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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

Dunollie Hotel
Dunollie Hotel
3 out of 5
Broadford, Isle of Skye, Scotland
The price is £109 per night from 27 Jul to 27 Jul
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 (435 reviews)
"Great hotel in a stunning location. Slept so well."

Reviewed on 21 Jul 2021

Dunollie Hotel
Sligachan Hotel
Sligachan Hotel
3 out of 5
Sligachan Hotel, Isle of Skye, Scotland
The price is £129 per night from 15 Aug to 15 Aug
Situated in Isle of Skye, this hotel is within 9 miles (15 km) of Raasay Ferry, Talisker Distillery and Raasay House Activities Centre. Raasay Pictish Stone ...
4.1/5Very Good! (169 reviews)
"Great location on the Isle of Skye, friendly helpful staff made the weekend a lot easier for us and the on site bar and restaurant is a real bonus. Other than us not knowing the hotel restaurant had a reduced menu on the Sunday everything else here was great."

Reviewed on 20 Jul 2021

Sligachan Hotel
Eilean Iarmain
Eilean Iarmain
3 out of 5
Lamraig, Sleat, Isle of Skye, Scotland
The price is £201 per night from 31 Jul to 31 Jul
Situated in the mountains, this hotel is 0.7 mi (1.1 km) from Camas Croise and within 6 miles (10 km) of Torabhaig Distillery and Traigh a' Chnuic. Traigh Ostaig ...
4.7/5Exceptional! (77 reviews)
"A plus"

Reviewed on 2 Sep 2019

Eilean Iarmain
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.
Ardcana Luxury Spaces - Darach
Ardcana Luxury Spaces - Darach
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 ...
Ardcana Luxury Spaces - Darach
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 ...
5/5Exceptional! (1 review)
Superb modern accommodation
"Very clean modern accommodation with superb view of the area. Features and gadgets were to a high standard and the property is efficiently managed."

Reviewed on 21 May 2021

Learach - Gorgeous Space With Floating bed
Oran Na Mara, Waternish
Oran Na Mara, Waternish
High Croft, 4, Isle of Skye, SCT
Set in Isle of Skye, this family-friendly holiday home is 2.7 mi (4.4 km) from Trumpan Church and 9.9 mi (15.9 km) from Dunvegan Castle. Skye Riding Centre and ...
5/5Exceptional! (6 reviews)
Great vista on Isle of Skye
"This remote property provides beautiful vistas, a cosy. modern well-stocked abode. We had a fantastic stay. Improvements could be made by providing a wireless Bluetooth speaker for music and making it clear that each appliance needs to be turned on by switch before the ipad instructions will be meaningful. ..."

Reviewed on 23 Sep 2019

Oran Na Mara, Waternish
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.

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