12 Best Isle of Skye Tours from Edinburgh, Scotland

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The Isle of Skye is arguably the most beautiful of Scotland’s almost 800 islands, with impossibly green hills, dramatic basalt formations, and an incredibly rugged coastline. But how are you supposed to explore its epic landscapes if you don’t want to mess around with renting a car—or drive on the left side of the road—while you’re in Scotland?

Luckily, if you’re staying in Edinburgh, there’s tons of tours from the capital city to the Isle of Skye, so that you can see and explore this epic landscape for yourself. So here are the 12 best Isle of Skye tours from Edinburgh, so you can let someone else sit in the driver’s seat while exploring this magical land—quite literally! 

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Couple sitting in front of the Quiraing Walk in the Isle of Skye in Scotland
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For the purposes of this article, I’ve grouped these tours based on the size of travelers, given that this can impact their cost and overall experience.

Group tours to the Isle of Skye range from 16 to 32 travelers. Given their size, they generally tend to be the most affordable option and can definitely be a lot of fun for those looking to make friends with a lot of new travelers. However, they can also be a little bit less intimate than smaller groups and your guide may have a harder time customizing the tour, due to the sheer number of different competing interests and personalities. 

Couple holding hands in front of the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye in Scotland

Small group tours to Skye have less than 16 travelers. These tend to be pricier than the larger group tours, but you’ll have more one-on-one time with your guide and will have a better chance of having a more personalized experience. 

And a private tour is just that—private, for only your group! This will, of course, be the most expensive option, but will allow your group the greatest flexibility. This can be especially ideal if you’re traveling with a large group or those who might need extra time or attention, like kiddos or senior travelers. 

Two sheep grazing along the Quiraing Loop along the Isle of Skye in Scotland

With that, let’s talk Isle of Skye tours! 

Group tours to the Isle of Skye from Edinburgh

1. Isle of Skye, Highlands and Loch Ness 3-Day Tour from Edinburgh

  • Duration: 3 days
  • Includes: Transportation; two nights’ accommodation

This tour is a great option if you want to get a full day in Skye itself, given that, unlike a lot of other tours, you’ll actually stay overnight on the island itself. 

Once you’re picked up from Edinburgh on the first day and make a quick stop to pick up other guests in Glasgow, you’ll start driving to the Isle of Skye and stop at some of the best sites in the Scottish Highlands. For example, you’ll make stops at Loch Lomond, the largest lake in Scotland, and Glencoe, my favorite town in all of the Highlands with towering green hills and waterfalls in every direction you look. 

Mountains from the Glencoe Viewpoint in the Scottish Highlands in Scotland

You’ll end the night in the adorable fishing village of Portree on the Isle of Skye, where you’ll be free to mosey around the streets to find a quiet place to eat dinner and check into your cozy accommodations for the evening.

The entire second day will be dedicated to exploring the best of Skye, including stopping to admire the Old Man of Storr, one of the wildest rock formations I’ve ever seen with my own eyes; the Quiraing, an impossibly green mountain pass with asymmetrical slopes that looks straight out of Game of Thrones; and Dunvegan Castle, which holds the impressive title of being the longest continuously occupied castle in all of Scotland (for over 800 years!) by the Clan Macleod.

Dunvegan Castle with a pine tree forest in the background on the Isle of Skye in Scotland

Again, in the evening, you’ll have plenty of time to explore Portree and maybe even duck into a cute Scottish pub for a dram of whisky. 

On your final day, you’ll make several stops in the Highlands on your way back to Edinburgh, like the Eilean Donan Castle, which was used as a filming location in the movie Highlander and is believed to be the most photographed castle in Scotland. You’ll also stop by Fort Augustus along the banks of Loch Ness for lunch—not only can you take in the beautiful views, but you can also keep an eye out for Nessie!

