The best things to do on the Isle of Skye, Scotland

The best things to do on the Isle of Skye, Scotland
Coral Beach on the Isle of Skye

Are you ready for an adventure unlike any other? Look no further than the Isle of Skye, a land of fairies, legends, and misty lochs that will capture your heart.

Our itinerary of things to do on the Isle of Skye is packed with hidden beaches, off-the-beaten-path walks, and one-track roads leading into the wild.

We want to share our experiences with you so that you, too, can create unforgettable memories in the Scottish Highlands.

But be warned, driving through Skye's narrow lanes can be challenging. However, it's the detours to the more remote places that make this road trip truly magical.

Let's start by addressing some burning questions before we delve into Skye's stunning wilderness.

Bookings: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means that if you choose to make a booking, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thank You!

How many days do you need in Skye?

We recommend spending at least 3-4 days exploring Skye to see popular attractions like the Old Man of Storr and Fairy Pools while enjoying scenic drives and landscapes.

During our trip, we spent seven days exploring Skye in our van conversion and could have stayed even longer if we didn't have plans to embark on our epic North Coast 500 adventure next.

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Is the Isle of Skye worth going to?

Absolutely! The Isle of Skye is a must-visit destination for anyone travelling to Scotland.

With its rugged coastline, breathtaking landscapes, and rich history, there is something for everyone on this enchanting island. From exploring ancient castles to tasting Scottish whisky, there is no shortage of activities to keep you entertained for days on end.

And of course, the views alone are worth the road trip.

Can you stay on the Isle of Skye?

Yes, you can stay on the Isle of Skye. There are various accommodation options available in Portree, Broadford or Dunvegan ranging from luxury hotels like the Cuillin Hills Hotel to B&Bs and Airbnb rentals.

If you're travelling in a campervan or motorhome, you can use the handy Park for Night app to find plenty of wild camping spots. A spot near Dunvegan Castle was our favourite.

Now, buckle up. Here are the top things to do in Skye and places to visit that will make your trip unforgettable. Get ready to explore the rugged beauty of this Scottish gem!

Top places to visit on the Isle of Skye, Scotland

Isle of Skye attractions map:

Before we begin, check out this map of things to do on the Isle of Skye. Click on the navigation tool in the top left corner to expand the pinned locations on the map.

Portree, the capital of Skye

Portree - The Isle of Sky
Portree on the Isle of Skye, Scotland

Portree is a beautiful town and the capital of Skye. Established in the 19th century as a fishing village, it's now the largest town in the area and a great base for exploring the Isle of Skye. You won't have any trouble finding quality accommodations, great restaurants, shopping, and plenty of things to do.

Top things to do in Portree

The Scorrybreac circular walk

If you're looking for a scenic walk in Portree, be sure to check out The Scorrybreac circular walk. It's a 3 km trail that starts off easy, but gets progressively more challenging. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for a steep hill at the end.

Along the way, you'll have stunning views of the harbour from the top of Nicolson Clan's memorial hill. Don't miss the chance to stop at the Cuillin Hills Hotel for even more panoramic views or a delicious meal at their restaurant.

The walk takes about an hour to complete, with plenty of photo opportunities along the way.

Portree Harbour

Portree Harbour 
Portree Harbour 

Don't miss the harbour, one of the biggest attractions in town. Colourful houses line the high cliffs, creating a Nyhavn-like backdrop.

For a great photo opportunity, head downhill around the bay, cross a small bridge, and walk until you see a small car park and a picnic area on your right. The parking lot is located below the 4-star Cuillin Hills Hotel.

And if you're looking for a tasty meal, check out the Fish & Chip shop just across the street from the Co-Op store.

Glass bottom boat trips

A glass bottom trip with Seaprobe Atlantis could be one of the most memorable attractions on the Isle of Skye if you love spotting wildlife in their natural habitat.

These one or two hour semi-submersible glass bottom boat tours provide an up-close and personal look at the amazing sea life and underwater kelp forests that make this area so special.

If you're looking for things to do near the Isle of Skye, our partner at Get Your Guide offers a range of exciting water activities.

