Isle of Skye is a spectacular island and a must see while visiting Scotland. From the Eilean Donan Castle, it's less than a 30 minutes drive to the bridge in the town of Kyle of Lochalsh that crosses over into the Isle of Skye, It can be very green and desolate in places but always stunningly beautiful. Between its history and unique landscape, there are plenty of places to see and things to do. We have highlighted the 5 must see places of the Isle of Skye as part of our Scotland itinerary.
Our Scotland Itinerary includes these 5 Must See Things to do on the Isle of Skye
1. The Quiraing walk
A stunning 4 mile hike that takes approximately two hours as part of the Trotternish Ridge.
The views are spectacular as seen by the photo above. It's very green, lush and feel incredibly remote. This is all part of Scotland's romantic charm. Drive the windy and at times narrow one lane tracks to the car park up into the mountain. There's a hike that takes you along a groomed path around the mountain at the base of some sheer cliffs that's not too difficult. Bubbly Tip: Alternatively, you can cross over the road at the mouth of the car park and take a less groomed path straight up to a different cliff top. The later is definitely the path less traveled.
2. Fairy Glen
This beautiful rolling landscape is very Shire-esque. It's like Hobbiton without the gardens, and Bubbly Tourist has been to New Zealand to see the Shire. The landscape has easy walkable paths that makes you feel like there could be fairies hiding in the woods. The Isle of Skye has a long history with the fairies and it may because of the Fairy Flag found at the Dunvegan Castle (next), but more likely it was named because of its unusual landscape.
3. Dunvegan Castle and Gardens
Dunvegan Castle and Gardens. The home of the clan MacLeod. There's no Highlander here but the Great MacLeod Sword that is visible inside the castle makes you almost believe that "there can be only one". The gardens are beautiful and extensive and the castle tour is quite interesting and loaded with history about the MacLeods throughout their 800 year history. It is still partially inhabited by the current clan chief, Hugh Magnus MacLeod.
4. The Old Man of Storr
The Old Man of Storr is an ancient rock formation named so because one of the pinnacles resembles an old man. There's a hike to the top that's moderately difficult. You can map yourself directly to the car park. Bubbly Tourist had this on top of our list to see, but when we arrived here we couldn't see the "Old Man" and since the trail went straight up the mountain, we decided to pass on the hike. Fun Fact: It was the filming location for Ridley Scott's Prometheus in 2012.
5. Eilean Donan Castle
Head 2.5 hours north from Oban to arrive at the Eilean Donan Castle. It is conveniently located - only 15 minutes by car - on your way to or from the Isle of Skye, so plan to make a stop as part of your stay on Isle of Skye.
About Eilean Donan Castle
This 13th century castle was built on the island as a defensive measure to protect against the Vikings who raided and controlled this area until 1266. It is a pretty spectacular site making it a popular tourist destination. It's in the opening scene in the movie, The Highlander, so that right there makes it worth visiting, right? Not a Highlander fan, well there's more than 10 other movies that were also filmed here. There's a fee to walk the grounds and an additional fee to go in the castle. We did the walk outside and there were QR codes to help guide us around the island.
Where to stay on Isle of Skye
Bubbly Tourist stayed at the Hebridian Inn in Broadford, a modest B&B and affordably priced right off the road with views of Broadford Bay and a nice restaurant. The inn provides all its guests boots so we could hike the bay at low tide. We chose this place because it was relatively close to the bridge on and off the island which meant less time driving between hotel stays. The town of Portree seemed lovely with conveniently located shops and restaurants and would have also been a nice base camp for travel on the island. We had a very nice dinner with an extensive wine list at the Duisdale House Hotel which seemed like a very nice hotel as well. Bubbly Tip: Even though we booked four months in advance for travel in early June, the available choices on Isle of Skye were surprisingly limited, so book as soon as you know when you're going.
Best Scotland Itinerary Continued
Next Location: Scotland's Northwest Highlands...
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