Here’s the 7 best things to do in the Isle of Skye, a beautiful island connected to the north coast of Scotland by a road bridge.
1. Fairy Pools
The Fairy Pools in Glen brittle are a series of beautiful waterfalls, separated by rock pools and surrounded by mountains.
The first waterfall you come to is actually the highest one with the deepest pool. As a result it makes for some great swimming and water jumps, if you want to brave the cold water!
Further on you will find the well known pool that features a natural arch. In fact, you can actually swim under the clear blue water and through the arch.
Definitely one of the best things to do in the Isle of Skye. Well worth taking some time to hike around this magical area.
If you are based in Inverness, a great way to see the Fairy Pools, and more, is the 2-Day Isle of Skye and The Fairy Pools Tour.
I also have The Perfect 3 Day Isle Of Skye Itinerary if you’re wondering which direction to head first.
2. The Old Man Of Storr
The Old Man of Storr is probably the most popular and most photographed of all the Isle of Skye attractions.
This dramatic rock formation is located high up on a hill called The Storr. This hill is renowned for one of the best views on the Isle of Skye.
When seen ‘face on’, this rocky outcrop resembles the face of a craggy old man. Hence the name ‘The Old Man of Storr’ was born.
The climb up to the foot of The Old Man is classed as a moderate. It takes about 30 – 45 minutes, depending on your fitness levels and longer if you stop.
When you reach the summit, you will have breathtaking views out over the Islands of Raasay and Rona and beyond.
If you prefer to jump on a tour to get to see all the main attractions like The Old Man of Storr, the Best of Isle of Skye Full-Day Tour is a great option.
Portree is the largest town the Isle of Skye and also the capital. Set in a natural harbour, fringed by cliffs this pretty town a stop off here is definitely one of the best things to do in the Isle of Skye.
There are lots of activities on offer including pony-trekking, boat cruises and swimming (swimming pool). In addition there are lots of shops and great eateries too.
The pretty harbour continues to be used by local fishing boats. Along with its brightly painted houses it is well worth a visit for the photo opportunities alone.
We stopped for lunch in the highly recommended Cuillin Hills Hotel and were not disappointed. The views from the restaurant over Portree Bay, towards the Cuillin Mountain Range were amazing, as was the food!
If you’re based in Edinburgh the 3-Day Isle of Skye and The Highlands Tour visits Portree and is highly recommended.
4. Staffin Bay
Staffin bay is on the north east coast of the Trotternish peninsula and has a beautiful, secluded beach.
This sheltered beach that slopes down to the water is ideal for families. In addition, it’s surrounded by spectacular rugged scenery and amazing views out to sea.
The discovery of fossilised dinosaur footprints, in a stone slab in 2002, has subsequently made this bay a popular tourist attraction for dinosaur enthusiasts, big or small.
Apparently, the footprints are those of a 3 toed Hadrosaur. They can be seen at low tide, on a flat mudstone, right of the large boulders on the beach.
Therefore, if you are a dinosaur enthusiast this has to be one of the best things to do in the Isle of Skye.
5. Kilt Rock
Situated on the Trotternish Peninsula, Kilt Rock is a sea cliff that gets its name due to its remarkable similarity to a pleated kilt.
With vertical basalt columns forming pleats and sills of dolerite forming the pattern, these cliffs do actually look like a tartan kilt!
(A kilt is a knee length skirt with pleats in the back, worn by both sexes. They are usually made from tartan material and are the traditional dress of Highland Scotland.)
In addition, there is also a beautiful waterfall that drops dramatically into the ocean. Created by the outflow from nearby Loch Mealt.
Kilt Rock is a great little stop off. With stunning views, a dramatic waterfall and the unique pattern on the cliffs it’s got to be on the list of best things to do in the Isle of Skye.
Again, the Best of Isle of Skye Full-Day Tour visits Kilt Rock along with other main attractions and is a great option.
Part of the Trotternish Peninsula, Quiraing is a diverse and distinctive landscape that has a dramatic and mystical feel to it.
Over the years, certain parts of this amazing landscape have been assigned seemingly appropriate names. These include The Prison, The Needle and The Table:
The Prison is a rocky outcrop that, from certain angles, can look like the remains of fortress walls from an ancient prison.
The Needle is an imposing needle shaped rock that becomes more impressive the closer you get to it.
The Table is a small, flat grassy area, hidden away amongst the cliffs and rock formations that seems a little out of place in its unusual surroundings.
Stretching out to the ocean, this stunning landscape is a favourite location for photographers as well as film makers for good reason. It’s been seen in many films including Macbeth, The BFG, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword and Transformers: The Last Knight.
The Best of Isle of Skye Full-Day Tour will also take you to Quiraing.
7. Coral Beach
A hidden gem on the north coast, Coral Beach is a stunning white beach that is said to be the most beautiful beach on the Isle of Skye.
However, the sand is actually made up of the crushed, white skeletons of a seaweed called Red Coralline. Hence the Coral in the name Coral Beach comes from the name of the seaweed not true coral.
Also on the beach you will find some interesting rock pools that adults and children alike can have fun exploring. You may well discover lots of different marine creatures including sea anemones, shrimps, crabs and more.
In addition, at low tide you can walk out roughly 150m across a causeway, and explore the small island of Lampay. ( Although it’s advised to check the tide times to make sure that you don’t get stranded!)
This stunning beach is definitely worth visiting for a great family day out. Also, it’s an amazing spot for sunsets.
Where To Stay In The Isle Of Skye
Luxury – Monkstadt 1745 Luxury Lodge
Featuring mountain views, Monkstadt 1745 Luxury Lodge in Portree features accommodation, a garden, a shared lounge, a restaurant and a bar. Both WiFi and private parking are accessible at the lodge free of charge.
Monkstadt 1745 Luxury Lodge offers a flat-screen TV and a private bathroom with free toiletries, a hairdryer and shower.
An à la carte, Full English/Irish or vegan breakfast is available each morning at the property.
If you would like to discover the area, hiking and cycling are possible in the surroundings.
Mid-Budget – Balmacara Hotel
Situated on the shores of Loch Alsh, Balmacara Hotel is just 5 minutes’ drive from Kyle of Lochalsh, the main crossing point to the Isle of Skye. Live music is available in the on-site pub. Free private parking is also available.
An en suite bathroom, TV and tea/coffee making facilities are available in each Balmacara room, and most come with scenic views across Loch Alsh towards the Isle of Skye. Some of the contemporary themed rooms come with with Victorian antiques on display.
Guests can savour views of the Loch as they enjoy their meals. Specialities include local seafood and game. Plus a full English breakfast is available in the 1930’s style coffee lounge.
Budget – Skye Backpackers
Facing the seafront in Kyleakin, Skye Backpackers features barbecue facilities. Among the various facilities are a garden and a shared lounge. Both free WiFi and private parking are available at the hostel.
Rooms are complete with a shared bathroom, while some rooms at Skye Backpackers also provide guests with a seating area.
The 8 and 10 bed mixed dormitory rooms are in large static caravans in the back garden, with 24-hour access to all facilities within the main house, as well as an outdoor wash block and hot drinks station.
Cycling, fishing and hiking are among the activities that guests of the accommodation can find nearby.
For more places to stay in The Isle Of Skye, you can check the latest prices on Booking.com.