A Small-Town Girl’s Short Guide to Portnalong


Portnalong isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to people’s minds when they think of visiting the Isle of Skye. There are no tourist attractions in Portnalong itself; the nearest is probably the Talisker Distillery in Carbost, about an hour’s walk away. There are only a few accommodations to choose from and the bus only comes by twice or thrice a day, except on Sundays, when it does not come by at all. But perhaps it’s for that very reason that Portnalong is, as the cliché goes, the perfect place to get away from it all.


How to get to Portnalong

From London or Edinburgh, take the train to Inverness. (If you’re coming from London, I highly recommend the Caledonian Sleeper.)

From Inverness, take the train to Kyle of Localsh.

From Kyle of Localsh, take the Scottish Citylink bus (915 or 916, the Glasgow to Uig route) and get off at Sligachan. Cross the road and wait for the white Murdo A MacDonald 608 bus (the Portree – Fiskavaig route) which will take you to Portnalong.

The Kyle of Localsh bus stop

The Kyle of Localsh bus stop

The Sligachan bus stop

The Sligachan bus stop

That’s the route we took when we visited Portnalong last September. There are other ways to get there, of course, depending on where you’re coming from. If you’re going by Fort William, you can take the train to Mallaig, the Caledonian MacBrayne ferry to Armadale, and then a bus to Portnalong. Whatever your situation, the best way to figure out routes and times is to use the Traveline Scotland planner.

What to do in Portnalong

Go on a trek uphill (just follow this route)…









What the ground looks like on these hills

What the ground looks like on these hills




…or downhill to the harbor (by following this route)…










…and back up…


…or just find a good nook for a book, read, let your mind wander, do nothing — it’s just as rewarding.

Where to stay in Portnalong

We stayed at the Skyewalker Hostel, which has been recognized by Hostelworld for several years now as the best in Scotland.

Scotland_Skye_Portnalong_Skyewalker Hostel 01

Hotels in Skye

Hotels in Inverness

Hotels in Scotland



Portnalong | © Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved. 


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11 thoughts on “A Small-Town Girl’s Short Guide to Portnalong

    • It really is a great place for a hike. And although I mentioned routes in the post, Brian, the hostel owner, actually encouraged us to just go anywhere and kind of make our own paths — freedom to roam is strongly upheld in Scotland — and he said if all else fails, we should just follow the sheep paths as sheep always find the easiest way to get up and down the mountains. 🙂

    • Nindot jud! Hayy. Kung ma-jeep lang ang Scotland, ga-balik-balik na ko didto. I’m sure you guys will love it. You guys can be munro baggers!

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