Skye Island Explorer Tour
THE FLIGHT PATH
THE SKYE ISLAND EXPLORER TOUR
Our Skye tours depart from the Isle of Skye airport near the town of Broadford. A stunning location.
The actual Flight Path and coverage will depend on the weather conditions on the day. Don't forget strong winds may preclude safe and comfortable flight over the higher mountains.
Although the Isle of Skye takes its name from the old Norse “sky-a” meaning “Cloud” island, it is very strict company policy that we will not plan to take you on your flight if we believe that it will be turbulent or if it will be raining continuously – our parent company, Loch Lomond Seaplanes has, in over 11 years, carried in excess of 50,000 happy passengers and we want you to have the same fantastic experience.
So whilst we cannot guarantee the flight route or what you will see on a particular day due to local variations in visibility and cloud height your scenic tour will take in the best the incredible Skye landscape has to offer.
Our highly experienced pilot’s have flown seaplanes in locations all over the world such as Thailand, Indonesia, Alaska, Dubai, Vancouver and the Maldives and all believe that there is nowhere that can offer such a breathtaking experience as the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, particularly the Isle of Skye.
As one of our pilots put it, “every few seconds the Scottish landscape changes as it unfolds below the seaplane - a majestic mountain peak, a stunning glen, a mysterious loch, hillside colours beyond belief, even the light bursting through clouds can change the whole scene. It’s mean, it’s moody, it’s atmospheric – elsewhere, well, once you’ve seen one idyllic atoll you’ve seen them all”
Departing from the Isle of Skye airport with the Sleat Peninsula to the south of track, flying at heights of between 500 and 5,000 feet, our "preferred route" will take us west towards the village of Elgol on the shores of Loch Scavaig where, in July 1746, Bonnie Prince Charlie found sanctuary in a cave whilst waiting for a boat to the mainland. The port of Mallaig, Loch Nevis and Knoydart can often be see to the south-east.
In no time you will pass Loch Coruisk a deep freshwater water lake encircled by the Black Cuillin mountains and considered by many as the UK’s most magnificent view – breathtaking! Expect to see the Small Isles to our left - Eigg, Muck, Rum and Canna. At this point it's also not unusual to see the islands of Mull, Coll and Tiree to the south and the Outer Hebrides to the west.
If the winds are light we will fly right through the centre of the Cuillins - black on the left and red on the right - quite an emotional experience !
Exiting the Cuillins our flight track will be to the north-east. Just six miles to the north of Portree Harbour lies The Storr – a craggy summit atop the grand cliffs behind the famous 50 metre high, pot-bellied pinnacle of crumbling basalt known as the Old Man of Storr. The views are exceptional. This seemingly unclimbable pinnacle was first scaled in 1955 by English mountaineer Don Whillans, a feat that has been repeated only a handful of times since. Get the camera ready - we'll be getting close !
After The Storr we will fly up the stunning coastline descending gently down to fly past the Lealt Falls enroute to the magnificent formation known as the Kilt Rock. The rock, made up of 90 metre basalt columns resting on a sandstone base, looks strikingly similar to a pleated kilt – the colours of the rock formation appear almost tartan. The Mealt Waterfall plummets from the top of the cliffs on to the rocky coast below.
From Kilt Rock we make our way towards The Quiraing - an awe-inspiring view - it's an incredible landslip on the northern most summit of the Trotternish Ridge – the whole escarpment was formed by a great series of landslips and The Quiraing is still moving. You can often expect fantastic views of the Outer Hebrides as we take a look at Duntulm Caslte on the cliff top very close to the northern tip of the island.
The flight then makes its way south-east towards the magnificent natural harbour of Portree. As we fly over the harbour fringed with cliffs, high ground and beautifully painted houses lookout for one of the many large cruise ships which visit throughout the year. The name, Portree, comes from the Gaelic and translates as “King’s Port” and dates to a visit by King James V, plus a fleet of warships, in 1540, to persuade the clans to support him. The town’s main pier was designed by Thomas Telford.
Leaving Portree we will then turn south-east bound down through the Sound of Raasay towards the Kyle of Lochalsh with the islands of Raasay and Scalpay to the east and Loch Sligachan and the Cuillin mountains to the west. As we turn for landing looking to the east and south east we can see across towards Applecross and Loch Carron on the mainland as well as the Skye Bridge overlooking the Kyle of Lochalsh.
During the flight your Captain will land the seaplane on water at a suitable location with respect to the weather on the day.
Just a reminder that your Captain may have to vary the route on the day depending on the weather conditions – however, you can cover a great deal of ground in approximately 50 minutes of flying in our seaplane - approximately 110 miles in fact ! No matter what the cloud base or visibility prepare yourself for a fantastic experience.
LOOK OUT FOR ....
- The Sleat Peninsula
- Mallaig, Loch Nevis and Knoydart
- Views of the Small Isles - Muck, Eigg, Rum and Canna - possibly Mull, Coll and Tiree
- The Cuillins
- Loch Coruisk
- The Old Man of Storr - Trotternish
- Lealt Falls
- Kilt Rock and the Mealt Waterfall
- The Quiraing - Trotternish
- Duntulm Castle
- The Outer Hebrides
- The Island of Rona
- The Island of Raasay
- Torridon Mountains
- Portree Harbour
- The Island of Scalpay
- Applecross Peninsula
- Loch Carron
- Kyle of Lochalsh
- The Skye Bridge