1.The Journey Begins
Our Isle of Skye Day Tour starts in the Highland capital of Inverness.
After one hour we have our first stop in the village of Achnasheen, home to a scenic Victorian railway station. Here you will have 10 minutes to stretch your legs, use the facilities and snap a photo of the rugged mountains from the railway bridge.
Be inspired by the magnificent mountainous landscapes and lochs of the Northwest Highlands.
After crossing over the Skye Bridge onto the island, we stop in the pretty harbour town of Kyleakin.
We will spend approximately 25 minutes in Kyleakin and there is an opportunity to pick-up coffee and snacks from a local cafe.
At the Cuillin Mountains we stop for breathtaking views, a scenic river hike and a cosy pub.
Our journey up the east coast of Skye rewards us with magnificent views of Skye’s dramatic mountains and surrounding islands, but the best is yet to come!
At Sligachan, we are welcomed by truly awe-inspiring views of the Red and Black Cuillin mountains. Here, there is an opportunity to go on a 20-30 minute off-the-beaten-track riverside hike to one of our favourite lesser-known spots.
Alternatively, you could just take a short walk to the picturesque stone bridge.
We spend around 40 minutes at Sligachan.
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.
We spend around 10 – 15 minutes here, and often stop at a second viewpoint too (weather permitting).
From a clifftop viewpoint we see the towering basalt columns of Kilt Rock and its incredible 60m waterfall.
We spend around 20 minutes at Kilt Rock.
Take time to find a peaceful spot and enjoy the supernatural scenery of the Quiraing.
We have 30 minutes here and would recommend taking a short hike to find a unique vantage point. Whatever the weather, your experience here will be unforgettable.
Dramatic coastal and mountainous views abound on this stunning peninsula.
National Geographic experts voted Skye the fourth best island in the world in 2014, with their criteria being to find the most unique, picturesque and unspoiled places on earth. By this point in the journey we are confident that you will agree with their verdict!
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.
Admire the mountains’ dramatic rise from the sea loch below, and look out for wildlife here too.
As we travel south we will stop on the coast for an enviable view of the Red Cuillin Mountains, and you will have the opportunity to wander down to the water’s edge. This is a great place to spot wildlife and, on previous tours, we have seen golden eagles and pilot whales here! Of course, we can’t guarantee that the wildlife will co-operate with us, but the views definitely will!
11.Eilean Donan Castle
We stop at two wonderful viewpoints to swoon over this truly iconic castle.
After crossing back over the Skye Bridge we embark on an alternative route to Inverness, with our next stop being the instantly recognisable Eilean Donan Castle. This is one of the most photographed castles in the world, and has appeared in many films including Highlander and James Bond – The World is Not Enough (in addition to numerous shortbread tins and calendars!).
Our evening arrival is perfectly timed as the castle is closed and its visitors (an impressive half a million in 2017!) have gone home. This means that, not only do we get the place almost to ourselves, but we can also get much better photos. In addition, a real bonus of visiting at this time of day is that we can usually walk over the bridge and onto the island itself.
We will spend around 30 minutes at two classic viewpoints here.
12.The Journey Home
Sit back, relax and just enjoy the unspoilt Highland scenery.
We will follow the shores of Loch Duich before travelling up into the hills, where we will see legendary mountains; The 5 Sisters of Kintail. Your guide will keep you amused with tales of legend and lore as we pass various sights of Jacobite military interest, including a spot where the Spanish battled the Dutch way back in 1719.
As we tour alongside the shores of Loch Cluanie keep an eye out for the historic bridge and buildings which lie submerged in the loch, and which you can catch glimpses of when the water level is very low.
13.Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle
See the legendary castle and world-famous loch from above.
At Urquhart Castle, we have our last 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!
We’ll do our best to stop and say Hi to a hairy Highland Coo at some point during the tour!
08.30 – 20.30
Stance 7, Inverness Bus Station, Margaret St, Inverness, IV1 1LT
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. It is unfortunately not possible to bring any children younger than this.
We recommend bringing good shoes (ideally hiking shoes/sneakers) and a waterproof jacket
We have one price for all participants, which is £69 off-season, and £79 during the season
It is possible to purchase meals onboard.
It is possible to purchase front row seat upgrades for £20 p.p and extra legroom upgrades for £15 p.p
Free cancellation until 72 hours prior to departure.
When you book onto the Isle of Skye Tour you are booking the following:
An amazing WOW Scotland tour guide to entertain and look after you on your journey
A professional coach driver for maximum safety (no driver guiding here!)
Luxury 30 seat mini-coach featuring reclining seats, AC and USB ports
5 Star VisitScotland rated tour company
Number 1 Inverness tour company, with a 5 star-rating, on TripAdvisor
A company you can trust; member of both Visit Scotland and Visit Loch Ness
WiFi on board
Free cancellation up to 72 hours prior to departure
Guaranteed departures – if you book, we go!
Family-run local company
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.
Due to customer demand, we have a booking system for the four seats at the front of the coach. These seats are available to pre-book for a £20 per seat surcharge (if you are not given this option when booking then this will be because the seats have already been taken). 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 front seats.