The Old Man of Storr

Old Man of Storr - Isle of Skye
The Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Lace up your hiking boots, grab your camera, and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime. The hike up to the Old Man of Storr, a striking rocky hillside, is a must-see destination in Skye that offers stunning views of the Isle of Raasay, the "Storr Lochs," Portree, and the Cuillin Hills.

But this isn't just a walk in the park. The hike up to the Old Man can be challenging, with a well-worn but muddy and slippery pathway. But trust us, it's worth it. Once you reach the top, you'll feel like you can see all of Scotland.

Take your time to enjoy the journey - it takes about an hour to get to the base of the Old Man, but don't stop there. Continue on and climb up to the highest viewpoint just past it. You'll be rewarded with some of the most breathtaking views you'll ever see.

For a full description of the walk, click here.

How to get to the Old Man of Storr

The Old Man of Storr is located near the main A855 northeast coast road, approximately 7 miles north of Portree. It is a 15-minute drive from the town, or you can take the 57A bus from Somerled Square in Portree, though the bus runs it only a few times a day.

The walk starts along the main road where car parking is available. During the summer months, it can get quite busy here, but be sure not to park on the yellow lines as fines are regularly given.

Brother's Point: off the beaten hiking trail

Brother's Point on the Isle of Skye
Brother's Point, Isle of Skye, Scotland

While everyone else was rushing to see the famous Kilt Rock, we decided to take a quick detour and go on a quick hike to Rubha Nam Brathairen.

This hidden gem, located just north of Portree, isn't listed as one of the essential things to do in Skye, but if you're an adventurous traveller who loves to stray off the well-trodden path, you won't want to miss it!

The walk could be classified as "easy" and "short", mostly downhill at the start. However, keep in mind that you'll have to take the same path to return, which means a slight incline towards the end of the hike.

Initially, you'll walk on a gravel trail and pass by a couple of lovely white cottages. What a beautiful setting for a home! Then the trail changes into a pebbly path and eventually, the stones by the shore are replaced by wet and bouncy grass.

There isn't much of a path, so just keep going towards the beautiful headland sticking out in front of you. As you walk along, you'll be able to see a great view of the Kilt Rock in the distance with the waterfall plunging down into the sea on your left, on a clear day.

If you're feeling adventurous, climb Dun Hasan, the summit of the peninsula. It's not a difficult climb, just a little steep and narrow. At the top, you'll be rewarded with more beautiful coastal views.

Step down a level from Dun Hasan and enter the sheep territory. Take some rest here before heading back. This part of the headland is a great spot for a picnic, so bring some snacks along.

We didn't spot any dinosaur footsteps here, but we found them elsewhere. Curious to know where? Keep reading...

How to get to Brother's Point?

A small car park for Brother's Point is located in Culnacnoc, just past the Glenview Hotel.

From the car park, head south and look for an information board named “Rubha Nam Brathairean". Unfortunately, the board is a little worn out, so it's not clear who the brothers actually were.

Your trail starts across the street from the sign. Just be careful crossing the road, as traffic is fast and busy here.

Tartan-looking Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls

Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls
Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls, Isle of Skye, Scotland 

Visiting Kilt Rock is another great thing to do on the Isle of Skye. The rock is composed of massive basalt columns resting on a sandstone base, giving it the look of a pleated tartan kilt worn by Scotsmen.

You can get a great photo from the cliff edge viewpoint a little further along the coast.

The sight offers more than just a viewpoint, as there is also the mighty Mealt Falls that cascades downwards towards the sea. It is rare to see a waterfall going directly into the sea like this, making it a great two-for-one stop.

If you happen to come across a cute food truck called Black Sheep, be sure to check it out. They sell some of the best haggis on the island, including a veggie option. Stopping here for a quick snack was a great way to get our first taste of Scottish Haggis.

How to get to Kilt Rock

The Kilt Rock Viewpoint is located off the A855, 15 minutes further north from the Old Man of Storr. Combining the two can make for a good day out from Portree.

