1. The Journey Begins
Our Isle of Skye Fairy Pools Day Tour starts in Inverness at 7.45am.
Our route takes us over the Kessock Bridge, through the farmland of the Black Isle., before reaching the rugged wilderness of Wester Ross. En-route, we often see red kites, ospreys and majestic red deer. After one hour’s driving we stop at the Victorian railway station in Achnasheen, where you will have 10 minutes to enjoy the fantastic views and use the bathroom facilities.
After crossing over the Skye Bridge onto the island, we stop in the pretty harbour town of Kyleakin. Read more...
In this sleepy fishing village you can enjoy great views of the Skye Bridge, Eilean Ban lighthouse and the legendary Castle Moil. This rugged ruin has a fascinating history and stands tall on a rocky promontory on the south east corner of Skye. A short walk takes you to a viewpoint which offers stunning views of this beautiful part of the island.
We will spend approximately 20 minutes in Kyleakin and there is an opportunity to pick-up coffee and snacks from a local cafe.
3. Black Cuillins
At Sligachan, we are welcomed by truly awe-inspiring views.
Craft shops, coastline, coffee and colourful houses are just a few of Portree’s highlights.
Set within a pretty natural harbour, and surrounded by rocky cliffs and rolling hills, Portree is a beautiful place to explore. With its quirky shops, cute cafes and interesting sights you will certainly find plenty to occupy you during our 45 minute stop here. Your guide will give you some top tips on the coach, and will also point you in the direction of the harbour viewpoint; from here you can admire the pretty pastel-coloured houses that the town is famous for.
Alternatively, you may wish to take a short hike up to the top of the Apothecary Tower, where you can enjoy stunning vistas of the area.
5. Old Man of Storr
A loch-side spot to view the spiky rock pinnacle of the Old Man of Storr is next on our Skye bucket list.
6. Kilt Rock
At Kilt Rock we see towering basalt columns and a stunning waterfall. Read more...
Take time to find a peaceful spot and immerse yourself in the supernatural scenery Read more...
We have 30 minutes here and would recommend taking a short hike to find your very own slice of Skye.
8. Fairy Pools
Take a walk to enjoy this truly breathtaking natural phenomenon.
The Fairy Pools are a series of beautiful rock pools and waterfalls which are famed for their crystal clear blue waters. We will spend around 90 minutes here, to give you plenty of time to enjoy this wonderful sight.
When we arrive your guide will introduce you to the area and show you the path. He will then accompany the group up to the pools, and will be on hand should you have any queries or concerns.
The scenic walk to the first pool takes around 20 minutes (distance is 0.7 miles) and the most impressive waterfall is 5 minutes further on (0.9 miles total). Most guests spend their time around this area, admiring the crystal clear waters of the pools, and the stunning mountain backdrop. Photo opportunities abound, and your guide will be on hand to take group and couple shots if you wish.
For those looking to get some more exercise you can venture on up the path to the other pools further upstream – by walking another 15 – 20 minutes (0.6 miles) you will pretty much have the path to yourself.
Please be aware that the walk to the Fairy Pools and back is a total of around 1.5 miles and will take around 40 minutes, so you do require a moderate level of fitness for this tour. Also, as you need to cross stepping stones over a couple of streams you need to be stable on your feet, and ensure that you wear sensible hiking boots/shoes. This is not a tourist attraction, it’s nature at its most beautiful, so don’t expect pavements or bridges!
If you are not a fan of the great outdoors or do not have the youth or agility to walk to the pools we would recommend our Isle of Skye Tour instead; it visits all sights on this itinerary, with the exception of the Fairy Pools.
Please note that, very occasionally, it may not be possible to visit the Fairy Pools due to bad weather and/or excessively high water levels in the streams we require to cross. If this happens we will visit alternative pools instead.
9. Eilean Donan Castle
We stop for a photo of this truly iconic castle.
10. Loch Ness & Urquhart Castle
See the ancient castle and mysterious loch from above.
At Urquhart Castle we have our final stop of the day, where we spend around 10 minutes viewing the loch-side castle ruins from above – a WOW end to a WOW day!
11. Bonus Stop
If time allows we will stop to say hello to Highland Cows!