Bridge leading to the Eilean Donan Castle with the Isle of Skye in the background in Scotland

This company’s tour guides have struck the perfect balance—a jam-packed tour while never leaving you feeling rushed and guided experiences with plenty of time to explore on your own. They also expertly weave Scottish folklore, music, traditions, and personal anecdotes into the tour to make your experience feel more authentic and engaging. 

2. 3 Day Isle of Skye, Inverness, Highlands, and Glenfinnan Viaduct Tour from Edinburgh

  • Duration: 3 days
  • Includes: Transportation

If you are looking for a chance to get to explore the fairytale city of Inverness, in addition to the Highlands and Skye, this tour is a great option, given you’ll actually stay for two nights in the largest city in the Highlands.  

People walking down the street in Inverness in the Scottish Highlands in Scotland

This also happens to be one of the most JAM-PACKED Isle of Skye tours from Edinburgh, with tons of stops that aren’t included in a lot of the other three-day options. 

On your way from Edinburgh to Skye, you’ll stop to admire The Kelpies, the modern 100 foot horse head sculptures that pay homage to the equines that worked in the fields and pulled barges in Scotland. You’ll then head to Glencoe and make a stop at the Glenfinnan Viaduct. This viaduct has become one of the most popular attractions in the Highlands, given that it was used as a filming location in the Harry Potter movies. In fact, the Jacobite Express—the real life Hogwarts Express in Scotland—still chugs across the bridge today!

Pssst... check out our YouTube video when we rode the Jacobite Express through the Scottish Highlands!

Next up, you’ll explore Loch Ness, including Urquhart Castle, the most picturesque castle along its shores that dates back to the 13th century. And finally (see, I told you this schedule was jam-packed!), you’ll head to the city of Inverness, where you’ll have a chance to explore for the night. 

The second day will be dedicated to exploring the dramatic landscape of the Isle of Skye, including Portree, the Old Man of Storr, and Quiraing, and ending with time to explore the Eilean Donan Castle. Again, you’ll return to Inverness and have time to stroll around its cobblestone streets in the evening.

Woman walking along the Quiraing Loop with basalt rock formations in the background in the Isle of Skye in Scotland

Your final day will be dedicated to learning about Scotland’s rich history before returning to Edinburgh. For example, you’ll explore the Culloden Battlefield, which hosted the last battle that ever occurred on British soil; Clava Cairns, burial markers that date back 4,000 years; and the Highland Folk Museum, where you can see what it looked like to live in Scotland in the 18th century. The museum is so well done, it’s actually been used as a filming location for the beloved show Outlander.

Aerial view of Clara Cairns in a pine tree forest in the Highlands of Scotland

This tour company manages to squeeze in a LOT of activities in a short period of time and has done an awesome job building out an itinerary that includes popular attractions with more under the radar gems. And despite the packed schedule, the guides do an amazing job of keeping you engaged, with tons of fascinating history and stories of the landmarks you’ll pass along the way. 

3. 3 Day Budget Backpacker Isle of Skye and the Highlands Tour from Edinburgh

  • Duration: 3 days
  • Includes: Transportation, two nights’ accommodation (note that this is in a hostel dorm with both men and women!), admission to the Dundreggan Rewilding Centre

If you’re more of a budget traveler, check out this option, which packs in seeing the best sites of Skye and the Highlands, while having a more backpacker-y, social vibe to the tour. 

You’ll make your way from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye, through the impossibly green Highlands, stopping at towns like Dunkeld, which is famous for its association with Macbeth and Fort Augustus along Loch Ness, where you should keep your eyes peeled for Scotland’s most famous monster. You’ll also have a chance to explore the beautiful Eilean Donan Castle. Finally, you’ll end the evening in the charming village of Portree, with plenty of time to grab a dram of whisky.

Colorful buildings along the Portree Harbor on the Isle of Skye in Scotland

Your second day will be spent exploring the highlights of Skye, like the Old Man of Storr, the Dunvegan Castle, Kilt Rock, and the Sligachan Old Bridge.

