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How to Get to the Isle of Skye: From Inverness, Glasgow, Edinburgh & More [2021]

August 15, 2021
The Old Man of Storr on Skye, Scotland

If you’re wondering how to get to the Isle of Skye from Inverness, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and more places in Scotland, then you’ve come to the right place. After road tripping around the country for a month, I’m here to share all my best insider tips to help you plan an epic trip of your own!

This is the most comprehensive guide you can find on the internet about how to reach Isle of Skye, and it covers pretty much every mode of transportation possible, including driving, trains, buses, ferries, and tours. You’ll also find tips about getting around Isle of Skye.

In this guide, I also share very detailed information about getting to the Isle of Skye from various parts of Scotland and the UK, including the route from Edinburgh, Glasgow, Inverness, London, and more. You’ll also learn about the best way to get to Skye from these places. So, let’s dive in!

You might also be interested in:
🌿 24 Epic Things to Do on the Isle of Skye + Map & Tips
🏡 Where to Stay on the Isle of Skye + An Area to Avoid

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking one of these links, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can learn more about this in my disclosure policy.

Table of contents: show

🚗 How to Get to the Isle of Skye: An Overview

You can reach the Isle of Skye in many different ways from various parts of Scotland and the UK. With that said, driving is undoubtedly the best way to get into Skye because getting around the island without a car is very difficult and can vastly limit your trip.

Here’s a quick overview of the different ways in which you can reach Skye. I will go into detail about all of them in this guide.

  • By car — The best way to get to Isle of Skye from almost any city in Scotland
  • By ferry — It could give you the shortest driving route if you’re coming from the south
  • By train — Not the most recommended way to travel as there’s no train station on Skye
  • By bus — The best public transport from some Scottish cities as there are nonstop routes
  • By tour — If you enjoy having everything taken care of for you and meeting other people
  • By plane — If you’re coming from outside of Scotland, it’s likely you’ll need to fly first

🚘 Getting to the Isle of Skye by Car

As mentioned before, the best way to get to the Isle of Skye is by car simply because it’s very difficult to get around the island if you don’t have a car. Moreover, the road to Skye is dotted with gorgeous landscapes and historical gems — it’s a road trip like no other!

I will be going into much more detail about driving to Skye from some main places in Scotland, but first, here’s a quick overview of the driving times and distances you can expect.

From Inverness to Portree 114 mi (183 km) / 2 hr 40 min
From Glasgow to Portree: 209 mi (336 km) / 5 hr 13 min
From Edinburgh to Portree: 236 mi (379 km) / 5 hr 18 min
From Fort William to Portree: 108 mi (173 km) / 2 hr 28 min
From Aberdeen to Portree: 215 mi (346 km) / 4 hr 53 min

🌟 Note: Portree is the main town on the Isle of Skye, and where lots of hotels are located.

Rent a car for the Isle of Skye

Neist Point, One of the Best Places to Visit Isle of Skye

🚙 Isle of Skye From Inverness by Car

The drive from Inverness to Skye (Portree) is roughly 114 mi (183 km) long and would take about 2 hours and 40 minutes. There are two routes that can get you there in this timeframe. One involves following the A87, and the other one involves taking both the A890 and the A87.

🔥 Top Tip: While both routes will allow you to see gorgeous landscapes of the Scottish Highlands, driving the A87 the whole time will take you along the famous Loch Ness as well as Loch Cluanie. I therefore really recommend this route. Click here for the map.

Worthy Stops on the Inverness – Isle of Skye Drive

  • Loch Ness
  • Urquhart Castle (optional – adds an extra hour to the journey)
  • Glen Shiel
  • Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland
The beautiful Eilean Donan Castle on the road from Inverness to the Isle of Skye

Map of the Inverness to Isle of Skye Route

🗺️ Click here to see it in full on Google Maps 🗺️

Map of Road Trip From Inverness to Isle of Skye

🚙 Isle of Skye From Glasgow by Car

Driving from Glasgow to Isle of Skye (Portree) would cover a distance of roughly 209 mi (336 km) and takes about 5 hours and 15 minutes. While there are a few different routes you can take, the most scenic one is via the A82 and the A87. Click here for the map.

🌟 Note: You can see on the map that if you make a tiny detour, you can stop at the spectacular and must-see Glenfinnan Viaduct. This would only add about 10 minutes of extra driving time to your trip, but it would involve driving onto a ferry via Mallaig afterwards.