7.45am – 9pm
Inverness Bus Station
Sturdy walking shoes, a good waterproof jacket and warm clothing are essential items on this tour. Our mountains are wild places and the Fairy Pools in particular requires great care. Should you wish to swim in the pools, you should bring a towel/swim costume. It is important to note that open water swimming is inherently dangerous and should only be attempted by very confident swimmers! We in no way endorse swimming in the pools and it is done entirely at your own risk.
You are welcome to bring luggage on the tour if required. Please contact us for details.
The minimum age for this tour is 6 years old. Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate children under the age of 6.
£74 – £79 (£74 in April – May and £79 thereafter)
2020 arrangements to be confirmed.
When booking direct we offer the opportunity to purchase front row seat upgrades for £22.50 pp, second row seat upgrades for £7.50 pp, back row seats for £2.50pp and extra legroom upgrades for £15 pp.
Book direct for the best cancellation policy; free cancellation until 72 hours prior to departure. Note that seat upgrade fees are non-refundable.
Here at WOW Scotland we only have two coaches, both of which were built to our precise specifications, to ensure the highest levels of passenger comfort. The vehicles have 30-seats and are very well-appointed with panoramic windows, comfortable reclining seats, USB ports under every seat and on-board WiFi. You can rest assured that you will be able to relax and enjoy the majestic scenery in complete comfort. You can read more about our coaches here.
We pick-up from Stance 7 at Inverness Bus Station, Margaret Street, Inverness, IV1 1LT. Look out for the kilted WOW guide and WOW-branded coach and you won’t miss us!
Yes. Due to customer demand, we have a booking system for the following seats;
- 4 front row seats – these give you unparalleled views out of the front windows, and the opportunity to disembark first at every stop. Our most popular seats.
- 4 second row seats – many guests prefer to sit near the front of the coach, or be reassured that you will be seated together if they are a couple/group, both of which you get with this option. These seats also have a little more legroom than these front row seats. These are available on some tours only.
- 2 extra legroom seats – these are situated near the back of the coach and have approximately 50% more legroom than regular seats. They are particularly suited to those who are tall, or like to stretch out.
- 4 back row seats – these are ideal for groups who wish to sit together. Unlike on most other coaches we have removed the fifth/middle seat so the seats are spaced further apart, giving you more elbow room.
The price of the upgrades vary depending on which tour you are on, with prices between £2.50 and £22.50 per person. If they are available, upgrades will be given as an option when booking.
Please note that it does not make any difference which side of the coach you sit on, so we don’t take requests for specific sides.
The rest of our seating works on a first-come-first-served basis, as we feel that this is the fairest system of allocating seats. It is not possible to reserve window seats, or seats together if you are travelling as part of a group but, if you do wish to choose your seat, we would recommend arriving early at the bus stop (i.e. a few minutes before check-in closes). If you are unhappy with your seat please let your tour guide know and he will do his best to accommodate your requests, although obviously many guests would prefer a window seat so it is not possible for everyone to have these!
Note that any fees paid for seat upgrades are non-refundable if you cancel your tour.
We know that there are a number of companies in Inverness offering similar tour itineraries to ourselves, and we appreciate that it can be difficult to decide which company to use. We wanted to summarise the main benefits of coming on our tour, so that you can make sure you are making the best choice for your group. So..here goes…
- First and foremost, we are the only operator from Inverness to provide both a tour guide and a tour driver on all Skye tours. Your comfort and safety is of utmost priority to us, and we feel that your driver should be 100% focused on the road. This is particularly the case on the single track, winding roads on Skye, where considerable attention is required to navigate the vehicle, and be constantly alert for other drivers (generally tourists, who are unfamiliar with our roads!). Meanwhile, your tour guide can focus on keep you entertained, comfortable and informed about what you are seeing, what he would recommend at the next stop, and other important information!
- We are the only company to offer a seat reservation system for our front row and extra legroom seats so, if sitting with a companion, room to stretch or taking uninterrupted photos is important to you, this will be a great benefit. You can read more about the coach in our blog
- We are the only company to offer a lunch pre-ordering service on-board; we work with a local delicatessen in Portree who supply us with tasty packed lunches. This is an entirely optional service which we provide in order to save you from wasting precious sightseeing time; you only have one day on Skye, and we want you to make the most out of it!
