When looking for a small group tour around Scotland, Rabbies is the answer! I have just come back from a 3 day Isle of Skye tour with Rabbies Tours which I loved so much!
Visiting the mysterious Isle of Skye known for its fairies and giants had been on my bucket list to visit for so long!
In 2018 I went on a 3 day Lake District Tour from London with Rabbies which I really enjoyed, I’ve recommended Rabbies to travellers ever since and as soon as it finished I knew I had to visit Scotland with Rabbies next as they are the pros in Scotland tours!
Isle of Skye Tour
It took me 4 years but last week I caught the train from Manchester where I live up to Edinburgh.
I did the Isle of Skye tour from Edinburgh (although they also run an Isle of Skye tour from Glasgow which is handy) so I explored Edinburgh for the afternoon, stayed overnight and got up bright and early to start the 3 day tour around Scotland!
We stopped at plenty of places on the way from Edinburgh to Skye and then we saw the best places to visit in the Isle of Skye with Rabbies!
Here’s why I loved my Rabbies Skye tour along with my full Rabbies review so you know why you should book with Rabbies and what to expect when you book an Isle of Skye tour with Rabbies!
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Isle of Skye Tour from Edinburgh
When looking for the best Isle of Skye Tours from Edinburgh you’ll find Rabbies highly recommended and I hope after reading this Rabbies review you’ll see why! But first…
Why go on a guided tour to the Isle of Skye?
Visiting the Isle of Skye is one of the best things to do in Scotland but many people wonder ‘how to get to the Isle of Skye?’ as it is so far up North in Scotland and Skye doesn’t have an airport.
If you have limited time in Scotland, driving yourself to the Isle of Skye can be time consuming, expensive and a bit worrying if you can’t confident driving in windy roads in the UK! And that’s why an Isle of Skye tour from Edinburgh, or Glasgow, is a great option!
During my 3 day 2 night Isle of Skye tour, we spent both nights on the Isle of Skye but we did spend only 1 full day on the island.
This may not seem like a lot of time but it takes 5 hours to drive from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye passing through so many amazing and popular places like Glencoe and Loch Ness so it makes sense to spend a full day seeing Scotland on the way to Skye and seeing even more on the way back.
If you do feel like 1 day in Skye is not enough, you can look into Rabbies 4 day Isle of Skye tour here!
Plus, Edinburgh is a great place to start the tour because it’s such a brilliant and popular city and you don’t want to rush through here either!
On my tour, there were people from Singapore and Malaysia who were on a UK trip visiting London and Edinburgh and wanted to see more of Scotland on a tour as well as Edinburgh city so this was so perfect and easy for them!
3 Day Isle of Skye Itinerary
To give you some wanderlust and excitement I’ll show you where I visited on my 3 day Isle of Skye itinerary with Rabbies.
Do note that your tour might go to slightly different places or in a different order because as I mention below, one of the great things about Rabbies guides is that they can and will amend the tour based on the weather, guest preferences etc to give guests the best trip possible!
The tour starts at 8:30 am so you will most likely need to stay in Edinburgh the night before. I stayed in Motel One Princess Hotel which is a budget-friendly hotel across the road from Edinburgh Waverly Train Station and the meeting point for Rabbies Tours.
Edinburgh is a great city, it’s so beautiful, safe and you can see a lot in just a few hours.
With a day or half a day in Edinburgh, things to do in Edinburgh include visiting Edinburgh Castle, seeing the Royal Mile, walking up Arthurs Seat, going to the West End and seeing Edinburgh New Town.
The tour started at 8:30 am. I went to Rabbies Cafe which is next to the impressive Balmoral Hotel and the train station. I checked in with a staff member there and headed 100m up the road with my suitcase to meet my guide Michael and fellow passengers who were from France, Singapore and Malaysia.
We got out of Edinburgh straight away and straight away Michael started the guided tour where he told us a bit about Edinburgh as we drove before telling us what to expect from the rest of the day and 3 days.
We headed to the Scottish Highlands which took about 2 hours. Our first stop was Loch Lubnaig where we got to take in our first Loch with a little walk around (Michael had said in the bus we were not allowed to use the word Lake on the trip, we had to say Loch!), and had a coffee and bathroom break at Cabin cafe.