We also give you the opportunity to book the extra leg room seats near the back of the coach. The surcharge for extra legroom seats is £15 per seat.
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 always possible to keep everyone happy!
Note that any fees paid for front row or extra legroom 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 both a lunch and dinner pre-ordering service on-board; we work with a local delicatessen in Portree who supply us with wrap lunches and light dinners. 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
- Carefully crafted itineraries are our speciality; since we came up with the 12 hour Skye tour from Inverness six years ago the itinerary has evolved to take into account various factors such as traffic, popularity of certain sights etc. This year we have tweaked the route again, and we are confident that it is the best! You can read about it here
- We have been awarded 5 Star Tour status by our national tourism organisation, Visit Scotland, for the last three years, which means that they have rated our tours as “exceptional”
- We have over 1300 5 star reviews on TripAdvisor (over 450 of these are specifically for our Isle of Skye Tour – 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 have written quite a number of blogs on the points above and are delighted to share these with you. Click on the links below for further information;
WOW’s brand new Isle of Skye mini-coach – Read more here about the features of our new coach
New improved Skye tour for 2018 – Read more here about our new improved 2018 itinerary
£1000 donation for 1000 reviews – Read here about our contributions to community trusts in Staffin and at Eilean Donan Castle
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!
Yes – this is not a problem and is a great way of doing a trip around Scotland. You are welcome to bring your luggage with you, just let us know when booking. We typically drop people off in Portree, but if you’ve somewhere else you’d like to be dropped please contact us and we’ll let you know if we can make it happen. For more information please check out this page.
April – September
This tour departs at 8.30am (0830) between April and September. Please ensure that you are ready to board the bus at 8.20am (0820) as we will leave promptly at 8.30am (0830), and are unable to wait for any latecomers, The tour will return to Inverness city centre at approximately 8.45pm (2045). 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 at 8am (0800) in March and October. Please ensure that you are ready to board the bus at 7.50am (0750) as we will leave promptly at 8am (0800), and are unable to wait for any latecomers, The tour will return to Inverness city centre at approximately 8pm (2000). 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. During these months some of the tour will be in darkness, but we will see all of the sights on Skye in daylight.
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 shiny new mini-coach and you will not miss us!
There are six stops where toilets/bathrooms can be accessed. The longest time between bathrooms is 1 hours 55 mins, although on this leg of the journey it is definitely possible to make an unscheduled stop en-route if requested. For the rest of the day the average length between stops is around 75 minutes.
Below we have listed the times when bathrooms are available (times are for our 0830 departures and can vary slightly but this gives you a very good indication of time between comfort stops);
9.25am (Achnasheen), 11am (Kyleakin), 12.05pm (Sligachan), 2.10pm (Staffin), 4.10pm (Portree) and 6.05pm (Eilean Donan Castle).
Outside of these times it is possible to make unscheduled bathroom stops – please just ask our driver or guide to see what they can do for you, as the last thing we ever want is for our passengers is to be uncomfortable.
Please note that there are bathroom facilities available in Inverness bus station which you can use prior to tour departure.
We work with Relish in Portree to offer a lunch and dinner.
For lunch we have a selection of freshly made rolls for pre-ordering on the coach. We will take orders and cash (only) in the morning then we will deliver the meals to you at lunch time, to be eaten on the coach.
Roll filling options are as follows;
- Hot-smoked salmon
- Piri piri chicken
- Cheddar cheese and ham
- Brie and cranberry (vegetarian)
- Hummus (vegetarian & vegan)
These will be served on your choice of a roll or gluten free wrap. The price for a roll/wrap only is £3.50.
We will also be offering a meal deal, which consists of your choice of filled roll, a traybake (e.g. millionaire’s shortbread, flapjack or brownie), an apple, crisps/chips and a carton of water. The price of this is £7.50
The dinner options are as follows;
- Haggis, neeps and tatties (haggis, turnip and potatoes)
- Vegetarian haggis, neeps and tatties (vegetarian & vegan)
- Sweet chilli chicken noodles
- Baked potato with cheese (vegetarian)
The dinner option is priced at £5
You are welcome to bring snacks and drinks with you as there are limited opportunities to purchase these along the way.
The lunch and dinner pre-ordering service is organised purely for your convenience, and in order to save you from wasting precious sightseeing time looking for places to dine. It is very difficult to organise options which please every customer, particularly as the choice of suppliers on Skye is very limited (especially for weekend tours). Consequently, if you do not like the sound of our menu options then please feel free to bring your own food. Alternatively, you will have 45 minutes to pick up something in Portree (please note that, for the comfort of other passengers, we do not allow any hot fried food to be brought onto the coach).
The packaging used for our dinners is fully compostable Vegware and the water is supplied in eco-friendly cartons. We are doing out utmost to minimise our environmental impact.
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 in Portree (you have approximately 45 minutes here and there are a number of cafes, bakeries and shops) and at the Sligachan Hotel (there is a bar there, with a great selection of whisky!).
