Scotland is known for its picture-perfect landscapes and quaint castles, but you haven’t truly glimpsed Scotland’s beauty until you’ve made it to the Isle of Skye. Skye is a land of fairies and folklore, which got its name partly from the water, which is so clear it reflects the clouds and the sky for miles. Of course, there’s nothing like seeing the beautiful trails and landscapes firsthand. Keep reading for more breathtaking things to do in Isle of Skye, Scotland.
Grow fascinated with the best that the Isle of Skye has to offer and consider staying in neighborhoods that are secluded like Portree and Broadford.
If you enjoy being near the water, then positioning yourself in Portree village is a great choice. It’s surrounded by high grounds and stunning hills that make it a frequented holiday hotspot. This 200-year-old town’s livelihood depends on its fishing community and is a quiet locale that is filled with underrated gems like the Aros Centre for entertainment, and historic rock formations like Old Man of Storr and Kilt Rock for history buffs to enjoy.
Situate yourself and your loved ones in the quaint town of Bradford that many travelers and tourists enjoy frequenting. It’s a haven for superb outdoor activities like climbing, hiking, and trekking. Broadford is also a family-friendly area where those traveling with children can explore the vibrant marine life, including seals, orca whales, and even a whooper swan. This town is popular for camping and lodging in the woods that many outdoorsy folks would definitely appreciate.
For a top-notch vacation in the Isle of Skye, we recommend booking these amazing places to stay:
Another great rock formation that almost looks man-made, Old Man of Storr is a great place to climb. And, since it’s next to a lake and Scotland’s weather favors small bursts of rain, you’re likely to catch a rainbow on the way up. If you don’t know what to see in Isle of Skye, this is a great option.
Old Man of Storr
Address: Portree IV51 9HX, UK
Website: Old Man of Storr
The Storr's Secret Sanctuary
Duration: 4 hours
Learn all about the magnificent history of the village of Kyleakin and discover what makes visitors admire it. Through this tour, you will discover the history of Vikings who settled here. You will also hear about the enthralling facts that made the village the way it is now. Take a walk around the peaceful and captivating Kyleakin and catch a glimpse of the majestic birds that inhabit the area. You will see the different methods that locals use to fish and you will also be taken to a lookout with the most breathtaking views. You will surely appreciate this cultural experience.
The Isle of Skye through viking history and legends
Duration: 1.5 hours
Do you love seeing and meeting animals? This is the perfect time to do that since you’ll be able to encounter lovely animals such as sheep, donkeys, and cows. Learn all about crofting and see how wool is produced ethically by the experts. You will also get to visit a workshop and observe how fleece is prepared and how each unique design is hand-knitted to perfection. This will truly be an exciting yet informative tour!
Croft Tour on the Isle of Skye
Duration: 2 hours
Book your very own private tour of a distinctive smokehouse in the Isle of Skye. The smokehouse was inspired by a traditional Scottish cleit so visitors will truly appreciate the authentic vibe of the place. On this tour, guests will be able to witness how local alder wood is prepared so it can be used to generate smoke for the smokehouse. Different methods of smoking and curing will be demonstrated. Then, guests will taste four different types of smoked salmon. This spice-filled experience is sure to make your mouth water.
Private Skye Smokehouse Tour & Tasting
Duration: 2 hours
5. See incredible views atop the Quiraing Trail
If you’re looking for a more strenuous hike, go walk the Quiraing trail. The trail is long but incredibly rewarding, not only for the crazy and gorgeous rock formations but also the totally unreal views. You’ll feel like a king looking down on your wild and beautiful kingdom, as you sit on the top of the mountain and make all your friends jealous with your photos.
Address: Quiraing, Portree IV51 9JZ, UK
6. Have a windy adventure at Eilean Donan Castle
This beautiful castle rests on an island, with a bridge for visitors to cross over. During the day you can pay to take a tour of the castle, but at night you can go in and walk around the small island and stare into the rough waves below. It’s completely rebuilt, and stands like a great and imposing fortress, especially at night when it’s lit red for visitors.
Eilean Donan Castle
Address: Eilean Donan Castle, Dornie, Kyle of Lochalsh IV40 8DX, UK
Website: Eilean Donan Castle
7. Hang out on the coast of Portree
Portree is Skye’s largest town, and although it’s small in comparison to Glasgow or Edinburgh, the capital, there’s lots to do. Take pictures of the colorful buildings and fishing boats, or walk along the seaside looking for sea glass!
Address: Portree Harbour, Quay St, Portree IV51 9DE, UK
8. Take a tropical stroll on Coral Beach
An Isle of Skye must-see is definitely Coral Beach. After you’ve gawked at some of the mystical waterfalls and seen the golden sun hit the sides of the hills, take a break from hiking for a relaxing walk on this beach. Coral Beach is made of crushed white coral and makes the water look a bright, tropical blue in the light of the sun. For a minute, you might even forget you’re in Scotland and be tempted to swap your scarf for a bathing suit!
Address: Unnamed Rd, Claigan, Dunvegan, Isle of Skye IV55 8WF, UK
Website: Coral Beach
9. Enter the magical world of the Fairy Glen
By far the most absolutely magical region of Skye, the Fairy Glen is full of gentle hills and otherworldly looking pyramid-like burrows that lead you to a stone circle (or a gate to the fairy world). This is a wonderful hike at any time but is particularly striking at dusk, when the hills guarding the gate to the fairy world are still glowing with the last rays of sunlight. Just be sure not to take anything but the mud on your pants when you leave, legend has it the fairies don’t like that very much.
The Fairy Glen
Address: Fairy Glen, Highland IV51 9YG, United Kingdom
Website: The Fairy Glen
10. Hike along the enchanted Fairy Pools
The fairy pools are a great hike for all ages. The trail stretches about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) and has plenty of opportunities for photos of the beautiful blue water, along the way. The blue waters in this Isle of Skye attraction give the fairy pools its name since it’s so luminous and clear it appears fairies have bathed in it. With the Black Cuillins in the background, you’ll feel like you’re walking straight into a Lord of the Rings movie.
The Fairy Pools
Address: Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye IV47 8TA, UK
More Information: The Fairy Pools
11. Stand on the edge of the world at Kilt Rock
The Isle of Skye isn’t just coastal beaches, it has its fair share of jaw-dropping cliffs, as well. Kilt Rock, named because its sides resemble a kilt, is a beautiful cliff, with waterfalls that plummet into the ocean - just be careful not to get too close to the edge.
Address: A855, Portree IV51, UK
Website: Kilt Rock
12. Visit Sligachan River
One of the top things to do in Isle of Skye is to visit Sligachan River. Legend has it that this river contains the fountain of youth! Probably best to check it out just to be on the safe side, plus it’s a beautiful spot to stop and have a picnic, anyway.
Address: Sligachan, Isle of Skye IV47 8SW, UK
Website: Sligachan River
There’s no part of the Isle of Skye that isn’t immensely beautiful, so if you don’t get to see all the items on this list (or wind up seeing other areas), don’t stress. Skye is full of magical tales and landscapes that call to all ages and travelers differently, and there’s no way to go wrong. Whether you decide to go with a tour group (which I highly recommend, since there are loads of fun facts and stories that make the experience so much richer), or just your friends, you’ll have an amazing time in Scotland’s highlands, and plenty of pictures to show for it.
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