Best Things To Do in Isle of Skye, Scotland by

22 Best Things To Do in Isle of Skye, Scotland 

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Isle of Skye, Scotland is dramatic and beautiful. The mountains are majestic and the landscapes are otherworldly. The top things to do in Isle of Skye, Scotland revolve around the island’s unique natural aspects – and we are highlighting all the best sights to see!

On our weeklong trip to Isle of Skye, we soaked in the sublime scenery. From challenging hiking trails to marvelous viewpoints to boat rides across the bay, we savored every second we spent on Isle of Skye. Our tips for the best Isle of Skye things to do are based on our own personal experiences – plus a few tips from locals!


Things To Do in Isle of Skye FAQs

Before we dive into our list of the Best Things To Do Isle of Skye, Scotland, we want to answer a few frequently asked questions. Knowing the basics will help you plan your vacation to Scotland!


Where is Isle of Skye?

Isle of Skye sits just off the west coast of Scotland in the United Kingdom – and is connected to the mainland by a bridge. Skye is part of the Inner Hebrides, which is an archipelago of 35 inhabited islands along the western coast.

Later in the article, we share an Isle of Skye Map marked with top attractions. Additionally, we share tips on how to get to Isle of Skye in our Travel Tips section.


Are There Free Things To Do in the Isle of Skye?

Yes, there are several things to do on Isle of Skye for free. Hiking the trails and admiring the landscapes are two of the best activities in Skye – and neither of them cost a penny!

That said, Isle of Skye is not necessarily a budget destination – as the cost of accommodations, dining out and public transportation are all quite high.


Are There Things To Do on Isle of Skye with Kids?

Yes, there are many things to do in Skye for families traveling with kids. From easier trails to dinosaur relics to castles and beaches, parents should have no problem seeking out Isle of Skye attractions for families.

While our list of sights is not dedicated to family travel, we highlight many kid-friendly Isle of Skye things to do.


What are the Best Outdoor Skye Things To Do?

The island is a wonderland of outdoor activities – with the most popular adventure being hiking on the Isle of Skye. There are short hikes and multi-day treks, easy jaunts and difficult climbs.

On our list of Isle of Skye Best Things To Do, we feature many hikes that are easy to moderate treks.


Are There Things To Do in Skye when it Rains?

It rains fairly frequently on the Isle of Skye…there is a reason why it is nicknamed The Misty Isle! Rather than fretting about the wet weather, it is best to be prepared with rainy day gear. We share our advice on what to pack for Isle of Skye later in the article.

That said, there are a few indoor things to do on Skye when it rains – like whisky tastings and visiting museums.


How Big is the Isle of Skye?

Skye is the largest island in the Inner Hebrides of Scotland – but just how big is Isle of Skye? The island covers an area of 639 square miles. It’s about 50 miles from top to bottom and 25 miles across.

The best Isle of Skye, Scotland things to do are spread across the island. However, we think most the most stunning terrain is north on the Trotternish Peninsula.


What To Do on the Isle of Skye without a Car?

Many people contend that a car is necessary to visit Isle of Skye, Scotland – but it’s simply not true!

Yes, driving on Isle of Skye allows for more freedom and flexibility, but there are quite a few disadvantages to having a car on the island. Renting a car can be expensive, parking can be a challenge and driving on the left – on single-track roads – can be nerve-wracking.

Instead of driving, we opted to use a combination of public transit and tours for our Isle of Skye trip. While the buses were limited and we had to carefully plan what to see on the Isle of Skye each day, we were very happy to be car-free for the week.

We share our top tips for getting around Skye – with or without a car – later in the post.


How Many Days on Isle of Skye, Scotland?

One of the biggest decisions to make about your Skye trip is determining how many days to stay. Is 1 day in Isle of Skye enough? Is a week on Skye too much?

In our opinion, Skye is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Scotland – so we highly recommend carving out enough time to really enjoy it. While visitors can take a day trip to Isle of Skye, we think spending at least 3 days on Skye is ideal.

We share a complete day-by-day trip plan in our Perfect Skye Itinerary!


Planning a Trip to Isle of Skye

Planning an Isle of Skye trip takes a bit of effort and organization. In addition to deciding what to do on Isle of Skye, Scotland, visitors are also tasked with determining how many days, where to stay and what to eat. Don’t fret, in this Isle of Skye, Scotland Travel Guide, we cover everything you need to know!

Most trips to Isle of Skye are part of a longer Scotland itinerary. If your visit includes other top destinations in Scotland, these articles might be useful:

Travelers visiting Scotland from abroad will also find it helpful to read our tips for Planning a European Vacation.


Organize Your Isle of Skye Trip

As you start making your travel plans, staying organized is key. We recommend using a trip planner – like our Printable Travel Planner – to stay on top of all the important details.

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How to find all the Best Things To Do on Isle of Skye, Scotland

Now that we have covered the basic info, it’s time to get to our list of Things To Do on Isle of Skye, Scotland.