- We offer free WiFi on board all Skye tours
- We have the newest and smartest tour vehicle (ok, this is partly subjective, but we are pretty confident!)
- We are the only local company offering coach tours to Skye from Inverness (we operate from Tomatin, 20 miles south of Inverness, and the company owner is an Invernessian born and bred!). We think that this is important, as it means that the money you pay for your ticket goes back into the local economy.
- Skye has a fragile economy which is very dependent on tourism, and we want to ensure that the local community see the benefit of our tours. We work with a local supplier in Portree to provide all meals, and all of the money that you pay goes directly to them
- We have been awarded 5 Star Tour status by our national tourism organisation, Visit Scotland, for the last four years, which means that they have rated our tours as “exceptional”
- We have over 1700 5 star reviews on TripAdvisor (over 500 of these are specifically for our Skye tours – that’s a lot of very happy customers!)
- We care about the Highlands! Every time we go to Skye we pay to plant trees through Trees for Life, in order to offset the carbon produced by our coach. We also use fully biodegradable packaging for our meals, to reduce waste going to landfill. You can read more about all that good stuff here
We very much hope that you will choose to come with us to Skye, and are looking forward to meeting you, and showing you the best the island has to offer, very soon!
This tour departs at 7.45am. Please ensure that you are ready to board the bus at 7.35am (0735) as we will leave promptly at 7.45am (0745), and are unable to wait for any latecomers. The tour will return to Inverness city centre at approximately 9pm (2100). It is possible that we may return a bit later than this, although we always try to keep to our schedule as much as possible.
March and October
This tour departs earlier and returns later in March and October, due to the limited daylight at these times of year. Exact timings will be available to view when booking.
It is likely that we will be able to offer a lunch pre-ordering service on this tour but menu choices for 2020 are still to be confirmed – please check back in April 2020 for full information (or, if you have booked the tour, you will be sent this information three days prior to your tour date).
You are welcome to bring snacks and drinks with you as there are limited opportunities to purchase these along the way.
For dinner we would recommend booking a table in Inverness and we will send you a list of a few of our favourites a few days prior to the tour.
There are a couple of places where you can pick up a coffee or a bottle of water, but doing so means that you will have less time to spend exploring the sights. Consequently, many of our guests prefer to bring some light snacks and drinks with them on the coach, to keep their energy up for the adventure!
If you do wish to purchase drinks and snacks on the tour the main opportunities to do this are usually in Portree at around 11.15am (you have approximately 45 minutes here and there are a number of cafes, bakeries and shops), and at Staffin Stores around 2pm (they have a great selection of confectionery, soft drinks etc). Note that these timings are subject to change, as we will sometimes reverse the itinerary if required, depending on the weather.
On this tour you spend approximately 1 1/2 hours at the Fairy Pools; the location is windy and exposed, with absolutely no shelter from the elements, so it is imperative that you are appropriately dressed for this. We really cannot stress this enough – if you are soaking wet you will struggle to enjoy the rest of the day. As we say in Scotland, “there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing”!
We would strongly recommend wearing hiking boots with ankle support (as a minimum you will need sturdy comfortable trainers/sneakers) as the path is often muddy and slippery, and you require to cross a couple of streams on the way to the pools. We would also strongly recommend bringing a waterproof jacket, and ideally waterproof trousers/pants too (note that umbrellas are useless on Skye – they just blow inside out and are rendered useless very quickly). In addition to these essentials we would suggest wearing layers, including a thick sweater/fleece option, and bringing a hat and gloves and warm jacket in your bag.
Even if the sun is shining brightly when you leave Inverness, they do say that you only really experience Scotland when you see four seasons in one day, so please be prepared!
This tour is focused on enabling you to walk to the Fairy Pools, and spend time here. The walk from the coach park to the pools is uphill on a rough path and requires you to cross a couple of streams (there are stepping stones but these are usually wet, so you need to be sure-footed). To get to the first pool will take a fit person around 15 – 20 minutes and the distance is 0.7 miles. To then walk on to the last pools is a further 0.3 miles and will take around 10 minutes (this is entirely optional as you can enjoy the beauty of the pools from the first vantage point). In total a fit person will walk the 1.5 miles there and back in around 40 minutes, and will have around 45 minutes to enjoy at the pools themselves.