Next, we headed into the mountain pass of Glencoe and Michael told us in-depth information and stories from the Massacre of Glencoe in 1692 which I had no idea about and it really made me look at the scenery and what was their home differently. It’s reasons like this that I love a guided tour!
We had a fair few stops to take photos of the many lochs we were passing and to breathe in the fresh highland air including a stop at the Five Sisters of Kintail viewpoint and to see some deer!
Our lunch stop was in Fort William. One of the things I love about Rabbies tours is that meals are not in set restaurants and cafes. This means you can choose your food preference from various options within a town and choose your budget. There’s nothing worse than being on a budget on a tour not being able to afford anything in a restaurant where you have to visit as a group!
Ben Nevis, the highest mountain in Scotland was our view after our Fort William lunch stop. We then pushed on North towards Skye stopping at Eilean Donan Castle before crossing the bridge to Skye.
Eilean Donan Castle is the most photographed castle in Scotland, which is pretty impressive and so cool that the Isle of Skye tour with Rabbies visits it!
Like with food, extra activities that cost money are not pushed upon passengers, in fact, Rabbies seem to not include many paid attractions within their tours to keep them budget-friendly.
At the Castle, we could go in if we wanted to but none of our group did so we took photos from the outside and viewpoint instead and used their toilets!
The town of Portree was our base on the Isle of Skye which is the main town on the island and it’s a lovely harbour town.
Accommodation is not included in the tour price because again, Rabbies want you to make their tours fit your budget so you can choose your accommodation.
Portree has hostels, guest houses, B&B’s and fancier hotels, so it’s up to you whether you spend £20.00 on a hostel dorm room, £70.00 on a guest house or £150.00 on a hotel. (These are rough prices FYI and will change seasonally but you get the idea!)
Rabbies can help you book your accommodation but if you plan to visit in the summer high season, I would check accommodation prices and availability in Portree before booking the tour and if you book the tour, book accommodation straight away!
This was our full day on Isle visiting fairylands, learning about giants’ tales and seeing some really iconic places in Skye!
We woke up to awful rain and wind so when Michael picked us up at 9:00 am he changed our itinerary to suit the weather and his positive spirits kept us positive when we were wondering what on earth we’d see in Skye in weather like this!
We visited the famous fairy pools first, we couldn’t access them as they were flooded so we instead drove to the miniature fairy pools.
Driving through Skye even in the pouring rain was a total pleasure, this island really is beautiful so I kicked back in my seat and enjoyed the views with a coffee through the large and clear bus windows as we drove up to Trumpan Church right on the North-Eastern tip of the Isle.
We had lunch back in Portree town as there are the most food options here and it’s the middle point when driving between the East and West of Skye.
Portree has some nice cafes, restaurants and fish and chip shops. I warmed up with some soup at Nourish Cafe which was a great option and I recommend it!
Thankfully, the weather cleared and eased for us in the afternoon, the weather forecast did predict this and that’s why Michael held back on showing us the more popular natural wonders of Skye until the afternoon.
We drove up the East Coast having so many photo stops and opportunities to walk around starting at Bride’s Veil Falls and the Old Man of Storr viewpoint. I believe in the summer passengers can walk around The Storr but with the weather conditions we had, it was not possible.
Rigg Viewpoint was next which is a stunning spot and a couple actually got engaged here on my tour! Michael helped the man find the perfect spot and opportunity in the day and on the edge of the coast was really it!
We went waterfall hunting next to Lealt Falls and Mealt Falls. Mealt Falls is the waterfall I’d see a lot on Instagram so I was really happy to see it in real life and it turns out this viewpoint is also for Kilt Rock and Michael told us tales of giants who lived in the area and that Kilt Rock is named as it is because it looks like a literal Giant Kilt embedded into the rock!
Our final stops of the day before the sun went down was the impressive mountain pass of the Quiraing which we were able to take a good walk along, and Fairy Glen.
I had heard so many fairy names before coming to Skye – Fairy Pools, Fairy Bridge, Fairy Glen, so it was amazing to see these places myself and hear the stories from Michael who was so passionate about it too.
Fairy Glen was one of my favourite spots and it was truly beautiful as the sun started to set.
I got dropped off at my accommodation in Portree at 6:00 pm and went out for dinner.
Rabbies say that restaurants in Portee book up fast, especially in the summer months so it’s best to book a table in advance, and in the summer, advance means way before the tour starts.