Save, Pin or Bookmark this Skye Island Travel Guide to plan your trip to Scotland!


#1 Stand in Awe of Old Man of Storr

Best View of Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye, Scotland, uk

Ranking as one of the top attractions in Isle of Skye and serving as a symbol of the island, Old Man of Storr is an Isle of Skye must see sight!

The ‘Old Man’ – a 164-foot-tall rocky pinnacle – stands on its own, separated from the cliffs of The Storr. Part of the Trotternish Ridge and a fine example of the landslips that are so characteristic of the island, the oblong rock appears to be standing precariously on one end: balanced, but with a slight tilt.


Hike to Old Man of Storr

Go Hike to Old Man of Storr, Isle of Skye, Scotland, UK

Of all the things to do on Skye, hiking up to Old Man of Storr is a top activity! There are two paths that lead up to Old Man Storr – and both continue on to a naturally elevated viewpoint that provides an outstanding vista of the rock formation.

Views of Old Man Storr while on the Hike, Skye, Scotland

We recommend taking the longer, sloping route, rather than the steep and crowded path that ascends directly toward Old Man. In addition to Old Man Storr, points of interest along the route are the Sanctuary (at the base of the towering cliffs), Needle Rock (also called The Cathedral and recognizable by the hole eroded in the rock near the top) and views across the bay to Raasay Island.

There is a parking lot (with paid parking) at the trailhead, as well as free toilets. The trailhead can also be reached by bus #57.


#2 Gaze at Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls

Kilt Rock View from Brother's Point, Isle of Skye, Scotland

A distinct basalt-column cliff that faces the sea, Kilt Rock is an intriguing rock formation – and getting a good look at it is one of the top things to do in Skye, Scotland.

Kilt Rock rises 295 feet (90 meters) from the sea and the vertical basalt rock pillars resemble the pleats of a Scottish kilt. When the sunlight is just right, the colors appear to form a plaid pattern, much like a traditional tartan of Scottish clans.

Nearby, water spills from Loch Mealt over the cliff edge and streams 180 feet into the sea below. The Mealt Waterfall is a gorgeous sight from near and far.


How To See Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls

Brother's Point to Kilt Rock, Skye, Scotland

The easiest way to see Mealt Falls and Kilt Rock is from the designated viewpoint, where there is plenty of room for parking as well as a bus stop. The viewing platform stands right next to the waterfall, with Kilt Rock just beyond it. Although the angle is a bit awkward, both natural attractions are visible.

Both Kilt Rock and Mealt Waterfall can also be seen from afar, at places like Brother’s Point (above photo and #6 on our list).


#3 Wander through the Enchanting Fairy Glen

Views over Fairy Glen, Isle of Skye, Scotland, UK

Mystical and almost spellbinding, the Isle of Skye Fairy Glen is a spectacular sight! In fact, we think it is one of the best things to see in Scotland.

The Fairy Glen is comprised of grassy knolls, rocky buttes and glassy ponds. In the vast and immense terrain of Skye, the glen appears miniature and intimate (which, they say, is an ideal place for fairies to live). Under a clear and sunny sky, the glen is a bright, vivid green, but when it’s misty and fog settles in, the glen looks like an unearthly realm.

Must Visit Fairy Glen, Skye, Scotland

Wandering along the rustic paths that weave through the whimsical glen is one of the best Isle of Skye things to do. Take in the scenic viewpoints, clamber to the top of Castle Ewan (the tallest rock formation in the glen)…and keep an eye out for fairies!

Visitors can get to Fairy Glen by car or public bus (plus a 30 minute walk). Most Skye day tours stop here, as well.


#4 Let the Beautiful Quiraing Leave You Speechless

View from The Quiraing, Isle of Skye, Scotland

The Quiraing is the most awe-inspiring region of the island. The naturally contoured land ranks as one of the top things to see in Skye, Scotland and the striking beauty left us speechless.

With jagged peaks, sloping escarpments and grassy plateaus, the panoramic vistas are mesmerizing. Visitors can get a glimpse of the Quiraing from the main parking lot, but the best views are along the trail.


Quiraing Hikes on Isle of Skye

Trails while Hiking the Quiraing, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Hiking the Quiraing is one of the Top Things To Do Isle of Skye. The challenging trail can be completed in a 4-mile loop or as an out-and-back by trekking to one of the most scenic points – between the ‘Prison’ and ‘Needle’ rock formations.

Public buses do not travel through the Quiraing, but it is possible to take Bus 57 to the Flodigarry Hike Parking Lot on A855 and follow the trail into the Quiraing, which will add a couple of miles to the hike each way.


#5 Visit Neist Point Lighthouse

Best View of Neist Point Lighthouse, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Visiting Neist Point Lighthouse is a top thing to do on Isle of Skye. Not only is the scene stunningly picturesque, but the viewpoint is also ideal for spotting wildlife.