Alternatively, if you want to avoid the ferry after the Glenfinnan Viaduct, simply go via the town of Kyle of Lochalsh and the Skye Bridge. This would add about 25 minutes of extra driving time to the road trip. Click here for a map of this alternative route.

🔥 Top Tip: Because there are so many worthy places to see along the road from Glasgow to the Isle of Skye, I’d actually suggest spreading out the road trip across 4-5 days so that you can fully enjoy the remarkable stops along the way!

Worthy Stops on the Glasgow – Isle of Skye Drive

  • Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park
  • Glenfinnan Viaduct
  • Fort William & Ben Nevis
  • Glencoe Valley

Map of the Glasgow to Isle of Skye Route

🗺️ Click here to see it in full on Google Maps 🗺️

Map of Road Trip From Glasgow to Isle of Skye

🚙 From Edinburgh to Isle of Skye by Car

The fastest way to get from Edinburgh to Skye (Portree) with a car takes roughly 5 hours and 20 minutes and covers a distance of 236 mi (379 km). This route follows the A87. However, the more scenic option is to go via Glasgow, which would add about 1.5 hours to the trip.

🔥 Top Tip: If you have extra time on your hands, I highly recommend driving via Glasgow because that route will take you through the spectacular Glencoe Valley and the famous Glenfinnan Viaduct, among other incredible highlights. It’s just remarkable.

That’s not to say that the faster route via Invergarry isn’t stunning, though. It’s just not as breathtaking. Click here for the map.

Worthy Stops on the Edinburgh to Isle of Skye Drive

  • Perth
  • Invergarry
  • Loch Ness & Urquhart Castle (optional – adds an extra 1.5 – 2 hours to the journey)
  • Glen Shiel & Eilean Donan Castle
Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness, Scotland
Urquhart Castle on Loch Ness on the road from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye

Map of the Edinburgh to Isle of Skye Route

🗺️ Click here to see it in full on Google Maps 🗺️

Map of Road Trip From Edinburgh to Isle of Skye

🚙 Fort William to Isle of Skye by Car

There are two ways to get from Fort William to the Isle of Skye by car. The first one is entirely by road (a gorgeous, scenic road) via the A87, and the second one involves driving to the town of Mallaig via the A830 and then driving onto a ferry from there.

🔥 Top Tip: Which route you should take largely depends on what you want to see. While going entirely by road makes for a very scenic drive, going for a ferry via Mallaig would allow you to pass by the famous and beautiful Glenfinnan Viaduct. Keep in mind that the ferry route adds 20 minutes of driving time.

There’s a whole section on ferries to Isle of Skye later on in this guide, so for now, I’ll share with you the route that does not involve the ferry. This journey would take roughly 2.5 hours (to reach Portree on Skye) and covers a distance of 108 mi (173 km). Click here for the map.

Worthy Stops on the Fort William – Isle of Skye Drive

  • Loch Ness & Urquhart Castle (optional – adds an extra 1.5 hours to the journey)
  • Glen Shiel & Eilean Donan Castle
  • Skye Bridge
Glen Shiel in Scotland
Glen Shiel on the road from Fort William to Isle of Skye

Map of the Fort William – Isle of Skye Route

🗺️ Click here to see it in full on Google Maps 🗺️

Map of Road Trip From Fort William to Isle of Skye

🚙 Aberdeen to Isle of Skye by Car

Driving from Aberdeen to the Isle of Skye (Portree) would take roughly 4 hours and 50 minutes and cover a distance of 215 mi (346 km). This road trip follows the A96 and is quite perfect for history buffs as there are a lot of castles and ancient monuments along the way.

🔥 Top Tip: There’s another route via the A87 which brushes by the northern edge of the Cairngorms National Park. If you have a couple of extra days, I recommend taking this route and exploring this stunning park — you can even go whitewater rafting there!

If you’re just looking to go straight to Skye and want the most interesting route, then follow the A96. Click here for the map.

Worthy Stops on the Aberdeen – Isle of Skye Drive

  • Huntly Castle
  • Elgin
  • Cawdor Castle and Gardens
  • Rogie Falls
Cawdor Castle in Scotland
Cawdor Castle and Gardens on the road from Aberdeen to Isle of Skye

Map of the Aberdeen – Isle of Skye Route

🗺️ Click here to see it in full on Google Maps 🗺️

Map of Road Trip From Aberdeen to Isle of Skye

🛳 Getting to Isle of Skye: Bridge or Ferry?

As you’ve read in the previous sections, if you’re driving to Skye, it’s likely you’ll come across two choices: take a car ferry via Mallaig, or drive over to Skye via the Skye Bridge. This is especially relevant to those of you planning to drive from Glasgow or Fort William.