Fortunately, there's a decent-sized car park right next to the viewpoint, so there's no need for a long walk. Phew!

Marble Beach: spot dinosaur footprints

Marble beach on the Isle of Sky
An Corran Beach, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Are you ready to feel like a real-life palaeontologist straight out of Jurassic Park? Head on over to An Corran Beach where you can search for dinosaur footprints!

This is one of the most exciting and fun things to do on the Isle of Skye, especially if you're travelling with kids.

An Corran Beach is a beautiful location for a peaceful walk on the marble-effect sands during low tide. While taking in the fresh sea air, keep your eyes downward on the rocks beneath your feet.

As the nearby information board states, dinosaur footprints were discovered here, embedded in the rocks millions of years ago and revealed only during low tide.

We parked our van a little further along by the jetty, which turned out to be a fantastic wild camping spot, and waited for the tide to recede.

While we cannot be 100% certain that we found a prehistoric footprint, it closely matched what others had posted online. There is a lot of green algae and sand among the rocks, so you may need to explore with a stick. It is a great way to keep kids entertained for a while!

If you fancy a further walk, take the hiking trail from the end of the roadway over the hills to the Columba 1400 social enterprise centre. There is a reasonably priced café here if you need a quick refuel.

How to find An Corran Beach

The beach is easy to find. Look for the Saffin Road turn-off from the A855, which is about a 35-minute drive north of Portree.

Once you turn off, follow the narrow road for less than a mile to reach the beach. Alternatively, the 57A bus also stops at the turn-off.

Mystical Fairy Glen

Fairy Glen - Things to do on the Isle of Skye
Fairy Glen, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Despite its name, Fairy Glen is not a gay man living alone in the Scottish hills. I know, we were disappointed too :(

In reality, Fairy Glen is a magical area of tiny hills, pools, and valleys that looks like it could be home to any number of mythical creatures. It can be described as a miniature Scottish glen.

Standing atop one of the various hills in this area will make you feel like a giant looking down on your mighty kingdom.

Don't forget to take a photo of the hill with the basalt rock still on top of it. The front of it looks like a giant face, which adds to the mysticism at Fairy Glen.

In the valley area, there's even a fairy circle. We saw some photos that showed it used to be complete with stones, but they had disappeared when we visited. Oh, those naughty fairies!

How to find Fairy Glen

To get to the glen, look for the turnoff from the A87 just outside of Uig. It's located immediately after the Uig Hotel on the left-hand side if you're coming from Uig.

The road to the glen is a classic Skye single-track road and can be steep in places, so take it slow and steady. Once you reach the tiny green hills, park on the gravel by the roadside.

Dunvegan Castle, home of Clan McLeoud

Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye, Scotland
Dunvegan Castle, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Nestled beside the glistening Loch Dunvegan, the stunning Dunvegan Castle boasts a truly breathtaking location. From fishing trips to loch cruises, the estate offers a variety of outdoor activities that guarantee a memorable experience.

But don't wait too long to book a boat trip to see the enchanting Loch Dunvegan seals; spots fill up fast!

Remodelled to look like a 19th Century mediaeval castle, Dunvegan Castle is the ancestral home of the MacLeod clan, one of the most prominent Highland Scottish clans on the Isle of Skye. It is also the oldest inhabited castle in Scotland, with a history dating back 800 years.

While there's not much remaining of the original 13th Century castle, the heirlooms of the MacLeod clan are steeped in legend and lore. For instance, there's the mysterious Fairy Flag, a relic given to the MacLeods by the fairies themselves.

Made from fine silk, it's said to possess magical abilities: upon waving it in times of danger, help will be provided on three occasions. But if it's waved more than three times, the flag will either be taken away by an invisible being or lose its magical powers forever. Because of this, the flag has been entrusted only to the most deserving flag bearers.

Has the flag been waved three times already? Although numerous manuscripts detail the waving of the flag, the MacLeod clan insists that it has only been unfurled twice so far.

