As well as the main 7 stage route, there are many opportunities to turn aside from the trail and spent more time exploring the superb surroundings.

An Aird
Views from Marsco
View from Summit, Bla Bheinn

On Stage One, if time permits, don't miss the detour down the cliffs to visit the headland of Rubha Hunish itself. Skye's northernmost point is one of the best places in the UK for watching Minke Whales (summer months) and also has frequent sightings of otters, basking sharks, and breeding seabirds in the early summer.

Stage Two is already an epic day for most, but if there is still energy before the final descent it is well worth ascending to the summit of The Storr, the highest in Trotternish.

Portree is the main hub for Skye's bus services and so offers the opportunity of a day off exploring either the village itself or some of the island's other attractions, such as Dunvegan Castle, seat of Clan Macleod. On Stage Four itself, it is well worth a short detour to explore the An Aird peninsula.

Sligachan at the end of Stage Four is perfectly placed for the most experienced to take an extra day by ascending some of the legendary peaks of the Cuillin. Bruach na Frithe is the easiest of the Munros from here, whereas Sgurr nan Gillean offers a challenge for confident scramblers (some others might prefer to hire a guide and the security of a rope). Glamaig and the Red Hills make an easier - but extremely rough - alternative, whilst Marsco provides yet another classic option.

Elgol (end of Stage Five) has some of the most celebrated views in Britain, and if spending an extra day hereit is possible to take a boat trip from here to visit Loch Coruisk - a lake at the very heart of the Cuillin, made famous by writers such as Sir Walter Scott and painters such as Turner. You could then fill the afternoon with a walk out to the cave where Bonnie Prince Charlie spent his last night on Skye.

Torrin is dominated by the great mountain of Bla Bheinn and it is well worth leaving an extra day to make this challenging climb. At the end of the walk, you could celebrate by climbing Beinn na Caillich. Whatever you decide, by the time you have finished you will most likely have fallen deeply under Skye's enchanting spell.

Skye offers much, much more away from the trail too - why not extend your holiday by staying an extra week in one of the many self-catering cottages on Skye?.