Travel Inspiration: Isle of Skye

Photo: @lids_harper

5 Sensational Things To Do in Skye

With its rugged shorelines, lush green landscapes and unspoilt views, you could be mistaken for thinking there’s magic in the air as you travel to Skye.

Whether you’re on the trail of wilderness, wildlife or whiskey, an Isle of Skye tour will deliver it in spades. A visit to Skye is characterised by true escapism and a never-ending sky. Whichever things to do in Skye you choose, one thing is for sure, its memory will remain forever. So have a read of our Isle of Skye travel guide and see if you can resist booking your next trip!

Video: @hollieharm and @johnmhayward

1. Wild swim in the Fairy Pools

Take some time out to visit the indescribably beautiful Fairy Pools – one of the most magical things to do in Skye.

Created by a stream flowing down from the Black Cuillin mountains, the spectacle is best visited via a short walk from the Glenbrittle car park. With the foreboding Cuillins as a backdrop, the route immediately takes on an air of mystery.

As you follow the stony path, you’ll find a chain of crystal clear Fairy Pools, connected by tumbling waterfalls.

Scottish folklore suggests the Fairy Pools have magic healing properties. We don’t know about that, but we do know this is the perfect place for a spot of wild swimming. With bright blue-green hues, reminiscent of the Indian Ocean, you might expect the water to be warmer than it is. But a wetsuit may be a good idea unless you are particularly hardy.

For the adrenaline junkies among us, there are some fear-inducing high jumps. But be careful to fully research the pools to make sure you enter the water in a safe place.

Or if you don’t fancy stripping off, the mystical Fairy Pools are equally great for photography. Truly a must-see on any list of Isle of Skye attractions.

Image: @lids_harper

2. Hike to the summit of the The Storr

Next on the list of Isle of Skye things to do – explore the strange landscape of Storr. With its rugged rocky formations, said to be remnants of ancient landslips, you could be forgiven for thinking you’d landed on the moon.

A short walk, at around 5 miles, The Storr offers panoramic views across the islands of Raasay, Rona and Harris with mainland peaks beyond, and the spectacular Cuillin mountains to the south. The terrain is mostly good, with a couple of steep rocky scrambles. Be sure to pack plenty of fleecy layers for your travel to Skye as the weather can change quickly here, so it pays to be prepared. And a pair of sturdy walking poles might come in useful on some of the rockier climbs.

Look out for Cathedral Rock, an unusual gothic church-shaped rock formation, as well as the emerging views over Storr Lochs. There is a pleasing grassy scramble up to the summit. Or alternatively you can haul yourself over the imposing rocky buttresses, enjoying great views along the gullies as you ascend.

The view from The Storr is a picture postcard of what to see in Skye, and a hike not to be missed.

3. Traverse the Cuillin Ridge

The British Mountaineering Council calls Cuillin Ridge the Holy Grail of British scrambling; one of the best routes in Europe. Lots of people set off on this 20-mile round each year, but many fail. So if you’re up for a challenge, this is the place. Although it’s certainly not for the faint-hearted – this is a common practise ground before trekking in the Himalayas. And definitely one of the more dangerous things to do in Isle of Skye.

You need knowledge of using ropes and a competent climbing partner. It is possible to complete the traverse in a day, but most take two, bivvying up for the night. When you’re looking for places to stay Isle of Skye style, there is none better!

If you do plan to have a go we recommend a good pair of lightweight boots, and a good quality insulated jacket for warmth at high altitudes, as well as a lightweight backpack to carry your kit.

4. See Skye sealife up close

If the thought of all that walking has tired you out, take a different kind of Isle of Skye tour and head out in a boat. Wildlife watching is one of the most popular things to do in Skye for tourists.

Many boat trips guarantee you’ll see puffins and seals as they are so abundant around the coast, but with luck you’ll get to see whales, otters and other species too. Seeing dolphins swimming wild in the sea is a dream for many who travel to Skye – and it is common to see a pod.

And if you’re hoping to see rare birds during your Isle of Skye travels, the cliffs around the island are said to be the best place to see the White-tailed ‘Sea’ Eagle, the largest bird of prey in Britain. Portree, the capital, is one of the best places to stay on Skye if you want to indulge in some eagle spotting. The cliffs around the area boast some of the most reliable sightings.

5. Visit Neist Point Lighthouse

At the western most point of Skye, near the township of Glendale, this 117 year old lighthouse sits proud, right on the very edge of the cliff. This is not one of the most time consuming things to do on the Isle of Skye, but it is definitely worth a visit.

Catch your breath at the spectacular rugged scenery as you walk down the concrete path. This short walk gives impressive views on all sides as you walk out onto the narrow head. Take some time to enjoy the wild vista and explore the cliffs around the lighthouse.

And if you can, time your visit for sunset and bask in a truly magical sight – Instagram-worthy by anyone’s standards.

Where to stay in Skye

Where to stay on Skye will depend on what sort of experience you are after. Isle of Skye accommodation ranges from camping, to B&Bs and comfortable hotels.

If you won’t have a car and will be relying on public transport, the best places to stay in Skye are the larger villages such as Portree, Broadford or Dungevan.

But really, the best places to visit in Isle of Skye are those tucked away from the tourist trails. If you fancy getting away from it all, check out the more remote corners of the island like Ord in Sleat or Waternish.

If you’re arranging an Isle of Skye tour, we hope we’ve given you some inspiration and ideas for what to see in Skye. Enjoy the spectacular views and amazing wildlife. But as far as we’re concerned, the biggest Isle of Skye attraction is the opportunity to breathe in some of that pure Scottish air and to revel in the huge, inspiring sky that truly surrounds you.

Don’t forget to share your adventures with us by using #MyCraghoppers now! 

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