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Isle of Skye
Travel Guide

Isle of Skye showing a bay or harbour, a beach and a pebble beach

From mist-shrouded mountain peaks to plunging sea cliffs and moss-carpeted valleys, this windswept Scottish island is a place of wild, rugged beauty.

Despite its popularity, the Isle of Skye manages to retain a remote, away-from-it-all feeling. Relish the quietude on uncrowded hiking trails, explore evocative castle ruins and marvel at the dramatic coastline from a kayak. Come evening, feast on fresh seafood and retreat to a cozy pub for a warming dram of Scotch whisky.

The Norse called this place “sky-a” (cloud island), referencing the mysterious mist that seems to stubbornly cling to the peaks of the Black Cuillin. Admire the jagged mountains from afar or tackle the climbing trails. Most climbing routes here are not for the inexperienced; be prepared to scramble up scree and traverse narrow ridges.

Skye’s top attractions are natural sights. Head to the Trotternish peninsula at the north of the island to photograph the Old Man of Storr, a tall, gnarled pinnacle set on a rocky slope. Nearby is the Quiraing, an otherworldly landscape dotted with crags and unusually shaped slabs of volcanic rock. Further south near Glen Brittle are the famous Fairy Pools, a series of colorful streams and waterfalls.

For insight into Skye’s history and culture, wander around the preserved thatched croft houses at the Museum of Island Life. The exhibits here chronicle life on Skye in the late 19th century and touch upon the tale of Flora MacDonald, who helped Bonnie Prince Charlie flee to Skye after the Jacobite defeat at the Battle of Culloden. Skye’s old fortresses, among them the ruined Duntulm Castle and the majestic loch-side Dunvegan Castle, are also big draws for history enthusiasts.

Most visitors use the island’s largest town, Portree, as their base. Choose from a selection of harbor-side seafood restaurants here and mingle with locals in a lively pub.

Weather on Skye can be changeable, so come prepared for rain, shine and everything in between. Access the island via the Skye Bridge or by ferry. Buses do serve the island, but renting a car will give you much more freedom. Single-lane roads do exist here, but regular passing places make them easy to navigate. Leave the mainland behind to discover the delights of Skye.

Where to stay in Isle of Skye

Sligachan Hotel
Sligachan Hotel
3 out of 5
Sligachan Hotel, Isle of Skye, Scotland
The price is £108 per night from 8 Jun to 8 Jun
Situated in Isle of Skye, this hotel is within 9 miles (15 km) of Raasay Ferry, Talisker Distillery and Raasay House Activities Centre. Portree Harbour and Raasay ...
4.1/5Very Good! (164 reviews)
"Gorgeous hotel in a stunning, once in a lifetime location. Delicious food and modern but cosy rooms."

Reviewed on 7 May 2021

Sligachan Hotel
Dunollie Hotel
Dunollie Hotel
3 out of 5
Broadford, Isle of Skye, Scotland
The price is £79 per night from 16 May to 16 May
Situated in Isle of Skye, this beach hotel is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Skye Serpentarium and within 9 miles (15 km) of Skye Bridge and Caisteal Maol. Camas Croise ...
3.1/5 (428 reviews)
Worth staying here. I would stay again.
"The hotel staff are very frendly, the hotel was lovely too. The food is good. I cannot fault this hotel ."

Reviewed on 25 Oct 2020

Dunollie Hotel
Duisdale House Hotel
Duisdale House Hotel
4 out of 5
Isle Ornsay, Duisdalemore, Isle of Skye, Scotland
The price is £146 per night from 16 May to 16 May
Situated in the mountains, this hotel is 4 mi (6.4 km) from Torabhaig Distillery and 8 mi (12.8 km) from Armadale Castle. Skye Bridge and Caisteal Maol are also ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (305 reviews)
"All the staff were very friendly, most helpful and caring. The food was of a high standard and we would not hesitate to recommend this hotel. We look forward to our next visit."

Reviewed on 1 May 2021

Duisdale House Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Dunvegan Camping Pods
Dunvegan Camping Pods
2 out of 5
Kilmuir, Dunvegan, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Situated in Isle of Skye, this campsite is 1.2 mi (2 km) from Dunvegan Castle and within 6 miles (10 km) of Macleod's Tables and Coral Beach. Claigan Coral Beach ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (30 reviews)
"Lovely pods extremely clean and the staff were so friendly would definitely return. Highly recommend"

Reviewed on 13 Sep 2020

Dunvegan Camping Pods
Learach - Gorgeous Space With Floating bed
Learach - Gorgeous Space With Floating bed
23 Lower Breakish, Isle of Skye, SCT
Situated in Isle of Skye, this cabin is 2 mi (3.3 km) from Skye Serpentarium and within 6 miles (10 km) of Skye Bridge and Caisteal Maol. Camas Croise and Torabhaig ...
Learach - Gorgeous Space With Floating bed
Spacious Family Friendly With Amazing SEA Views
Spacious Family Friendly With Amazing SEA Views
23 Loch Bay, Waternish, Isle of Skye, SCT
This family-friendly Isle of Skye cottage is located on the waterfront, 4.3 mi (7 km) from Trumpan Church, and within 12 mi (20 km) of Skye Riding Centre and ...
4.6/5Wonderful! (20 reviews)
Cosy fire fantastic scenery
"Lovely stay . such a cosy cottage ."

Reviewed on 23 Nov 2020

Spacious Family Friendly With Amazing SEA Views
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Isle of Skye

Top things to do in Isle of Skye

Reviews of Isle of Skye

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
18
5 - Excellent 78.26086956521739%
4 - Good
4
4 - Good 17.391304347826086%
3 - Okay
1
3 - Okay 4.3478260869565215%
2 - Disappointing
0
2 - Disappointing 0%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

23 Mar 2020

Would highly recommend a visit - early spring was a great time to go!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

22 Oct 2019

Gorgeous! Incomparable views.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

26 Aug 2019

Absolutely stunning place. Especially The Fairy Glen and Quairaing. Make sure to be prepared for driving single track roads responsibly (dodging cows and sheep).

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveller

6 Jul 2019

Beautiful but clearly the infrastructure can not cope with the volume of visitors.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

3 Jun 2019

The circular walk at the back on Kinloch Lodge, to Leitir Fura is one of our favourite walks on Skye. For something that takes a little longer, a circular walk around Glenbrittle Forest...

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

2 Jun 2019

Stunning scenery, lovely friendly people

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