There will be opportunities to do short walks at the Quiraing and in Portree but these will be shorter than at the Fairy Pools and, if you would rather stay near the coach, it is absolutely fine to do this. There is no requirement to do any walks other than at the Fairy Pools (even at the pools, you can stay on the coach if you would prefer, but there is nothing else to do here i.e. no shops or attractions).
If the above sounds daunting for you and you don’t feel you will be able enough to walk 1.5 miles then the Isle of Skye Tour is a better option for those who are less able, and would prefer a shorter day.
If it is or has been very rainy at the Fairy Pools then we will be unable to visit. The reason for this is that we require to cross two streams, using stepping stones, to get to the pools and, after heavy rain, these stepping stones will be submerged and unusable. There is no other way to access the pools. If it is at all risky (i.e. if the pools are accessible but heavy rain is forecast and we envisage that we may not be able to get back) then we will not visit the pools. (If it is that rainy, you definitely do not want to be there as it is absolutely miserable, and there is no shelter whatsoever).
Please remember that this site is a natural phenomenon, not a tourist attraction, and as such is subject to the weather.
We will of course do our utmost to visit the pools. However, if we are unable to visit we will do something else instead and you will still get a full day tour.
First and foremost; we would not encourage you to swim in the pools. However, if you are considering it please bear the following in mind;
- We cannot stress enough how cold the water is – it might look enticing but, even in the height of summer, it is estimated to be around 4-6oC (42oF) which is colder than the (notoriously chilly) North Sea!!
- Open water swimming is inherently dangerous and should only be attempted by very confident swimmers
- There is nowhere to change, which is fine if you put your swimming stuff on under your clothes, but perhaps not as fine when you come out desperate to get some warm clothes on, but everyone is looking and pointing at the crazy person who has just been swimming!
If you do decide that you still wish to swim in the pools, you should bring a towel and swimming costume.
Swimming in the pools is done entirely at your own risk.
In a word, no. We do not visit Talisker Distillery on any of our tours, as it often gets exceptionally busy there and, as such, we are unable to guarantee the quality of the experience offered. However, if you are a whisky fan, we would strongly recommend our Whisky Tour, which visits four excellent distilleries and a cooperage, giving you outstanding tours/tastings at each.
Unfortunately we are unable to accommodate any wheelchair or walking frame users, or anyone with limited mobility, on this tour.
The main reason for this is that the walk at the Fairy Pools is 1.5 miles over rough terrain (including crossing two streams via stepping stones) and is therefore only suitable for guests with a good level of mobility/fitness. There is nothing else to do at this sight (as of November 2019 there are not even public toilets, although hopefully these will be open by summer 2020) so even staying around the mini-coach isn’t really viable.
At other sights we visit there are very few which hae wheelchair or walking frame access, as a lot of the terrain on Skye is very rugged. Additionally, the coach is not equipped for passengers to remain in their wheelchairs.
For those who have limited mobility we would recommend our Isle of Skye Tour instead (but note that this is not suitable for wheelchair users either, unfortunately).
We welcome children over the age of six on our tour. It should be noted that approximately 60-70% of the day is spent on the coach, so it may be an idea to bring some toys, games and snacks with you.
Unfortunately, due to the duration of the tour and time on the coach, we do not feel that this tour is appropriate for children under the age of six, so the tour is not open to this age group. This is for the comfort of other passengers and also to ensure that the driver and guide can focus on doing their jobs without any distractions.
UK law states that each passenger must have their own seat and use their seatbelt at all times. Consequently, it is not possible to take a child on your lap. From experience we know that, very occasionally, parents try to bring children on without purchasing a seat. However, we would like to make it clear that this is not allowed and there will be no refund if you are refused entry to the tour for taking children under 6 or those whom you haven’t booked.
If you have a large group (i.e. 9 or more people) we may be able to offer you a similar itinerary on a private basis, in our 28 or 30 seater coach, when available (we have most availability between October and April, and limited availability between May and September).
