Isle of Skye Itinerary for 2 days

> December 19, 2022
Isle of Skye Itinerary for 2 days

Scotland’s Isle of Skye is an optimal destination for a 2-day road trip. If you wake up early and are ready for some long days, that is! Which, considering Isle of Skye’s long daylight hours, is perfectly doable.  

Since you have limited time and there’s so much to see and do on Isle of Skye, I recommend starting in the northeast, because it’s the most dramatic and packed with natural goodies. That way, if you end up not fitting it all into one day, you can still finish on your second day, even if that means leaving something out from further down the itinerary.  

Mind you we mean 2 FULL days aka 3 nights on the Isle of Skye. We give hotel recommendations in the boxes at the beginning of each day of the itinerary. Isle of Skye is small enough to just pick one of the hotels and use it as a base. Here are all the hotels on the Isle of Skye if you want to do your own research.  

Side note: We make a small commission if you end up booking any hotel through one of our affiliate links. There’s no extra cost to you, but it helps us with costs. We appreciate the love!  

For the last night it would make sense to stay in the very south of Isle of Skye if you want to cut down on driving times, or if you want to try out a more remote place.   

Note for slow travelers: If you aren’t willing to pack your days morning until almost evening, try to spend at least 3 full days on the Isle of Skye. It won’t get boring even for a week, so don’t worry you’ll run out of things to do. Just take your travel style into consideration. We’re fast, so a weekend is perfect for us.  

You might also be interested in reading:

Day 1 of Isle of Skye itinerary: Northern part of the island

Map of Isle of Skye itinerary day 1

You can click through the map to get to our already-planned Google Map route that includes all of the stops for day 1 of this Isle of Skye itinerary. Just click and you’re off!

Total driving distance: 120 km (75 miles) from the first to the last stop
Time needed: 12 hours
Stops on day 1: Old Man of Storr, Lealt Falls, Brother’s Point, Kilt Rock, An Corran Beach, Quiraing Walk, Fairy Glen (if you must), Dunvegan Castle gardens, Coral Beach, Neist Point Lighthouse
Restaurant tip: Galley Seafood Café near Quiraing |The Old School Restaurant near Dunvegan Castle
Hotel recommendations: Cuillin Hills Hotel in Portree| Greshornish House Hotel in Edinbane
Further reading: Isle of Skye best things to do | Driving in Scotland | Best hikes on Isle of Skye

Today you’ll be driving on one of the most beautiful scenic roads in Scotland, the A855. The road itself is only 55 km (33 miles) long, but it’ll take you all day to get through it, because this is where Isle of Skye’s highlights lie.  

You’ll then head out to the westernmost point of Isle of Skye and end your day with a spectacular sunset.  

We think it’s best to book a hotel in the northern part of Isle of Skye at least for the first 2 nights. Then you can either stay there your whole stay, or move to a southern hotel for the last night.  

Be prepared for driving on a sometimes shared-lane road, meaning you’ll need to be patient and stop and let cars pass from time to time. These types of roads are pretty common on Isle of Skye, so you’d better get the hang of it quickly. This is no highway!  

Bring proper clothing! Always expect rain, mud, and crazy wind that will creep into even the best of softshells.  

Note on restaurants: Always book restaurants in advance. There are so many visitors on Skye that we stopped at about 15, not kidding, before we found a place to eat on our first day. We quickly learned our lesson and made restaurant booking for the next days.  

Day 1, 1st stop: Old Man of Storr

Old Man of Storr walk on isle of Skye

Sometimes, the clouds on Isle of Skye are a pain in the ass. And sometimes, they just add to the magic @ Old Man of Storr

Driving distance: In case you choose one of our recommended hotels: it’s 11 km (7 miles) from Cuillin Hills Hotel in Portree and 39 km (24 miles) from Greshornish House Hotel in Edinbane.
Time spent here: 2 hours 

The first place of touristic interest you’ll pass on the way up A855 from Portree is Bride’s Veil Falls, but they are really small and you don’t have time to waste, so I say skip them.  

