PLAN 1: AROUND SKYE - EATING ASHORE MOST NIGHTS [pictured below - Sapphire in Canna Harbour]
Skye is a large island, sometimes described as having a butterfly shape, with an extensive coastline and a selection of interesting anchorages. Our most popular cruises usually take the yachts on a trip around Skye with a leg out to the Outer Hebrides. As you leave Armadale a variety of options are open to you.
DAY 1 Isle Ornsay - about 1.5 hours away from Armadale. Anchoring well out in the bay, you have the option of eating on board or ashore at the hotel Eilean Iarmian or the Duisdale Hotel. There is also now the slightly closer option of visiting Mallaig where there are pontoon facities and a selection of restaurants ashore.
DAY 2 Heading North - if the tide is favourable in the morning you will be able to shoot through the narrows at Kyle Rhea and then a variety of options are open to you for the afternoon. Kyle of Lochalsh now has a yacht friendly pontoon so if you have forgotten any essential supplies you could tie up alongside to get them there - there are also showers facilities at the best public toilets in Scotland! Kyle of Lochalsh is not comfortable in a strong Westerly, go to the pontoons at Kyleakin instead - shoreside facilities are available but not quite as good. Going round Skye it might be best to push onto Portree, where there is now a large number of visitors moorings for the night. There is also a pontoon at Portree where you can tie up to get water and diesel. A large variety of attractive eating and drinking establishments and other shoreside facilities are available ashore here.
DAY 3 If you are going to go for the Outer Hebrides this is the day that you have to make the decision about whether it is appropriate to do so. Suggested destinations from Portree are Scalpay or Tarbert, Harris (yes your mast will fit under the bridge). Both of these places have much to recommend them but there is no pub on Scalpay - there are however, showers in the public toilets and a small food shop. Tarbert has a small selection of eating establishments, including the Tarbert Hotel and shops. Of course you could just go round the top of Skye and head into Loch Snizort and anchor at Uig.
DAY 4 Loch Dunvegan or Loch Bay - back on to Skye again. Both of these lochs have attractive eating establishments. At Stein there is the Loch Bay (Seafood) Restaurant and/or the Stein Inn. In Loch Dunvegan there are a number of pubs and restaurants at Dunvegan itself, which has a couple of visitors moorings. The world famous "Three Chimneys" restaurant can be found in Loch More where it is possible to anchor near the pier and walk to the restaurant. Bookings and flexible friends are required for this.
If you would prefer to stay in the Outer Hebrides and the weather permits then your next port of call is most likely to be Loch Maddy where the Loch Maddy Hotel is only a few yards from the moorings.
DAY 5 Loch Harport, Skye, Loch Bracadale for lunch. Another scenic tour of the Cuillins. Loch Harport has a pub, The Old Inn, as well as the Talisker distillery and a shop.
DAY 6 Difficult to find somewhere to eat ashore in this sector without missing out on at least one of the most spectacular anchorages in the world. Go to Loch Scavaig for lunch; we don’t recommend that you overnight here due to the unpredictable katabatic downdrafts. If is not raining in Loch Scavaig then it has the ultimate Wow factor. Take the short walk ashore to Loch Curuisk. If the tide is right the inner harbour at Soay forms a secure overnight anchorage, but no shoreside facilities. If you really want to eat ashore you could try going onto Canna where, in season, you should be able to get a tasty meal at the cafe there.
DAY 7 Doune Marine for dinner, after possibly heading
down as far as Eigg for lunch. Eigg is an attractive developing island but
the anchorage is only suitable for overnight in settled weather. As well
as serving excellent food and very reasonably priced drinks Doune is only
a short sail across the Sound from Armadale. If you are going there you
will need to book dinner at least a day in advance. Inverie in Loch Nevis
is also a popular destination for the first or last night of your holiday
- in fact the food and entertainment at the Old Forge can be so good that
people have been known to spend several nights there! Allow about 1.5 hours
to get to base from Inverie.
Pictured above right - Portree Harbour