Nothing quite prepared me for the majesty that the Isle of Skye would hold. As someone who travels regularly in Iceland, I wasn't quite ready for how epic and awe-inspiring the scenery would be. My travels in Iceland had really informed my eye to pick out the clear volcanic activity that had led to the formation of thousands of years ago of this incredible landscape. There is something about so dramatic the mountains and big sky is that erupts into the most colourful sunrises and sunsets. Twilight seems never ending at some point to the year and contrasts with the darkness that can wrap around you when there's a new moon and you feel like he could reach up and touch the Milky Way. There is so much diversity to the deep-rooted connection that you can have with nature when you are spending time, just being, on the Isle of Skye. And so today I'm going to walk though some of my favourite spots on the Isle of Skye and also highlights on but I've yet to explore but hope to one day. I always believe that you have to leave to go back somewhere and it's really important to leave some things that cool your heart back to want to explore some more. I know that the Isle of Skye will always be somewhere that I return to, I feel like parts of my heart are scattered over the north of our hemisphere from Scotland to Iceland and Norway, there's certainly a piece of me in the landscapes and so it's a deep joy for me to share this with you today.
How to get to the Isle of Skye
Until the early 90s the only way to get to the Isle of Skye was by taking a ferry and then the Kyle of Lochalsh the bridge was built which opened up accessibility to the island joining it to the mainland with the A87. There are now two ways to get to the Isle of sky from mainland Scotland and one that is getting a ferry from Mallaig and the other is taking the beautiful crossing across the Kyle of Lochalsh bridge. It really depends on what time you will be arriving because you're restricted by the ferry service times. If time is tight for you on your journey or you think you're gonna be arriving into the evening then you will probably be taking the main road option across the Kyle of Lochalsh bridge. However if you are travelling in the daytime then drive to Mallaig is absolutely beautiful (stop at Silver Sands if you have time!) and there's always an a chance of some surprises greeting you when you're crossing the sea. I've never travelled to sky by ferry in till June 2022 and something majestic happened as we were crossing and we were joined by a pod of common dolphins here spent a good ten minutes of the crossing playing in the wake of the ferry! You can see some images from that epic crossing here.
Arriving and settling on the Isle of Skye
both the ferry crossing and the ferry journey viva Kyle of Lochalsh bridge will bring you onto the very south of the Isle of Skye and it's recommended to have transport way possible I've only ever travelled by car cycle any reflect on that experience. The first town that you all past three is called Broadford and it's a really brilliant centre where there is co-op supermarket, a petrol station, pubs, restaurants and Cafes and some cute little gift shops. If you're arriving and I've got a bit more of a drive onto your accommodation or campsite then I definitely recommend getting some supplies from the town here because it's probably about another hour drive on to Portree which is the biggest town on the Isle of Skye.
What is the best time of year to go to the Isle of Skye?
I guess this really depends on how weather hardy you are as a traveller because Skye is a place that sees the weather change in a matter of moments regardless of the time of year. I have travelled in sky so far in May, June, August and September and I think my favourite months have been out of the summer season I really am drawn to landscape that have very wild and ethereal feels and I think everything was just a little bit to green in summer for me, almost like someone had actually turned up the saturation sliders in lightroom just looked so green in real life it was almost unbelievable. So I definitely would be looking to travel in autumn through to spring. I have yet to experience the Isle of Skye in the deepest part of winter and I'm really looking forward to being there one day perhaps when its snowy and really experiencing that harshness of the elements that winter can bring. Another great thing about travelling in autumn through to spring is that you miss all of the midges, which I hear can be really quite disruptive in high summer if you get days where weather is very settled.
How long is needed to travel on the Isle of Skye?
The Isle of Skye is already somewhere that I feel I'm going to be travelling to you again and again for the rest of my life and so I don't feel that there is enough time that could justify how long to spend on the Isle of Skye. But I think if you can afford 5 to 7 days for your first trip you won't be disappointed because there is so much to see and you will definitely want some time to just relax and gaze at the scenery as well as having days that are much more action packed full of hiking and exploring this gorgeous, gorgeous island.
Where to stay on the Isle of Skye?
The diversity of accommodation on the Isle of Skye is absolutely incredible from camping to really high end boutique hotels with a real luxury experience there is something for every kind of visitor on the Isle of Skye. It is really recommended to book ahead particularly in summer and high seasons because the accommodation and camping facilities can often be fully booked. I have always stayed in holiday cottages and absolutely love the freedom that this brings. When I travel I have quite a specific set of criteria for where I will look to stay, because I know that there is a possibility of seeing the aurora and I want to be in an area where it is more remote, that there isn't any street lights and there is potentially scenic viewpoint in walking distance of where I'm staying. So then if I get a aurora alerts then I will be able to head out of the door and see what's happening in the sky with ease.
Can you see the aurora on the Isle of Skye?
Yes! It's possible to see the aurora between the beginning to middle of August through to the end of April perhaps into the start of May but it's very hard for aurora to overpower the never ending summer twilight. I've seen the aurora many times on the Isle of Skye and if you would like to know more about how to see and shoot it I have got a really in-depth page dedicated to this which you can read here.
Where do you recommend visiting and what is your go-to itinerary?
This really depends on how you want to spend your time on the Isle of Skye and say I would love to give it a whistlestop tour of some of the locations I visited that I found just absolutely awe inspiring and there are so many more that I am yet to visit which I will share some of too. I never have a full itinerary for a trip I have dropped pins on Google Maps and I might have saved some things on Pinterest or Instagram that I've seen and think 'gosh I absolutely love to visit this one day'. Then I wait and see how I feel at the moment and what the weather is doing and where the light will be before I decide on how to weave things together. So I don't want to be too prescriptive in suggesting these the things that you should do, because I think everybody can build their own itinerary but know that there are some of these absolutely beautiful places to stop and adore. I'd add too that this doesn't take away from all the other beautiful places that unfold around you that you will naturally see along your way on your journey on the Isle of Skye. I've been weaving some of the images of the iconic places to see on the Isle of Skye through this post and I will share a gallery below which has a lot of other inspiration for your too.
Places I still need to visit on the Isle of Skye.
One of the main natural points of interest that I have yet to explore is the Fairy Pools and this area is really really popular with tourists and say the times that I have attempted to visit it has just been so busy that I've not wanted to stop. And so I am hoping that I will be able to go one day in winter where is chilly and perhaps a little bit snowy and frozen and I get to soak in that area without the volume of tourists that I have seen there in during times of the year.
There are quite a few hike but I would like to do and one is to a place called Brother's Point which looks absolutely spectacular and another is actually to hike to The Old Man of Storr, which I've not yet done I have seen answer from past The Old Man of Storr but it's then again very busy and I have a particular lineup of light in mind so I need to plan my trip for that and hope that the light I'm dreaming of arrives one day.
And speaking of weather, one of the things that I would really love experience is be on the Isle of Skye when it is snowing. The freezing cold tempestuous whether it's something that absolutely speak to my soul and oh I hope that one day I will be able to be there to experience weather like this.
I hope that it offers you a little bit of insight into travelling to the Isle of sky and that you get to plan and experience a really really wonderful trip. And if you've been to the Isle of Skye I would absolutely love to hear your recommendations about locations and things to see and do on the Isle.
Share this story