How to Take the Isle of Skye Ferry From Mallaig to Armadale

Isle of Skye ferry

The Isle of Skye is one of the most popular places in all of Scotland, and for good reason! If you’re planning your trip to this part of the country then you’ll most likely be taking the ferry at some point. We took the bridge over to this famous island on our recent road trip through Scotland. However, we ended up jumping on the Isle of Skye ferry back to the mainland. Here’s everything to know about the Mallaig to Armadale ferry cost, booking your tickets, and the best route using the ferries to the Isle of Skye Scotland.

Mallaig to Skye Ferry vs. Bridge

As we mentioned, you don’t actually need to take the Isle of Skye ferry depending on where you’re coming from. When researching our route we realized that it was best to take the Isle of Skye bridge on the way there, and ferry back.

This is honestly backwards from most travelers who typically do the route in reverse. Built in 1995, the bridge connects the mainland to the Isle of Skye starting in Kyle of Lochalsh.

This might be the most convenient way to get to the Isle of Skye if you have a rental car. Here’s our full guide to the drive from Inverness to Skye on the A87 road.

For us, the Isle of Skye was part of a longer 10 day Scotland road trip. It was in the middle of our itinerary as we were able to find accommodation on the island. Staying in the Isle of Skye is ideal to have the best experience. However, know that the hotels sell out early during peak season. 

We spent the morning on a Loch Ness cruise, and afternoon exploring Eilean Donan Castle on the way to the Isle of Skye. From there, it was just a quick drive to the bridge which connects from the mainland.

We decided to take the ferry on our way back even though it was slightly longer. The main reason was so we wouldn’t have to backtrack and it would show us a completely different area of Scotland.

Taking the Isle of Skye ferry also makes sense for fans of Harry Potter! The Harry Potter train is one of the most iconic things to do en route to the Isle of Skye. Fans of the books and movies visit from all the world specifically to do this. It also happens to be close to where the Isle of Skye fairy leaves from the town of Mallaig.

One Incredible Day in the Isle of Skye! Our Experience in Scotland

Isle of Skye ferry vs Bridge

How to Book Ferries to the Isle of Skye Scotland

Once you have your route dialed in the best thing you can do is to book your Isle of Skye ferry tickets in advance. The Mallaig to Skye ferry is extremely popular! Not just because it’s a fun way to get to the island, but also for the scenic views.

Since we could check out of our Airbnb at 10am we decided to book a mid-morning ferry. We purchased our tickets a little over a month in advance, and had no problem getting the exact time that we wanted.

However, we have heard from other travelers who showed up day of (or even the day before) and it didn’t work out. They either had to jump on a ferry at a very inconvenient time or weren’t able to get space for their car until a later date.

It’s always good to know that you can drive over the Skye Bridge if the ferry doesn’t work out. We just personally loved the Isle of Skye ferry for the reasons mentioned above.

We recommend heading right to the ferry company website to book your tickets. This way you can guarantee yourself a spot on the boat! 

Isle of Skye ferry Scotland

How Much Does the Isle of Skye Ferry Cost? 

During the peak summer months we paid 20 pounds for three adults and one car. Honestly, we were surprised at this price. Scotland is know for being an expensive country so we assumed the Skye ferry would cost more. 

While we did have some stormy weather during our trip, it was the complete opposite leaving the Isle of Skye. That day we got completely blue skies which made for an amazing crossing on the Mallaig to Armadale ferry.

Isle of Skye Ferry Cost

Ferry Isle of Skye

What’s the Mallaig to Armadale Ferry Like?

Not wanting to risk missing out boat we arrived at the dock well before takeoff. We had just enough time to grab a coffee and scone which was perfect! In both Mallaig and Armadale there are a few different cafes to check out while you’re waiting.

After arriving you’ll be directed into the car queue until the Skye ferry gets there. This is one of the most popular car crossings in the region so the boats run back and forth all day.

As soon as the ferry arrived the vehicles and passengers were offloaded, and all the cars that were lined up were quickly brought onto the ferry. There were several men motioning us on. One thing to expect is that they really pack the cars in on the Isle of Sky Ferry! You’ll literally be parking inches from the person in front of you.

Once we parked on the Mallaig to Armadale ferry we headed to the top deck. Even with the sunny weather it was still a little chilly. Make sure to bring your jackets with you on this journey.

There are some seats at the top, but we ended up just standing because we had been in the car a lot the previous days. The Skye ferry crossing took just under an hour in total. As we approached the mainland an announcement was made for everyone to return to their vehicles.

Skye Ferry Guide Scotland

Mallaig to Armadale

Mallaig to Armadale Scotland

Would We Take the Mallaig to Skye Ferry Again? 

Before traveling to Scotland we had read horror stories about the ferry to the Isle of Skye. The negative ones were about travelers not booking in advance, and being unable to continue on with their plans. Needless to say, we were a little bit concerned about including this in our own itinerary!

With that said, our experience couldn’t have good smoother. The Isle of Skye Ferry ran right on schedule and was super easy and convenient. Our Mallaig to Armadale ferry ride was gorgeous and and completely different than the quick drive we initially made over the bridge. 

If you’re researching for your upcoming trip to the Isle of Skye you should definitely take the ferry at least one way. It’s such a fun idea to break up all the driving and get a different perspective from water!

Mallaig to Armadale Ferry

How many questions about this article or want to share your own tips for the Mallaig to Skye ferry? Let us know in the comments below. 

Safe Travels,
Brigitte & Jake



Scotland Travel Planning

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 Rental Car: The best way to get around Scotland is by rental car! We always use Discover Cars when traveling in Europe and have found some great deals by booking in advance.

Transportation: Omio is a great place to search for trains, buses, and transfers while traveling through Scotland.

 Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for activities all over Scotland. You can find everything from a Scottish Highlands tour from Edinburgh to a Loch Ness boat cruise, Harry Potter Magical Guided Walking Tour, and even chocolate making classes.

 Flights: It’s easy to find cheap flight deals using Skyscanner and Kayak. That’s how we got flights from London to Aberdeen for $30 USD and Edinburgh to Budapest for less than $80! 

 Accommodation: Compare multiple sites for the best prices such as and Agoda. Also,  Hostelworld should be your go-to if you’re traveling on a budget. 

 Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without protection. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.

 Packing Lists: Find all the inspiration you need with our Amazon packing lists. Including our electronics and camera gear, must-have medical items, and long flight essentials

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