The lighthouse on Neist Point dates to the year 1909 and is one of the most famous landmarks in Scotland. Marking the westernmost point of the Isle of Skye, the lighthouse stands 62 feet tall atop a sensational 140-foot cliff.

The Neist Point Lighthouse on Skye, Scotland

From the point, visitors can scan the waters for sea creatures, such as whales, dolphins, porpoises and basking sharks. Neist Point is also an excellent place to spot sea birds – and sunsets are said to be phenomenal.

A paved path leads down a steep set of stairs and then on to the point, but the lighthouse itself is not accessible. We actually found the best Neist Point Lighthouse views along the cliffs to the west from the parking lot. There is no public bus service to Neist Point, but it is an included stop on many organized Skye tours.


#6 Search for Dinosaur Prints at Brother’s Point

Search for Dinosaur Prints at Brother’s Point, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Searching for dinosaur footprints is one of the unusual things to do on Isle of Skye. Some skeptics may wonder if it is just a ploy, but it is legit! The footprints of dinosaurs that roamed the land 170 million years ago can be found in a couple different places on Skye Island, but Brother’s Point has the best examples.

Find these Rocks with dinosaur prints, Brothers Point, Isle of Skye

The dinosaur footprints at Brother’s Beach are a cluster of 7 3-toed dino prints that are close to the water’s edge. The prints are unmarked, but can be found on the large, flat rock at the shoreline –and it’s best to go at low tide.


Brother’s Point Hike

Go on the Brother’s Point Hike, Skye, Scotland

In addition to searching for ancient evidence of dinosaurs, visitors can also embark on a beautiful coastline hike at Brother’s Point. The lesser-known trek is one of the best hikes on Isle of Skye.

After following the path past the sheep down to the water (where the prints are), cross the rocky beach and join the trail leads south along the coast. Although it can be muddy at points – and the cliff-edge trail out to the point is not for the faint of heart – the view is unsurpassed!

Uncrowded and moderate difficulty, the hike quickly became one of our favorite Isle of Skye things to do.

Brother’s Point can be reached by car or Bus 57.


#7 Explore the Historic Dunvegan Castle

Dunvegan Castle ranks as the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland and visiting is one of the best things to do on the Isle of Skye. Home to the MacLeod Clan for more than 800 years, Dunvegan Castle is architecturally significant and rich in history.

Visitors can explore the castle rooms and marvel at the artifacts while learning about the lives of the inhabitants. Castle tickets include entry into the meticulously manicured gardens.

Additionally, tickets can be upgraded to include a boat trip. Departing from the castle pier, passengers can catch a glimpse of the Loch Dunvegan Seal Colony.

Dunvegan Castle can be reached by car (free parking) or bus. Some Isle of Skye tours include a stop at the castle, but typically don’t include the cost of the entry ticket.


#8 Walk along the Magical Fairy Pools

Waterfall at the Fairy Pools, Isle of Skye, Scotland

A series of tumbling waterfalls spilling into turquoise pools, the Fairy Pools are a magical sight and one of the most famous Skye attractions. A tributary of the Brittle River, the stream is fed by fresh mountain water from the mighty Cuillin Mountains, which backdrop the scenic series of falls.

The Fairy Pools are reached on foot via a gravel path – and the trail follows alongside the falls, making it relatively easy for visitors to enjoy the scenery (save for the pesky midges!).

Misty view of the Fairy Pools, Skye, Scotland

The pools are frigid, yet swimming in the chilly waters remains one of the Things To Do Skye – so it is not uncommon to see brave souls heading in for a dip.

Visitors can reach the Fairy Pools by car or bus. Adventurous travelers can hike to the Fairy Pools from Sligachan (5 miles one way). Most tours on Isle of Skye stop at the Fairy Pools, as well. Bathrooms are available in the parking lot and there is a place to refill water bottles.


#9 Sip Whisky at a Local Skye Distillery

Talisker Distillery Whisky, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Sipping local whisky is one of the top things to do in Isle of Skye – and there are two Skye whiskey distilleries where visitors can sniff, swirl and sip the locally produced product.

Talisker Distillery, which is situated on the Minginish Peninsula under the gaze of the Cuillins Mountains, is the oldest working distillery on Isle of Skye. Dating to 1830, Talisker welcomes visitors for distillery tours and tastings. (And, the nearby Oyster Shed is a top seafood restaurant in Skye operating out of a rustic tin shack.)

Visitors can also tour the distillery and taste whisky at Torabhaig on the Sleat Peninsula. A relatively new distillery (opened in 2017), Torabhaig is housed in a renovated 19th century building and offers affordable tours.


#10 Snap a Photo of Grazing Sheep and Highland Coos

Sheep grazing on Isle of Skye, Scotland

While the wild and unruly landscapes of the Isle of Skye are fascinating, but for the local farmers, the land is a pasture. Grazing sheep and cows are a regular sight around the island – and sometimes the farm animals even wander onto the roads and trails.

