportation, but if you will be driving to Skye, there is absolutely no need to stay in Portree.
With that being said though, do make sure you actually stay on Skye! We’ve heard of many people who decide to stay in Inverness or Fort William overnight and then go to Skye for the day. Both locations require a minimum 2.5-hour drive! Keeping in mind our first 2 points, please give Skye the visit it deserves.
4. Visit Outside of the Summer Season
Skye has become increasingly popular over the years, especially in the peak summer season. All of our visits have admittedly been in August (so maybe we should follow our own advice!) but this means that we’ve seen first-hand how much busier it’s gotten. There are now frequent traffic jams getting to and from the popular tourist attractions. If you want to avoid other tourists (and midges), plan to visit outside of the summer season in the spring or autumn.
5. Download Offline Maps Before Travelling
Data can be spotty on Skye, so ensure you don’t get lost by downloading an offline map of Skye before setting off. This way, even if you don’t have data, you’ll still know where you’re going!
6. Buy Petrol on Skye, Not Before
This was surprising to us because we expected petrol to be more expensive on Skye. However, we made this mistake ourselves by buying petrol right before entering Skye only to find it cheaper on Skye!
We hope you found these tips for Skye useful! Which one did you find most useful? Let us know in the comments!