In this section, I’ll share a bit more about both of these options and what to expect, so that you can make the best decision for yourself.

🌉 The Bridge to Isle of Skye: A Scenic Drive

The elegant Skye Bridge crosses the beautiful Loch Alsh and connects Skye with the rest of Scotland. Aside from the convenience of not needing to drive onto a ferry and pay for it, there’s another great reason to go through this bridge: it is extremely panoramic.

In fact, this bridge offers breathtaking vistas of the surrounding landscapes, especially at sunset. You can also briefly park on the grass on the side of the road (towards the northern part of the bridge) and go for a relaxing walk on the pedestrian path next to the cars.

🔥 Top Tip: Get there for sunset to watch the sky put on a magnificent show over the lake and the surrounding hills. The atmosphere there is also extra serene because there’s barely anyone around, and it’s a sight that can inspire poetry!

🚢 Ferry to Isle of Skye: Everything to Know

In some cases, taking a car ferry to the Isle of Skye will save you time and provides for the shortest route. This is especially true if you’re coming from the south, such as from Glasgow or the Glenfinnan Viaduct.

The Calmac Car Ferry to Isle of Skye

The main ferry route that connects Skye to the rest of Scotland is operated by the company Calmac. It departs from the port in Mallaig (in Lochaber) and docks in Armadale (a village on Skye). You can check their timetables here.

This ferry ride takes up to 45 minutes and costs £10.30 (one way) for a regular car and an additional £3.10 (one way) for the driver. Check-in is 20 minutes prior to departure for vehicles and 10 minutes for foot passengers.

🌟 Note: You can check more information and buy your tickets on their website.

Cars on the Calmac Ferry From Mallaig to Armadale on Skye, Scotland

The ‘Glenachulish’ Car Ferry to Isle of Skye

If you happen to be going through Glenelg on your way to Skye, or simply want the most scenic and unique ferry route, then I highly recommend boarding the ‘Glenachulish’ car ferry.

The drive to the ferry terminal is incredibly picturesque, and the ferry itself is also the last manually operated turntable ferry in Scotland! You’ll be welcomed by very friendly and informative staff, too. This is an all-around fantastic way to get to Skye if you have some extra time on your drive.

This ferry departs from the Glenelg Ferry Terminal and docks in Kylerhea, a village on Skye. It costs £15 (one way) for a regular car with up to 4 passengers and £3 (one way) for foot passengers.

🌟 Note: You can find more information on their website, but unfortunately it’s not possible to pre-book tickets online, so you might need to wait in queue if there are a lot of cars.

The Glenachulish Ferry From

🌟 Please note: If you’re planning to take a ferry without a car, beware that there’s very limited public transport onwards from either Armadale or Kylerhea to the rest of Skye. If you want to take a bus afterwards, it’s best to head to Skye via the Skye Bridge, where more bus options are available. Alternatively, you can book a taxi in Armadale.

🚊 Train to Isle of Skye: What You Need to Know

🌟 Note: I do not recommend going to the Isle of Skye by train unless you plan to rent a car or join a tour group once you get there. Getting around the island is very difficult without a car as many attractions are remote — without any public transport connecting them.

There’s no train station on the Isle of Skye, so in many cases, taking a bus is the better option.

If you prefer travelling by rail, though, you’ll need to first get to the train station just before the island, at the village of Kyle of Lochalsh. From there, you can either take a bus or rent a car to complete your journey to Skye (via the Skye Bridge).

From Kyle of Lochalsh, you can take either the Scottish Citylink or Stagecoach bus to Portree, the main town on the Isle of Skye. The journey takes about an hour and costs around £8.

Here’s a quick overview of train travel to Kyle of Lochalsh from other places in Scotland:

From Inverness: Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh — nonstop / 2 hr 35 min / £33
From Glasgow: Glasgow Queen Street to Kyle of Lochalsh — 1 change / 6 hr 5 min / £103
From Edinburgh: Edinburgh Waverley to Kyle of Lochalsh — 2 changes / 6 hr 39 min / £103
From Fort William: Fort William to Kyle of Lochalsh – 2 changes / 12 hr 50 min / £160
From Aberdeen: Aberdeen to Kyle of Lochalsh — 1 change / 5 hr 13 min / £79

Book your train to Skye

🚉 Inverness to Isle of Skye by Train

There’s no way to reach Skye from Inverness just by train because there’s no train station on the Isle of Skye. So, you first need to take a train to Kyle of Lochalsh (the closest train station to Skye). From there, you can take a bus to Skye.