Instead, hightail it to one of the highlights of Isle of Skye, the Old Man of Storr walk. One of the famous Skye walks full of classic Scottish views of green mountains, lochs and rugged rocks. And a giant’s thumb protruding from the ground.  

The Old Man of Storr walk takes about 2 hours to complete. It’s a 4.7 km (3 mile) circular hike with around 350 m (1100 ft) elevation gain. 

Google Maps does a great job showing the parking lot and the trailhead, which are right next to each other.   

Parking costs GBP 3 for 3 hours. If the parking lot is full by the time you get there, you can park on the side of the road closest to it. Don’t worry, you’ll see what I mean and certainly won’t be the only one.  

Fun fact: The 2012 movie Prometheus was shot at Old Man of Storr.  

Details about this hike in our article about the best hikes on the Isle of Skye.  

Day 1, 2nd stop: Lealt Falls

Lealt Falls stop on road trip on Isle of Skye

Karin at the first viewpoint at Lealt Falls, you can see how close it is to the road

Driving distance: 8 km (5 miles)
Time spent here: 15 minutes 

Lealt Falls is only a 10–15-minute stop, but it’s a must-see for the views (not so much for the falls).  

It takes no effort as the viewing platform is just a few steps away from the tiny parking lot (which is free). The waterfall is nice, but nothing that special. The view overall is way better.  

There’s also a little side trail that you can walk on for a few minutes to get wonderful views of the coast.   

Day 1, 3rd stop: Brother’s Point

Stop number 3 on Isle of Skye itinerary, Brother’s Point

The views at Brother’s Point are really nice and there was almost nobody there!

Driving distance2.5 km (1.5 miles)
Time spent here: 20 minutes 

Just a couple minutes from Lealt Falls is another quick stop called Brother’s Point. It’s a viewpoint with views out to the sea that you can see in 20 minutes max.  

It’s special because somehow a lot of people skip it, so it’s one of the only places on your Isle of Skye itinerary that you might even end up being alone! Bar the sheep (and large amounts of sheep shit).  

Look for the sign right off the parking lot (free) and follow the (sometimes hard to see) trail. It’s only a short walk to the viewpoint.  

Day 1, 4th stop: Kilt Rock

Kilt Rock views on Isle of Skye

Beauty in all directs @ Kilt Rock

Driving distance: 3 km (2 miles) 
Time spent here: 10 minutes 

Kilt Rock is a 10-minute stop. It’s an observation point where you can see the basalt columns over the sea and waterfalls, also over the sea. The parking lot is about 2 steps away from the viewpoint, which makes it a super easy stop. Google Maps doesn’t show the parking lot, but it does show the food truck that is stationed on the parking lot, so head towards that. You might need to wait for a spot.  

You’d think these views would be getting old by now, but no. Still spectacular. Also, you might be lucky and see a whale or two!   

Day 1, 5th stop: An Corran Beach (dinosaur footprints)

The sign about dinosaur footprints at An Corran Beach on Isle of Skye

It’s time to search for dinosaur footprints at An Corran Beach!

Driving distance: 5.5 km (3.5 miles) 
Time spent here: 15 minutes 

An Corran is a beach whose main claim to fame, besides to omnipresent great views, is the presence of dinosaur footprints in the rocks. There’s supposed to be 19 of them in total, but they aren’t easy to spot and if you’re there at high tide, you might not see any at all. Good luck on your Jurassic hunt!  

Note the last portion of the road to An Corran is a single-lane, so patience is needed. It gets very busy in the summer. There is a parking area at the end of the road (free). Lots of campervans, too, co you may need to up your driving skills to fit in some places.  

Depending on how much perseverance you have and how many footprints you set out to find, you could spend 15 minutes to infinity at An Corran.  