Finally, on your last day, you’ll explore some of the best of the Highlands as you make your way back to Edinburgh. For example, you’ll get to snap a photo of the Glenfinnan Viaduct, explore the waterfalls and mountains of Glencoe, and learn about Scotland’s bloody history at the National Wallace Monument, which commemorates Sir William Wallace, the national hero of Scotland and the inspiration for the iconic film Braveheart

Jacobite Express train riding along the Glenfinnan Viaduct in Glenfinnan in the Highlands of Scotland

Given this company’s focus on catering to backpackers, its groups tend to be younger travelers, with a more social vibe than other options. The guides are excellent at sparking conversation and building a communal atmosphere between the guests. This is definitely one of the best options if you’re on a tighter budget, a solo traveler, or simply looking to make some new friends, all while exploring some of the most beautiful parts of Scotland!

4. 3 Day Isle of Skye and Scottish Highlands Tour from Edinburgh including the Eilean Donan Castle

  • Duration: 3 days
  • Includes: Transportation; two nights’ accommodation, two breakfasts, entry into the Dundreggan Rewilding Centre

I love that the itinerary for this Isle of Skye tour from Edinburgh combines popular attractions with more underrated hidden gems. 

Man standing in front of a basalt rock formation along the Old Man of Storr trail on the Isle of Skye in Scotland

On the first day, you’ll kick the tour off with a bang by exploring the Dunkeld Cathedral, a stunning church along the River Tay that dates back all the way to 1260.

Afterwards, you’ll make stops at the town of Fort Augustus along Loch Ness, to see if you can spot the monster; the gorgeous Eilean Donan Castle; and finally, to the Sligachan Old Bridge on the Isle of Skye. The bridge dates back to the 1800s and has all kinds of peculiar folklore surrounding it, including that you’ll be granted eternal beauty if you stick your face in the water underneath it (let me know if it works!).

Couple holding hands and looking at Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland

In the evening, you’ll have time to grab dinner and explore Portree before tucking in for the evening.

The second day is completely dedicated to exploring the Isle of Skye, including the Old Man of Storr; Lealt Falls, a 295 foot waterfall that plunges into a rocky gorge; and Kilt Rock, a dramatic basalt cliffside that looks like, well, a kilt! 

Mealt Falls cascading down Kilt Rock along the sea in the Isle of Skye in Scotland

On the last day, you’ll make stops throughout the Highlands, including Fort William, Glencoe, The Kelpies, and the very off-the-beaten-path Dundreggan Rewilding Centre. This unique preserve protects a tract of the ancient Caledonian Forest and the plant- and wildlife that lives within it.

The tour guides with this company go above and beyond to make sure you have the best time possible, from taking the most Instagram-worthy photos of you to squeezing in extra stops at the guests’ request, like finding the best whisky on Skye or some cute Highland cows (which are surprisingly hard to find in the Highlands!).

5. 5 Day Isle of Skye, Inverness and Loch Ness Tour from Edinburgh

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Includes: 4 nights’ accommodation (note that this is a shared hostel between men and women!), transportation, and admission to the Culloden Battlefield, Whisky Distillery Tour, and Dundreggan Rewilding Centre

If you have a bit more time to explore but are on a tighter budget, check out this 5 day tour, where you’ll get two days of exploring Skye and an opportunity to do a deep dive into the Highlands. 

Woman walking along the Lost Valley Trail in Glencoe with mountains in the background in the Scottish Highlands

You’ll get a glimpse into Scotland’s history as you make your way up through the Highlands on the first day. For example, you’ll stop at The Kelpies; weave past the National Wallace Monument and the 12th century Stirling Castle, one of the largest and most important castles in Scotland; and explore the beautiful landscape of Glencoe. The day will end in the seaside town of Oban, home to one of Scotland’s oldest (and best!) whisky distilleries. 

