The word "magical" seems to have been invented for the Isle of Skye, so it's easy to see why there are so many things to do on Skye. The island's dramatic mountain ranges create views which will stay with you forever. The Isle of Skye was in the headlines in summer 2017 as news articles reported that the island was closed. Although this wasn't strictly true, it does show that this island in the Inner Hebrides is becoming increasingly popular and it's easy to see why with these fantastic things to do on Skye.
The Quiraing is part of the Trotternish ridgewhere a massive landslip has formed towering cliffs, hidden plateaus and pinnacles of rock. Popular with photographers, this is one of the most dramatic landscapes in Scotland. On a clear day, you can enjoy views of the Outer Hebrides and the mainland of Scotland. This atmospheric landscape is popular as a film location and the Quiraing has featured in many films including The Land that Time Forgot (1975), Stardust (2007), Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), 47 Ronin (2013), Macbeth (2015), The BFG (2016), King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Transformers: The Last Knight.
Watch the Northern Lights in Skye
With so little light pollution, it's not surprising that the Isle of Skye is one of the best places to see the Northern Lights (aurora borealis) in the Scottish Highlands and Islands.
Read more including how what you can do to improve your chances of seeing the Northern Lights: Can you see the Northern Lights in Scotland?
The Fairy Pools
The Fairy Pools in Glen Brittle near the village of Carbost, is a popular tourist attraction for walkers and photographers. The River Brittle fills incredibly blue pools with crystal-clear water which look inviting to swim in. If you're brave enough to indulge in a spot of wild swimming, you're advised to bring a wetsuit.
The Three Chimneys, Skye
The Three Chimneys is an award-winning Scottish restaurant with 5-star accommodation, situated beside the sea in Colbost, Dunvegan on the Isle of Skye. The chef focuses on local produce with most ingredients come from a 20-mile radius and they are currently The Good Food Guide 2018 Editor's Choice for UK Restaurant of the Year.
Old Man of Storr
Walking up to the Old Man of Storr is one of the most popular things to do on Skye for photographers, hikers and hill walkers. The Old Man is a large rock formation which is part of the Trotternish ridge in the north of the Isle of Skye. You can walk up and down the Storr on a 3.8km route, that takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete.
If you want a truly unique Scottish experience, take the opportunity to travel to the Scottish mainland from Skye crossing the Kylerhea straits by the last manually operated turntable ferry in Scotland. The "Glenachulish" ferry boat is over 40 years old and you won't forget this historic trip. Please see the Glenelg-Skye Ferry website for more info.
Talisker Whisky is produced in the oldest working distillery on the Isle of Skye. The distillery is located in the village of Carbost on the shores of Loch Harport with views of the Cuillins. You can join a tour of the distillery before trying a sample of "a whisky made by the sea".
Things to do on Skye: Travel to the Isle of Skye
So now you've decided to go on holiday to Skye, you now need to decide how you're going to get there. There are several ways to travel to the Isle of Skye:
Getting to the Isle of Skye is easy as although it is an island it's connected by the free road bridge which crosses from the Kyle of Lochalsh on the mainland to Kyleakin on Skye.
Sat Nav users be aware that some devices will take you on a route via Mallaig where you can catch a ferry to Skye. Check your route carefully to ensure you haven't selected a route which involves a ferry trip.
If you want to travel by ferry to the Isle of Skye, there is only one route from the mainland and three from other islands.
Calmac operates the following services:
- Mallaig, Scottish mainland - Armadale, Isle of Skye
- Uig, Isle of Skye - Lochmaddy, North Uist
- Uig, Isle of Skye - Tarbert, Harris
- Sconser, Isle of Skye - Isle of Raasay
Visit the Calmac website for further information and to book online.
Glenelg - Skye Ferry
If you want a truly unique Scottish experience, take the opportunity to travel to Skye by the last manually operated turntable ferry in Scotland. The "Glenachulish" ferry boat is over 40 years old and a trip on her is like getting a glimpse into the past and there has been a car ferry service crossing the Kylerhea straits since 1934.
The journey is from Glenelg on the mainland to Kylerhea on the Isle of Skye. The drive to the ferry on both sides is incredibly scenic so if you're not in a rush, I highly recommend you take the boat "Over the Sea to Skye" and experience a living piece of Scottish history. We even had a pine marten run across the road on the Skye side in the middle of the morning.
The Glenelg-Skye Ferry is run by a small company who are doing their best to conserve this historic way of travelling to Skye. They would love people to spread the word on social media and if you have a few pounds you could donate, even better. Please see the Glenelg-Skye Ferry website for more info.
Accommodation on the Isle of Skye
There are lots of holiday accommodation options on the Isle of Skye whether you want to stay in a holiday cottage, log cabin, hotel, bed & breakfast or on a campsite.
Want more tips on things to do on Skye from local people?
Our Local Tips series lets you benefit from local people on Skye and people who know the area well. Check out all our Local Tips for things to do on Skye or have a look at this little selection:
- Local tips: Things to do on the Isle of Skye – Ben Oakes
- Local tips: Things to do on the Isle of Skye – Steve Millar and Blaze the dog
Plan your trip to the Isle of Skye
- Isle of Skye: 40 Coast and Country Walks – Read our review of our favourite walk books.
- Ordnance Survey maps with free mobile download – various combinations available for the Isle of Skye from Ordnance Survey and Amazon