This is a 12 hour tour which covers all of the most popular sights, both en-route to and on the Isle of Skye. Although there is approximately 7 hours 15 minutes of driving involved the scenery along the way is stunning, and of course the commentary will keep you informed and entertained, so the time onboard will fly by! The tour also incorporates around 5 hours of stops so there is plenty of time to get out and explore!
In a word, no! This 12 hour tour has a jam-packed itinerary, which has been extremely carefully planned to maximise your time on the island, and it really is impossible to fit in any more sights. However, it is possible to drop you in Skye at the end of your tour so you can explore these places the next day at your leisure.
At stops such as The Quiraing and Sligachan there are opportunities to go on short walks. As the ground is often wet, muddy and slippery we would ask that you wear hiking boots or, as an absolute minimum, sensible shoes/trainers/sneakers which have good grip and which are suited to this type of terrain. Also, please bring a waterproof jacket (waterproof trousers can also come in useful if you have them!).
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!
We welcome children over the age of six on our tour. It should be noted that approximately seven hours of the tour are spent on the coach, so it may be an idea to bring some toys and games 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.
Unfortunately not all of the stops offer wheelchair access, as a lot of the terrain on Skye is very rugged. Also, the coach is not equipped for passengers to remain in their wheelchairs.
That being said, if you are able to get out of your wheelchair at the coach steps and walk onto the coach, there is no reason why you could not enjoy the tour from the comfort of the coach and we will make every effort to accommodate those with mobility problems.
If you have a large group (i.e. 9 or more people) we may be able to offer you a private tour in a 28 or 30 seater coach, when available (we have most availability between October and April, and limited availability between May and September). For larger groups we have a couple of different private tours to Skye, with the itinerary most similar to the group tour being the Skye Highlights tour.
In 2019 we will not be offering any small private tours; for groups of 1 – 8 we would highly recommend our scheduled Isle of Skye Tour.
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 and 2018 for providing “exceptional” tours.
Also, we have been consistently rated as “excellent” on Trip Advisor as of March 2018 1420 out of 1490 reviews rate us as excellent) and are proud to be ranked as the number 1 activity in Inverness.
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 Inverness Chamber of Commerce 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 or Speyside Whisky 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 for the 0830 departure time, then get back again in the evening. For more details, click here
If you would like to go on the Orkney Day Tour you will not be able to get public transport from outlying towns to Inverness early enough in the morning, as the tour departs at 0530.
If you would like to go on the Isle of Skye Tour or Speyside Whisky 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 Orkney Day Tour you will not be able to get public transport from outlying towns to Inverness early enough in the morning, as the tour departs at 0530.
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 Speyside Whisky 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 2015.
If you are interested in the Isle of Skye Tour 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 the tour, all in one day then you will require your own transport (the drive takes approx 3 1/4 hours to either city).
If you have a car then you can certainly drive to Inverness, park for the day and join the tour.
If you wish to travel by train, unfortunately it it not possible to take the first train in the morning from Aberdeen to Inverness, as it arrives at 0836 (after departure time for the Isle of Skye Tour, and after check-in has closed for the Speyside Whisky Tour). However, if you can stay in Inverness the night before the tour then there is a train back late evening at 2133 (except on Sundays, when the last train is at 2103 – we would strongly advise against taking this train if you are on the Isle of Skye Tour as we sometimes arrive back later than planned).
Consequently, for these tours we would suggest that you stay in Inverness the night before the tour, then return to Aberdeen on the last train back after the tour.
For our Orkney Day Tour it is not possible to get the train from or to Aberdeen on the day of the tour so you will need to stay in Inverness the night before and after the tour.
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!
Yes, lots! Check out our TripAdvisor ratings to see what our customers say about us (we are currently number 1 in Inverness, have 5 stars and have been awarded a Certificate of Excellence – which means we rate amongst the top 10% of TripAdvisor businesses worldwide – every year since we started the business in 2010!)
To find out how to get to Inverness click here.
Once you have booked your tour we are happy to send you our list of recommended accommodation providers in Inverness and Skye. As a start, click here for a short list of where to stay in Inverness and Loch Ness.
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 5 star rating from VisitScotland in 2016, 2017 and 2018 for providing “exceptional” tours.
Also, we have been consistently rated as “excellent” on Trip Advisor (as of May 2019 we had 1420 5 star reviews) and are proud to be ranked as the number 1 activity in Inverness.
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 Inverness Chamber of Commerce and local tourism body; Visit Inverness Loch Ness. WOW Scotland has also featured in a number of local and national publications including Wanderlust, Coast Magazine, The Houston Chronicle, The Boston Globe, The Vancouver Sun, Scotland Outdoors Magazine, Scottish Life magazine (Autumn 2013 p 49), German TV programme Euromaxx and the Inverness Courier (our logo has even featured in the Hollywood blockbuster Johnny English Reborn..and we are looking out for logo in a new Hollywood film soon – watch this space!).
All payments are taken through our secure online booking system, which utilises Stripe. We 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!
We have never had to cancel a tour yet but, if the weather forecast was so bad that we considered it dangerous to travel, then we may have to cancel a tour. However, this is extremely unlikely, and we would do our utmost to accommodate you 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 and Whisky Bus 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.