The Isle of Skye has exploded with tourism in the past couple of years and for good reason! The Old Man of Storr, Talisker Distillery, the Quiraing Range, Dunvegan Castle ... there's so much to see and do. For an island around 640 square miles in area, with just over 10,000 residents, it boasts an amazing variety of scenery is home to rich history and magical stories that are sure to capture your imagination.
[Pro tip: if you’re looking to avoid the crowds try going a little offseason. April/May and September/October are quieter months on the island and can still get some great weather.]
To make sure you hit all the highlights, we’ve put together this handy list of 10 must-see destinations on the incredible little island of Skye. Enjoy!
- The Old Man of Storr
What a spectacular pinnacle rock formation! There is a short (but fairly steep) hike up to the base which allows you to get up close to the rocks and really appreciate the surrounding landscape. If you go a little further beyond the Old Man you can get a great view facing backwards, overlooking Loch Fada towards the sea. If you don’t fancy the walk, then a drive past is well worth it too. Legend has it that the Old Man of Storr was a giant who resided on the Trotternish Ridge – read more about that here. Photo source.
- The Fairy Pools
Beautiful waterfalls and dramatic surrounding scenery, the fairy pools have become the quintessential picture of Skye. There are many pools on the island – some well known and some not. The most well know are located in Glenbrittle. The bright blues and greens of these pools hint at fairy tale origins – who knows what you might see? Photo source.
- Neist Point Lighthouse
Neist Point lighthouse is located amongst a dramatic series of cliffs and is one of my favourite spots on the island. It’s made even more spectacular at sunset and is a popular spot for landscape photographers and tourists alike, as the views over the lighthouse and the sea are second to none. It’s a lovely walk down to the lighthouse but quite a steep walk back up! Photo source.
- Talisker Distillery
What is a trip in Scotland without a little dram? The 10 Year Old is a popular choice among locals and tourists and for good reason - Talisker is a nice whisky with a medium peaty taste and distinct notes of saltiness thanks to its coastal location. The distillery makes a great stop if you find that the weather is a bit too rainy for other activities (c’mon, it is Scotland after all!). If you’re driving, they’ll happily give you a little bottle to take away for later.
- Dunvegan Castle
Home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod, Dunvegan Castle is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland. It is filled to the brim with history and unique artefacts, including the legendary Fairy Flag and a lock of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s hair. Plus, there are some beautiful gardens which make for a lovely stroll. Photo source.
- Hiking or Walking
If you’re into hiking, you’ll be spoilt for choice on Skye: The Quiraing Range, Trotternish Ridge, and the Cuillin mountains are all home to some gruelling yet spectacular hill walking. If mountain climbing isn’t your thing, you can choose the more comfortable option – going for a drive around some of the most spectacular scenery this country has to offer or on a slightly more gentle walk at ground level. Photo source.
- The fairy glen
In the fairy glen you’ll find a weird and wonderful landscape of mini cone-shaped hills, where legend has it the fairies live. There is a lovely viewpoint amongst the rolling grassy mounds and also a few mysterious stone circles to be found. Here is a suggested route if you find yourself in this fascinating place. Photo source.
- Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls Viewpoint
Why is this called kilt rock? Well if you look at it the right way, it appears to look very similar to a pleated kilt. I’m still looking to find the right angle for this one, but this is none-the-less a must-see spot on the island. Photo source.
- Coral Beach
A really lovely beach that is so named because the white sand is made up of crushed white coral. It’s a lovely beach and a great spot for a picnic, about 25 minutes easy walk from the car park. Here are a few more tips if you fancy it. Photo source.
- Brother’s Point
A little bit of a hidden treasure (but likely not for long), Brother’s Point or Rubha nam Brathairean is a lovely quiet spot with some quite breath-taking scenery. Take care walking along the ridge as it can get quite steep and narrow in places but the walk is worth it – lots of great views and the ability to explore the coastline in peace and quiet. A worthy way to end our list of 10!
If you haven’t booked your trip yet, what are you waiting for? Visit https://www.isleofskye.com/ for more info!
If you’ve just come back, why not get yourself a little memento. Available in a wide range of tartan, the Isle of Skye Map is the perfect gift to yourself to remember your Scottish adventures.
Have you made your trip yet?