I have looked at this and it is not an easy task. There is a bus called the West Highland Flyer which goes from Mallaig to Oban - you should be able to get to Mallaig from Skye by public transport. From Oban you can go to many islands but Islay is not one of them. Can you change your itinerary slightly and go to Mull,Barra or Colonsay?
You can also go to the small isles direct from Mallaig as well Eigg,Muck, Rum or Canna.
Food for thought?
If you haven't committed to particular islands yet have a look at
It'll give you an overview of the ferry services between islands.
For air travel look at the British Airways website.
There is no airport on Skye. You can fly to some islands, however.
The Outer Hebrides have several airports at Stornoway, Benbecula and on Barra. In the Inner Hebrides you can fly to Islay and Tiree. You can fly to all these from Glasgow. Fares are high considering the short distances.
If you have loads of money you can fly to just about anywhere by seaplane.
The simplest way to get where you want to go would be to drive, if possible.
Thank you all for all the information. We are probably going to go with a City Link bus pass for 8 out of 16 days (Any comments on that would be appreciated). They can get us to Skye. Of the two, Islay is the more important one for us, as my friend loves the Scotch from there!
Perhaps it is better to go Inverness to Skye, then head South to Ft. William, etc, then get to Islay that way? The plan was to fly from Islay to Glasgow, seemed reasonable.
I agree with Kenko's advice. Or if you are flexible enough about dates, you could try to time it so that you catch the weekly direct Calmac ferry from Oban to Islay, which goes every Wednesday afternoon throughout the summer. This saves the longer trip via Lochgilphead and Kennacraig.
We have 4 full days/nights to travel, excluding our stop in Edinburgh where we will spend a day. We were considering going to either skye, islay, or both. Did you stop at both places? Which do you recommend? Thanks.
Des16, Skye and Islay are both excellent places to visit, but quite different. Skye is the more dramatic and beautiful scenically, with some spectacular mountain and coastal landscapes. It is more touristy than Islay, with more facilities and 'attractions' for visitors.
Islay is largely low lying, fertile agricultural land, although it is also very varied between different parts of the island It is less touristy, but boasts a number of distilleries which make fine and very distinctive whisky, and this alone attracts a lot of visitors.
Both islands are a bit time consuming to reach. They are also both large islands, on which you could happliy spend your entire four days. I don't recommend trying to visit both islands in that short space of time.
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