Snapping a photo of the curious creatures is one of the fun things to do in the Isle of Skye. Just be sure to keep a safe distance – and don’t chase or feed the animals!

Sheep seem to be everywhere; in fact, it would be impossible to visit Skye, Scotland and not see sheep roaming the fields.

Look for a Highland Cow on Isle of Skye, Scotland

The much-loved hairy, Highland cows – or coos, as they are affectionately called – are a bit more elusive. The best place to see the hairy coos is at Hector’s Highland Coos Scottish Cows Farm, which is right off A87 near Sconser.


#11 Watch the Tumbling Lealt Falls

View of Lealt Falls, Isle of Skye, Scotland

A dazzling, multi-tiered waterfall, Lealt Falls is one of the beautiful things to see in Skye, Scotland. The River Lealt tumbles down a deep and rocky gorge, dropping a total of 300 feet before joining the Sound of Raasay.

Platform view of Lealt Falls, Skye, Scotland

A wooden viewing platform extends over the gorge, offering fine views of the Upper Falls. However, it is worth trekking down to the lower viewing area for a different vantage point. Experienced hikers can trek down a set of zig-zag tracks to the rocky shoreline for an impressive view of the lower falls and abandoned buildings.

The Lealt Waterfall can be reached by car or Bus 57.


#12 Spend a Few Hours in Sligachan

View of the Sligachan Old Bridge, Isle of Skye, Scotland

The small and historic settlement of Sligachan sits at a significant crossroad on Skye. From Sligachan, roads lead north to Portree, northwest to Dunvegan and south to Broadford – and hiking trails head west into the majestic Cuillin Mountain Range.

The top attraction is the Sligachan Old Bridge, which was built in 1810. Nearby is the Collie and MacKenzie Statue, a bronze memorial dedicated to the Cuillins mountaineers, who are credited for creating many of the hiking trails we use today.

The Collie and MacKenzie Statue, Sligachan, Isle of Skye, Scotland

One of the best things to do on Isle of Skye is to follow the trails along the Sligachan River while taking in the epic mountain views. Another trek leads to the nearby Sligachan Waterfalls – and continues all the way to the Fairy Pools, while a separate trail extends all the way to Loch Coruisk.

Visitors can also stop by the Seumas Bar for a meal and pint. In addition to the huge selection of whisky, they have local beer on tap and in cans from several regional brewers, including the Cuillin Brewery, which is right next door.

Sligachan can be reached by car or bus.


#13 Set Sail to Raasay Island

Beach on Raasay Island, Scotland

Sitting just across the sea to the east of Skye is the Isle of Raasay – and it is another wonderful place to visit in Scotland! The small island can be reached by a short and inexpensive boat ride from the Sconser Ferry Terminal. Schedule and Fares.

The top things to do in Raasay are hiking and biking. The best hiking trails follow the coastline and delve into forests. This pamphlet outlines the easy hikes near the Raasay Ferry Port. Travelers who want to explore on two wheels can rent bikes from Raasay House (which is a hotel, restaurant, equipment rental and tourist information destination all wrapped into one).

Drinks at The Isle of Raasay Distillery, Scotland

Visiting the island’s distillery is another one of the top Isle of Raasay things to do. The Isle of Raasay Distillery is just a short walk from the ferry pier and they offer engaging guided tours of their facilities – plus they have an exceptional bar with outstanding views of Skye.

Best Isle of Skye view from Isle of Raasay, Scotland

To be honest, our absolute favorite part of Raasay were the incredible Isle of Skye views. The headland to the northwest of the ferry port is the best place to savor the vistas…and it’s a good spot for a picnic lunch, too!


#14 Hike to the Most Northern Point of Skye

View of Rubha Hunish, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Rubha Hunish is one of the best places to visit on Isle of Skye, Scotland. Only accessible by a well-trodden hiking trail, the most northern point of Isle of Skye is rustic and remote.

The trail can be completed in a loop – using an upper trail (stunning views) combined with the lower coastline trail (somewhat boggy and undefined) – or as an out-and-back from the parking lot utilizing only the upper trail.

Most Northern Point of Skye and the bothy, Scotland

Perched on the cliff above the trail is a bothy – and the mountain hut is open to all, so trek up and take a peek inside! A steep and challenging trail descends from the cliff down to the point, but we opted to simply take in the vast and spacious northern views from the clifftop.

View of Duntulm Castle, Isle of Skye, Scotland

On the coastline to the southwest of the Rubha Hunish Point is the ruins of the Duntulm Castle. Visitors can freely explore the remains. Dinosaur prints have also been discovered here on rocks along the beach to the south of the castle.


#15 Discover the Best of Portree

Discover the Best of Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland

Portree, a tourist hub of hotels, restaurants and shops, is the biggest and busiest town on the island – and visitors will find some of the best things to do on the Isle of Skye in Portree.

