This tiny town on the shore of Loch Dunvegan is best known for its famous eponymous castle, the seat of the chiefs of a prominent Highland clan.
Dunvegan is a small town with only about a dozen shops, restaurants and accommodations. Come to admire the views out over the loch and to explore the well-known Dunvegan Castle, the seat of the chiefs of Clan MacLeod.
Find the castle on a rocky outcrop, just north of the village itself. One of the most popular sights on the island, this iconic fortress has a captivating history with many important figures from Scottish history, from Sir Walter Scott to Flora MacDonald, having visited here. Pass through the various castle rooms, surveying the displays of family portraits, artifacts and swords.
Don’t leave without strolling through the castle gardens. The paths weave through woodland, in to formal gardens and to small cascading waterfalls. Between late March and late September, boat trips out to Loch Dunvegan depart from the pier near the castle. Take a seal-spotting or fishing trip.
From the castle, it’s just a 10-minute drive north to the picturesque Claigan Coral Beach. The stretch is actually made of maerl, a kind of fossilized, sun-bleached algae. Amble along the shoreline and admire views out over the gold sands of Camas Ban beach.
Back in town, visit the Giant MacAskill Museum. Set in an old croft house, the museum is devoted to the life of Angus MacAskill, a 19th-century Scottish-born “giant” who reached a height of 7 feet, 9 inches (2 meters, 36 centimeters).
Also worth browsing is the Colbost Croft Museum, which shows how crofters on Skye would have lived. Inhale the scent of burning peat and wander around the well-preserved crofter’s cottage. Drive around the Colbost area and look for local gift shops selling Celtic-style silver jewelry produced on the island. If you are looking for gifts or souvenirs, the family-run Croft Studio in Dunvegan sells original paintings, cards and prints inspired by the local landscapes.
Dunvegan is in the northwest corner of Skye. Buses bound for Dunvegan leave from Portree. Driving from Portree will take about 30 minutes.