Wild camp by Dunvegan Castle

Add a unique twist to your Isle of Skye itinerary by including wild camping in your plans. Wild camping is a popular activity in Scotland and could be one of the most memorable things to do in Isle of Skye.

During our trip, we chose to wild camp in our campervan on the shores of Loch Dunvegan. Waking up to the misty castle view while sipping our morning brew was a delight, and the nearby road was quiet until later in the morning when cars began to pass by.

Where is Dunvegan Castle?

Dunvegan Castle is situated in the north-west of Skye, just 1 mile from Dunvegan village. You can also take a ferry directly from Mallaig on the mainland to shorten your journey.

Coral Beach - a hidden paradise

Things to do on the Isle of Skye - Spend a Day at Coral Beach.
Coral Beach, Isle of Skye, Scotland

You'll find that almost all exciting things to do on the Isle of Skye involve hiking up a hill or at least taking a long walk. It's not easy, but it's worth it!

The Coral Beach or Traigh a' Corail, which looks like a tropical paradise, is no exception. It's located a considerable distance from the car park, but the experience is absolutely worth the effort.

As you approach the beach, take your time to admire the white coral stretch and the turquoise blue surf from a distance. It's a breathtaking sight and something you wouldn’t expect to see on Scottish soil.

When you reach the beach, you can climb a small hill for fantastic panoramic views over the beach. Although the climb is steep, it's not too difficult and only takes five minutes to reach the top.

Coral Beach is not only a beach but also evidence of ancient marine life. The coral sand here is formed from bleached red coralline seaweed called Maerl, which is a little sharp underfoot.

This kind of seaweed has many nooks and crevices that attract sea life such as starfish and shellfish, which in turn attract cod - a seal's favourite meal. If you're lucky, you may spot one or two having a swim further away from the shore.

If you're lucky enough to have a sunny day like we did, be sure to visit the beach. It's one of the most stunning places to see in the Isle of Skye.

How to get to Coral Beach?

To reach Coral Beach, there is only one single-track road. Starting from Dunvegan Castle, head north for approximately 3 miles until you reach a small car park.

Although parking is free, space is very limited, so it's best to arrive early in the day.

From the car park, it's only a short fifteen-minute walk to the beach. The route is fairly easy, mostly gravel, but I still recommend wearing comfortable shoes.

The best time to visit Coral Beach

The best time to visit Coral Beach is either early in the morning or later in the evening. We arrived at around 10 am (in June), and by midday, the car park was filling up quickly, forming a long queue alongside the main road.

As Charlie and I had some work to do on our laptops, we didn't leave our campervan until around 4 pm, by which time the beach was nearly empty.

Neist Point Lighthouse

Neist Point Lighthouse
Neist Point Lighthouse, Isle of Skye, Scotland

There's no doubt that Neist Point Lighthouse, located on the most westerly point of the Isle of Skye, sits on one of the most dramatic sets of rocks in Scotland. Built in the 1900s, it is now listed as a Category B building to preserve it for future generations.

During the day, the lighthouse itself looks pretty ordinary, especially on one of the many hazy days in the Scottish isles. Therefore, it's best to visit during the golden hours - just before or during sunset.

To get to the lighthouse, there is only one way. You'll see it immediately from the top of the cliff. The trail to the lighthouse is steep, but it's within easy reach when going down the cliffs.

However, it's a completely different story when going back up. The last leg of the road up will leave you breathless if you're not used to steep climbing. Good exercise, though.

Be careful when ascending or walking around the cliffs, especially when trying to take photos. The cliffs drop 100 metres and can be slippery. Also, it can be rather windy at higher points.

The lighthouse is quite out of the way, and it takes a little effort navigating the notorious one-track roads. However, you will get to see the vast and beautiful Scottish countryside, which to us, always outweighs the effort.

Where is Neist Point Lighthouse?

To reach Neist Point Lighthouse, drive west from Dunvegan for approximately 30 minutes (about 1 hour from Portree) until you reach the end of the one-track road.

There is limited parking available near the start of the trail, so it's best to park your car further back on either side of the road.

