The Isle of Skye (An t-Eilean Sgitheanach in Scottish Gaelic) is the largest and most popular island of Scotland’s inner Hebrides region. Skye is a place to revel in majestic sea cliffs and broad headlands set alongside white and black coral beaches. The Isle of Skye is where you’ll find lochs and mountains, wildlife and dramatic natural beauty, as well as shopping, museums and first class restaurants. Skye offers walking, nature, wildlife and charming villages all in one glorious place.
Some of the highlights include:
Portree Harbour. The harbour in Portree , the largest town on Skye, is a scenic wonder, surrounded by rolling hills and rocky shores. The icing on the proverbial cake is the line of rainbow colored houses lining the waterfront.
Talisker Distillery, set on the shores of Loch Harport, offers dramatic views of the Cuillin Mountains and is the only whiskey distillery on the island. It was founded in 1830. The tour of the facilities includes a ‘wee dram’ of whiskey, of course.
Dunvegan Castle, rumored to be the oldest inhabited castle in northern Scotland, is residence for the proud Clan MacLeod who have lived in the castle for all but 80 years of its existence. Visitors will be delighted by the beautiful coastal setting and the expansive gardens that are worth a stroll in any weather.
Old Man of Storr. This oddly shaped rock formation can be accessed and viewed by a walking path that is well signposted and easily found off the A855.
Kilt Rock and Waterfall. This scenic point seems right out of a fairytale; the spectacular cliff face is incredible on its own, but the single jet of water plummeting off the rocks and into the water below is beyond description.
Clan Donald Centre in Armadale has a number of interesting tourist attractions that are worth your time. The Museum of the Isles details the history of the area; there are a series of walking trails and gardens, as well as a shop offering a wealth of wool products that the islands are so well known for.
Be sure to visit the Skye Museum of Island Life in Kilmuir, which opened in 1965. It is dedicated to the preservation of a township of thatched cottages and to depict the conditions prevailing on the island at the close of the nineteenth century. A hundred years ago, these thatched houses were part of everyday life in the Highlands. It was in these cottages, by the light of peat fires, that the crofters of the Islands sang and told stories that are now part of the Hebrides historical traditions. To reach the museum, there is bus service from Portree.
Accommodations in Skye range from cottages and guest houses to caravans or self-catering units. Sleat and Portree offer the most lodging options while the Scottish Youth Hostels Association has three hostels in Skye – in Broadford, Glenbrittle, and Uig.
Written by Andy Hayes for EuropeUpClose.com