Like many travelers, we based ourselves in Portree for our Skye Island trip and spent ample time checking out the sights in town.

Hike the Scorrybreac coastal trail, Portree, Isle of Skye, Scotland

The top things to do in town are hiking along the Scorrybreac coastal trail, trekking up The Lump and taking in the picture-perfect vistas of the harbor and colorful houses.

We share details on what to see and do in our article, Best Things To Do in Portree, Scotland.


#16 Learn the History of Skye at a Local Museum

Entrance to the Skye Museum of Island Life, Scotland

After touring the top Isle of Skye sights, many visitors begin wondering, What is the History of Isle of Skye? – and there are two fantastic museums that precisely answer that question!

The Skye Museum of Island Life maintains a wealth of information about the past. Featuring preserved thatched cottages once used by crofters, the museum shares the history of the local people – as well as the story of Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Jacobites and Flora MacDonald.

The Staffin Dinosaur Museum is one of the places to go in Isle of Skye to learn about the ancient history of the island. Displays at the museum feature prehistoric fossils and fascinating finds. 

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More Things To Do, Isle of Skye

Boats in Portree Harbour, Isle of Skye, Scotland

We have highlighted what, in our opinion, are the best things to see in Skye – but there are a few more sights and attractions that were recommended to us by locals that we want to share.


#17 Armadale Castle and Gardens

Reigning as one of the most magnificent castles on Isle of Skye during the early 19th century, Armadale Castle now sits in ruins. The castle, which belongs to the MacDonald Clan, overlooks the Sound of Sleat and features a splendid 40-acre garden. With a ticket, visitors can visit the castle grounds and on-site museum that details the history of Clan Donald.

Dunscaith Castle is another Isle of Skye castle on the Sleat Peninsula. The crumbling ruins of Dunscaith can be visited for free.


#18 Sleat Peninsula

The Sleat Peninsula marks the southern end of the Isle of Skye. The green foliage on the peninsula has earned it the nickname of The Garden of Skye and it is characterized by castles ruins, quaint villages and lush scenery.

We have already mentioned a few of the most popular things to do on the Sleat Peninsula, but there are a few more reasons to head south on the Isle of Skye. First, Sleat is far less crowded than other parts of the island – and a preferred refuge for travelers looking for a quiet place to visit on Skye.

Active explorers can set off on some excellent walks from Sleat. One recommended trail follows the shore of the Black Lochs and another trek leads down to the southern Point of Sleat (where you can detour to the hidden, white sand Camas Daraich Beach!). Kilmore Church is another one of the things to see on Isle of Skye to the south – as it is an interesting and atmospheric place to visit.

While parts of the Sleat Peninsula can be accessed by public bus, a car really is necessary to explore most of this area of Skye.


#19 Dun Beag Broch

Although it is mostly in ruins, Dun Beag Broch stone tower is one of the best places in Isle of Skye to learn about the history of the mysterious Picts.

The Picts were an Iron Age society that settled Scotland, but much of their history is shrouded in myth and legend. One thing that is thought to be true is that they built numerous hollow stone towers, called broch, on elevated points of land.

Dun Beag Broch on the west side of Skye is an excellent example of the Pictish round towers. It stands on a hill with views over Loch Bracadale and the Cuillin Mountains. The tower is estimated to be between 2,000 and 2,500 years old.


#20 Boat Trips on Isle of Skye

View of the Ferry from Sconser to Raasay, Scotland

While there are heaps of things to see on the Isle of Skye, one of the best ways to experience the area is by boat.

Taking the ferry from Sconser to Raasay is a great way to get out on the water and one of the fun and cheap things to do on Isle of Skye. However, there are several exciting Skye boat cruises that tourist can join.

Fun Boat Trips on Isle of Skye, Scotland

From the Portree Harbor, visitors can embark on wildlife spotting boat tours, offering participants a chance to see dolphins, puffins, sea eagles, seals and even whales!

Travelers can also opt to join a boat tour from Elgol that traverses the breathtaking Loch Coruisk – like the popular Bella Jane Cruise. Scenic wildlife boat tours also depart Elgol on the AquaXplore to visit the islands off the southwestern tip of Skye. 


#21 Multiday Hike on Isle of Skye

Go Hiking to The Quiraing, Skye, Scotland

While we enjoyed hiking Isle of Skye on single day treks, there are longer trails that adventurous travelers can use for a multiday trip.

Hiking the Isle of Skye on a multiday trek can be both challenging and rewarding. The Skye Trail is an 80-mile route that takes in some of the best of Skye’s attractions in 7 outstanding stages.


#22 Isle of Skye Tours

Join an Isle of Skye Tour, Scotland

With our list of Things To Do Skye, Scotland, visitors can pretty easily plan adventures on their own. That said, there are benefits to joining an organized day tour – like having a local guide to share their insight and getting to enjoy a more relaxed trip that requires little-to-no planning on your part.

