From the beautiful Fairy Glens and Pools to the incredible lochs, find out the best things to do on the Isle of Skye.
The Isle of Skye is Scotland’s largest island, roughly 50 miles long. Part of Scotland’s ‘Inner Hebrides’, Skye’s name comes from the old Norse word ‘sky-a’: meaning ‘cloud island’.
This summarises the island perfectly. Cloud and fog seem to permanently hang over this dramatic island, covering its most famous mountain range, the Cuillens, in a magical mist. It has a dreamy, enchanting feel that leaves you wishing you still believed in magic!
Skye’s landscape is spectacular, diverse and breathtaking and we would advise anyone visiting to take at least five days to explore all that this island has to offer. To help any explorers with their trip, this Isle of Skye blog is packed full of must-sees. You definitely won’t be short of things to do on the Isle of Skye!
Travel bloggers Claire & Laura a.k.a Twins That Travel spent a week on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. Scroll down to find out all about their trip.
Things To Do On The Isle Of Skye
1) Fairy Glens
South of Uig, in Skye’s Northeast corner, sits a magical stretch of landscape known as the ‘Fairy Glens’. This is a surreal and intriguing place – almost like a miniature Machu Picchu. Full of tiny hills; pinnacles; tumbled down cottages; a waterfall; babbling brooks and its very own little Loch, it’s like someone took Skye’s landscape and shrunk it.
It is a truly wonderful place to visit for an adventure. Re-connect with your inner child and let the magical quality of this place charm you (remember to make a wish!)
2) Loch Coruisk
Skye is scattered with lochs: vast, glistening stretches of water that frame picture-perfect villages and mountainous landscapes. However, there is one particular Loch most definitely top of the list: Loch Coruisk.
One of Scotland’s most remote places to visit, the Loch sits pinned in by the Cuillen mountains. You can get there via a fairly challenging hike or (like us), take one of the beautiful boat trips from Elgol, across the sea and in through the mouth of a river that leads up to the Loch. This Loch is huge, dark; deep and stunningly beautiful. Take a while to explore this area and enjoy the eerie stillness of the place.
3) Neist Point
The most Westerly point of the island is Neist Point. This remote spot, consisting of steep cliffs, crashing waves and a lone Light House, is breath-taking (and on our visit, quite literally breath-taking the winds were so strong!) On a less windy day, we imagine this is a perfect spot for a picnic!
4) Fairy Pools
Another fairy-themed landscape can be found at the Fairy Pools! Backing onto Skye’s enormous Black Cuillen mountain range, the fairy pools are the product of an enormous, thunderous waterfall, which weaves its way down the rocky landscape, creating pools of crystal clear water in its wake.
Surrounded by purple moss and wild flowers, each pool is unique in size and shape. You can follow the pools up on a fairly easy hike, reaching the larger plunge pools at the top. During the summer, you can even dive in… definitely one of the best things to do on the Isle of Skye for adventure lovers!
Head to Trotternish and you’ll come across some of Skye’s most peculiar landscape. Following a few thousand years of slipping cliffs and an ice age, the Quiraing is made up of huge jagged pinnacles, sunken lakes and rocky mountains. Hiking this area (around 3 hours) is one of the best things to do on the Isle of Skye, rewarding you with enormous panoramic views across lochs, mountains and out to sea.
These spots will give any visitor a taste of the enchantingly diverse landscape that Skye has to offer. Its huge open spaces, rolling hills and hints at a fairy tale past will bring out the child in you. So, if you’re looking for a place to blow away the cobwebs, jump across stepping-stones and throw coins into fairy circles, Skye is the place for you!
6. Visit Some Scottish Castles
Skye makes a great addition to a trip to the Scottish Highlands, and one of the best places in Scotland for outdoor activities. If you’re a castle lover, head for Dunvegan Castle or Armadale Castle. Also, while it’s not on the Isle of Skye, try to squeeze in a trip to Eilean Donan Castle on your Scottish trip.
7. Stay In Unique Accommodation In Skye
There is a lot of stunning accommodation on offer on the Isle of Skye, and lots of it is remote, private and has incredible views. One of my favourites is The View. This luxurious cottage is located on the Sleat Peninsula, and is in an amazing location for exploring the region.
As for the holiday home itself, it’s an architectural dream set over two floors, with two en-suite bedrooms, two beautiful lounge areas and a vaulted ceiling with floor to ceiling windows in the living room.
This area is also famed for its wildlife spotting opportunities. Otters, dolphins, pine martens and many other animals have all been spotted from the house!
As well as wonderful walking and cycling routes nearby, it’s just a 15-minute drive to Armadale Castle and Armadale ferry terminal. There are also some great restaurants within a short drive. This is definitely one of the most stylish and romantic Scottish holiday homes in Scotland.
When Is The Best Time To Visit The Isle Of Skye?
Contrary to what you may have heard, the weather isn’t always awful in Scotland. However, it can be unpredictable and varies from region to region.
You can expect average lows of around 1°C on the Isle of Skye in January / February, and highs around 16°C in July / August.
If you’re wondering when is the best time to visit the Isle of Skye, I’d suggest planning a trip in May or June. The weather is warming up, rain is at a minimum and it’s out of peak season, so you shouldn’t be battling any big crowds either. The longest day is around 20th June every year, so it’s a time you can enjoy maximum daylight hours exploring!
I’ve never been a fan of November or January in Scotland. They’re the wettest months of the year and tend to be very bleak. While December can be pretty cold, there’s a Christmas magic which is absolutely lovely!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this Isle of Skye blog. There are plenty more great things to do in Skye, including visiting Kilt Rock for some epic waterfall views, checking out the coral beaches, and spending time in Portree, the capital of the Isle of Skye.