Day 1, 6th stop: Quiraing Walk

Scenery of Quiraing walk in Isle of Skye

The amazing scenery on the Quiraing Walk, one of three highlights of day 1 of the Isle of Skye itinerary

Driving distance: 7 km (4 miles) 
Time spent here: 2 hours 

The Quiraing Walk is the highlight of the Isle of Skye together with Old Man of Storr and Neist Point, so you should be really excited about this stop!  

There is no landscape more Scottish than this. What you see during the Quiraing Walk is what you imagine when you hear the name Scotland—epic, grassy cliffs that dramatically tower up over the sea, getting lost in the clouds.  

The views start at the parking lot and never end. The actual Quiraing Rocks are near the end of the 2-hour circuit walk and aren’t the highlight. It’s one of those spots where the journey is the destination. It’s spectacular.

Quiraing Walk map showing circular route

Map of Quiraing Circuit, thank you Alltrails

You can also opt for the shorter Prison walk (1 hour there and back, basically just the end of the circular walk). 

Google Maps takes you right to the trailhead. There is a parking lot right there at the start, too, and it costs GBP 3 for 3 hours or GBP 5 for 6 hours.  

Make sure you dress for bad weather even if it looks like nice weather, and don’t go if it’s raining. That could be dangerous.  

More details about the Quiraing Walk and the different trails in our best hikes on Isle of Skye article.  

Day 1, 7th stop: Fairy Glen (optional)

Visiting Fairy Glen in Isle of Skye Scotland

I just didn’t get it

Driving distance: 11.5 km (7 miles) 
Time spent here: 30 minutes 

I’m only describing this stop because I know you won’t trust me when I say you can skip it. I thought it was a meaningless stop. We could’ve saved precious time if we’d just driven right past.  

Fairy Glen is a valley full of little bumps and rolling hills that looks like fairies would have a blast on. There are some legends about this apparently “otherworldly landscape” that I just didn’t appreciate for some reason.  

The parking lot only holds around 20 cars (and costs GBP 5). If you can’t find a spot there, you’ll need to drive to Uig and park there, which would add 1.5 km (1 mile) to your walk. 

From the parking lot, you walk maybe 10 minutes before you get to Castle Ewen, which is where you’ll get your first proper glimpse of the glen. You can then wander around until you’re satiated and then head back to the car.   

You’ll need a maximum of 30 minutes if you’re like us and maybe an hour if you actually enjoy the place.  

There’s no entrance fee to Fairy Glen. 

Day 1, 8th stop: Dunvegan Castle Gardens (optional)

Dunvegan Castle and Gardens on Isle of Skye

The Dunvegan Gardens are better than the castle interior

Driving distance: 48 km (30 miles)
Time spent here: 1 hour 

Day 1 is a very packed day, so if you find you’re running out of time, go ahead and skip this stop and the next.  

I intentionally call this stop Dunvegan Castle Gardens, because I recommend skipping the interior of the castle. It’s just nothing that special, and the gardens are considerably more worth your time. If you look at the ticket price, you’ll see that even the owners agree (you only save GBP 2 if you buy a ticket for just the gardens).  

The gardens and the castle exterior are fantastic. The gardens reminded me of Olympic National Park in Washington DC. Take at least an hour to look around.   

Parking is free in a parking lot not far away from the castle.  

You can also make a quick stop at a viewpoint close by that’s on the way to the next stop on this itinerary, Coral Beach.  

More details about our Dunvegan Castle visit in our top things to do on Isle of Skye article.  

  • Dunvegan Castle, MacLeod Estate, Dunvegan House, Dunvegan  
  • Open daily 10 am–5:30 pm (last entry 5pm)  
  • Tickets cost GBP 14 for interior and gardens combo, GBP 12 for just the gardens  

Day 1, 9th stop:  Coral Beach (optional)

Coral Beach view on Isle of Skye

Coral Beach and the coral on the beach

Driving distance: 5.5 km (3.5 miles) 
Time spent here: 1 hour 

Coral Beach is a 10-minute drive north of Dunvegan Castle. Once you leave your car at the parking lot, it’s about a 2 km (1.2 mile) easy walk to the beach (about 20 minutes).

