Best Time to Visit: Summer, be well prepared for strong rain & wind.
Reasons to Visit:
- Rugged Scottish Landscapes: Even though Skye is an island, it has many spectacular hills & ridges with a very unique look. The unique look & the islanders imagination have influenced the naming of many landmarks. Some famous examples of hill landscapes are the Old Man of Storr, Fairy Glen & Quiraing. Thanks to the internet, a lot more people know about the wonders of Skye now. The viral video below was filmed when Danny MacAskill was cycling on the Trotternish Ridge on Skye.
- Waterfalls: Outside of the many minor falls dotting the island, there are 3 major ones that are worth making the trip.
- Fairy Pools: A waterfall that contains within it’s different levels, pools of crystal clear blue water. People take baths in those pools, even if the weather is not the warmest. The path leading to the pools is also really scenic.
- Kilt Rock: Apart from being a decent sized waterfalls, this spot also contains dinosaur footprints nearby, a la Jurassic Park (almost).
- Mealt Falls: Though it’s not the best looking falls, it provides access to walking areas to see some really great coastal views.
- Fishing & Birdwatching: A couple of tour companies run birdwatching boat trips from Portree harbour. These trips are built for hardcore nature photographers armed with huge lenses as our naked eyes could not see much very clearly. Fishing is an extensive Scottish pastime in general but particularly in Skye. The angling season lasts the summer. Salmon & trout are the popular fishes in the area. More details on the Skye angling website.
- Whisky & Castles: It wouldn’t be a featured part of Scotland without a proper distillery (the world famous Talisker, prebook tours here) or a proper castle (Dunvegan Castle, the seat of clan MacLeod).
- Tip: Explore Skye by hiking everywhere. Walkhighlands covers all your bases.
- Tip: Skip hiking & explore Skye with Donald from Skye Scenic Tours who is hands down one of the best tour guides I’ve seen.
- Tip: Book a guest house / hotel atleast 2-3 months in advance for summer visits as they book out really quickly. Our very top pick is Springfield Guesthouse in Portree for the sheer awesomeness of the breakfast (& the view isn’t bad either). Check out Room Finder Scotland that actually has a good Skye selection.
Weather: Like the island itself, wild & unpredictable. We’ve been there during summer months but it wasn’t really warm at any point. But below is a brilliantly sunny day taken at Uig so there’s always hope.
Getting In & Around:
- Skye is very remote. The best way to see the island is driving around due to the infrequency & lack of reach of public transit.
- That being said, reaching Skye by public transit also unlocks legend status as the 2 possible options contain some of the world’s best train journeys.
- Option 1: ScotRail train from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh followed by Scottish CityLink bus to Kyleakin, Broadford, Portree & possibly Uig. Sit on the right side of the train for the last 30 minutes while the train hugs the coast with the Skye mountains visible in the distance.
- Option 2: ScotRail train from Glasgow-Fort William-Mallaig (Harry Potter route) followed by ferry to Armadale, StageCoach bus to Broadford & onward buses to Portree & Uig.
- Portree Somerled square is the central hub for buses around Skye. See the StageCoach website to see live departures & timetables here
Food & Drink:
- Skye has some of the best seafood in Scotland. This includes some of the best Oysters we’ve ever had (and we have had quite a few) which are sourced from near the Talisker distillery that also sells them to binge eat at The Oyster Shed.
- Other restaurants that we like are Sea Breezes for a seafood feast & the Relish store for a quick bite. The local butcher also does some filling steak pies.
N.B. If you have 20 minutes to spare & love trains, check out this 1980 video showcasing the 2 lines that lead to Skye starting 38:50 from Edinburgh.
© 2016 Beyond Our Horizons