On the second day, you’ll continue your trek to Skye, making stops at the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct and even have a chance to do your best Harry Potter impression whilst riding the Jacobite Express, if you want! After you pretend that you’ve arrived at Hogwarts, you’ll get to explore the Eilean Donan Castle, before getting the afternoon and evening to explore the village of Portree

Man smiling on the Jacobite Express in the Highlands of Scotland

You’ll get to check out some of Skye’s best attractions on the third day, like Kilt Rock, the Old Man of Storr, and the Sligachan Old Bridge, before heading back to the mainland. Here, you’ll stop at the incredibly unique Dundreggan Rewilding Centre, which is working to restore the native pine woodlands in Scotland, before ending your day in the fairytale city of Inverness. 

The fourth day is dedicated to exploring the city of Inverness and its surrounds, including Loch Ness; Beauly Priory, a 13th century priory that was actually used as a filming location in Outlander; the Culloden Battlefield; and finally, the Clava Cairns. 

A staircase with stone buildings and a river in the background of Inverness in the Highlands of Scotland

As you make your way from Inverness to Edinburgh on the final day, you’ll make stops at the Highland Folk Museum, where you can get a glimpse of what it was like for earlier Highland peoples to live in this landscape, and the small town of Dunkeld, known for its beautiful cathedral amidst the bucolic countryside landscape.

This tour company primarily targets more budget-minded folks and definitely has a more social vibe than other companies, with more frequent stops at distilleries and Scottish pubs than tours catering to a more senior crowd. Accordingly, if you’re a backpacker, solo traveler, or just like to make new friends, this is a really solid option!

Man drinking beer in a Scottish pub in Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland

6. 5 Day Isle of Skye, Loch Ness & Inverness From Edinburgh

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Includes: Transportation (with onboard wifi!), entrance fees for the Culloden Battlefield, whisky distillery tour, and Dundreggan Rewilding Centre

If you’re looking for a longer trip that gives you time to explore both Skye and the fairytale city of Inverness (which I’d highly recommend!), this is one of the best tour options. 

From Edinburgh, you’ll hit up several popular attractions in the Highlands, including The Kelpies; Stirling Castle; the National Wallace Monument; and the beautiful town of Glencoe. You’ll end the evening with time to explore the fishing village of Oban before turning in for the night. 

Meeting of the Three Waters with green mountains in the background in Glencoe of the Highlands of Scotland

On the second day, you’ll start making your way to Skye, stopping at the Glenfinnan Viaduct and the Eilean Donan Castle. You’ll spend the afternoon and evening in Portree, exploring its quaint streets and grabbing dinner from one of the small, local restaurants. 

The third morning will kick off exploring the Isle of Skye, seeing sites along the Trotternish Ridge, like Kilt Rock and the Old Man of Storr. From here, you’ll head inland to check out more of the Highlands, with time to admire Loch Ness and explore the Dundreggan Rewilding Centre. You’ll end the day in the city of Inverness, which is considered to be the capital of the Highlands and so picturesque that it was used as a filming location in Outlander

Basalt rock formations and cliffs along the Old Man of Storr in the Isle of Skye in Scotland

Your fourth day will be all about exploring Inverness and the surrounding areas. For example, you’ll stop in the beautiful town of Beauly, known for its ancient priory, and the Culloden Battlefield. You’ll also have plenty of time to wander around the city of Inverness by yourself. 

On the final day, you’ll wind your way south through the Highlands to Edinburgh, stopping at the Clava Cairns, the Highland Folk Museum, and Dunkeld. 

Stone cottage in Dunkeld in the Highlands of Scotland

For whatever reason, many tours that focus on the Isle of Skye or the Highlands gloss over Inverness and I LOVE that this itinerary dedicates more than a whole day to it—it’s a BEAUTIFUL city, with lots to see and do around it.