It’s a beach, but somehow more special. Like everything else on the Isle of Skye. What looks like white sand is made of itty bitty bits of coral (don’t take them home as souvenirs!), hence the name. There are nice views of the shore and the walk is pleasant. You might even meet a cow. It gets very windy.  

Day 1, 9th stop:  Neist Point Lighthouse

At the viewpoint at Neist Point Lighthouse

If you want to see Karin standing in the exact same spot, see our best things to do in Isle of Skye article. I think it’s obvious who the better model is.

Driving distance: 25 km (15.5 miles) 
Time spent here: 2 hours 

Neist Point Lighthouse is the westernmost point of the Isle of Skye, which protrudes so dramatically into the sea. 

Just to be clear, it’s not the lighthouse that you come here for, it’s the scenery. The lighthouse is just there to look pretty in pictures, you can’t even visit it. It’s just an extremely picturesque place, especially at sunset.

Prepare for a tricky drive on shared-lane roads to get to the parking lot which is right where the trail starts.  

You will spend about 2 hours walking around. That said, you can walk to the lighthouse in about 20 minutes, so it’s not so much a long distance than it is photo op after photo op of the incredible landscape.

Map of Neist Point Lighhouse trail and parking lot

Don’t forget to go down the other trail as well! Click through to Google Maps.

There are two trails from the parking lot: one down to the lighthouse, and one to the right (when facing the lighthouse) that takes you to some more coastal scenery, complete with waterfalls.  

It’s common to spot whales and dolphins from the cliffs, so keep an eye out!

Day 2 of Isle of Skye itinerary: Southern part of the island

Map of the stops on day 2 of Isle of Skye itinerary

You can once again click through the map to get to our already-planned Google Map route that includes all of the stops for day 2 of this Isle of Skye itinerary. Just note it starts at the first stop, not at your hotel, which might add on quite a few kms!

Total driving distance: 70 km (44 miles) from the first to the last stop (distance to and from your hotel is extra and could be considerable!)
Time needed: 8—12 hours depending on which Cuillin hike you do
Stops on day 2 (and a little on day 3): Torabhaig Distillery, Armadale Caste, Cuillin Mountains, Fairy Pools, Eilean Donan Castle
Restaurant tips: Lean to Coffee | Deli Gasta | Red Skye Restaurant
Hotel recommendations: Broadford Hotel in Broadford | Tigh Phadraig at Marys Thatched Cottages in Elgol
Further reading: Isle of Skye best things to do | Scotland’s best castles | Best places in the Scottish Highlands

Today you’ll be exploring the southern part of the Isle of Skye. If you’re coming from a hotel in the northern part of Skye, you should expect about an hour’s drive to the first stop, Armadale Castle.  

Again, you’ll be testing your driving skills and nerves on a lot of shared-lane roads today. Read this article to see what to expect while driving in Scotland.  

Unlike the ultra-packed day 1 on this itinerary, day 2 has a mere 4–5 stops. This is mostly because there are no quick stops on this day and most places will have you hanging out for at least an hour or two.  

The reason there is a range of the number of stops is because the last site, Eilean Donan Castle, is on the mainland. You should stop to visit it on your way off of the Isle of Skye, so ideally in the morning after your last night on Skye.  

I strongly suggest you stop by the restaurants recommended in this section, because they were our favorite out of our entire Skye stay. They just happen to be all next to each other! Try to make reservations if you can.  

Day 2, 1st stop: Armadale Castle

Armadale Castle on Isle of Skye

Armadale Castle is best if you visit on a sunny day

Driving distance: In case you choose one of our recommended hotels: it’s 67 km (40 miles) from Cuillin Hills Hotel in Portree and 93 km (58 miles) from Greshornish House Hotel in Edinbane.
Time spent here: 1 hour  

Armadale Castle is a ruin that sits right on the coast, with fabulous views to Scotland’s mainland just across the loch (or is it the sea at this point?!).  Try to go on a sunny day to appreciate the views, there aren’t many places to hide from the elements at Armadale.  

