Day 23 - Guide to the Isle of Skye

#30DaysOfScotland, Beaches, Coastal, Days out, Rural


What makes the Isle of Skye so spectacular? A combination of its otherworldly landscape, dramatic coastlines and remote towns and villages might have something to do with it.

Visiting The Isle of Skye is an adventure. Not only is the drive to the island magnificent, your exploration begins as soon as you catch the first glimpse.

Travelling to Skye

Though remote, there are many ways you can travel to The Isle of Skye. The nearest airports are Glasgow Airport and Inverness Airport. From here, it’s essential you hire a car to make the most of your journey. The drive to Kyle (home of the Skye Bridge) from Glasgow Airport is around 175 miles. From Inverness Airport, the drive is 86 miles. The Skye Bridge spans the sea between the villages of Kyle, on the mainland, and Kyleakin on the Isle of Skye.

If you’d prefer, you can also take a picturesque journey on the car ferry from Mallaig to Armadale.

Isle of Skye Quiraing SSP 02

Skye’s natural wonders

The enchanting island is home to many natural wonders, from imposing rock formations to crystal clear waters.

The Fairy Pools are part of a stream running from the Cuillin Mountains, creating brightly coloured pools of still water surrounded by waterfalls. The azure waters resemble that of somewhere much more exotic, but are a little chilly – so be prepared before you take a dip. You can find the Fairy Pools near Glenbrittle near Carbost. The walk itself is around 2.4 kilometres.

If you’re on the hunt for Skye’s most dramatic landscapes, Kilt Rock should definitely be on your itinerary. This wondrous sea cliff is home to a huge waterfall, crashing down into rocks in the sea below. The 200ft high cliffs are marked in an almost tartan-like pattern, hence the name.

No trip to Skye would be complete without a visit to The Old Man of Storr. No, it’s not a friendly old Scottish man; it’s a beautiful rock formation. Hugely popular with walkers, the ‘Old Man’ is a striking rock standing high on the mountain, which can be seen for miles. It is one of Skye’s most popular landscapes. If you’d like some peace and quiet on your visit to the Old Man of Storr, it’s best to go in the winter. The walk is around 3.8 kilometres.

The Cuillin Ridge can be enjoyed whether you’re a rambler or just passing through in your car. Also known as the Black Cuillin, the ridge extends 12 kilometres from one end to the other. This is not to be confused with the Red Cuillin, known as the Red Hills, which can also be found on Skye – in case you wanted to explore more of these majestic peaks.

The Quiraing is a landslip in Trotternish on Skye. The whole of the Trotternish Ridge was formed by a series of landslips, and the otherworldly landscape of The Quiraing is the only part still moving. Popular with photographers and walkers alike, this beautiful terrain offers a challenging path, with unrivalled views.

Fairy Pools SSP

Skye’s towns and villages

The colourful town of Portree is the main town on the Isle of Skye. With a bustling port and a thriving cultural centre, this is an excellent place to immerse yourself in the local lifestyle. The town has independent shops, restaurants and pubs and even offers boat trips so you can explore the wildlife and incredible coastline.

Broadford is the second largest settlement on Skye. Set on the corner of Broadford Bay and close to the Skye Bridge, Broadford is in a spectacular setting, with a view of the Black Cuillins. The area is known to attract wildlife, including otters and orca whales. Browse a few of the local shops or visit one of many eateries in the area.

The pretty village of Dunvegan is set on a loch, with unbeatable views over the landscape. It is the largest village on Skye and offers village shops and pubs. Be sure to check out Dunvegan Castle on your visit, along with the Giant MacAskill Museum and Colbost Croft Museum.

Isle Skye Portree Coast SSP 01

Browse our cottages in the Northern Highlands and Islands here.

Posted by Dawn on 23rd September 2015