Isle of Skye or Mull and Iona

Feb 13th, 2012, 06:15 PM
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Isle of Skye or Mull and Iona

A friend and I are going to Scotland in mid-July. We had planned to include Skye on our itinerary, however, my friend called today and said someone had told her to skip Skye because it was stark and barren and there's nothing to do there. They suggested going to Mull and Iona. For a very long time I've wanted to go to Skye ; everything I've read about it says how beautiful, interesting, etc., it is. We don't have time to go to all three. I would greatly appreciate comments from people who are familiar with all three islands.

Also, is the airport in Edinburgh northwest of the city? We are driving from Ediburgh, and we hoping we won't have to drive through the city on our way north.

Thanks much!

LaraS is offline  
Feb 13th, 2012, 06:20 PM
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I am interested in this answer....
willowjane is online now  
Feb 13th, 2012, 06:27 PM
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No chance you could do both? Mull is indeed lovely—as is Skye but not sure what 'nothing to do' means? What do you WANT to do?
opus is offline  
Feb 13th, 2012, 07:13 PM
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There is nothing to 'do' anywhere -- if you mean nightlife. But I can't imagine what they meant or told your friend. Skye and Mull are different but they are both totally amazing places.

How many days did you plan on staying on either island??
janisj is online now  
Feb 13th, 2012, 09:34 PM
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I have only been to Skye once and then only for 2 nights. I was traveling with my granddaughter and our main purpose was to look at a college for her. We did have some time to explore the area but only in the vicinity of where we stayed. I was sorry I was not able to spend more time. We stayed at Skye Morar Bed and Breakfast Ardvasar, Sleat Isle of Skye, IV 45 BRU
Telephone 01471844378 or Mobile 07775 668223 011 444. There is a ferry 1 mile down the road to the mainland. We arrived at Portree by Ferry from Isle of Lewis and had about 3 hours to tour around Portree which is a charming town. The B and B was also very nice overlooking the water with a large terrace. The owners were very hospitable.

As far as nothing to do, if you like hiking you will find plenty to do. There are also wildlife tours by boat. I found more than one appealing and was disappointed that I did not have the time to go on one. There is not a lot of night life and where we stayed there was one restaurant only.
SKYE is incredibly beautiful. It is somewhat isolated but if you like nature and the outdoors you can find plenty to do in terms of hiking and exploring the outdoors. If you want to go on any wildlife tours I think they leave from Portree so you may want to stay in Portree because of the convenience. The other couples that were staying in the B and B were all there for about 4-5 days and were busy hiking the area. I imagine it takes time to explore the island if you are using public transportation. From what I recall there is a bus that travels about the island. Too bad that you do not have time for both islands.
travelanywhere is offline  
Feb 13th, 2012, 09:48 PM
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Here is the website for skye.
travelanywhere is offline  
Feb 13th, 2012, 10:37 PM
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I haven't been to Skye, but Iona was a most amazing experience. I travelled with a friend who was a member of the catholic faith, and she was able to explain a lot of the symbolism to me.

Even without that benefit, just to see what those pioneering monks achieved in that climate was quite an education.

If you do plan to visit Iona, be sure to get the ferry across as early in the morning as possible. We made the mistake of reaching Oban mid-morning, so by the time we connected with ferries and did the drive, we had a bare minimum of time on the island, before we had to make our way back again. Di
di2315 is offline  
Feb 13th, 2012, 10:38 PM
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I'm also wondering what "nothing to do" means. We spent two weeks on Skye two years ago and it was absolutely wonderful. But we were traveling with children and not looking to go out at night. We did a lot of walking and also took a boat trip from Elgol (there are several options for seeing nearby islands that way). Stark, in places, yes. Barren, well, yes, in the way islands can be. But it is spectacularly beautiful. As for things to do other than appreciate natural beauty, Portree is a nice town to visit and wander around in; Dunvegan Castle; Armadale Castle ruins; and the Talisker distillery spring to mind.