An exception is the small, award-winning museum attached. It’s very informative and tells the history of the Highlands and islands through the story of Scotland’s most powerful clan, Clan Donald.  

There are also two cafés on site, one indoor and one outdoor, and a viewpoint not far from the castle that’s also right on the coast.  

  • Armadale Castle, Armadale Sleat, Isle of Skye   
  • Open Wednesday through Sunday (only until the end of October) 9:30 am–5 pm.   
  • Tickets cost GBP 12 for adults, discounts for children, seniors and families available 

Day 2, 2nd stop: Torabhaig Distillery tour

Torabhaig Distillery exterior

Torabhaig Distillery

Driving distance: 5.5 km (3.5 miles)
Time spent here: 1.5 hours   

We loved our tour at Torabhaig Distillery and you will too! Very much unlike our despicable experience at the Edinburgh Gin Distillery in Edinburgh, this tour was very informative and everyone we met there, from the distillers to the lovely woman at the gift shop, was amazingly welcoming

The distillery tour takes about an hour, but leave time for some gift shop mayhem and also to enjoy the wonderful scenery.  

There is sufficient free parking right at the distillery. 

The tours at Torabhaig Distillery get sold out, so make sure to plan accordingly and choose your time slot at least a couple of weeks beforehand.  

If you want to learn more about the tour and a little bit about the slightly racist man that founded the place, read our top places on Isle of Skye article.  

Day 2, 3rd stop: Cuillin Mountains hike

Views of the Cuillin Mountain Range on Isle of Skye

Just some of the views you can get if you hike in the Cuillin Mountains (full disclaimer: we didn’t, because the weather was extra bad)

Driving distance: 45 km (28 miles) if hiking from Sligachan or 70 km (43 miles) to Glenbrittle campsite 
Time spent here: 2–8 hours depending on your hike choice 

The Cuillin is a famous mountain range in the south-central part of the Isle of Skye. It’s also the most challenging mountain range in the UK, though there are some easier walks that the less ambitious folks can go on.    

Err on the side of caution and don’t go if the weather is bad or you could risk some serious consequences. We had to skip it for that very reason.  

There are many hikes or varying difficulty and length to choose from, so I’ll let you do your own research. You can use (no affiliation) to check out the various routes. Or just trust us to pick the best ones. Head over to our best hikes in Isle of Skye article for details on those.  

Most hiking options start in one of two spots: the majority at Sligachan Hotel in Sligachan, like to the peak of Bruach na Frithe, or the flat walk to Sgurr Na Stri, both done in 6–8 hours. Some hikes start at the Glenbrittle campsite., like to Cuillin’s highest peak, Sgùrr Alasdair (6 hours) or to Coire Lagan (a mountain lake), a short hike that you can do in 2 hours.  

One of the top hikes on the Isle of Skye is to Bla Bheinn. You’d actually be driving from Broadford to get to the trailhead, so staying at one of the hotels we chose for you, the Broadford Hotel, could prove extra useful.   

Day 2, 4th stop: Fairy Pools 

Visit the Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye

What the fairy pools can look like if you have good weather (we didn’t)

Driving distance: 18 km (11 miles) if coming from Sligachan or 6 km (4 miles) from Glenbrittle campsite 
Time spent here: 1 hour  

The Fairy Pools are an area of little streams and pools of water and a small waterfall here and there that can look magical in photos against the dramatic rocks in the background. If you have good weather, that is, and the rocks aren’t all covered in clouds like they were when we went. I’ve borrowed some photos from the interwebs for the title photo, because my photos don’t do the place justice.  