Beyond the thoughtful itinerary, the tour guides with this company are funny and light-hearted, while still being incredibly knowledgeable and informative about Scotland’s history. They’re also really adept to tweaking the schedule, if you run into any nasty weather or unexpected closures—it’s clear they know the Highlands and the Hebrides, the archipelago that Skye is a part of, like the back of their hand! 

Small group tours to the Isle of Skye from Edinburgh

7. 3 Day Isle of Skye and Scottish Highlands Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh

  • Duration: 3 days
  • Includes: Transportation; two nights’ accommodation

With a maximum of just 16 travelers, this is an excellent option if you’re looking for one of the more intimate Isle of Skye tours from Edinburgh. 

Woman walking in front of a waterfall at the Fairy Pools with the Cuillin Mountains in the background on the Isle of Skye in Scotland

On the first day of the tour, you’ll road trip from Edinburgh to Skye, stopping at the small town of Callander, which is believed by many to be the gateway to the Highlands. You’ll also make brief stops at Glencoe and Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in all of Britain at 4,413 feet tall.

The big adventure of the day is stopping at the Eilean Donan Castle, which is perched on its own little rocky island. Your day will end in the small town of Portree on Skye, with plenty of time to explore and enjoy dinner before heading to your accommodations. 

Ships in Portree Harbor in the Isle of Skye in Scotland

Day two will focus on the best sites in the Isle of Skye, depending on the weather that day. Some of these stops may include the Old Man of Storr, Quiraing, Dunvegan Castle, or the Fairy Pools, a series of waterfalls, spilling into crystal clear, turquoise pools, that are set against the backdrop of the moody Cuillin Mountains. 

On the final day of this tour, as you make your way back to Edinburgh, you’ll stop to take in the views at Loch Ness and Loch Laggan, now famous as a filming location for the Monarch of the Glen Country. You’ll make a pitstop at Pitlochry, an underrated hidden gem in the heart of Scotland, for lunch before returning to the city. 

View overlooking Loch Ness with green hills in the background in the Highlands of Scotland

The tour guides with this company are excellent at creating a communal vibe amongst its guests, so this is an awesome option for solo travelers. They also go out of their way to make sure you have an incredible time, seamlessly adapting the itinerary to fit Skye’s fickle weather and squeezing in extra stops, depending on the interest of your group (like, trying to find some cute Highland cows!).

8. 4 Day Isle of Skye and Highlands Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh

  • Duration: 4 days
  • Includes: Three nights’ accommodations, three breakfasts, transportation  

This small group tour, with just 16 travelers, is an excellent option if you have a bit more time and flexibility in Scotland or if you prefer a more relaxed schedule. You’ll also stay in two different towns on this tour, so you’ll get to experience a sampler platter of adorable Scottish villages 

Wildflowers in the foreground with mountains in the background in Glencoe, Scotland

To kick things off from Edinburgh, you’ll stop at The Kelpies, massive sculptures of horse heads that weigh a whopping 300 tons, and then on to Glenoce, one of the most staggeringly lush and beautiful towns in the Highlands. You’ll stay in the nearby village of Fort William, which is renowned to be the outdoor capital of the United Kingdom and sits in the shadow of Ben Nevis, the tallest mountain in Britain! 

On the second day, you’ll explore more of the Highlands, including the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct and the charming fishing village of Mallaig, before crossing over to the Isle of Skye for the afternoon.

Mountains in Quiraing in the Isle of Skye in Scotland

Here, you’ll visit the Sleat Peninsula, which is home to the charming town of Armadale, as well as world-class whisky distilleries, centuries-old castles, and the craggy coastline. You’ll spend the night in the harbor town of Kyle of Lochalsh, complete with lochs, castles, and beautiful green hills. 

The third day is dedicated to diving into the Isle of Skye, with your guide tailoring the stops based on your group’s interests and the weather. Stops are usually a solid mix of the island’s most popular attractions, like the Old Man of Storr and the Quiraing, with more off-the-beaten path stops, like Claigan Coral Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches on the Isle of Skye, or Neist Point Lighthouse, on a dramatic peninsula that juts out into the sea. 

