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Why 2 Day Isle of Skye Tours from Edinburgh Aren’t Enough

by robcarr00032

Why 2 Day Isle of Skye Tours from Edinburgh Aren’t Enough

Thank you for returning to our Scotland blog. Today I want to talk about the Isle of Skye, Scotland’s hottest travel destination. Many travelers contact me about a 2-day tour from Edinburgh, however this is something that I unfortunately have to reject! I understand that this choice is often driven by constraints like time and budget. However, it’s crucial to recognise the inherent limitations of such a brief excursion to this iconic region.

Whilst we can’t control limitations like your amount of annual leave, if you play your cards right and plan strategically you will have the right amount of time available to go whole hog on this adventure. So fasten your seat belts and read through six reasons why you should take a longer trip to the Isle of Skye. 

1. The Long Drive & Sacrificing Skye Time for Travel:

Embarking on a 2-day Isle of Skye tour from Edinburgh means committing to at least 11 hours on the road in two days. Not only physically demanding, remarkably time-inefficient but also limits the time available for exploration on the Isle of Skye itself.

Are you comfortable sacrificing extensive hours in the car looking out of the window rather than getting out and experiencing the Highlands? If so, then fair play! However, I know that I am person who likes to wander around these places and have ground underneath my feet rather than spending so much time in the car that my joints creek like a rusty rollercoaster. Your choice!

For those seeking to maximise their experience amidst the breathtaking beauty of Scotland and Skye, it’s worth reconsidering the length of the journey. Or prioritising your itinerary to closer or more accessible areas! Before confirming your booking, also take into account the time of year for your trip. In winter, daylight hours dwindle, sometimes as short as 7 hours. Unless you’re inclined to drive during the hours of darkness, the limited daylight may hinder your ability to fully appreciate the scenic wonders of Skye.

2. Less Time in the Mainland Highlands:

Not only do you get less time in Skye but you rush the rest too! The journey to Skye takes you through the majestic Scottish Highlands, a region renowned for its history, castles and untamed beauty. On a 2-day Skye tour the imperative is to reach the Isle of Skye as quick as possible. Unfortunately, this leaves less time to stop to explore and appreciate the Highland landscapes. And as you may already know the Highlands is filled with so many incredible things to do! Imagine having time to come through the Trossachs National Park and hike up incredible peaks like Ben A’an, stop off at Kilchurn Castle, search for red deer in Glencoe,  take the Jacobite Steam train along the Glenfinnan Viaduct, experience Steall Falls, the Lost Valley and so much more. Picture a journey where every moment is an opportunity to savour, leaving the constraints of a hurried itinerary behind. Skye’s the limit!

Glenfinnan Viaduct

3. The Isle of Skye can be Budget Friendly 

If money is your concern. Surprisingly, the Isle of Skye can offer a budget-friendly escape without compromising on its enchanting charm. Travelers on a shoestring budget can embrace the island’s natural beauty by opting for self-catering accommodations, providing both cost savings and flexibility. Skye is renowned for having a whole of host of glamping pods, providing wonderfully cosy and best of all, personal retreats. Alternatively, for those comfortable with sharing rooms, hostels are readily available.

For the more adventurous, wild camping is a viable and economical option, allowing you to wake up to the beauty of Skye’s landscapes. Additionally, the island boasts three bothys which are basic shelters free for public use providing a unique and budget-friendly lodging experience, often encountering fellow explorers too. You can find these at Ollisdal, Rubha Hunish and Camasunary. With these alternatives, coupled with the freedom to explore freely, the Isle of Skye opens its doors to budget-conscious travelers seeking an authentic and affordable Scottish adventure.

Are you inspired to go full tilt on a guided Isle of Skye adventure?

Click here to view our Isle of Skye tours

4. Time to get off the Beaten Path

A mere two-day visit allows for just one afternoon and morning to explore the wonders of the Isle of Skye. Because of this, itineraries tend to follow well-established routes, focusing on widely recognised locations which, during peak seasons can be busier than the queues for toilet roll during COVID. As the third most visited tourist destination in the UK, trailing only behind London and Edinburgh, the island in places is bursting with visitors especially at locations like the Fairy Glen, Fairy Pools and the Old Man of Storr. For those seeking to have a more serene experience, wandering off the beaten path becomes imperative. Only by exploring less-traveled routes can one unveil hidden gems, one can embrace the island’s rich local culture, history and nature.

Not only is Skye special but it is the gateway to other Hebridean islands. Head over to Elgol and take a boat trip to Canna and Rum to see the puffins and to see the ship wreck (see photo below). Head to the Outer Hebrides, visit the Isle of Harris and Lewis for some of the most beautiful beaches in the world coupled with Neolithic, Iron Age and Norse history. 

Isle of Rum Shipwreck

5. Missed Opportunities for Whisky and Hiking:

In our view, the Isle of Skye is renowned for two unmissable experiences: whisky and hiking. It is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes, embracing hiking and climbing in what is considered the mecca of the UK outdoor scene. The Cuillins showcase the most jagged and dramatic mountain range in the country and can be seen from all around. For fellow hikers its an opportunity that can’t be missed, it’s time to lace up your boots and explore the enchanting hiking trails with us.

Turning our attention to whisky, a 3-day Skye tour or even more allows ample time for indulging in distillery tours at some of the island’s iconic establishments, including the oldest distillery, Talisker, the recently established Torabhaig, or take a quick ferry for the award-winning Raasay distillery. Each of these tours offers a unique insight into Scotland’s rich whisky culture. These are experiences that demand time, patience, and are meant to be savoured at your leisure.

6. Rushed Experience:

If you want to leave the Isle of Skye with a deeper connection with the landscape, history and culture. Make time to truly be present, soak in the surroundings, and appreciate the magic of the Isle of Skye. As Roy M. Goodman said “Remember that happiness is a way of travel – not a destination.” So don’t rush. Your trip, your way!

While the idea of a 2-day Isle of Skye tour from Edinburgh may seem like a convenient way to get a taste of the beauty of this Scottish gem, it’s essential to acknowledge the sacrifices made in terms of time, experience, and exploration.

If you are limited with time then rather than making the effort to travel all the way there, consider Edinburgh day trips or one night in the southern highlands which requires less driving. It might be better to save the Isle of Skye for another day! 

For those seeking a more immersive adventure, use extra time to soak in the clan history, hike along the stunning Trotternish ridge or up in the Cuillins and taste the incredible whisky. We would consider at least a 3-day Skye tour from Edinburgh up to 7 days to truly unlock the magic of this enchanting island. As Oscar Wilde said “Live with no excuses and travel with no regrets.”

If you have any questions about the Isle of Skye or would like to see what we have to offer, check out our itineraries or send us a contact form! If you would like to share your thoughts on the blog don’t hesitate to leave us some feedback or share with  fellow travel buddies! Enjoy and I will look forward to catching you at the next blog!

Are you inspired to go full tilt on a guided Isle of Skye adventure?

Click here to view our Isle of Skye tours

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