Just know that the pools themselves are meh, you have to look at the big picture to see why the place is so special. Now this feels like a fairies could live here.

Be prepared for crowds. Coming from Drynoch, you’ll be driving on a shared-lane road for the last 10 km (6 miles) before you get to the parking lot, so be patient—it could take a while. Parking at the Fairy Pools costs GBP 6.

From the parking lot, it’ll take about 20 minutes to walk to the Fairy Pools, then you can wander around for a bit and head back. About 1 hour total time. 

There is a circular loop that’s about 5 km long as well, but that would take about 2 hours to complete, and honestly I don’t you have that kind of extra time on your hands. This is a 2-day Isle of Skye itinerary, after all! Unless… 

If you skip the hiking in the Cuillin Mountains in the previous stop, you can instead go on the longer loop at the Fairy Pools. Since the Fairy Pools are surrounded by some of the Cuillin peaks, you can opt for this simpler option instead of a proper long hike in the mountains. 

An extra stop for when you’re leaving Isle of Skye: Eilean Donan Castle

Tourists at Eilean Donan Castle on Isle of Skye

We were all smiles at my favorite castle of all, Eilean Donan

Driving distance: We recommend doing this stop in the morning after your last night on Isle of Skye, since it’s technically on the mainland, not on the island, and you’ll be driving past it anyway.
Time spent here: 2 hours

I have a personal bias towards Eilean Donan, because it’s the castle from my favorite B-rated 80s action movie, Highlander.  

It’s located on a tiny islet of its own, just a short walking bridge away from the mainland. Sometimes there is almost no water around it, but if you are lucky and manage to see it when the little island is actually an island, it’s magic!   

Allow 2 hours to visit. It’s a self-guided tour with guides on hand if you are extra interested in any info.  

No large bags are allowed inside, so leave them in your car or in the lockers at the visitor center.   

Make sure to set your navigation to Eilean Donan Castle, not just Eilean Donan, or you’ll end up in all the wrong places like we did.  

There is a parking lot right before the small bridge to the castle. Parking is GBP 2 per hour. 

You can spend some time in the visitor center, gift shop and onsite café, as well.   

Don’t forget to visit the viewpoint above the castle. You can drive or walk there (on the road). See above photo to see what the view is like (the one with me, Jan, in it).   

Note: Eilean Donan is closed when it hosts weddings (which is does a lot of). You can check wedding days on their website

Read our article about the best castles in Scotland for more standouts.  

  • Eilean Donan Castle, Dornie, by Kyle of Lochalsh, Scotland  
  • Open daily 9 am–6 pm (last entry at 5 pm) in the summer months, check other opening times on the website (including closure days for weddings) 
  • Tickets cost GBP 10 for adults, there are discounts available for children, seniors and families  

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About me

About me

Hi! I’m Jan. I live in Prague, Czech Republic. I try to experience the best the world has to offer, and I don’t cease to be impressed. But if I’m not, I’m sure going to tell you! You can count on my full honesty and real opinions here. No bullcrap. I own and run several companies, which gives me great (but not unlimited) freedom to roam the world.  

I was first inspired to start this blog by my own experience of researching for upcoming trips—I often struggle with a lack of good information, accuracy, and authenticity of resources. You wouldn’t believe how many “travel bloggers” don’t even visit the destinations they write about! 

My goal with this blog is to provide you with complex and practical information so that you can plan your own vacation, complete with insights you’d only get if you visited the place. I also put together itineraries that are fully planned out trip guides.

Another aspect that drives this platform is my curiosity about the history, geography, politics, and economy of each country I visit, so I try to include this information in my articles, too. It’s always great to get the bigger picture, right? 

And just to be clear, I am not trying to compete with backpacking blogs or provide hacks for an economical and affordable experience. My vacations follow the standard pattern of traveling by plane, staying in good hotels, and renting a car on the spot to get around. I’m also always up for a fantastic meal, though I don’t shy away from local delicacies and street food, either.  

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