On the final day, you’ll stop at the Eilean Donan Castle and the underrated town of Dunkeld, which hosts the beautiful ruins of an old cathedral.

Bridge leading to the Eilean Donan Castle in Scotland

The guides with this company are knowledgeable and engaging, expertly weaving Scottish folklore, songs, and plenty of dad jokes into the tour. And while the tour is definitely action-packed, they’re still really mindful of breaking up long drives with photo stops and snack breaks.  

9. 5 Day Highland Explorer and Isle of Skye Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Includes: Transportation, 4 nights’ accommodations, 4 breakfasts

If you have an extra day to spare, check out this tour, where you’ll get to immerse yourself deeper into the Scottish Highlands and the Isle of Skye, stopping at places that few other tour groups go.

From Edinburgh, you’ll head north to Cairngorm National Park, which is, in my opinion, one of the most beautiful parts of Scotland, with impossibly green moorlands, mountains, and marshes. Afterwards, you’ll stop at the Dunkeld Cathedral, cruise along the banks of Loch Ness, and end the evening in Ullapool, a charming white-washed fishing village along the banks of Loch Broom. 

Thatched roof stone cottage in Dunkeld in the Highlands of Scotland

The second day is dedicated to exploring the northern Highlands, including the picturesque Ardvreck Castle, which was built in the 15th century and once occupied by the MacLeods of Assynt. Afterwards, you’ll get to enjoy some of the best hidden gems of this area, including a stunning white sand beach at Achmelvich Bay and the quaint fishing village of Lochinver.

As you make your way to the Isle of Skye on the third day, you’ll stop at the gorgeous town of Applecross, located between the mainland and Skye. The town is only accessible via two roads and feels a bit like stepping back in history!

In the afternoon, you’ll drive along one the highest roads in the United Kingdom, Bealach na Ba and then explore the town of Plockton, known for its unusual palm trees and stunning views over Loch Carron. You’ll end the day in Portree, where you’ll have time to mosey around its quaint streets before calling it a night. 

Highland cow laying down on the Isle of Skye in Scotland

The entire fourth day will be solely dedicated to exploring the Isle of Skye, which will be tailored based on your group’s interests and Scotland’s fickle weather. For example, you might head to the Trotternish Ridge to see some of the most dramatic scenery in all of Scotland, like the Old Man of Storr, Kilt Rock, and the Quiraing, or explore the history of Skye, like at the Dunvegan Castle. 

As you make your way back to Edinburgh on the fifth day, you’ll stop to explore the Eilean Donan Castle, drive past Ben Nevis, and have lunch in the charming village of Fort William. You’ll spend the afternoon wandering around Glencoe, one of the most beautiful towns in all of the United Kingdom, before making your way back to the city.

Man walking along the trail to the Old Man of Storr in the Isle of Skye in Scotland

This tour is seriously one of the best opportunities to really dig into the Highlands and see areas that most travelers don’t get to explore. Because of the length of the tour, the itinerary is a bit more flexible and organic, allowing your group to explore the areas you visit at your own pace. And the guides’ goofy jokes, knowledge, and passion about Scottish history about this region make the five days absolutely fly by.

10. 5 Day Iona, Mull and the Isle of Skye Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh

  • Duration: 5 days
  • Includes: Transportation (including ferry crossings), 4 nights’ accommodation, 4 breakfasts

If you want to combine your time exploring Skye and the Highlands with some destinations that are definitely off-the-beaten tourist track, check out this small group tour, with a maximum of 16 travelers. This tour will take you to the Inner Hebrides, a group of islands that most visitors overlook. 