During our stay on Skye, we opted to join a tour that featured a few of the best Skye tourist attractions that are not easily reached by bus – and it was an absolutely fabulous experience!

The 1 Day Isle of Skye Tour by Real Scottish Journeys is a small-group tour that not only included top sights, but also allowed time for exploring some of the most beautiful places on foot.

That said, there a several tours on Isle of Skye that focus on a variety of interests. Visitors can join tours that include a distillery stop, partake in a guided hiking tour or simply sit back and enjoy the scenery on a Scenic Spots tour.

Looking for an organized tour to Isle of Skye from other Scotland destinations? We share tips on bus tours to Isle of Skye from destinations around Scotland in the Getting There section below.



Best Plockton Scotland Viewpoints

There is no doubt that there is a plethora of things to see in Isle of Skye. Travelers who want to see more of the region have many choices, as well. We are sharing a few of the top places to see near Isle of Skye.



Views from the Brae Track over the town of Plockton, Scotland

The picturesque Village of Plockton is just 7 miles from the bridge to Isle of Skye – and it’s a wonderful place to spend a few hours or a full day. Find our top tips in our article, Best Things To See in Plockton, Scotland.


Eilean Donan Castle

View of the Eilean Donan Castle, Scotland, Highlands, UK

Situated just 10 miles from the Skye Bridge, Eilean Donan Castle is regularly touted as one of the best castles in Scotland. The impressive stone structure, which sits imposingly on an island, is truly picture-perfect! 


Loch Ness

Looking for Nessie at Loch Ness, Scotland

The Legend of Nessie the Loch Ness Monster has long made Loch Ness one of the top tourist attractions in the Scottish Highlands. While searching for the obscure creature is a top activity, enticing waterfalls, charming lakeside villages and pleasant hiking trails are just a few more reasons to spend a day at Loch Ness.


Inverness and the Scottish Highlands

Best View of Inverness, Scotland, UK

Inverness is the bustling capital of the Scottish Highlands and a great place to visit. Even better, the route from Skye to Inverness offers some of the most incredible vistas in Scotland. Read our advice for What To Do in Inverness to make sure you don’t miss a thing!


Where To Eat: Best Restaurants in Isle of Skye

As well as determining the best things to do in Skye, visitors also need to figure out where to eat. We are sharing a few favorite Isle of Skye restaurants.


The Isles Inn

A traditional Scottish pub in the heart of Portree, The Isles Inn offers classics, like Cullen skink, haggis and steak pie in a cozy and atmospheric environment. In addition to the tasty and hearty food, the bar is stocked with Scottish whisky and local craft beer.


Pizza in the Skye Food Truck

A favorite local spot for wood-fired pizzas in Portree, Pizza in the Skye serves up tasty creations at fair prices. The truck is located outside the busy center of Portree, in a parking lot behind the Gaelic school. Just be sure to place your order well in advance!


Sea Breezes

A top restaurant in Skye housed in one of the colorful buildings on Portree Harbour, Sea Breezes specializes in locally caught seafood. The Skye mussels are highly recommended – but for a big appetite, get the seafood platter. As with anywhere on Skye, advance reservations are a must!


Michelin Restaurants in Isle of Skye

Travelers looking for upscale eats can find fine dining at one of the several Michelin Guide restaurants on Skye. Loch Bay is a Michelin Star restaurant noted for their modern cuisine, while The Three Chimneys, Scorrybreac Restaurant and Coruisk House are all Michelin mentioned.


Map of Isle of Skye, Scotland

We have marked the top things to do for Isle of Skye on the map below. Use this link to Google for an interactive version of our map of Skye.

Looking for a paper Isle of Skye, Scotland Map? The VisitScotland Portree iCenter provides a useful Isle of Skye attractions map for free!

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Isle of Sky Travel Tips

Isle of Sky Travel Tips for your vacation to Scotland

Now that you are well on your way to creating your ultimate Isle of Skye to do list, we have a few final travel tips that will help make planning your visit simple!


Best Time to Go to Isle of Skye

Many travelers want to know, When is the best time to visit Skye, Scotland? Unfortunately, there isn’t one clear answer. Each season on Skye has pros and cons.

Summer is naturally an excellent time to visit, as the top things to do on Isle of Skye are outdoor adventures – and summertime brings the best weather. However, summers in Skye can be extremely crowded and prices are at their peak.

Autumn can be a wonderful season to see Skye – as most tourists have dispersed – but there is a higher chance of rain during the autumn months.

While many travelers avoid Skye in winter due to the cold weather and short days, it can be an exceptional time for travelers looking for solitude. Plus, there is a chance of seeing the Northern Lights from Skye!

Late spring – April and May – is an ideal time for visiting Isle of Skye. Spring offers some of the best weather on the island…and it’s not yet inundated with fellow travelers.