From Inverness, take the ScotRail from Inverness Station to Kyle of Lochalsh Station. The journey should take roughly 2.5 hours and typically costs £33. You won’t need to make any changes. There are usually 3 services a day, and you can check train times here.

Once you get to Kyle of Lochalsh, take either the Scottish Citylink or Stagecoach bus to Portree, the main town on the Isle of Skye. The journey takes 1 hour and costs around £8. So in total, it would take you around 3.5 hours to reach Skye from Inverness by train (+ bus).

🔥 Top Tip: Driving from Inverness to Skye is faster than taking the train by 1 hour. If you prefer public transport, though, I recommend going by bus because while it takes the same amount of time as the train does, it’s a direct trip to Skye that requires no changes.

The Sligachan Old Bridge in Scotland

🚉 Glasgow to Isle of Skye by Train

There’s no way to reach Skye from Glasgow just by train because there’s no train station on the Isle of Skye. So, you first need to take a train to Kyle of Lochalsh (the closest train station to Skye). From there, you can take a bus to Skye.

From Glasgow, take the ScotRail from Glasgow Queen Street to Kyle of Lochalsh Station. The journey should take roughly 6 hours and typically costs £103. You’ll need to make one change at Inverness on this journey.

There’s usually just 1 service a day that makes this trip in 6 hours — the other ones take significantly longer. You can check train times here.

Once you get to Kyle of Lochalsh, take either the Scottish Citylink or Stagecoach bus to Portree, the main town on the Isle of Skye. The journey takes 1 hour and costs around £8. So in total, it would take you around 7 hours to reach Skye from Glasgow by train (+ bus).

🔥 Top Tip: Driving from Glasgow to Skye is faster than taking the train by 2 hours. If you prefer public transport, I recommend going by bus because unlike the train journey, it’s a direct trip to Skye that requires no changes and will get you there in 6.5 hours.

🚉 Edinburgh to Isle of Skye by Train

There’s no way to reach Skye from Edinburgh just by train because there’s no train station on the Isle of Skye. So, you first need to take a train to Kyle of Lochalsh (the closest train station to Skye). From there, you can take a bus to Skye.

From Edinburgh, take the ScotRail from Edinburgh Waverley to Kyle of Lochalsh Station. The journey should take 6 hours and 40 minutes and typically costs £103. You’ll need to make two changes on this journey — first at Perth and then at Inverness.

There’s usually just 1 service a day that makes this trip in 6 hr 40 min, however, you can take another service that costs the same — it takes 7 hours but only requires one change (at Inverness). You can check train times here.

Once you get to Kyle of Lochalsh, take either the Scottish Citylink or Stagecoach bus to Portree, the main town on the Isle of Skye. The journey takes 1 hour and costs around £8. So in total, it would take you around 8 hours to reach Skye from Edinburgh by train (+ bus).

🔥 Top Tip: A scenic road trip from Edinburgh to Skye is faster than taking the train by 2.5 hours. If you prefer public transport, I recommend going by bus because while it takes about 30 mins more than the train does, it requires just 1 change instead of 3.

🚉 Fort William to Isle of Skye by Train

🌟 Note: I highly do not recommend going to Skye from Fort William by train. You are much better off taking the bus or better yet — driving. The train journey is unnecessarily long — 11 hours longer than going by bus or car — because your only option is to go via Glasgow.

There’s no way to reach Skye from Fort William just by train because there’s no train station on the Isle of Skye. So, you first need to take a train to Kyle of Lochalsh (the closest train station to Skye). From there, you can take a bus to Skye.

From Fort William, take the ScotRail from Fort William Station to Kyle of Lochalsh Station. The journey takes a whopping 13 hours and typically costs £160. You’ll need to make two changes on this journey — first at Glasgow Queen Street and then at Inverness.

There’s usually just 1 service a day that makes this trip. You can check train times here.

Once you get to Kyle of Lochalsh, take either the Scottish Citylink or Stagecoach bus to Portree, the main town on the Isle of Skye. The journey takes 1 hour and costs around £8.

So in total, it would take you around 14 hours to reach Skye from Fort William by train (+ bus). Driving would take only 2.5 hours, and going by bus would take 3 hours. You are much better off with either of the latter options.

The Quiraing Hike in Scotland

🚉 Aberdeen to Isle of Skye by Train

There’s no way to reach Skye from Aberdeen just by train because there’s no train station on the Isle of Skye. So, you first need to take a train to Kyle of Lochalsh (the closest train station to Skye). From there, you can take a bus to Skye.