We know that you have a choice of tours, and we are always reviewing our offering to ensure that we are providing the best tour, combined with the best value for money and best customer care, from the minute you land on our website. We are confident that we do this, and are proud to have been awarded a 5 star rating from VisitScotland in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 for providing “exceptional” tours.
Also, we have been consistently rated as “excellent” on Trip Advisor as of November 2019 1680 out of 1760 reviews i.e. 95% rate us as excellent) and are proud to be ranked as the number 1 tour operator in Inverness (out of a staggering 94!).
For those who are unsure about booking with a small company, please click on any of the following links for assurance that we are a member of the national tourism body; Visit Scotland and also of the Federation of Small Businesses and local tourism body; Visit Inverness Loch Ness
Absolutely. Rose Street car park is right next to the tour pick-up point and you can find further information on parking here.
If you would like to go on the Isle of Skye Tour, Speyside Whisky Tour or Whisky & Castle Tour then yes, absolutely! There is a train regular train service running between Dingwall, Conon Bridge, Muir of Ord, Beauly and Inverness, which allows you to get to Inverness in time departure time, then get back again in the evening. For more details, click here
If you would like to go on the Skye Fairy Pools Tour (0745 departure) or Orkney Day Tour (0530 departure) you will not be able to get public transport from these outlying towns to Inverness early enough in the morning, as the first train arrives at 0743.
If you would like to go on the Isle of Skye Tour, Speyside Whisky Tour or Whisky Castle Tour then yes, absolutely! There is a train regular train service running between Elgin, Forres, Nairn and Inverness, which allows you to get to Inverness in time for the tour departure, then get back again in the evening. For more details, please click here
If you would like to go on the Skye Fairy Pools Tour (0745 departure) or Orkney Day Tour (0530 departure) you will not be able to get public transport from outlying towns to Inverness early enough in the morning, as the first train arrives at 0748.
Unfortunately there is no public transport from Edinburgh or Glasgow which will allow you to arrive in Inverness before the tours depart, so for all tours you would require to arrive the night before.
If you are interested in the Isle of Skye Tour, Whisky Tour or Whisky & Castle Tour you will be able to get a train back at the end of the day as the last train to Glasgow and Edinburgh is at 2017. If you are going to take the Isle of Skye Tour and take this train please let us know in advance so that we can endeavour to ensure we arrive back punctually at 2000.
If you are interested in the Skye Fairy Pools or Orkney Day Tour you will not be able to get public transport back to Glasgow or Edinburgh at the end of the day, as the last train is at 2015, before the tours arrive back in Inverness. Consequently, if you wish to travel from one of these cities, and take one of these tours, all in one day, then you will require your own transport (the drive takes approx 3 1/4 hours to either city).
If you wish to travel by train from Aberdeen, Inverurie or Huntly then the following applies;
Isle of Skye Tour
This is the perfect tour for you! You can take the first train from the morning and depart on the last train in the evening. For more details click here
Skye Fairy Pools Tour / Whisky Tour / Whisky & Castle Tour
Unfortunately it is not possible to take any of these tours if you arrive on the first train from Aberdeen, as this train arrives after the tours depart. However, if you can stay in Inverness the night before the tour then you can return to Aberdeen after the tour; there is a train back late evening to Aberdeen at 2133. If you book the Skye Fairy Pools Tour and are taking this train back please let us know in advance so that we can ensure that we arrive back in Inverness by our 2100 estimated tour end time.
Orkney Day Tour
As the tour departs at 0530 and does not return until 2130 it is not possible to take the train up on the day, or return on the day to Aberdeen. You will require to stay the night before and after the tour in Inverness (but it will be worth it!).
The itinerary has been carefully planned to ensure that you get the most out of your day. However, there are factors outside of our control, such as traffic flow, road closures and adverse weather, which mean that, on rare occasions, we may not be to achieve everything listed in the tour itinerary. Consequently, we reserve the right to alter the itinerary if necessary, although this will be a last resort, and we will endeavour to visit alternative places of interest instead.
It is advisable to bring some cash (GBP £) on all tours. Credit/debit cards are widely accepted but, in some small shops (or for smaller purchases), cash is the only option.
Please note that American Express is not commonly accepted in Scotland, but Visa and Mastercard should be fine. Unfortunately very few places will accept other currencies such as Euros or US dollars.
