Isle of Skye Road Trip Itinerary in a Motorhome 3 Days

April 29, 2024 in Routes, Destinations, Tips for Travellers, Scotland & United Kingdom

You’re travelling to the Highlands of Scotland, so of course you’re eyeing up the magnificent Isle of Skye. You have the right idea. Trust us, Skye is not to be missed. Unfortunately, most who visit Scotland agree, and trampled tourist tracks can take away from the island’s magic. Not with our Isle of Skye road trip itinerary at hand, they won’t! We’ve scoped out Skye’s best and most beautiful spots, but are also going to let you in on some insider timing tips to outsmart the crowds.

Where to stay on the Isle of Skye? 

Let’s get started by drawing a conclusion to your Isle of Skye accommodation research. If you’re wondering where to stay on the Isle of Skye, the answer is simple. In a motorhome! 

Firstly, you’re going to want a vehicle of sorts to explore Skye to your best potential. Secondly, accommodation on Skye is expensive, whereas free overnight camping in Scotland is not. Third, there’s no need to book a ferry. You can drive your campervan right onto the island from mainland Scotland via the Skye Bridge in Kyle of Lochalsh, so there’s that problem sorted. Last but not least, campervans come with a portable kitchen and living room including a fridge, kettle and… heating. All are a godsend when coming back from one of Skye’s stunning walks in often unforgiving weather—let’s face it, this is Scotland.
Isle of Skye 3 day itinerary Isle of skye road trip itineraryIf you’re wondering where to park your home on wheels at night, simply resort to these 5 great motorhome sites on the Isle of Skye. Or, if you’re really looking for that road trip of a lifetime experience, download a nifty camping spot app such as Park4Night and try and find alternative park-ups. Wherever you spend the night, always make sure you leave zero trace, don’t cause any disturbance and respect local rules (some places explicitly don’t allow overnight parking, if so there will be signs). 

Finding alternative park-ups can really add to the adventure and flexibility of your trip, as there’s no need to reserve pitches on campsites. However, keep in mind that due to Skye’s popularity among motorhome travellers, the good overnight parking spots are well sought after. So it can help to park up early to make sure you’re the first to claim the spots with the best view. 

We’ll say it one last time to put this issue behind us, we could not recommend embarking on this Isle of Skye road trip itinerary in a campervan any more than we already have. We’ve also written this itinerary for those travelling in one specifically. So if you’re on the verge of hiring a motorhome for your trip, this is your sign. 
Isle of Skye 3 day itinerary Isle of skye road trip itinerary

What is the best time to visit the Isle of Skye? 

Now, let’s get to the important issue of timing your trip. There are a couple of things to factor in when planning a road trip in the Highlands of Scotland: the weather, the crowds and the midges. Unfortunately, there’s not really a way to avoid all three, but we’d like to think you can dodge the two living (not lesser) evils. 

The notorious blood-sucking creatures that are the Highland midges are at their worst numbers from June to August, so best stay away then. One only needs to read a couple of Google Reviews to discover that even the most stunning of sights can be ruined by the torment of these wee nasty beasties. 
Isle of Skye 3 day itinerary Isle of skye road trip itinerary

A different swarm, otherwise known as tourists, are aware of the potential presence of the midge (best of luck to those who aren’t) in summer and visit in late spring and early autumn with the hope of avoiding them but still getting good weather. To sidestep the selfie stick-carrying bus loads too, our advice would be to travel even earlier in the year, in late March or April. 

In these months, the days will be getting longer and longer, which means countless hours of daylight to explore the island. But the colder temperatures will likely mean the night’s skies are clearer, making for a hell of a stargazing experience. Furthermore, there may still be a layer of snow on Skye’s majestic mountains, which simply quadruples their beauty, if you ask us. Yes, the weather might be a bit volatile, but best suck (read soak) it up and just assume the worst. Terrible as it can be, it does add to Skye’s mystical allure—again, this is Scotland.
Isle of Skye 3 day itinerary Isle of skye road trip itinerary

Isle of Skye 3-day itinerary  

Now let’s get to your Isle of Skye road trip itinerary. Why 3 days? Because it’s long enough to let you experience the best this incredible isle has to offer, but short enough to leave you time to explore other corners of the Highlands. Let’s face it, most holidays are only a week or two in length, and there’s simply so much else to see in Scotland. 