From Aberdeen, take the ScotRail from Aberdeen Station to Kyle of Lochalsh Station. The journey should take roughly 5 hours and 15 minutes and typically costs £79. You’ll need to make one change at Inverness on this journey.

There’s usually just 1 service a day that makes this trip in 5 hr 15 min — the other one takes longer. You can check train times here.

Once you get to Kyle of Lochalsh, take either the Scottish Citylink or Stagecoach bus to Portree, the main town on the Isle of Skye. The journey takes 1 hour and costs around £8. So in total, it would take you around 6.5 hours to reach Skye from Aberdeen by train (+ bus).

🔥 Top Tip: Driving from Aberdeen to Skye is faster than taking the train by 1.5 hours. If you prefer public transport, though, taking the train is better than going by bus because while both journeys require 2 changes, the bus trip is slower by 2 hours.

🚌 How to Get to Isle of Skye by Bus

🌟 Note: I do not recommend going to the Isle of Skye by bus unless you plan to rent a car or join a tour group once you get there. Getting around the island is very difficult without a car as many attractions are remote — without any public transport connecting them.

If you prefer taking public transport, then taking a bus is better than going by train.

This is because there’s no actual train station on Skye, so you’ll need to change to a bus to make the final leg of your trip anyway. Morever, there are several nonstop bus routes to Skye from places like Glasgow and Fort William.

The bus service that I recommend is Scottish Citylink, which takes you straight to Portree, the main town on the Isle of Skye, from many cities across Scotland. They also allow you to book your seat in advance (which I’d recommend you do). You can see all their timetables here.

Here’s a rough overview of the times and ticket prices you can expect:

From Inverness: Inverness Bus Stn to Portree Sq — nonstop / 3 hr 17 min / £28
From Glasgow: Glasgow Buchanan Bus Stn to Portree Sq — nonstop / 6 hr 23 min / £47
From Edinburgh: Edinburgh Bus Stn to Portree Sq — 1 change / 8 hr 20 min / £62
From Fort William: Fort William Bus Stn to Portree Sq — nonstop / 3 hr 5 min / £34
From Aberdeen: Aberdeen Guild St Bus Stn to Portree Sq — 2 changes / 8 hr 35 min / £80

Neist Point on the Isle of Skye

🚎 Bus From Inverness to Isle of Skye

There are two bus services you can use to book tickets or search routes from Inverness to Skye. The first one is Scottish Citylink, and you can book your tickets in advance on their website. All their timetables are here.

With Scottish Citylink, you would depart from Inverness Bus Station and get to the Portree Bus Station in about 3 hours and 20 minutes. This is a nonstop journey and typically costs £28.

The second option is to use Stagecoach. Unlike Scottish Citylink, they don’t allow you to buy tickets on their site nor on their app — at least not for travel in the Scottish Highlands. With that said, they do offer passes that might help you save in case you need to take lots of buses.

With Stagecoach, you’d take bus 917, which departs from Inverness Bus Station and arrives at Portree Bus Station in 3 hours and 20 minutes. However, they don’t show you the price online. You can find all their bus timetables here.

🔥 Top Tip: Driving from Inverness to Skye is faster than taking the bus by 1 hour. If you prefer public transport, though, taking the bus is better than taking the train, as this is a nonstop route, whereas you’ll need to make a change with the train.

🚎 Bus From Glasgow to Skye

Taking the bus from Glasgow to Isle of Skye is actually quite convenient as it’s a journey that involves zero changes. The bus service to use is Scottish Citylink, and you can book your tickets in advance on their website.

The trip takes around 6.5 hours, and there are about 2-3 nonstop services a day (the other ones involve bus changes). You can check all timetables here.

With Scottish Citylink, you would depart from Glasgow Buchanan Bus Station and arrive straight at the Portree Bus Station. A ticket for this journey typically costs £47.

🔥 Top Tip: Driving from Glasgow to Skye is faster than taking the bus by 1.5 hours. If you prefer public transport, though, taking the bus is better than taking the train, as this is a shorter and nonstop route, whereas you’ll need to make 2 changes with the train.

Dunvegan Castle in Scotland

🚎 Bus to Isle of Skye From Edinburgh

The Edinburgh to Isle of Skye bus journey takes around 8.5 hours. The bus service to use is Scottish Citylink, and you can book your tickets in advance on their website.

There are about 4 services a day that makes this journey. You can check the timetable here.