Talisker Distillery

Things to do on the Isle of Skye - Talisker Distillery
Talisker Distillery, Isle of Skye, Scotland 

A visit to the Isle of Skye isn't complete without sipping a "wee dram" (shot) of whiskey, and the Talisker Distillery in Carbost offers an ideal spot to enjoy this experience and learn about the distilling process. It's also one of the best Skye attractions when the weather isn't cooperating.

Founded in 1830, Talisker is now part of the drinks giant Diageo, evident when you step inside and see the branded goods and polished displays. They certainly know their marketing!

The basic distillery tour takes 45 minutes, costs £10, and includes a taste of some single malt at the end. Booking ahead is strongly advised for the fancier options available to whiskey aficionados, as spaces are limited.

If you love seafood, combine your visit to Talisker with some tasty treats from the Oyster Shed, located just one mile up the road.

Finding the distillery

Head to the village of Carbost, which sits on the side of Loch Harport. It's about a 30-minute drive from Portree. Alternatively, catch the 145 or 608 bus to Carbost from Portree.

The Oyster Shed

Things to do in Skye - East Fresh Oysters at Oyster Shed
The Oyster Shed, Isle of Skye, Scotland

As its name suggests, the Oyster Shed is renowned for its fresh oysters, which are grown locally on the west coast of Skye.

You can enjoy them raw with a dash of Tabasco sauce right at the counter or order a platter and head to the picnic area next door, which overlooks the beautiful Scottish countryside.

The locally sourced produce here is fresh, simple, and affordable. Their scallops, perfectly fried in garlic butter, are a must-try. If you happen to be allergic to shellfish, you can order hot smoked mackerel or salmon and chips, which are equally delicious.

If you're in a hurry, they also have pre-packaged takeout options and other jarred goodies for you to take away. However, if you're not in a rush, stay and enjoy the cool vibe of this lovely place.

Where is the Oyster Shed located?

The Oyster Shed is situated in Carbost village, near Talisker Distillery and just a minute away from the main car park by the water.

Magical Fairy Pools

Fairy Pools - Things to do on the Isle of Skye
Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland

One of the most enjoyable things to do on the Isle of Skye is to swim in the vibrant Fairy Pools, nestled at the base of the awe-inspiring Cuillin Mountains.

The breathtaking scenery alone is worth the trip, with the jagged peaks serving as the perfect backdrop to the crystal-clear waters.

For the ultimate experience, be sure to pack your swimwear, towel, and water shoes. It’s the perfect place to take a refreshing plunge into the vibrant blue and turquoise pools, each one naturally formed into a unique shape and size.

Even if you prefer to keep your toes dry, you won't be able to resist the allure of the cascading waterfalls that feed the pools. Sit back, relax, and let the soothing sound of the water transport you to the fairyland.

Spend a few hours basking in the beauty of the Fairy Pools, exploring the twists and turns of the waterfalls, and revelling in the magic of this natural wonder. Trust us, this is one of the Isle of Skye attractions you won't want to miss.

How to get to Fairy Pools

The Fairy Pools are located near Carbost on the road to Glenbrittle. The road leading down to the car park is steep and spectacular, so drive carefully.

The two-level car park, "Glumagan Na Sithichean," is spacious, so you should be able to find a spot to park. The cost is £5 for a car and £8 for a campervan.

For those interested, an Isle of Skye Tour with Fairy Pools from Inverness can also be booked.

How long is the walk to Fairy Pools?

The hike took us a maximum of 20 minutes, but the time it takes may vary depending on your fitness level. The trail is visible from the road and easy to walk on, consisting mainly of gravel.

Look out for the "Sligaghan" sign marking the start of the route.

You'll need to cross a small river just before reaching the first waterfall, but it's a quick hop over a couple of stones. There's nothing to worry about unless there has been heavy rain, which is quite possible in Scotland.

At the top of the trail, there is a well-trodden grassy shortcut, but it can get muddy and slippery, so be careful if you decide to take it.