View from the harbor with buildings in Oban in the Highlands of Scotland

On the first day, you’ll head from Edinburgh through the Highlands, stopping at Loch Lomond and the stunning Inveraray Castle & Gardens, home to the Duke and Duchess of Argyll. You’ll end the night in the fishing village of Oban, which offers tons of local restaurants, beautiful coastal views, and some seriously good whisky.

On day two, you’ll take a ferry to the Isle of Iona, known as the birthplace of Celtic Christianity and an ancient burial ground of Scottish kings. While on this hidden gem of an island, you can also opt to take a boat ride to explore the Isle of Staffa, which is known for its dramatic columnar basalt cliffs and its puffin colony. 

Puffin on the Isle of Staffa in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland

You’ll kick off the third day by exploring Castle Stalker, a picturesque castle from the 15th century that’s perched on its own tiny islet. You’ll then have time to explore the stunning town of Glencoe and end the day in Plockton, a charming town with brightly painted houses and stunning views of the sea. 

The fourth day will be dedicated to exploring the beautiful Isle of Skye, like Kilt Rock, the Quiraing, and the adorable town of Portree. In the evening, you’ll return to Plockton with plenty of time to mosey around its quaint streets and grab some dinner before heading back to your accommodations. 

Aerial view of colorful houses and boats around Portree harbor on the Isle of Skye in Scotland

On your final day, you’ll stop at the Eilean Donan Castle, drive along the shores of Loch Ness, and wind your way through the Grampian Mountains before ending back in Edinburgh. 

I love how diverse this itinerary is, with TONS of stops that aren’t included in any of the other options and plenty of opportunities to spot wildlife (one of my favorite things to do when I’m exploring a new country!). The guides with this company also do a really great job of finding a balance between providing you with tons of information about the various sites’ history and folklore, with time to explore on your own. 

Sheep standing in a field of wildflower in front of the mountains in Glencoe in the Highlands of Scotland

The one important thing that I’d flag about this tour is that, despite its length, you generally get less than one full day on the Isle of Skye (note that, if you book a tour that leaves on a Friday, you’ll wind up staying in Portree for two nights, instead of Plockton, so you will get a full day on Skye with that option). So if you’re looking to maximize your time on Skye, you might want to check out one of the other options. 

11. 6 Day Outer Hebrides and Isle of Skye Small-Group Tour from Edinburgh

  • Duration: 6 days
  • Includes: Transportation, 5 nights’ accommodations, 4 breakfasts, ferry tickets to the Outer Hebrides and the Isle of Skye, 5 breakfasts, admission to Arnol Blackhouse

While Skye is the most famous of the Hebrides, this archipelago is actually made of over 40 different islands. And on this tour, you’ll get to explore some of the other beautiful Hebrides, like the Western Isles, in addition to the more typical attractions in Skye and the Highlands. 

From Edinburgh, you’ll venture into the Highlands the first day, stopping in the village of Dunkeld; making a pit stop in the small town of Spey Valley for lunch; and having a chance to spot ol’ Nessie in Loch Ness. You’ll end the night in the fishing village of Ullapool on the banks of Loch Broom.

Rocky mountain in Ullapool along Loch Broom in the Highlands of Scotland

From here, you’ll head to the Outer Hebrides, taking a stunning two and a half hour ferry ride through the Summer Isles and arriving in the Western Isles. Keep an eye out for dolphins, whales, and basking sharks along the way!

Your stops on the Western Isles will depend on the finicky weather, but you can expect plenty of adorable fishing villages and scenic overlooks of the craggy coastline. In the afternoon, you’ll head to the harbor town of Stornoway, the largest city on the Western Isles and your homebase for the night.

Calanais Standing Stones on the Western Isles of Scotland

The third day will be spent exploring the landscape and history of the Western Isles, like the Calanais Standing Stones, which date back to 2900 BC and are actually older than the Great Pyramids of Giza(!!!). You’ll also make stops at Arnol Blackhouse, where you can learn what farming traditionally looked like on this lush landscape; and the impressive stone fort at Dun Carloway, which was built sometime before 100 AD!