The buses depart from Edinburgh Bus Station and arrive at the Portree Bus Station via Inverness, where you’ll have to change bus. The entire journey typically costs £62.

🔥 Top Tip: Driving from Edinburgh to Skye is faster than taking the bus by 3 hours. If you prefer public transport, though, taking the bus is better than taking the train. While the bus takes about 30 mins more than the train ride, it requires just 1 change instead of 3.

🚎 Bus to Isle of Skye From Fort William

The Fort William to Isle of Skye bus journey takes around 3 hours, and it’s a nonstop trip that costs £34. It is definitely the best public transportation route between these two towns, given that a train would take 14 hours in total.

The bus service to use is Scottish Citylink, and you can book your tickets in advance on their website. The departure point is Fort William Bus Station and you’ll arrive straight at the Portree Bus Station. Buses operate frequently, with roughly 6 services a day. You can check the timetable here.

🔥 Top Tip: Driving from Fort William to Skye is faster than taking the bus by 30 minutes. If you prefer public transport, though, taking the bus is much, much better than taking the train. It’s a shorter journey by a whopping 11 hours and requires no changes.

Fairy Pools in Scotland at Sunset

🚎 Bus to Isle of Skye From Aberdeen

Taking the bus from Aberdeen to Skye is not the most convenient thing. The total journey is around 8.5 hours and costs £80. The bus is operated by Scottish Citylink, and you can book your tickets in advance on their website.

The departure point is Aberdeen Guild St Bus Station and you’ll arrive at the Portree Bus Station via 2 changes — the first one is at Perth Broxden Park and Ride and the second one is at Inverness.

There are usually 3 services a day that makes this journey in 8.5 hours (others take even longer). You can check all timetables here.

🔥 Top Tip: Driving from Aberdeen to Skye is faster than taking the bus by 3.5 hours. If you prefer public transport, though, I highly recommend taking the train instead because it would cut your travel time by 2 hours and costs just a tiny bit more.

🧔🏻 Getting to Isle of Skye With a Tour Guide

If you prefer to have everything taken care of for you and not have to worry about renting a car or navigating the bus or rail systems, then I highly recommend joining a tour group to Skye. This is also a great way to learn more about Skye’s attractions, as you’ll have a knowledgeable guide with you.

There are plenty of great Isle of Skye tours that you can take from Edinburgh, Inverness, and Glasgow. I’ll share some of the best ones below.

👩🏻 Isle of Skye Tours From Edinburgh

Find more Skye tours from Edinburgh

👩🏻 Isle of Skye Tours From Inverness

  • (⭐️ Top Pick) Isle of Skye Tour with Fairy Pools: Go on a beautiful tour of Skye that covers the Eilean Donan Castle, Portree, and the breathtaking Fairy Pools — a total must-see.
  • (💜 Small group) Skye & Eilean Donan Castle Tour: Tour the iconic landmarks of Skye along with the world-famous Loch Ness with an intimate group of up to 8 people.
  • (🌳 Countryside) Isle of Skye & Eilean Donan Castle Tour: See the famous and less-touristy spots on Skye, such as Glen Suardal, the little village of Torrin, and Bla Bhein.

Find more Skye tours from Inverness

👩🏻 Isle of Skye Tours From Glasgow

  • (⭐️ Top Pick) Skye & The Highlands 3-Day Tour: Cover the main sights on Skye along with Glen Coe and Loch Ness, where you can go on a boat tour and do a bit of monster hunting.
  • (💜 Small group) Isle of Skye 3-Day Small Group Tour: Join an intimate group of up to 8 people on a flexible tour, where the guide tailors to the group’s wants and interests.
  • (🏞 Via Ben Nevis) 3-Day Skye & Highlands Tour: Explore the beauty of Skye along with the gorgeous Loch Lomond, Glencoe Valley, and Ben Nevis — Britain’s highest mountain.

Find more Skye tours from Glasgow

✈️ Is There an Airport Near Isle of Skye?

If you’re looking to fly to Isle of Skye, you should know that there’s no airport on the island. However, there are some nearby. You will then need to either rent a car or take public transportation to reach Skye.

The closest airport to Isle of Skye is Inverness Airport (INV). Most of the flights operating there are from within the UK, such as London, Birmingham, Belfast, and Manchester. Outside the UK, there are only two cities with flights connecting there: Dublin and Amsterdam.

If you’re flying internationally from another city, the closest international airport is Glasgow Airport (GLA). From there, you’re connected to pretty much every major city in Europe and around the world, from Berlin to Bogotá.

