Portree to Broadford

Bike Riding · Scotland
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62.7 km
581 m
562 m
Leave Portree behind as you cross the island on singletrack road to the village of Struan before heading west again through spectacular scenery towards Broadford via Sligachan. 

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. 

Author’s recommendation

If you weren't able to visit Talisker Distillery earlier in the trip then now's your chance - take the optional 9 km detour to Carbost and make sure to pre-book of you plan on doing a tour/tasting!  
Highest point
155 m
Lowest point
-1 m
Best time of year

Safety information

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, hints and links

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. 


Somerled Square, Portree (14 m)
57.412876, -6.195275
57°24'46.4"N 6°11'43.0"W
29V 668461 6366822


Co-Op Supermarket, Broadford

Turn-by-turn directions

0.00 km - Begin today's ride fom Somerled Square in Portree's town centre, if this makes sense from your accommodation. Alternatively join the route from the nearest location. With the Clydesdale Bank building on your right-hand side TURN RIGHT opposite the Independent Hostel to follow the sigpost for Uig (A850) then follow the road around the bay. 

0.40 km - Cross the bridge over the stream and TURN RIGHT at the junction in front of the school signposted for Uig (A87) and Dunvegan (A850).

0.90 km - Once passed the petrol station TURN LEFT onto the B885 to Struan. After a few hundred metres the road becomes a singletrack road with passing places, take care of traffic andgive way when necessary. Continue STRAIGHT ON the road for approximately 15 km.

4.70 km - BEAR LEFT where the road splits and continue on the singletrack road signed for Struan.

16.00 km - When you reach the junction with the main road at the end of the singletrack B885 TURN LEFT onto the A863 to cross the bridge. 

36.30 km - At the T-junction beside Sligachan hotel TURN RIGHT onto the A87 following signs for Broadford. Take care of traffic on this road, which can be busy with faster flowing traffic especially during the summer months. Continue STRAIGHT ON this road for 26.5 km to Broadford. 

62.70 km - End the day's route outside the Co-Op supermarket in the centre of Broadford then head you accommodation before a well-earned evening meal! 


57.412876, -6.195275
57°24'46.4"N 6°11'43.0"W
29V 668461 6366822
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


Always 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.
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Grace Brammer
Updated: September 14, 2020

Travel Guide: Bicycle rides in Scotland

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