Mull and Iona are on my bucket list (I would love to spend a week with the Iona Community someday) and there's no reason NOT to see them - but don't skip Skye for the wrong reasons!
Barbara_in_FL is offline  
Feb 14th, 2012, 12:22 AM
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I get bored with the Skye questions on here; but the truth is, it's spectacular; probably the most spectacular bit of Scotland. The Black Cuillins ridge is the best climbing in the country, but there are lost of places to walk (hike in American parlance)without tempting Providence. One of the best 5 restaurants in the UK is here; and one of the nicest cafes (The Three Chimneys and Cafe Arriba); super wildlife as mentioned above- seals, dolphins, whales, eagles, White Tailed Eagles, otters, deer, piles of other bird species; a great castle with a Fairy Flag- srsly- the whole Flora McDonald/Bonnie Prince Charlie schtick, beaches, waterfalls, fossil hunting, boat trips, a great distillery, a great brewery....

To my knowledge, no night clubs but they do a mean ceilidh.

Mull OTOH has most of the above but without the spectacular (I know at least one person here disagrees with me on this, but if I never spent another week on Mull....). The only superiority- OK 2 superiorities- Mull has is Tobermory, which, to my mind is hugely nicer than Portree. The second one is the cheese. Isle of Mull Cheddar is to die for.

Iona is, on the third hand, special- and you can't get to it from Skye without your own helicopter (or boat). Pretty, spiritual and quiet- when the trippers aren't there. The best advice for Iona is to stay overnight. It's lovely when the ferries have stopped running. It's also a hop skip and a jump to Fingal's cave on Staffa, from Iona. Or Mull.

There; I hope that made it easier.

And yes, the airport is to the north west of Edinburgh. Mild advice- if you're flying in from the States, don't drive too far just after you've landed. You'll be slightly disorientated and you'll be on the "wrong" side of the road.
sheila is offline  
Feb 14th, 2012, 01:01 PM
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Thank you for your replies. I don't know what the person meant who told my friend that "there's nothing do do on Skye". My friend and I are definitly not interested in nightlife. I've read about a museum on Skye that sounds extremely interesting, and the wildlife and scenery sound wonderful.

Before now, I've never heard or read one unflattering thing about Skye. Part of the reason for this post is so I could show my friend the replies and convince her we need to spend some time there.

LaraS is offline  
Feb 14th, 2012, 02:35 PM
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There are two very good museums on Skye. The Museum of the Isles ( also known as the Clan Donald Centre ) focuses on the Clan's history and their descent form the Lord of the Isles and is at Armadale Castle on the Sleat Peninsula. The Skye Museum of Island Life is on the Trotternish Peninsula near Kilmuir and next to Flor MacDonald's grave. The museum consists of several thatched houses each displaying a different aspect of island life. IMO, excellent.
historytraveler is online now  
Jul 12th, 2015, 11:03 PM
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Sheila, I was hoping you could give more insight for my husband and I. We are planning on Skye based in part of some of the things you said. We just need to decide if we're spending two days in skye, or only one in skye and on Iverness. I was wondering what your thoughts were? Thanks!!!
ElisabetCoulter is offline  
Jul 12th, 2015, 11:21 PM
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One day on Skye (which would require 2 nights) will give you a taste of the isle but is nowhere near enough to see even just the high points. It is a large island and the travel is slow. 3 nights/2 days will let you see more - but still not all.

Inverness itself is nothing to write home about - but is in the center of a lot of wonderful places. But again - one day is not enough to see more than a few of the sites w/i an hour or less of Inverness.

Are you asking one day on Skye and one day for Inverness vs. two days on Skye? If so two days in either place is better than one+one.

(Instead of topping a three year old thread you might do better to start a new one of your own)
janisj is online now  
Jul 13th, 2015, 01:13 AM
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But since you have, I would agree with janis. Skye merits more than one overnight. Inverness does not merit an hour- although it's in a pretty place.
sheila is offline  
Jul 13th, 2015, 08:25 AM
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Two days on Skye.
historytraveler is online now  
Jul 13th, 2015, 08:29 AM
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sheila and historytraveler: ElisabetCoulter started a new thread w/ more details - it is even MORE hectic than this post hints. . .
janisj is online now  

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