🌟 Note: The fastest and easiest way to get from Glasgow Airport to Isle of Skye is to rent a car and drive over to the island. To Portree (the main town on Skye), the drive is roughly 207 miles (333 km) and takes around 4 hours and 40 minutes.

Search for flights to Skye

A Sunset at an Airport

🌍 Isle of Skye: How to Get There From Other Cities

If you’re wondering about how to get to the Isle of Skye from cities other than the ones covered above, in this section I’ll talk about ways to travel from London, Glencoe, Dundee, Dublin, Belfast, and Birmingham.

🇬🇧 How to Get to Isle of Skye From London

The easiest way to get from London to Isle of Skye is to fly into Inverness Airport (INV). Both British Airways and easyJet operate nonstop flights from London to Inverness, from various London airports such as Luton, Heathrow, and Gatwick. The flight time is 1.5 hours.

Search for flights from London

As for how to get from Inverness to Isle of Skye, refer back to the following sections above:

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Getting From Glencoe to Isle of Skye

The fastest way to get from Glencoe to Skye is to drive. From Glencoe Visitor Centre, it takes 3 hours to get to Portree (Skye) by car. The route goes through the A82 and the A87 and covers a distance of 125 miles (201 km).

Alternatively, you can also take a Scottish Citylink bus. The journey is around 4 hours and costs £41. The bus departs from Glencoe Visitor Centre on the A82 and will take you to the main bus stop in Portree (Skye). This is a direct bus — you won’t need to make any changes.

Sunset at Elgol Beach, One of the Top Things to Do Isle of Skye

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Getting From Dundee to Isle of Skye

The fastest way to get from Dundee to Skye is to drive. From the city centre of Dundee, the fastest route to Portree (Skye) is via the A9 and the A87. The drive takes 4 hours and 50 minutes and covers a distance of 216 miles (347 km).

Alternatively, you can also take a Scottish Citylink bus. The fastest bus takes 7 hours to get to Portree and requires you to make two changes — one at Perth Broxden Park and Ride and another one at Inverness Bus Station. The bus departs from Dundee Seagate Bus Station and a ticket costs £57.20.

Going by train would take a total of 8.5 hours and involves even more changes because there isn’t an actual train station on the Isle of Skye. I definitely recommend taking the bus if you need to rely on public transport.

FYI, though, you’d be taking the ScotRail from Dundee Station to Kyle of Lochalsh Station with two changes — one at Perth and the other one at Inverness. The train journey is 7.5 hours and costs £60. You can check train times here.

Then, you need to take either the Scottish Citylink or Stagecoach bus from Kyle of Lochalsh to Portree, the main town on Skye. This journey takes another hour and costs around £8.

🇮🇪 Getting From Dublin to Isle of Skye

The best way to get from Dublin to the Isle of Skye is to fly into Glasgow Airport (GLA). Both Ryanair and Aer Lingus operate nonstop flights from Dublin to Glasgow, and the flight time is just 55 minutes.

You could also fly into Inverness Airport (INV), but I don’t recommend this because the prices are very high and you’ll need to transit in either London or Amsterdam, which doesn’t make any sense.

Search for flights from Dublin

As for how to get to Isle of Skye from Glasgow, refer back to the following sections above:

Staffin Bay, One of the Best Isle of Skye Things to Do

🇬🇧 Getting From Belfast to Isle of Skye

The best way to get to the Isle of Skye from Belfast is to fly into Inverness Airport (INV). There’s a nonstop flight operated by Loganair that takes around 1 hour. This flight doesn’t operate very frequently, though. So if you can’t catch it, then there’s another option.

In fact, you can also fly into Glasgow Airport (GLA), which is further from Skye than Inverness (so not ideal). Both British Airways and easyJet operate nonstop flights from Belfast to Glasgow, and the flight time is just 40-45 minutes.

Search for flights from Belfast

As for how to get to Isle of Skye from Inverness or Glasgow, refer back to the following sections in this guide:

🇬🇧 Getting From Birmingham to Isle of Skye

The best way to get to the Isle of Skye from Birmingham is to fly into Inverness Airport (INV). There’s a nonstop flight operated by Loganair that takes around 1.5 hours. This flight doesn’t operate very frequently, though. So if you can’t catch it, then there’s another option.

In fact, you can also fly into Glasgow Airport (GLA), which is further from Skye than Inverness (so not ideal). This nonstop flight is operated by easyJet and takes 1 hour and 20 minutes.

