Cycling Quiraing, Isle of Skye
Ride 2.2 miles gaining 703’ at 5.9% average grade.
This is an epic and extraordinary climb due to the stunning scenery in the area. Simon Warren writes of it, “atop the Isle of Skye lies a road so stunning you’ll never want it to end, the grandeur of its final bends simply have no comparison in these isles,” (Another 100 Greatest Cycling Climbs, A Road Cyclist’s Guide to Britain’s Hills, p. 134).
Quiraing is just about the last stop you can reach on the Isle of Skye. Far past the last major town of Portree, our climb begins at the high cliffs overlooking the sea. There are some farms on the lower slopes, but this is a very remote country, and the few farms around are the only real development in the area. This is a very popular tourist destination and I recommend riding the climb early. I started the climb around 7:30 AM and beat the brunt of the RV, motorcycle, car, and bus traffic that began blocking up the road around 10:00 AM. While the climb itself is not very difficult, the landscape is genuinely jaw-dropping. A final switchback takes you to the summit point where there are a number of trails that you can walk to reach the cliffs overlooking the road and bay beyond. This is a bucket list climb by any measure.
The views and settings on this climb are so spectacular as to appear fake - but, they are not!
The Quiraing climb could just as easily be in the Dolomite mountains of Italy. But this is Scotalnd making a real claim at being one of the top cycling destinations in the world. I was lucky to have the sun -- mostly -- shining when I rode Quiraing and the entire valley mountainside was lit up.
Climb start: the road is not named, but clearly marked “Quiraing.”
We asked Simon Warren to provide us his Top 10 Hardest and Most Epic Climbs in Scotland, England, Wales, and the UK. Simon ranked Quiraing #9 Most Epic in Scotland.
Views of Staffin Bay as we climb.
View of “the Table” top center of photo.
Quiraing is a landslip-formed (landslide) area along the northernmost summit of the Trotternish Peninsula on the Isle of Skye. The land in the area is still slipping such that the road requires annual repair. This is a very popular tourist area.
The Quiraing area has a stunning 4.9 Google Review Rating of 1,039 reviews as of November 2022.
Finish at the trailhead for Quiraing Walk and the Car Park.
Overlooking the final ascent to the finish.
That’s a wrap!