Fishing village of Elgol

Elgol - fishing Village on the Isle of Skye
Elgol, Isle of Skye, Scotland

If you're looking for unique things to do on the Isle of Skye, head to the remote fishing village of Elgol. Located on the Strathaird peninsula, Elgol sits on the edge of Loch Scavaig and is a scattered settlement with the main hub centred around the charming harbour and beach.

As you make your way down the steep road towards the water, you'll come across a few huts offering boat trips to see a range of wildlife. These trips will take you across Loch Scavaig to the entrance of Loch Coruisk, which means "cauldron of water" in Gaelic.

This glacial loch is nearly 2 miles long but fairly narrow and is situated at the heart of the Cuillin Hills, offering the perfect vantage point for the mighty 3,255-foot mountain, Sgurr Alasdair.

How to reach Elgol

To get to Elgol, take the B8083 single-track road that heads southwest from Broadford. Keep driving for about 30 minutes and you'll arrive.

Alternatively, you can take the number 55 bus which follows the same route and takes approximately 1 hour each way.

The spectacular Cuillin Range

Golden hour at Cullin Range on Skye
Cuillin Range, Isle of Skye, Scotland

If you spend any time on Skye, you won't be able to resist stopping in your tracks once you catch a glimpse of the mighty Cuillin mountain ranges.

The Black Cuillin and Red Cuillin, separated by Glen Sligachan, dominate the landscape to the south of the island.

The "Cuillin traverse," a 12km long journey with 3000m of ascent across 11 Munros (peaks over 914m or 3000ft), is considered the most challenging mountaineering journey in the UK.

However, if you're not an experienced hiker or don’t have enough time, you can simply admire the view from afar. You can even catch a stunning sunset projected onto the Cuillin ranges if the timing and weather are right.

Another way to marvel at these towering formations is by visiting the Fairy Pools. Hike past the pools and up to the foot of the Cuillin range from the southeastern direction. You won't regret it!

How to get to the Cuillin Ranges

One of the best and most secluded spots to view the mountain ranges is the Glenbrittle Campsite & Cafe.

It is located at the very end of a single-track road that passes by the Fairy Pools, making it a remote place to stay for a night or two.

Alternatively, you can get a decent view of the distant mountain range from any pull-off on the A863.

Armadale Castle: home of the mighty Clan Donald

Armadale Castle
Armadale Castle, Isle of Skye, Scotland 

Next on our list of things to do on the Isle of Skye is the ruin of Armadale Castle, once home to the mighty Clan Donald or Clan MacDonald.

Built in the 19th century, Armadale Castle is a stunning example of Scottish architecture. Although it was never meant for defence, its castle-like appearance is sure to take your breath away.

Sadly, the castle has fallen into disrepair over the years, but the remains of a grand staircase leading down into the main hall still stand, allowing your imagination to run wild with visions of its former glory.

But don't let the ruins discourage you! What makes a visit to Armadale Castle worthwhile are the nature trails that wind through the estate. The gardens are a true delight, featuring ancient trees, beautiful wildflowers, and even some cute statues.

You can even catch a glimpse of the Western Red Cedar guarding the castle entrance.

During our visit, the woodland trails were completely deserted, making the walk extra relaxing. The Red circular trail takes around an hour to walk and is very easy, although it can be a bit muddy in places. But the lovely panoramic views at the end are well worth it.

And if you're feeling up for it, the Blue trail offers a slightly longer walk and the chance to explore deeper into the countryside.

How to get to Armadale Castle?

Armadale Castle is situated in Armadale, in southern Skye, along the A851, adjacent to the Mallaig-Armadale ferry.

To reach Armadale Castle, you can drive, take a bus, or catch the ferry.

If you choose to drive, it takes around 30 minutes from Broadford. Follow the signs for Armadale/Ferry. The Castle is just a two-minute drive from the ferry terminal.

At the entrance, there's a free car park, a café and restaurant, and clean restrooms available.

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The Oronsay hiking trail at sunset

Sunset Atop Oronsay - Isle of Skye
Oronsay, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Here’s another remote walking trail to enjoy if you’re looking for hidden gems and unique things to do on the Isle of Skye.