Day 1 — Northeast Skye 

Make sure you’re well rested because we’re starting this adventure at the crack of dawn. If you’re not a morning person, pretend you are. It’s going to be worth it, because this adventure starts at one of Scotland’s most extraordinary landmarks: Eilean Donan Castle. This castle is frequently featured in films and is famous, to say the least. It isn’t on Skye, but very close to the Skye Bridge and a perfect way to set the tone for the rest of your trip. 

Our best tip would be to bite the bullet and make sure you get there for first light. The castle against a backdrop of morning red and mountains is truly a sight for sore eyes, and by getting there early, likely one for your (and a few photographers’) eyes only. 
Isle of Skye 3 day itinerary Isle of skye road trip itineraryTry and pull yourself away from this magnificent spot for a short 30-minute drive over the Skye bridge and to the village on Broadford, where you can grab a well-needed tea or coffee. Then continue on this gorgeous drive towards Skye’s capital Portree, but do not hesitate to make little pitstops along the way to properly enjoy the view. We highly recommend stopping at the Sligachan Old Bridge Car Park, which has absurdly beautiful views of Sgùrr Alasdair, Skye’s highest mountain of 3,257 feet. Then make your way to Portree. 

If you’re running low on water, make sure you fill up here at one of the very few filling stations on the island. You can then choose to spend the morning exploring Portree, maybe grab some brunch at one of the many cafés, or, if you’re ready for some action, head towards the Old Man of Storr Car Park. It’s from here that you’ll embark on your first proper walk of the trip. 
Isle of Skye 3 day itinerary Isle of skye road trip itinerary Once arrived, lace up the boots and turn up the collars, you’re about to go on a 5-kilometre walk with quite the incline. You’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views, including the Old Man of Storr, the first of many imposing rock pinnacles you’ll spot on Skye. Now keep in mind, this is one of the island’s most popular walks, which means it’s almost impossible to avoid the crowds no matter the time of day, but they probably won’t be too thick in early spring. 

As an alternative walk, you could choose to hike The Quiraing instead, or if you’re feeling particularly fit or active, even do both, as the walks aren’t long or far apart. The mystically moody landscape of The Quiraing is the result of an enormous landslip of rocks that have been battered by erosion and tumbling into the sea for millions of years. If you’re up for another early start, you could potentially save this walk for sunrise on the morrow, as the mountain and summit face East. Talk about a view. 
Isle of Skye 3 day itinerary Isle of skye road trip itinerary With your first big walk done, you can now sit back and relax for the rest of this evening. You could head back to Portree for a pub grub, or leisurely cruise along this most northeastern coast of the island. We recommend making at least one more stop at the Mealtfalls on Kilt Rock, a 90-metre-high Icelandic-like waterfall that crashes with great force from the cliff into the sea below. 

Then hop on Park4Night and find yourself a lovely park-up on this side of the island. Your best bet for a good night's sleep is to find one a little more inland, to avoid being close to the main road and being kept awake by traffic. 
Isle of Skye 3 day itinerary Isle of skye road trip itinerary

Day 2 — Northwest Skye  

Feeling the magic of this isle course through your body (read have you been slapped in the face by wind and rain)? Good. Then let’s dive head first into day two. To the ones embarking on the sunrise climb of the Quiraing, we salute you. To those not thinking twice about it, rest assured, you’ve got a more relaxed day by the seaside ahead of you.

Start heading in an easterly direction towards Dunvegan Castle, your first cultural stop on this second day of your 3-day Isle of Skye road trip itinerary. If you visit any castle on Skye, we’d recommend this one. Dunvegan Castle is home to the Maccleod clan, who inhabited the castle for the past 800 years, making this the longest-occupied house in Scotland. 
Isle of Skye 3 day itinerary Isle of skye road trip itinerary Then head to Neist Point, a stunning stretch of headland with on its point one of Scotland’s most famous lighthouses. Whether you’re brave enough to face the gale and stomp down the trail to take in this iconic, statuesque landmark up close, or are perfectly fine catching a glimpse of it from afar at the viewpoint by the car park, it’s definitely worth venturing to this most westerly point of Skye. 