In the afternoon, you’ll enjoy the stunning beaches and mountains on the western side of Lewis, before returning home to Stornoway for the evening. 

On the fourth day, you’ll head to Harris, the southern part of Lewis and Harris, which boasts dramatic mountains and one of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the United Kingdom. In the afternoon, you’ll take another ferry over to Skye, where you’ll have a chance to explore the charming town of Portree, which will be your home base for the next two evenings. 

Boats in the harbor of Stornoway with buildings and pine trees in the background of Harris and Lewis in Scotland

The fifth day is dedicated to exploring Skye, with stops that are hand-picked by your guide based on the weather and the seasons. For example, you might take a hike to the Fairy Pools, learn about the history of the island at Dunvegan Castle, or take a boat trip to the lesser-known Loch Coruisk, keeping a lookout for seals and dolphins. No matter the conditions, you’ll get to enjoy the epic landscape and fascinating history of one of Scotland’s most beautiful islands. 

As you make your way back to Edinburgh from Skye on the final day, you’ll stop to explore the Eilean Donan Castle, Ben Nevis, and Glencoe before returning to the city.

Couple sitting along waterfalls with wildflowers in the foreground and Cuillin Mountains in the background at the Fairy Pools in the Isle of Skye in Scotland

This Isle of Skye tour definitely takes you to places that few visitors see, like the Outer Hebrides, that really gives you a good glimpse into Scotland’s history and culture. The itinerary is extremely well-paced and there’s a really solid mix of activities for everyone, from more relaxed boat tours to hikes in incredible landscapes and cozy stops in Scottish pubs. 

Private Isle of Skye Tours from Edinburgh

12. Private Isle of Skye 3 Day From Tour Edinburgh

  • Duration: 3 days
  • Includes: Transportation (with onboard wifi!) and a complimentary dram of whisky

If you’re traveling with a large group or just prefer a more intimate experience, consider this completely private tour through the Highlands and Skye from Edinburgh.

River flowing with mountain in the background in Glencoe in the Isle of Skye in Scotland

You’ll make your way from Edinburgh through the Highlands, stopping first in the stunning town of Callander in the Trossachs National Park, considered by many to be the gateway of the Highlands. Depending on your group’s interests, you can also make stops at Doune Castle or Loch Lomond to take in the epic views.

Afterwards, you’ll wind your way through the rest of the Highlands, like Glencoe, the Glenfinnan Viaduct, and the Old Inverlochy Castle, an old 12th century castle that’s actually one of the best preserved ruins in all of Britain. You’ll end the day on the Isle of Skye, in the town of your choosing.

Woman walking near a rock formation in Fairy Glen in the Isle of Skye in Scotland

The second day is jam-packed with all of the best sites in Skye, including the Sligachan Old Bridge; the Fairy Pools; Talisker Distillery, one of the island’s only whisky distilleries; Portree; Kilt Rock; Quiraing; and the Fairy Glen, a beautiful hike through rolling green hills; and uniquely beautiful rock formations. You’ll definitely be busy this second day, but out of all of the Isle of Skye tours from Edinburgh, this option probably allows you to see the most of the island. 

As you leave Skye and make your way back to Edinburgh, you’ll stop at the Eilean Donan Castle, take a cruise around the famed Loch Ness, and head through the epic mountains of Cairngorm National Park. 

Reindeer walking in Cairngorm National Park in the Highlands of Scotland

If you have special interests or perhaps are traveling with others who might need more time or attention, this tour is the best option, in my opinion, given that the guides are happy to tailor the itinerary based on your desires and needs. In addition to being informative, the guides are fun, extremely patient, and make you feel like you’re traveling with another friend who just happens to know, like, a LOT about Scottish history! 


There you have it—12 of the best Isle of Skye tours from Edinburgh! Do you have any questions about these tours? Let us know in the comments below!

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