Isle of Skye

Travel Guide
Isle of Skye showing tranquil scenes, a beach and a pebble beach

From mist-shrouded mountain peaks to plunging sea cliffs and moss-carpeted valleys, this windswept Scottish island is a place of wild, rugged beauty.

Despite its popularity, the Isle of Skye manages to retain a remote, away-from-it-all feeling. Relish the quietude on uncrowded hiking trails, explore evocative castle ruins and marvel at the dramatic coastline from a kayak. Come evening, feast on fresh seafood and retreat to a cozy pub for a warming dram of Scotch whisky.

The Norse called this place “sky-a” (cloud island), referencing the mysterious mist that seems to stubbornly cling to the peaks of the Black Cuillin. Admire the jagged mountains from afar or tackle the climbing trails. Most climbing routes here are not for the inexperienced; be prepared to scramble up scree and traverse narrow ridges.

Skye’s top attractions are natural sights. Head to the Trotternish peninsula at the north of the island to photograph the Old Man of Storr, a tall, gnarled pinnacle set on a rocky slope. Nearby is the Quiraing, an otherworldly landscape dotted with crags and unusually shaped slabs of volcanic rock. Further south near Glen Brittle are the famous Fairy Pools, a series of colorful streams and waterfalls.

For insight into Skye’s history and culture, wander around the preserved thatched croft houses at the Museum of Island Life. The exhibits here chronicle life on Skye in the late 19th century and touch upon the tale of Flora MacDonald, who helped Bonnie Prince Charlie flee to Skye after the Jacobite defeat at the Battle of Culloden. Skye’s old fortresses, among them the ruined Duntulm Castle and the majestic loch-side Dunvegan Castle, are also big draws for history enthusiasts.

Most visitors use the island’s largest town, Portree, as their base. Choose from a selection of harbor-side seafood restaurants here and mingle with locals in a lively pub.

Weather on Skye can be changeable, so come prepared for rain, shine and everything in between. Access the island via the Skye Bridge or by ferry. Buses do serve the island, but renting a car will give you much more freedom. Single-lane roads do exist here, but regular passing places make them easy to navigate. Leave the mainland behind to discover the delights of Skye.

Where to stay in Isle of Skye

Dunollie Hotel
Dunollie Hotel
3 out of 5
Broadford, Isle of Skye, Scotland
The price is AU$149 per night from 19 Oct. to 19 Oct.
Situated in Isle of Skye, this beach hotel is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Skye Serpentarium and within 9 miles (15 km) of Skye Bridge and Caisteal Maol. Camas Croise ...
3.1/5 (450 reviews)
"We stayed in the hotel 5 of us. The service and location in very good breakfast was good. We had dinner and it was very nice. We all think that the hotel should have mixer taps in the rooms. Regards Javed"

Reviewed on 17 Aug. 2021

Dunollie Hotel
Sligachan Hotel
Sligachan Hotel
3 out of 5
Sligachan Hotel, Isle of Skye, Scotland
The price is AU$282 per night from 2 Oct. to 2 Oct.
Situated in Isle of Skye, this hotel is within 9 miles (15 km) of Raasay Ferry, Raasay House Activities Centre and Raasay Pictish Stone. Talisker Distillery ...
4.1/5Very Good! (183 reviews)
"The staff are amazing. However, potential guests should be full informed that the sofa beds are a small twin mattress on the floor. This is important for mobility impaired guests who may not be able to get up& down on the floor."

Reviewed on 9 Sep. 2021

Sligachan Hotel
Duisdale House Hotel
Duisdale House Hotel
4 out of 5
Isle Ornsay, Duisdalemore, Isle of Skye, Scotland
The price is AU$414 per night from 19 Oct. to 19 Oct.
Situated in the mountains, this hotel is 4 mi (6.4 km) from Torabhaig Distillery and 7.9 mi (12.8 km) from Armadale Castle. Skye Bridge and Caisteal Maol are ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (316 reviews)
"Friendly staff and good location provided one has a car."

Reviewed on 7 Aug. 2021

Duisdale House Hotel
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Learach - Gorgeous Space With Floating bed
Learach - Gorgeous Space With Floating bed
23 Lower Breakish, Isle of Skye, SCT
The price is AU$530 per night from 6 Oct. to 6 Oct.
Situated in Isle of Skye, this cabin is 2 mi (3.3 km) from Skye Serpentarium and within 6 miles (10 km) of Skye Bridge and Caisteal Maol. Camas Croise and Torabhaig ...
5/5Exceptional! (1 review)
Superb modern accommodation
"Very clean modern accommodation with superb view of the area. Features and gadgets were to a high standard and the property is efficiently managed."

Reviewed on 21 May 2021

Learach - Gorgeous Space With Floating bed
Dunvegan Camping Pods
Dunvegan Camping Pods
2 out of 5
Kilmuir, Dunvegan, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Situated in Isle of Skye, this campsite is 1.2 mi (2 km) from Dunvegan Castle and within 6 miles (10 km) of Macleod's Tables and Coral Beach. Claigan Coral Beach ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (40 reviews)
"Great little pod, nice and cosy for a family of 4. Note beds are not massive if u have older bigger kids ( age 12 ) but it does the job. We left our suit cases in the car to save room but all in all it was great. Microwave came in handy and all cooking utensils are supplied. Nice and clean and friendly ..."

Reviewed on 16 Aug. 2021

Dunvegan Camping Pods
Bird Song Bothy
Bird Song Bothy
3 out of 5
Birdsong Bothy, 2 Colbost, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Situated in Isle of Skye, this eco-friendly residence is within 9 miles (15 km) of Macleod's Tables, Dunvegan Castle and Neist Point Lighthouse. Claigan Coral ...
5/5Exceptional! (5 reviews)
"Wonderful view, comfortable to relax in. We enjoyed our stay and loved the area. Kitchen is well equipped and its clean and cozy. The only downside is that WiFi is terribly slow and cell service is spotty at best. Not bad if you're looking to disconnect but I intended to work a day or two while there ..."

Reviewed on 21 Nov. 2020

Bird Song Bothy
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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