Isle of Skye: The Best Things to Do

The Storr

Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye, also known as ‘the misty isle’, is located on Scotland’s northwest coast and is the largest island in the Inner Hebrides.

Its dramatic mountain ranges, towering cliffs, and vast moorlands combine to create what is arguably the most breathtakingly diverse and enchanting landscape in the United Kingdom.

This stunning island is approximately 50 miles long and 25 miles wide at its widest points and has a varied topography that’s a dreamy mix of jagged peaks and serene glens – as can be seen at tourist favourites like the Fairy Pools and the Fairy Glen.

The Cuillin mountain range, often shrouded in a layer of mist (hence the nickname ‘misty isle’), is one of the most distinctive features of Skye’s landscape. These mountains offer a challenging experience for even the most advanced hikers and climbers but the panoramic views from the top are reward enough to encourage thousands of adventurers to explore them each year.

Sligachan Old Bridge Skye

The island is dotted with charming towns and villages, each with its own unique character.

Portree, the largest settlement, is the most popular tourist destination thanks to its quaint harbour and seafood restaurants, but there are several other notable villages including Dunvegan, known for its historic castle, and Broadford, the island’s second-largest village which is the gateway to remote places like the long-abandoned Boreraig Clearance Village and the disused Skye Marble Line.

Skye’s wildlife is just as captivating as its landscapes. The coastal areas are home to seals and dolphins while the moorlands and forests are home to red deer and a variety of birds of prey, the highlight being the magnificent golden and white-tailed eagles that can usually be seen soaring over the Cuillin’s.

When it comes to tourist attractions, Skye has plenty of choices on offer.

The Old Man of Storr, an enormous rock pinnacle that overlooks Bearreaig Bay in the Trotternish area, is a popular spot for photography and hiking, as is the Fairy Pools, a series of crystal-clear natural pools and waterfalls that offer a refreshing dip for the brave-hearted.

The Storr

Dunvegan Castle (the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland) offers a wonderful self-guided tour through the history of Clan MacLeod, and the Quiraing with its bizarre rock formations and breathtaking views is another must-visit spot.

On the food and drinks front, Talisker Distillery, the island’s only whisky distillery, offers tours and tastings that are a must-do for whisky enthusiasts, and the Three Chimneys restaurant (which specialises in locally caught seafood) is so highly regarded it has even been recommended by the New York Times.

No matter what interests you – be it hiking, wildlife, history, or simply basking in stunning scenery – the Isle of Skye has something to offer everyone.

Find places to visit and things to do on the Isle of Skye with these visitor guides.

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