2 days in the wild nature of scotland
Honestly it's quite tough to describe the Isle of Skye with simple words when also pictures can't really express the wilderness of Nature in Skye. Federica, in a stroke of genius, define the Isle of Skye as arduous, gloomy and violent and this three adjectives are the best ones to describe the soul of the Isle of Skye.
As a matter of fact, Skye is not the heaven on earth, it is not the place where you'd want to spend the rest of your life, it is not the dreamt white sandy Caribbean beach! The Isle of Skye is swept by strong winds and crossed by dark and low clouds, Skye is made of harsh cliffs climbed by narrow streets, Skye is made of gloomy and dark mountains ... and these are the reasons that make Skye so wonderful, a place where Nature is awful, meaning that it can be dreadful and amazing at the same time.
where to sleep
The Isle of Skye is plenty of bed&breakfasts ... you can find them almost everywhere, in small towns and even in isolated locations. Portree is surely the most important town on the Isle of Skye, it is a nice place and it can be a great base to visit al the attractions of Skye. Dunvegan, a tiny a town in the north western part of Skye ( 30 minutes far from Portree ) can be a good alternative. Here we spent out two nights on the Isle of Skye.
More precisely, we stayed at the The Tables Guest House, probably the best b&b in our road trip around Scotland. The room was huge, comfortable and clean, with a very nice shower. Breakfast was served in a cozy veranda and it was so tasteful ... try the toast with melted cheese and onions!
Price for one night in a double room: £ 94 ( June 2017 ).
It's almost impossible to have precise weather forecasts on the Isle of Skye! Wind from the Atlantic Ocean is so strong that clouds travel at an incredible pace! Thus weather conditions change over and over: sunny, then cloudy, then rainy, then sunny again! Don't worry, the only thing that doesn't change is the beauty of the Isle of Skye that will fascinate you with every weather condition. However it's important to bring with you a mantle and water proof shoes.
how much time
A trip to Scotland can't be complete without a stop in the Isle of Skye. The only doubt can be about how many days to spend on the island.
The answer, as always, depends on you and what you are looking for. You want to discover on a car stopping by the most beautiful view points with few easy hikes, then 2 days can be a reasonable amount of time. On the contrary, if you are hiking lovers and you want to discover Skye on foot then you could stay on the island for a week without being bored because there are lots of hikes with many good reviews on the web.
the highlights of skye
The Isle of Skye has so many beautiful coastal roads and dramatic landscapes that even driving without a specific destination can be a pleasant experience, but here you can find those places we consider the best on the island.
All the main panoramic viewpoints on the Isle of Skye are located on this peninsula in the North Eastern part of the island, few kilometers far from Portree. The first highlight of the Trotternish Peninsula is The Old Man of Storr, a monolith that overlooks the coastal road. Honestly it didn't impress us but from the parking area starts an average difficulty hike ( Link ) towards the monolith where, likely, the view should be amazing.
Going North, not far from the Old Man of Storr, there's another panoramic viewpoint: the Kilt Rock is a truly amazing place one Isle of Skye with a harsh cliff and a waterfall that jumps directly into the sea. Why is this place called Kilt Rock ? Honestly we didn't clearly understand but apparently Scottish people see in the facets of the cliff the weave of their kilt!
Going further North you'll find the deviation that brings to the majestic Quiraing, an impressive mountain chain crossed by single track road that links Staffin to Uig. In our opinion it's better to drive from Uig to Staffin because the landscape open suddenly up in an unexpected way. Trekking lovers can organize a hike in the Quiraing, but be careful because it is beautiful but difficult ( Link ).
Finally, in the extreme Northern part of the Trotternish Peninsula the ruins of Duntulum Castle are another interesting place with a spectacular landscape.
Located at the entrance of the Trotternish Peninsula , Portree is the main town on the Isle of Skye and it is famous for its colorful cottages overlooking the tiny harbour. Portree is a town of 2000 inhabitants and you can visit it in a hour, but the atmosphere here is really pleasant. If you want to have dinner in a restaurant in Portree then book in advance, because they are always full.
Dunvegan Castle, Neist Point and Coral Beaches
In the Western part of the Isle of Skye there are to minor peninsulas: the Vaternish and the Duirnish where we found our top place on the island: Neist Point. As a matter of fact here we felt all the power of Skye: the lighthouse located on a rocky promontory that faces the Ocean with harsh and gloomy cliffs in the background, strong winds blowing towards the inland and clouds moving quickly and low. There is an easy path that links the parking area with the lighthouse promontory ( link ).
Another easy and pleasant walk is the one that leads to the Coral Beaches near Claigan. This is is a nice place, not unforgettable, thanks to the contrasts between the green of lawns, the clear white of the beach and the different shades of blue of the crystal clear water. As said before, nice place but if you are in hurry you can miss it.
Finally Dunvegan, a small tiny town in the Isle of Skye with a remarkable view over the Table Mountains, similar to the most famous South African one, that is located few kilometers far from the Dunvegan Castle. Actually this castle didn't impress us, it is nice with cool gardens but a fare of £ 13 is not good value for money.
Sligachan and the Cuillin Mountains
One of the most photogenic points of the Isle of Skye is located close to Sligachan in the heart of the island where and old stony bridge is the perfect subject fro pictures thank to presence of the spectacular and gloomy Cuillin Mountains in the background.
The stony bridge is the starting point of many hikes that go deep into the Cuillin Mountains. The most famous hike is the one that leads to the Fairy Pools ( Link ).