A Mini Guide to the Isle of Skye

Billow and breeze, islands and seas, mountains of rain and sun… Sadly we no longer have to travel to Skye by boat, but the island is still just as spectacular. Here are my favourite things to do on the Isle of Skye.

Visiting The Isle of Skye 

Once you arrive on Skye and leave the civilisation of the Broadford you will find the highlands of the Skye are literally awe-inspiring. It is no wonder that the Isle of Skye is Scotland’s most popular island. Whilst Skye should always be on your list of islands to visit in Scotland but think about visiting in autumn or winter when the crowds are much smaller. Please don’t build rock towers at the Fairy Glen or park in passing places or on the roadside if you can’t find a parking spot. 

Things to do on the Isle of Skye

  • The popular spots – thanks to Instagram, the Fairy Pools, the Fairy Glen (Glenbrittle) Neist Point Lighthouse and Kilt Rock (Meall Falls) are the most popular spots on Skye. Please do not attempt to climb down the cliff to the bottom of Meall Falls – you can’t, it is actually a long walk along the coast. 
  • The east coast – in the height of summer it may feel like a conveyor belt of hire cars, the east coast of Skye will be filled with campervans and tour buses on their day out – but don’t let you put that off. You often have the road to yourself and the hike to the Old Man of Storr, pretty Portree harbour and the mighty Quiraing are well worth a visit.
  • On the west coast – visit Dunvegan Castle, home of Clan MacLeod to learn not only about the history of this clan but also the role of clans today – as well as their most famous member, Dame Flora MacLeod. The Castle sits in a stunning location on the seafront, and the gardens are also lovely to wander around.
  • On the south coast – with rolling lush green landscapes and views over the sound to Morar, Knoydart and Glenelg, the Sleat Peninsula is one of Skye’s hidden gems. Often bypassed by those arriving on the Skye ferry the peninsula is also one of Skye’s quieter corners – which makes it perfect as a base to explore. 
  • Get off the beaten track – if you like life a little more sedate the Cuillin is also viewed in all its magnificence from a walk to Camasunary Beach on the Elgol (or to give it its proper name) Strathaird Peninsula. Take a boat trip to Loch Coruisk right into the heart of the mountains. Take a walk around Loch Coriusk for the most incredible views of the mountains, before catching the afternoon ride back – magical.
  • The mountains – the dramatic red and black Cuillin (singular, it is ridge, not a range of mountains) dominate the misty isles’ skyline wherever you look – climbing the twelve 3000 ft+ peaks of the Black Cuillin ridge is on most Munro Baggers bucket list. Whilst there is no easy Munro in the Cuillin, with the right hill walking gear and in good weather, Bruach na Frithe and Bla Bheinn are two of the easiest summits to reach. Don’t attempt the Cuillin in winter without winter climbing experience.

things to do on the Isle of Skye

things to do on the Isle of Skye

I was asked if “the waterfall going over the cliff” and I’d answered her no, a little confused.
HAHAHA. How did I miss looking down???!!! Oh well.

Where to stay on Skye

  • The Old Inn at Carbost – a traditional pub with rooms, located out at what feels like the end of the world – you turn left at The Cullins and just keep going and going and going until you reach Carbost and the home of the Talisker Distillery. The rooms at the Old Inn are good value, but basic. The view from the pub, however, was worth every penny. The pub has a beer garden right out on the water. 
  • Skye Yurts – offering up a glamping alternative to camping on Skye. Set peacefully in the owner’s garden surrounded by trees are three yurts, Water and Earth, which are perfect for families and Fire, which is designed for couples. With no wifi or mobile phone signal you are guaranteed peace and quiet – a luxury on this most popular of islands.  

Where to eat on Skye

  • Lunch at The Oyster Shed (although we chickened out of the slippery suckers for prawns & mussels) 
  • Dinner at the Old Inn at Carbost (excellent fish, fish & more fish) where you can also enjoy the local Skye & Cullin breweries.
  • Woodfired pizzas from Cafe Sia – they are also available to take away if you prefer the peace of your yurt. 
  • Fine dining at the Three Chimneys and Loch Bay restaurants.