Getting To Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye, Scotland can be reached by car, bus or ferry. There are no commercial flights to Isle of Skye. The closest airport to Skye is Inverness (INV). Visitors can also fly into Edinburgh (EDI) or Glasgow (GLA) and then make their way to Skye via rental car or public transport.

Travelers renting a car should use our tips for Finding the Best Car Rentals Rates. Also, before booking that plane ticket, check out our advice for scoring Cheap Flights.


Driving To Isle of Skye

Although it can feel quite remote, driving to the Isle of Skye is actually quite straight forward. A short, toll-free bridge links Isle of Skye to the mainland at Kyle of Lochalsh.

 Additionally, there are car ferries to Isle of Skye from Mallaig and Glenelg.


Getting to the Isle of Skye by Public Transport

Visitors trying to get to Isle of Skye via public transit have a few options. There are direct buses that transport passengers from Glasgow and Inverness to Skye – and a combination of trains, buses and ferries can be used to get to the island from other destinations.


Inverness to Isle of Skye

The best way to get to Isle of Skye from Inverness is by taking the bus. The bus to Isle of Skye from Inverness takes about 3 hours and there are multiple departures daily. The bus departs from the main station in Inverness and terminates at Somerled Square in Portree.

The bus route between Inverness and Skye passes by Eilean Donan Castle and amazing Highlands scenery; sit on the left side for the best views!

There is no direct train from Inverness to Skye, but travelers can take the incredibly scenic Kyle Line train from the Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh. From there, buses continue across the bridge to Isle of Skye and on to Portree or Uig.


Glasgow to Isle of Skye

Wondering how to go to Isle of Skye from Glasgow by bus? No worries! There are direct buses to Isle of Skye from Glasgow – via Fort William – that depart multiple times a day.

Travelers can also take a train from Glasgow to Fort William on the scenic West Highland Line and transfer to a bus in Fort William that continues on to Portree.

Alternatively, take the same scenic ScotRail train from Glasgow to Mallaig – and then hop on a ferry to Isle of Skye, docking at Armadale. Travelers going on to Portree can take an Isle of Skye bus to complete the trip.


Edinburgh to Isle of Skye

Visitors making the trip to Isle of Skye from Edinburgh will need to make at least one stop on their journey. The most convenient ways to travel between Edinburgh and Isle of Skye is via Glasgow or Inverness.

Travelers can take a train or bus to either Glasgow or Inverness from Edinburgh – then board a direct bus to Isle of Skye.


Tours to Skye, Scotland

Rather than fretting about how to plan a trip to Skye, visitors can opt to join one of the organized tours from Inverness, Edinburgh or Glasgow.


Inverness Tours to Isle of Skye

The highly rated full-day tours to Isle of Skye from Inverness make the most of the day by taking in top attractions on Skye – and great sights along the route. Get the details of this day trip to Isle of Skye!


Multiday Glasgow to Isle of Skye Tours

Leave the hassle of transportation and trip planning to the professionals and sit back, relax and enjoy a 3-day trip to the Scottish Highlands and Isle of Skye from Glasgow. Find out more!


Edinburgh to Isle of Skye 3-Day Trip

Let a professional guide lead the way to the best places to see in the Highlands and Isle of Skye on a 3-day planned trip from Edinburgh. Learn more here! 


Getting Around Isle of Skye

Travelers can get around Skye by car or bus – and there are advantages and disadvantages to each method of travel.


Driving in Isle of Skye

Using a car to get around Isle of Skye allows for the most freedom and flexibility – but we have a few tips for drivers.

Know the rules. Most of the roads on Isle of Skye are single track – meaning two-way traffic shares a single lane and drivers must use passing berms (lay-bys) to get around oncoming traffic. Also, traffic priority is often applied directionally, so read those road signs carefully!

Pay To Park. The most popular attractions on Isle of Skye have paid parking. Signs in the car park will indicate if a ticket is required.

Rent a Car on Skye. Travelers who plan on taking a tour or utilizing buses on some days can opt to rent a car for only a day from Portree.


Buses on Isle of Skye

Many of the top things to do on Isle of Skye can be reached by bus – and for our trip, we relied solely on buses, tours and ferries to get around. That said, bus schedules are limited and vary by day of week and season, so it is essential to consult current timetables when making plans.

There are two companies that provide bus routes on the Isle of Skye: Stagecoach and CityLink.


Skye Stagecoach Buses

Stagecoach offers the most frequent routes on Skye. The #57 is a fantastic route around the Trotternish Peninsula that makes stops at all of the attractions in the region, including Old Man of Storr, Brother’s Point, Kilt Rock, Lealt Falls and trailheads for hikes to the Quiraing and Rubha Hunish. Bus #57C travels the peninsula clockwise, while #57A travels anti-clockwise.

Stagecoach Bus #52 travels between Portree and Armadale, passing through Sligachan and Broadford. Bus #54 can be used to travel from Portree to Fairy Pools and Bus #56 goes from Portree to Dunvegan Castle. 

