Isle of Skye.
Situated off the west coast of Scotland, Isle of Skye is a popular tourist destination, known for it’s rich history, stunning scenery, and challenging hikes.
The drive from Inverness to Isle of Skye has extremely variable terrain. If you have the time, I recommend a detour North to Ullapool where it looks like you landed on Mars. Northern Scotland has a completely different landscape from the rest of Scotland. Brown, no trees, completely isolated, rolling hills, feels like a foreign world.
Stopped for a quick picture at Strathgarve to see the Black Water River and classic stone bridges that you’ll find throughout Scotland.
Finally on the Isle of Skye, there is so much to see and it doesn’t take long to drive the entire island. The top North side and West coast feels more like Scotland to me and how I envisioned it, with nothing but coast line, green foliage, and cliffs. Especially the portion from Flo Diary to Bornisketaig.
With two days on Skye, and poor weather (we’re told the worst storm in decades), we only had a quick visit, but left plenty to do for next time:
Old Man of Storr – Only had time for a quick jaunt to the first look-out, but even that was worth it!
Kilt Rock – Spectacular, especially if you get lucky with the weather.
Quiraing – Only had time for a quick hike to the look-out. Definitely need to hike to the top next time for some of the best views on Skye.
Hotel in Flodigarry with beautiful sunset views over the water, complete with scotch and cigars!
Neist Point Lighthouse, combined with Three Chimneys makes for a lovely afternoon – Three Chimneys is a must for lunch or dinner, but be sure to make a reservation as this is a Michelin Star restaurant and fills up fast. They have a hotel too, but it’s usually booked months in advance as well. Tip: You have to drive past Three Chimneys to get to Neist Point Lighthouse so might as well eat there on the way or after! But be sure to give yourself two hours for Neist Point, and be prepared for the wind!!
A scenic drive through the Cuillin Mountains can’t be missed on the Isle of Skye – Plan a hike here if you have the time!
If the weather is good, I suggest a hike to Point of Sleat. Unfortunately, our weather was terrible the entire time we were there, except for the first few hours on the island which were clear, but extremely cold and windy.
Isle of Skye is stunning and if you’re in Scotland, you MUST make a trip out there for two days. I promise it’ll be worth it.
- Hike Quiraing
- Hike to Neist Point
- Hike the Black Cuillins
- Hike to Spar Cave at low tide – beginning in Glasnakille (2 hours)
- MacLeods Maidens from across Inbhir a Gharraidh
- Unish Ruins and the lighthouse at Waternish Point
- Hike to Old Man of Storr and the Pinnacles of the Sanctuary
- Talisker Distillery
- Sound of Sleat Beach
- Beautiful changing landscape
- Single track road everywhere in the countryside
- Cold and rainy (but that’s why it’s so green!)
- Don’t bother driving to Waternish Point, nothing to see.\
- Mooned Bay and Ramasaig Cliff by Neist Point are cute Scottish towns
- Torridon is a great mountain range to explore
- Dunvegan Castle – Neat to see, but not worth the admission price
- Leave at least 4 hours to hike to the Old Man of Storr. The view is worth it, I’m told.
- Kilt Rock is a must
- You MUST hike to Quiraing off the A855 if you have time. If not, then at least drive up the single-track road as the views are incredible.
- I hear the Faerie Glen and Fairy Pools are really cool to see if time allows
Additional Generic Tips:
- While driving in Scotland, listen to Mumford and Sons. It’ll get you in the spirit!
- If you want a treat on Skye, stay at Flodigarry on the North side of the island. It’s expensive, but the view and “castle” is classic Scotland. You won’t be disappointed. Book in advance!
- Bring rain pants and jackets. You’ll need it!
- The island looks big on the map, but it’s incredibly small. You blink and you’ll miss it.
- Tourist attractions don’t have signs, so know what you’re looking for and how to get there.
- If you only have a day on Skye, snap a pic of Kilt Rock, then hike Quiraing
- You MUST do a hike while in Scotland
- Single track roads around the island – You literally drive through towns and people’s yards. It’s completely desolate.
- Baby sheep are everywhere! And so darn cute. I’m obsessed.
- Also, there is Gaelic on the street signs as well. Good luck pronouncing it!
- 1,200 hours of sunlight annually on the Isle of Skye. May and June are the “dry” months, but unfortunately when we were there they had the worst storm in years.