Oronsay is a tiny rocky outcrop, sitting in Loch Bracadale, which you can only reach across a pebble causeway at low tide.

Although there’s nothing on the island itself apart from the local sheep heard, it’s the views that make the trek oh so worth it. Looking out from the highest point, across Loch Bracadale to the other distant islands is truly awe-inspiring.

We made the walk across at around sunset for added effect and had the place all to ourselves. It was super handy that we could pitch up and wild camp in our van in the tiny car park at the trail starting point.

The key thing to remember with this one... check the tide times to ensure you can cross to Oronsay and back without needing to swim!

How to get to Oronsay

You’ll need to seek out the remote village of Ullinish for this one. Take the turning off the A863 right beside the Dun Beag Broch Car Park.

It’s a highly scenic 30-minute drive from Portree to reach the appropriately named Oronsay Path Car Park.

Amazingly you can get here on the A6100 bus from Portree. We didn’t take this, so check at the tourist office before you set off.

Iconic Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle - Isle of Sky
Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland

Just before crossing the bridge into the magical Isle of Skye, you simply can't miss Eilean Donan Castle! This stunning fortress is named after an Irish Saint, Bishop Donan, who formed a small community in Scotland back in the 6th century.

Built in the 13th century to defend Northern Scotland against Viking raids, the castle has undergone four reconstructions, and was even left abandoned for almost 200 years, until it was fully restored and reopened in 1932.

But the real wonder of Eilean Donan Castle is the breathtaking scenery that surrounds it. Nestled on an island where three great sea locks converge, the view is simply spectacular. And while you might think the best photos are taken up close, trust us - the best way to capture the castle's full glory is from a distance.

You have two options for parking: you can park your car at the free lot next to the castle and walk back up to the road bridge, or you can park past the bridge at a small car park on your left. From here, you'll get the most amazing view of the breathtaking landscape.

How to get to Isle of Skye?

How to get to the Isle of Skye in Scotland
Touring Skye in a Our Trusted Campervan

If you're planning to visit the Isle of Skye, you have several transportation options to choose from. Here are some of the most popular routes:

By car

If you're driving, the easiest way to get to Skye is by crossing the Skye Bridge, which spans the sea between Kyle of Lochalsh on the mainland and Kyleakin on Skye. If you do that, be sure to stop at Eilean Donan Castle.

Alternatively, you can take several scenic routes from other Scottish cities:

Edinburgh to Isle of Skye: The quickest route passes through Spean Bridge, which is a 232-mile drive from Edinburgh to Portree on Skye, taking around 5 hours by car.
Glasgow to Skye: The 216-mile drive from Glasgow to Portree on Skye usually takes 5-6 hours by car.
Inverness to Skye: The 112-mile drive from Inverness to Portree on Skye takes around 2.5 hours on quiet roads.

Note that travel times may increase during the summer months.

Travelling by bus to Skye

You can take a “CityLink” coach from Glasgow or Inverness to Skye. Check their website for route options and timetables. It's best to book in advance to secure your seat via their official website.

Skye ferry services

Calmac operates regular ferry services to Skye from the mainland and surrounding islands. There are three main ports on Skye that Calmac operates from:

Mallaig on the mainland to Armadale on Skye
Sconser on Skye to Raasay
Uig on Skye to Lochmaddy on North Uist or Tarbert on Harris

To get the full details of these routes and to book your tickets, visit the official Calmac website.

Top-rated Isle of Skye tours

Who says you have to explore alone? Join one of our partner Get Your Guide's top-rated tours and discover the beauty of the Isle of Skye!

Their experienced and knowledgeable guides will take you on an adventure through breathtaking landscapes, historic landmarks, and hidden gems.

From the magical Fairy Pools to the majestic Old Man of Storr, these tours will create memories to last a lifetime.

Skye day tours

Where to stay in Skye

Whether you're travelling solo or with a group, Portree, Broadford and Dunvegan offer cosy cottages, hotels, guesthouses, and B&Bs.

Use the search box below to find your ideal place to stay in Skye.