Skye is surrounded by the glistening sea, so a visit without trying some of its mouthwateringly delicious seafood wouldn’t serve you well. We recommend heading slightly north again to grab lunch or dinner at The Stein Inn. This cosy pub serves its seafood as fresh as it gets, if you come on the right day of the week they might even have live music playing for you. We haven’t even mentioned the view over the bay yet, which is, well, to Skye for. 
Isle of Skye 3 day itinerary Isle of skye road trip itinerary Or, if you could use a wee dram to fend off the chill of the day at this point, rest assured, Skye’s famous Talisker Distillery is only a beautiful one-hour drive from Neist Point. It’s the island's oldest working distillery, and like most Scottish distilleries, it’s possible to be shown around the works, get a unique insight into its history and of course, try the world-famous single malt Scotch whisky yourself. 

Something lots of people miss out on when visiting the Talisker Distillery is Talisker Bay. The incredible beach is a short 15-minute drive away (be aware: parking is limited), after which it’s a flat 0.5-mile stroll to the beach. Our insider tip is to visit at low tide, which means there’ll be some sand to frolic on on an otherwise pebbles-only beach. And even better, after a bit of downpour—no, we don’t mean whisky. There’s a magnificent waterfall on the cliff at the far end of the beach that is best beheld in its full-stream, plummeting glory. And if you really want to plan a visit to this west-facing beauty of a beach right, go at sunset. 
Isle of Skye 3 day itinerary Isle of skye road trip itinerary

Day 3 — Southern Skye  

We’d promised to load you up with some insider tips on how to hit all Skye’s best bits at exactly the right time, and we’re here to deliver. Unfortunately, that means hitting the road at first light, preferably earlier, just one last time. Trust us, you’ll thank us for it. If you ended your day somewhere on the west side of the island, today is the day we move south to the island’s beloved highlight: the Fairy Pools.

Now, these natural baths are as fair and fairylike as their name suggests. About twenty of them can be found in a babbling brook with water in the brightest colours of blue, green and turquoise. The mesmerising mountainous backdrop only adds to the scene, which will genuinely make you feel like a fairy if it weren’t for all the other hundreds of people playing the main character in their own fairytale. That’s why we mean it when we say, beat the crowds! The fewer people, the more incredible the experience.
Isle of Skye 3 day itinerary Isle of skye road trip itinerary Another benefit of not wasting the day away is that you’ll have ample time on this last day of your road trip to drag yourself to one final whopper of a walk along the headland of Rubh’ a Dùnain. This region has seen over 8,000 years of history, and is a bit of a gem from which to scour the shores of Loch Brittle for seals, sea otters and if you’re lucky, whales and basking sharks. 

And there you have it, you may rest assured that you have truly seen Skye’s most stunning sights. Of course, there’s so much more to see, but simply too much to fit in 3 days without having some time to sit back, relax and soak up the view.

We do recommend stopping in Broadford one more time on your way back to the Skye Bridge to stuff your gob with the greasy goodness that is fish and chips, no coastal road trip in Scotland would be the same without it, and you’ve earned it! 
Isle of Skye 3 day itinerary Isle of skye road trip itinerary

Hiring a motorhome? Some things to keep in mind when travelling to Skye: 

-Make sure your motorhome has heating. Skye is wild, wet and very windswept. You’re going to get cold and you’re going to get wet, but being able to warm your bones in a toasty campervan afterwards will make all these discomforts disappear like snow for the sun. 

-Make sure you’re comfortable driving a vehicle the size of your motorhome. Skye’s roads are narrow and work with a ‘passing place’ system, which means you’ll often have to squeeze past vehicles coming from the other direction. Larger motorhomes are generally fine, as long as you’re confident manoeuvring them. 

Over the sea to Skye, you go! The island’s best and most beautiful in a 3-day Isle of Skye itinerary, a road trip many of us dream of going on. Have a little look below to browse through some fun campervans that could be your home for your Scottish island adventure. They come in all shapes and sizes!