Unfortunately dogs and other pets are not able to travel on our tours. If you are partially sighted or blind and use a guide dog to get around please do get in touch to discuss ways in which we can accommodate you and your dog.
Yes, we do have space for a limited amount of luggage. If you wish to bring luggage please contact us before booking. There are also left luggage facilities at Inverness train station for those travelling back to Inverness (please contact the station to find out opening times of this facility prior to use).
If the tour meets or exceeds your expectations then please feel free to tip as it is always very much appreciated. However, please rest assured that tips are not expected in Scotland, so no offence will be taken if you don’t tip. It is worth noting that, if there is a separate driver and tour guide on your tour, they always split any tips equally, so it is fine to give money to either one of them.
Yes, you’ll find the most up-to-date tour dates on our calendar. Scheduled tours will only run on the listed dates.
At the moment we only offer tours in English, and we are unable to offer any translation services. This is something which we are working to improve in the future but, for now, hopefully the fantastic Highland scenery can speak for itself!
To find out how to get to Inverness click here.
Inverness is a compact city so any city centre accommodation will be walking distance (up to 20 minutes) from our pick-up point at Inverness Bus Station. Some hotels, such as the Premier Inn West and the Travelodge at Stoneyfield, are on the outskirts of the city but all are still easily reachable from the bus station (these are both 2 miles/a 10 minute taxi ride from our pick-up point). You can see a list of suggested accommodation in Inverness and Loch Ness here.
Yes! We know that you have a choice of tours, and we are always reviewing our offering to ensure that we are providing the best tour, combined with the best value for money and best customer care, from the minute you land on our website. We are confident that we do this, and are proud to have been awarded a coveted 5 star rating from VisitScotland in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 for providing “exceptional” tours.
Also, we have been consistently rated as “excellent” on Trip Advisor (as of October 2019 we had 1690 5 star reviews) and are proud to be ranked as the number 1 tour company in Inverness (out of a staggering 94!).
For those who are unsure about booking with a small company, please click on any of the following links for assurance that we are a member of the national tourism body; Visit Scotland and also of the Federation of Small Businesses and local tourism body; Visit Inverness Loch Ness.
Payments are taken through our secure online booking system, which utilises both PayPal and Stripe. These accept almost any debit and credit card, including American Express (we cannot accept Diner’s Card or Discover).
Our terms and conditions can be found here. You’ll find a general overview of our cancellation terms in this FAQ section if you don’t want to read though all the T&Cs!
Due to high demand for our tours, we are unable to secure your booking unless you pay the full amount in advance. That being said, you are welcome to come to the bus stop in the morning and, if there are places available, you can join the tour and book/pay online on our website.
Yes, if you book onto one of our tours then we will run this tour, regardless if anyone else has booked on or not!
The only reason we would require to cancel a tour would be if the weather forecast was so bad that we or one of our suppliers (e.g. the ferry operators for our Orkney Tour) considered it dangerous to travel. However, this is extremely unlikely, and we would do our utmost to accommodate you either on on an alternative tour that day, or on an alternative date.
For groups of 10+ please contact us for preferential pricing.
Yes, and our cancellation terms for the Isle of Skye Tour, Skye Fairy Pools Tour, Whisky Tour and Whisky & Castle Tour are as follows;
- If you cancel your tour at least 72 hours in advance of the scheduled departure then we will refund you in full (note that any fees paid for seat upgrades are non-refundable)
- If you cancel within 72 hours of the scheduled departure you will not be entitled to a refund. However, if we are able to re-sell your place then we will be able to issue a partial refund, so please let us know if you need to cancel, no matter how last minute it is.
Our cancellation terms for the Orkney Day Tour are as follows;
- If you cancel your tour at least 7 days in advance of the scheduled departure then we will refund you in full (note that any fees paid for seat upgrades are non-refundable)
- If you cancel within 7 days of the scheduled departure you will not be entitled to a refund. However, if we are able to re-sell your place then we will be able to issue a partial refund, so please let us know if you need to cancel, no matter how last minute it is.
Unfortunately we cannot make exceptions to these rules, as it would be unfair to treat customers differently.