I got a delicious pizza from Caberfiedh Bar and Restaurant on day 1 and went towards the harbour and got fish and chips on day 2 because I can’t go on a British holiday by sea and not eat fish and chips!
At 9:00 am we left the Isle of Skye passing by Eilean Donan Castle on the way for a toilet and refreshment break and the opportunity to go in.
This final day of the tour did involve a lot more driving and longer drives than we had on days 1 and 2 where we had stopped more regularly but it was ok because our main focus of the day was the ever so famous Loch Ness and we arrived in the town of Fort Augustus at the base of Loch Ness at lunchtime.
I was really happy as we got to spend nearly 2 hours here having the opportunity to get some lunch in the many cafes and also go out on a 50-minute boat cruise in search of the Loch Ness Monster of course!
This was the only activity I paid extra for on the tour and although at £18.00 for 50 minutes, it is quite pricey, it was a really great trip and the guide on the boat told so many interesting stories and really uncovered the myth around Nessie!
After a few more short stops, we reached Edinburgh at about 6:30 pm. I got some dinner near the station and because I was going straight home I booked an 8:00 pm train out of Edinburgh back down to Manchester which was perfect for me!
Best things about Rabbies Tours!
Having gone on 2 Rabbies Tours in England and in Scotland I can see that although the locations and the guides change, all of their tours have a lot of similarities which are what make Rabbies so great for guided group tours in the UK and afar!
Small group tours
Rabbies only run tours in 16 seater coaches and there are a few reasons for this…
Firstly, having a smaller bus allows access to smaller roads and country lanes that bigger coaches can’t access. This is such an important thing when travelling places like the Isle of Skye, Lake District, Cotswolds, etc because there are so many small one-way roads!
Secondly, smaller groups make it easier to get to know one another and much less intimating for solo travellers than being in a big group.
Lastly, as Rabbies say, you can’t stop at a local cafe with 30 guests because it’s too overwhelming, with that number you can only stop for breaks at designated tourist facilities which is not the best way to do it!
One of the best things about guided tours is learning about where you are visiting and Rabbies tour guides know so many facts and historic information but they also know so many stories and tales, and they love to tell them to their guests!
Within the first few hours of my Isle of Skye tour from Edinburgh, I felt like I’d learned so much about Scotland and the history there that I had no idea of and by the time I finished the 3 day tour I was full of stories and facts which I told my family when I got home!
For travellers coming from overseas especially, having a friendly and approachable Rabbies guide who gives so much information really enhances the tour! Where ever I travel I love to know more about a place than just seeing it and that can be hard when travelling independently but this is a huge bonus to group guided tours.
Each tour has a set itinerary but the guides use their experience and initiative to give the best possible experience to passengers.
As I mentioned above, it was so wet in the morning when I was in Skye but we saw that the weather looked clearer later on so our guide changed our itinerary so we saw the ‘iconic’ Skye spots later on with better weather.
We also missed out on 1-2 places because the rain and wind were too dangerous for us to drive there but I’d rather miss a place than the guide taking us and putting us at risk because they have to stick to the itinerary!
Supporting the local community
Rabbies try to go to the local cafes and shops so we are giving back to the local community.
For lunch and dinner, passengers are able to go where ever they want within a town which means business and money gets spread around rather than always going to the same places.
This is a huge positive to Rabbies over other tour companies – they offer guaranteed departures! There are no minimum numbers on tours for them to go ahead, if you book it, you go on it!
On my Isle of Isle Tour and my Lake District tour, there were only about 9-10 of us, not a full coach and actually, this was really nice as we had even more space on the coach and free time. In summer you can expect a full coach, especially to popular places like Skye but in the winter months, it’s more likely to be half a coach which can be really beneficial!
I hope this helps you make a decision on booking the best Isle of Skye tour around and what to expect from a Rabbies Isle of Skye tour!
This post is in collaboration with Rabbies Tours but all opinions are my own and from my genuine experience on the tour like all the other passengers.
- For more of my posts you might like see:
- A 3 Day Tour to the Lake District from London with Rabbie’s Tours!
- 10 Things To Do on a Day Trip to Bath from London.
- How To Do A Cardiff Day Trip from London With Things To Do in Cardiff!
- 20 Great Day Trips From Birmingham By Train, Car & Coach!
- 26 Day Trips from London By Train! Ideas For Cities, Beaches & Europe!