Search for flights from Birmingham

To get from Inverness or Glasgow to Skye, refer back to the following sections above:

The Fairy Pools in Scotland

🚙 Driving Isle of Skye: How to Get Around Skye

The best way to get around the Isle of Skye is to drive. While there are some local bus services on the island, most of the attractions are quite remote and driving is the only way to reach them. That’s why if you don’t have a car, your trip to Skye will be very limiting.

To learn more about the limited bus routes on the Isle of Skye, you can search for timetables and routes on the Stagecoach website (they’re the company operating the buses).

Rent a car for the Isle of Skye

⏰ How Long to Drive Around Isle of Skye?

Plan at least 3 days to be able to cover all the best places to see in Isle of Skye. If you want to truly relax and enjoy every spot more, though, I highly recommend staying for 5 days to a whole week. With so many hikes to do, castles to explore, and waterfalls to chase, I assure you you won’t get bored! ☺️

A Road in the Scottish Highlands

☀️ The Best Time to Visit the Isle of Skye

🌟 When to visit: The best time to visit the Isle of Skye is during May and June, when days are longest (5:30 am to 9 pm daylight hours), the weather is mild (between 7°C to 14°C), and there are fewer rainy days compared to the rest of the year (bear in mind, though, that it’s hard to fully escape the rain in the UK).

🚫 When to avoid: While July and August offer slightly warmer weather (between 9°C to 16°C), avoid these months if you can because it’s the absolute busiest and most crowded time to be on the island. Accommodations will be very hard to find unless you book at least 3 months in advance, and finding parking at attractions will also be a struggle.

🌌 For the fewest crowds & Northern Lights: Visit between October and March if you want to enjoy the lowest accommodation prices, the fewest crowds, and the possibility of catching the Northern Lights. Bear in mind, though, that the latter is not easy. You can use this site to check Northern Lights predictions.

The downside of visiting during this period is that the days are shorter (in December, the sun sets at 4:30 pm), and of course, it’s also colder (between 1°C to 7°C) and rainier.

🦟 Keep in mind: Midges typically begin to emerge in mid-late May and only disappear in early-late September. Even if you use insect repellent, midges can still be really disrupting and can sometimes make it difficult to fully enjoy the Isle of Skye.

Claigan Coral Beach in Scotland

🌿 Top Things to Do on the Isle of Skye

While there are endless things to do on the Isle of Skye, here are my top recommendations:

  • Hike the magnificent Quiraing landslip
  • Explore the mystical Fairy Pools
  • Feast on seafood at The Oyster Shed
  • Wander around the stunning Dunvegan Castle & Gardens
  • Stroll the magical Sligachan Old Bridge
  • Catch an unforgettable sunset at Neist Point
  • Look for Highland cows in Sconser!
Read more: 24 Epic Things to Do on the Isle of Skye + Top Tips & Map

🔮 Travel Insurance for Scotland

Having travel insurance gives me peace of mind, and I highly recommend getting it because let’s be real — the last thing we want on any trip is for accidents and mishaps to get in the way. I use a service called World Nomads and can highly recommend them — they offer affordable prices, great coverage, and a reliable 24/7 on-call service.

Get a quote from World Nomads

🌟 Final Tip on How to Travel to Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye is very remote, which means cell phone service can be spotty in many attractions. In some spots, you might not have any signal at all.

Be sure to download Google Maps for the entire island before you leave so that you can navigate offline, especially if you plan to drive to the island!

Sunset at Neist Point, One of the Top 10 Things to Do in Isle of Skye

📸 My Isle of Skye & Scotland Photography Gear

This is the gear I used to take almost all the photos in this guide. You can also see my tips for the best cameras for bloggers for more options other than the ones listed below.

Hiking the Quiraing, One of the Best Things to Do Isle of Skye

I hope this comprehensive guide on how to get to the Isle of Skye was helpful!

For further reading on other destinations in Scotland, discover:
🏞 24 Epic Things to Do on the Isle of Skye + Top Tips & Map
🏡 Where to Stay on the Isle of Skye + Map & An Area to Avoid
⛵️ 19 Top Things to Do in Portree + Map & Insider Tips
🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Plockton, Scotland: 18 Incredible Things To Do + Insider Tips

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Welcome to my travel + photography blog!

I'm Jiayi, a Chinese-Italian photographer who's been on the move since age 6. With this blog, my goal is to provide you with invaluable tips to help you plan epic trips to both popular and unpopular destinations, and to photograph them the way you'd want to. Happy Travels! :)

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