An ancient land of mystery, folklore and rugged, natural beauty, the Isle of Skye is a hugely popular location for visitors to Scotland.
No road trip to the remote highlands of Scotland is truly complete without a visit to the stunning Quiraing mountain-pass, a walk through the mystical Fairy Glen, or a wash in beneath the Sligachan Bridge.
This is your guide to the best Isle of Skye attractions that simply cannot be missed, as well as a small insight as to why you are going to fall in love with the “Misty Isles”.
Isle of Skye Attractions
Our first stop on this Isle of Skye road trip is on the Trotternish Peninsula, on the northern end of Skye.
Just outside the small harbour town of Uig is a landscape that is so bizarre, it could be said that only the fairies themselves could have designed it.
The Fairy Glen on the Isle of Skye is a small valley that was in fact formed thousands of years ago as a result of a massive landslide on the Isle of Skye. The dramatic, rolling hills of this magical place have created the myth that fairies must have once lived here and are responsible for its beauty.
Whether this myth is true or not, I will let you decide for yourself..
Old Man of Storr
As we head back down the eastern side of the Trotternish Peninsula, one of the Isle of Skye’s best sights can be found on your right.
The Old Man of Storr is a popular hike that takes you up the steep and winding hillside towards the Trotternish Ridge.
The Old Man himself is one of the standing stones at the edge of the ridge. Named after the face-like features the rock has, the Old Man of Storr is believed to the result of another massive landslip in the Skye region.
The hike to the top is pretty demanding, but anyone can do it if you take your time and wear appropriate shoes.
The hike will take you between 45minutes to 1 ½ to get to the top, depending on which viewing platform you wish to reach, and the climb is very steep.
There is a marked path the entire way, however, so it is a simple trek to do if you stick to the path.
There are two different viewing platforms to see the Old Man of Storr, a lower one and an upper one.
If the weather is good, the view from the upper platform is worth the additional 45-minutes of hiking, as you will be treated with views stretching as far as the mainland of Scotland.
Found in the wettest area of Skye, beneath the towering mountain range of the Cullin is one of Skye’s most charming sights.
The Old Sligachan Bridge dates back the 19th-century and is yet another location cloaked in folklore and mythology.
It is believed that if you dip your face in the water at this bridge for 10 seconds you will be granted eternal beauty.
If you have not had time for your morning coffee then this might be the perfect chance to test this fable and wake yourself up at the same time.
Found on the southern side of Skye, on the opposite side of the Cullin mountain range from Sligachan, is the winding River Brittle.
As this trickling stream flows down from the peaks of the Cullin it has created some very unique and interesting features in the bed-rock below.
These have come to be known as the Fairy Pools and are another hugely popular attraction.
The Fairy Pools are a series of rock pools spread along the length of the River Brittle.
Varying in sizes, shapes, and depths, the Fairy Pools draw tourists from all over Scotland to either marvel at their beauty or even swim in their depths.
If you fancy a cold dip, pack your bathers and bring a towel to the Fairy Pools and freshen up in the cool mountain water.
If you decide to stay overnight on the Isle of Skye, the small harbour town of Portree will be the best place to do so.
As the islands largest town and most central location, you will find a large range of accommodation in Portree.
By staying overnight here it also means that you can enjoy a beautiful and relaxing sunrise over the peaceful Portree Harbour.
Pack a hot drink and head down to the colourful buildings that can be found down by the harbour and watch as the town slowly comes to life.
The most dramatic landscape in all of Scotland can be seen as you drive through the Quiraing Pass on the Trotternish Peninsula.
This epic route through the mountains will show you some of the best views on the Isle of Skye, however, the road is narrow and winding so take care.
Head from west to east, you climb through the Trotternish Ridge is rather steady until you reach the top of the pass. From here it is a steep, winding road leading down the other side of the Peninsula and requires extreme care as you drive it.
This road is only suitable for small cars and is not open during extreme weather conditions.
Just before you begin your descent from the ridge, there is a large car park that you can use to stretch your legs and admire the epic scenery.
Head across the road and follow the path over to the viewpoint, where you will be able to see the stunning Quiraing ridge and surrounding landscape.
This area is extremely dangerous, as there are no barriers and the ground is very slippery, so take care as you explore this region.
Stick to the path and do not get too close to the cliff edge.
Mealt Falls and Kilt Rock
No trip to Skye is complete without a visit to one of the many waterfalls that are spread across the island, the most spectacular of which being Mealt Falls.
As the land meets the sea on the western coast of the Trotternish Peninsula, the cold waters of Loch Mealt tumble over the cliff and into the water.
This is Skye’s most unique waterfall, as it is the only one that falls from a cliff directly into the open ocean.
The result of this is a spectacular view of the sea with the roar of the Mealt Falls as it falls 55m to the rocks below.
From the Mealt Falls Viewpoint, you are also able to see the distant Kilt Rock cliffs. These get their name due to their vertical basalt columns, which resemble the pleats of a kilt.
In the right lighting, the green and blue of the moss and water also resemble a tartan-like design.
Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye is perhaps the best example of Scotland’s raw and untamable beauty.
The towering mountains, sheer cliff faces and immense power of the weather makes any trip to Skye a humbling experience, and is sure to leave you longing for more of Scotland’s spectacular beauty, such as off the beaten path Scottish islands near Skye.
Fall in love with the bonnie highlands of Scotland and visit the Isle of Skye on your next Scottish road trip.
For more of travel in Scotland take a look at visiting Stirling Castle near Edinburgh.
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