Today there are a couple of route options; the busier, but shorter route which follows the A87 directly south on the main road from Portree to Broadford, or the longer, quieter route detailed here from Portree to Broadford via Struan and Sligachan.
The longer route offers better views and a more relaxing, if slightly more undulating, ride that criss-crosses the island to Struan before coming back to the east coast with views of the Cuillin Ridge. The route doubles up on some of the riding on day 2, but the scenery seen in reverse is just as pleasant and should feel quite different. From Sligachan you'll rejoin the A87 (and the shorter route approx. 41 km) to roll into Broadford.
Take care on the singletrack road to Struan today - although quiet, cars and campervans do use this road. Be especially careful on the descents and blind corners.
Take care on the A87 between Sligachan and Broadford as this road can be busy depending on the time of day with tourist traffic.
Beware of traffic particular when entering and leaving towns where traffic flow tends to be the highest. Remember to stay on the left hand side of the road. Be mindful of other road users. Obey local road signs and look out for any change in road conditions.
***Before starting your ride it's always worth inspecting your bike for damage. Check for damage to the frame, components and wheels. Ensure that there are no loose cables, tyres are properly inflated and the brakes are working. Bear in mind the brakes may work the opposite way to which you are used to.
If you are hiring a bike it is worthwhile taking a quick test ride when you collect your bike to familiarise yourself with the gears, brakes and to check your bike is setup correctly for you.
Always wear a helmet when cycling and if you have any concerns over the condition of your rental bike please call the office or your bike hire shop using the number provided in your information pack.***
Tips and hints
Points of Interest
Cuillin Brewery, Sligachan
A small brewery attached to Sligachan Hotel offering craft beers, ales and an insight into their brewing process in one of the most scenic locations on Skye!
Talisker Distillery (9 km Detour)
The oldest distillery on the Skye established in 1830. The distillery offers tours and whisky tastings, check out their website for more information. Leave the standard route at 35 km in and follow the B8009 road to Cabost village. You'll also find a cafe serving tea, coffee, cakes and light lunches near the distillery.
Food & Drink
There are a few options for lunch and snacks on today's route, or you can buy everything you need for the day from the Co-Op supermarket in Portree just off Bosville Terrace. Make sure to bring plenty of water (1.5-2 litres) and some snacks if you intend to stop for lunch en route. If you take the Talisker detour then why not pop into Caora Dhubh cafe selling tea, coffee and delicious home-baked cakes with outdoor seating? Alternatively, if you continue straight onto Sligachan you can eat at the Sligachan Hotel's Seamus Bar offering tea, coffee, and a full lunch menu throughout the summer months. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes along the main street of Broadford for dinner, or refreshments on arriving.
EquipmentAlways be prepared to cycle through a change of weather conditions and check the local weather forecast before leaving. Remember to bring a waterproof jacket and a warm layer particularly as conditions in Scotland are never guaranteed! Gloves (fingerless mitts in summer) are popular to provide some extra warmth and handlebar padding when riding, and don't forget a battery pack to provide an emergency charge to any navigation equipment you may be using.
Basic Equipment for Bike Riding
- Cycling helmet
- Cycling gloves
- Sturdy, comfortable and preferably waterproof footwear
- Layered, moisture wicking clothing
- Rucksack (with rain cover)
- Protection against sun, rain and wind (hat, sunscreen, water- and windproof jacket)
- Ample supply of drinking water and snacks
- Cell phone
- Navigation equipment / map and compass
Technical Equipment for Bike Riding
- Air pump or CO2 pump including cartridges
- Puncture repair kit
- Replacement inner tube
- Tire levers
- Chain tool
- Hex keys
- Phone / device holder as required
- Bike lock as required
- Where applicable, the bike must meet requirements for road use by having a bell, front and rear lamps and spoke reflectors
- The 'basic' and 'technical' equipment lists are generated based on the selected activity. They are not exhaustive and only serve as suggestions for what you should consider packing.
- For your safety, you should carefully read all instructions on how to properly use and maintain your equipment.
- Please ensure that the equipment you bring complies with local laws and does not include restricted items.