Tickets are purchased from the driver and can be paid with cash or a contactless card. Travelers taking two rides in a single day typically benefit by purchasing a Day Rider Ticket. Check with the driver for the best ticket option for your trip.


CityLink Buses on Skye

The CityLink buses can also be used to get around but are limited to a single route onwards from Kyle of Lochalsh; crossing the Isle of Skye Bridge continuing on to Portree and (sometimes) Uig.


Hitchhiking on Skye

Fellow travelers and locals mentioned hitchhiking on the Isle of Skye as a viable way to get around. Although we never tried it ourselves, we did see some trying their luck for a free ride both in and out of Portree.


Where To Stay on Isle of Skye

There are ample options for places to stay on Isle of Skye. From hotels to hostels, glamping to camping,  Airbnbs to bed-and-breakfasts, there are accommodations aimed at all styles.

Travelers with a car might opt to stay in a remote location, but for those using Isle of Skye buses or plan to join Skye Tours, should stay in Portree.


Hotels on Isle of Skye

Isle of Skye hotels are found in towns and villages across the island. Before making your reservation, be sure to read our advice for Finding the Best Hotels


Cuillin Hills Hotel

A superb property in Portree, Cuillin Hills Hotel is both classy and cozy. The hotel is top-rated for its phenomenal views, exceptional service, well-decorated rooms and on-site dining options. Check Rates for your stay!


Hostels on Isle of Skye

Travelers looking for budget places to stay on Isle of Skye should consider one of the hostels in Portree.


Portree Youth Hostel

Offering affordable bunk beds in dorm rooms, as well as private rooms with ensuite bathrooms, Portree Youth Hostel is a top choice for budget-conscious travelers. The hostel offers a communal kitchen, too. Check availability!


Glamping on Isle of Skye

Looking for a remote-but-not-so-rustic place to stay on Isle of Skye, Scotland? Glamping pods on Skye might be just what you’re looking for! Wigwam Holidays offers pods in several locations across the island.


Camping on Isle of Skye

There are several campgrounds on Isle of Skye – and wild camping is also permitted.


Vacation Apartments on Isle of Skye

We think renting a holiday apartment is a good choice for travelers staying on Isle of Skye longer than just a few days. During our weeklong trip, we stayed in a wonderful studio apartment. The Portree Garden Room is located a short walk from the center of town and features a small kitchenette. Check availability for your stay!

We recommend using both Airbnb and Booking to find holiday apartments for your Scotland trip.


What To Pack for your Isle of Skye Vacation

Tips on What To Pack for your Isle of Skye Vacation, Scotland

Our final travel tips are all about what to pack in your suitcase or backpack. You can find more on our dedicated Travel Packing Tips page. Need a Packing Checklist? Get your FREE Packing Checklist here!


Comfortable and Sturdy Shoes

The majority of activities on Isle of Skye are outdoors – and most require some trail walking. It is essential to pack the right shoes for your trip! For light trekking, everyday sneakers or trail shoes might suffice, but for taking longer hikes, we recommend packing a good pair of hiking boots.

Find more tips and reviews in our article, The Best Shoes for Travel.


Scotland Weather Gear

The Isle of Skye best places to visit are amongst nature – so travelers need to consider the weather when packing for Scotland. Unfortunately, Isle of Skye weather is highly unpredictable – and it can change in a hurry. Therefore, it is best to be prepared for whatever might come your way.  

We recommend packing a lightweight raincoat that is both wind- and waterproof. As the summers can still be cool, a fleece jacket might also be a good idea.

On warm and still days in the Highlands, pesky midges can be a big problem. Pack an insect repellent with picaridin to keep the midges, mosquitoes and ticks away.


Travel Camera

The Isle of Skye top sights are simply gorgeous – and you will want to use a real camera to properly capture the beauty around you.

We use a Canon Rebel with an 18-135mm lens. Not only does it take top quality photos and is easy to use, but it is well-priced, making it one of the most affordable DSLR cameras for travelers.


Zippered Day Pack

When sightseeing on Isle of Skye, it is ideal to carry a zippered day bag to stow your everyday travel items. We like to wear small backpacks that are big enough for our raincoats, insect repellent, wallets, phones and keys.

Get more ideas in our article, Best Day Packs for Travelers.


UK Travel Insurance

Regardless of how much planning you do, sometimes travel goes wrong – and when it does, travel insurance might help recoup some of the costs incurred. Trip insurance may cover things, like canceled flights and lost luggage – and even getting sick abroad. Check rates and coverage at World Nomads.


Scotland Trip Documents

Don’t forget to pack your travel documents – like your passport, plane tickets and Travel Planner. We keep all of our important trip documents zipped up in a Travel Organizer to be sure nothing gets left behind.


We Want To Know: What are your tips for the best things to do on Skye? Do you have any advice for fellow travelers? Share with us in the comments!


Start planning your trip to the UK! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides page!


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