Beloved by hikers, this unusual landscape is dotted with fractured rock formations, shimmering lochs and a hidden grassy plateau.
Lace up your hiking boots for a walking adventure through the strange, otherworldly terrain of the Quiraing. Jagged rocks, craggy cliffs and odd-shaped ridges jut up from the grassy slopes. The elevated parts of the terrain offer spectacular panoramic views that extend over the high cliffs and out to sea.
The Quiraing’s distinctive appearance is the result of ancient landslips, which helped shaped its rocky crags and stacks. According to legend, locals used to hide their cattle here in a flat plateau hidden among the rocks to protect them from Viking raiders.
To begin exploring, follow the path leading from the parking lot, which will bring you into the midst of pinnacle-strewn landscape. As you walk, try to identify the most notable formations. Look for “the Prison,” a crumbling rock structure that, if seen from the right angle, looks a little like a medieval fortress.
Also of note is “the Needle,” a ragged spire formation. The Quiraing also conceals a flat, grass-carpeted plateau, known as “the Table,” among the jumble of rock towers. Brave and competent climbers can clamber up the scree on the east side to access the plateau. Otherwise, opt for the path around the west side.
Be aware that the trails here can be rocky and uneven and reaching some of the formations will require scrambling. Wear sturdy footwear and pack appropriate gear as the weather can quickly change.
Daredevil mountain bikers can also take to the trails of the Quiraing. Enjoy the rush as you pedal along narrow, precipitous paths, which lead past the wild scenery. Bear in mind that the paths are not purpose-built for biking, so be prepared to hop off and carry your bike where necessary.
The Quiraing is located on the Trotternish Peninsula on the Isle of Skye. Hikers hoping to tackle the Quiraing trails can begin their trek at the parking lot located on the road between Staffin and Uig. Driving here from Portree will take about 30 minutes. Arrive early during summer as parking spaces quickly fill.