Guide to Isle of Skye 2

Guide to Isle of Skye 3

How To Get To Skye 

The Isle of Skye is connected to the mainland by both a bridge and three ferry services.

  • The Mallaig to Armadale ferry links the mainland direct to Sleat. There are up to 9 ferries a day in summer and it 30/40 minute crossing. Make sure you book in advance as if there is no ferry crossing available from Mallaig it is about 3-hour drive round via the bridge! 
  • You can also arrive on the island at Uig from Tarbert on Harris in the Outer Hebrides. 
  • Catch the tiny Glenelg ferry – great fun

Love from, Scotland x

More Island Guides


  • Siobhan 15/07/2015 at 1:23 pm

    I love Skye so very, very much. So glad you got good weather for your trip. Portree. Staffin Bay and the Quiraing all have special places in my heart. <3

  • Elise 16/07/2015 at 10:19 am

    It all looks wonderful – that fish! Skye is high on my list for our next Scottish holiday, if the weather stayed like that I’d be happy! 🙂

  • supermum2016 02/04/2016 at 10:58 am

    Wow looks amazing. Isn’t it just great when the weather is on your side. Never been to Scotland but will definitely be planning a trip there one day. Thanks for sharing.

  • swapna 04/04/2016 at 1:17 am

    I missed going to Isle of Skye when I visited the UK- Twice actually! But these pictures are……really fabulous! Pls do share at the Practical Mondays Link up! Would love to see your fabulous pictures there!

  • ethannevelyn.com 04/04/2016 at 8:14 pm

    It is so beautiful! I really like your photos – they are amazing! The Old Man of Storr and the Kilt Rock escpially. Great that the weather gods smiles on you. 🙂 #MyFavouriteTrip

  • Our Seaside Baby 07/04/2016 at 6:29 pm

    Wow! The Isle of Skye looks stunning and it’s somewhere I’ve always wanted to visit. The landscape & views are absolutely beautiful! Love the coloured houses, the lush greenery and those views out to sea. Amazing photographs, funny you missed the waterfall, but did see it afterall! Thanks for linking up #MyFavouriteTrip Polly x

  • Elizabeth MacLeod 10/06/2016 at 2:29 am

    Umm, great article, thanks for the tips that we’ll take into account when we travel there this summer.. But, a glaring error – Dunvegan Castle is home to the MacLeod clan, not MacCleod.

    • lovefrom 10/06/2016 at 10:04 am

      oops! Thanks for that, now corrected. Enjoy your trip to Skye when it comes!

  • keza 18/08/2016 at 9:58 am

    I love your pictures! Definitely will go there once in my life ♥

  • Highlights of Isle of Skye - Scotland's Crown Jewel - INSPIRED BY MAPS 26/08/2016 at 7:34 pm

    […] for more information on Skye, including where to eat, I also recommend you check out the fantastic Guide to the Isle Of Skye by Love From […]

  • Ingrid 04/09/2016 at 8:40 am

    Thanks Kate, most helpful. We are off to The Highlands soon and are starting our adventure with just 2 nights self catering in Skye. Your post was just the ticket. By the way, we had a lovely holiday in Edinburgh this spring and are booked to go back next March to celebrate “himselfe’s” birthday. We are also huge Gabaldon fans as well as Rankin fans! Looking forward to another pint in The Ox!

    • lovefrom 07/09/2016 at 11:01 am

      Hi Ingrid, I have a guide to the Isle of Skye that might help with your visit. Are you heading to Wester Ross (Applecross & Gairloch) ? as I have also got a list of my favourite things to do there too!

  • The Best Water-Based Experiences in Scotland - Luxe Beat Magazine 27/05/2020 at 6:48 pm

    […] and Scotland is the perfect setting for a sailing experience with a trip around the sea lochs of Skye and the Small […]

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    Hello from Scotland!

    We are K&B

    Love, from Scotland is our guide to how to travel Scotland like a local... read more

    Want more Scotland?

    All Scotland, no spam!
    - new Scotland guides & itineries
    - all the best places to stay

    Follow LFS