One of the few Scottish islands that can be reached from the mainland without a ferry, Skye is still a long way from the central belt - it takes around 5 hours to drive there from Glasgow or 6 from Edinburgh.
Skye is connected to the Scottish mainland by a bridge which opened in 1995. These days it's free to cross, and it turns what was once a ferry journey into a quick and easy drive. This has transformed the island by dramatically improving its accessibility, and visitor numbers have increased enormously since the bridge opened, with well over half a million visitors a year now choosing to come to Skye. At The Tartan Road, we always encourage our guests to visit Skye outside the peak summer months, and we work with providers who share our commitment to exploring remote areas responsibly.
There is limited public transport on Skye, so the best way to discover the whole island is to drive. For those completing the majority of their Scottish adventure by public transport, we normally recommend hiring a vehicle for the Skye portion of your trip and will arrange this for you.
Many of the main roads on Skye are very good, however there are lengthy narrow single-track stretches as soon as you venture away from the main settlements and attractions, so you should be prepared for your journey to take longer than you might think, especially during the busy summer months.
If you'd rather just sit back and enjoy the stunning views, why not consider exploring Skye with a private chauffeur?
There are large car parks at the main attractions, but you will still find it very busy in peak season.
By public transport
Scotrail trains run as far as Kyle of Lochalsh, where a bridge connects Skye with the mainland and bus services run onto the island itself. There are also long-distance bus services onto the island from Glasgow or Inverness.
Once on the island, local Stagecoach buses run from village to village, with Citylink providing longer-distance services.
The more remote areas of Skye are hard to reach by public transport, which is why we normally recommend that our guests hire a vehicle for this portion of their trip. However, it is possible to explore Skye on public transport with some careful planning.
Calmac ferries run from Mallaig on the mainland to Armadale on Skye, which is a great option if you're starting or focusing your trip around the southern areas of the island as it cuts out a lot of unnecessary distance. There is also a ferry from Sconser on Skye to the nearby Isle of Raasay, and connections from Uig in the north to the islands of the Outer Hebrides.