This is a one-day car tour from Inverness to Skye, driving time will be approximately 3 hours each way (113 miles). Whilst this is manageable in a day, it is a lot of driving. Not to mention how much you will miss along the way. So, we, therefore, recommend enjoying a Highland road trip from Inverness, Loch Ness to Skye with a 1 or 2 night stop over on the Isle of Skye.
From Inverness, head out on the A82 towards Fort William. Loch Ness will be on your left-hand side. At Invermoriston we take the A887 Skye Road.
Note the changes in scenery you encounter today. Initially, a wooded glen following the Moriston river until we reach the Dundreggan Dam and reservoir. Shortly after passing the dam you will see a group of shingle built cottages on the left and about two hundred metres further on you can pull into the side of the reservoir for an interesting photo, especially if flat calm.
Notice how the scenery opens up as you drive through Glen Moriston. Look for wind farms on the hillsides and Scots pines which the forestry have left standing, sometimes in magnificent isolation. When the road narrows to a single track you pass a red telephone box and come across a lovely bridge. Park safely the other side of the bridge for some good photographs. Back on the two-lane road, the scenery is now opening out even more and at a layby on the left, you will see a monument to Roderick MacKenzie. Well worth stopping and reading the stone information panel on the cairn.
As you pass the Cluanie dam you are entering Glen Shiel with its spectacular mountains. See if you can spot the watershed when rivers and burns no longer flow towards Loch Ness. Also look for the crossed swords sign and you will find information about one of the minor Jacobite uprisings in 1717.
On the right of the road as it descends are the mountains called the five sisters of Kintail and on the left the aptly named “saddle”. Soon you reach a junction. Suddenly the vista opens up and you are at Scotland’s west coast by sea loch Duich. Follow the road to Skye over the causeway and through Inverinate. Shortly after the filling station look for a sign to the right marked “viewpoint”.
Take this road. It forms a loop rejoining the main road at Dornie and demonstrates what the Skye road was like before all of the improvements.
The loop terminates at the lovely village of Dornie. If you turn right you will see Eilean Donan Castle, one of the most visited private castles in the Highlands, but all is not quite as it seems. The castle has been completely reconstructed since the 1930’s. Looks wonderful though, so stop for a picture at the very least or refreshments in the coffee shop.
The road continues towards Skye and you will soon see the Skye Bridge in the distance. Next you enter Kyle of Lochalsh and then cross the Skye Bridge.
Head towards Portree on the A87. After passing through the village of Broadford your next stop should be Sligachan, where you can not only find refreshments in the Sligachan Hotel but also get amazing views of the Cuillin Hills. Carry on until you reach Portree, the main town on the island. In Portree, you will find coffee shops, restaurants and some lovely shops to get your Skye souvenirs.
If you have time, on the A87 just north of Portree you will find the amazing rock formations of the Old Man of Storr – a great photo opportunity.
Also, the Fairy Pools (shown in the picture below) offer an absolutely spectacular walk and are great for wild swimming if you fancy a summer dip.
The Three Chimneys is a very famous fine dining restaurant with a super taster menu.
It’s now time to head back to Inverness, as roads can be very busy in the summer and you should allow at least 3 hours driving time back to the Highland capital.Explore The Highlands Further
Find accommodation, tours, attractions, events and restaurants to help you plan your trip