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Famous for its feature in the James Bond movie, Skyfall, Skye is a beautiful part of Scotland that often gets overlooked for other areas of the highlands.
Located in the North West Highlands, the Isle of Skye is a 4-5hr drive from Glasgow. Don’t let the distance put you off though – Skye is definitely worth the effort, especially for first time Scotland visitors!
As many of you know, I am a huge photography fan, and take WAY too many photos when I’m traveling. I go crazy AF over colorful walls, cute buildings, and scenic views.
Sometimes it even feels like I walk around with my camera glued to my face!!
Which is why I’ve put together a list of my 7 must see locations on the Isle of Skye.
This is such a beautiful part of the world, it’s hard to decide where to go and what to see when visiting.
I loved visiting Scotland (read here to find out how much I really love Scotland) and I found myself falling in love even more with the Isle of Skye. Make sure you bring extra memory cards and extra batteries for your camera because you’re in for a treat!
So read on for my list of 7 must see locations on the Isle of Skye…
1. Portree Harbor, Portree
Portree is the biggest town on Skye, so it’s hard to miss. If you’re staying on Skye, chances are you’ll stop in Portree, even if it’s to stock up on food or petrol for your stay here. The information center here is also super friendly and helpful!
Another reason to stop here?
This beautiful and totally Instagram-worthy row of colorful buildings lining Portree Harbor!
This is one of my favorite must-see locations on the Isle of Skye.
It’s just not what you expect – Skye is filled sweeping hills and breathtaking views. You just don’t expect to see a cute, colorfully painted row of buildings here!
Where do you find the best view of these cute buildings? Make a short detour to Bosville Terrace (if you’re driving thru there is some parking on this street) this is a great place to overlook Portree Harbor.
2. The Fairy Glen
A bit of a hidden gem on Skye, the Fairy Glen isn’t found listed in your regular run of the mill guide books. Visiting here makes you feel like you’re in some kind of fairyland and an elf or fairy is going to pop out!
How do I find this magical land, you ask???
Just south of Uig (if you drive along the A87 from Portree) you’ll spot a small road, signposted “Sheader and Balnaknock” (the Uig Hotel is on this corner) turn into this road, and drive for about 5 minutes. The Fairy Glen is a series of rolling hills and green grassland on your right.
The Fairy Glen is a fun place to spend the afternoon. The hills are climbable, and you don’t need to be a hardcore hiker to enjoy them!
3. Old man of Storr, Storr
Storr is very popular with tourists – and for a good reason! The hike up to Old Man of Storr can be quite intensive for those who aren’t used to hiking or walking, but the view is well worth the effort.
On a sunny day, this can be a hot and sweaty walk! There isn’t a lot of shade when you’re hiking here, so you’re very exposed to the elements. On a sunny day, make sure to bring a hat or if it’s raining don’t forget your raincoat. I made the mistake of not bringing my hat, and I totally regretted it!
If you choose to do the entire walk (the “official” walk is a circuit) it is 3 miles or 5 km return. This sounds like a short distance, but when you’re walking uphill, it feels a lot longer! Be prepared to be completely and utterly POOPED for the rest of the day if you decide to walk the entire circuit.
4. Quariang mountains
Located in Totternish, in the northern part of Skye, the Quaraing mountains are worth a stop even if you’re not planning on hiking.
The best place to stop? Drive north along the A855 from Staffin, and after a mile, there is a junction with an unnamed road on the left. Turn left into this road and follow the road until you hit a cemetery. After the cemetery, there is a section to pull over and a car park for hikers. Stop here for a hike or pull over for a photo stop. Here you’ll find the most photogenic spot, and this is also where a lot of people start their hike of the mountains.
5. Neist point
To the west of Skye, Neist point is a great place to visit if you’ve got an extra afternoon. The walk down to Neist point consists of a return staircase, but if you’re feeling lazy (HELLS YEAH), then skip this.
Instead, there’s a short walk to the right of the car park which takes you over the cliff tops. The area is super muddy in the rain (read: BRING BOOTS!) and is not recommended in high winds, but provides beautiful views of Neist point lighthouse.
6. The Fairy Pools
A visit to Skye is not complete without a drive to the Fairy Pools. One of the most popular spots on Skye, this series of pools and waterfalls are great for those who are after a relatively easy walk. This is a great place to visit if you’re not a hardcore hiker. The entire circuit is a lot more difficult, but you are able to stop when you’re tired and head back to the car park.
Here, you’ll get to see the beautiful pools and of course, views of the Cullin hills.
If you visit when it’s raining, the ground can be muddy so make sure you bring appropriate footwear, like a pair of hiking boots or wellies (gumboots). No one likes muddy shoes!
This is a great place to stop when you first arrive on Skye. It’s mostly on the way regardless of whether you take the bridge or the ferry to Skye.
Make sure you park next to the Sligachan hotel and walk across to the bridge for great mountain range views. The area is the starting place for several hikes. When we were visiting, we even spotted a couple getting married – it’s such a beautiful part of Skye!
So there you have it, 7 of our must see locations on the Isle of Skye.
When visiting Skye, it’s hard to not want to see-all-the-things (and by all the things, I mean ALL.THE.THINGS).
Remember, if you rush your way through the beautiful sights and walks this Skye has, you’ll end up missing so much! Pick a couple of things you’d like to see and enjoy them as much as you can.
One of my favorite moments from this trip was visiting the Fairy Glen. The receptionist at our hotel recommended we visit, and we honestly had no idea what we were in for until we got there! Spending the afternoon climbing the hills and looking out across the lush green hills was so magical.
There’s no photo that can really come close to describing how beautiful it was.
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After other Scotland guides and posts? Check them out here!
- 6 reasons why I love Scotland
- How to spend 24hrs in Glasgow, Scotland
- 7 must see locations on the Isle of Skye
- 6 must-knows when driving on the Isle of Skye