The Island of Sky in the highlands of Scotland is 50 miles long and is the largest of the Inner Hebrides. As one of Scotland’s top locations to visit for its breathtaking scenery, jagged mountain peaks, deep lochs, and sea cliffs.
The island is full of history from ancient dinosaurs fossils, Jacobite rebellion, Clan warfare, and plenty of legends. Perfect for outdoor and nature lovers, the island has easy access through the Sky Bridge and a ferry.
The Isle is blessed with beautiful fairy pools, and a series of waterfalls with rocks separating them. Legend goes these pools received their name due to the local clan chief of MacLeod marrying a fairy princess. The pools provide crystal blue water, blissful tranquil environments, and breathtakingly beautiful photos with the backdrop of the Cullin mountains.
Visitors will need to take a hike to the fairy pools using the path from the car park. The climb is steady but a steep ascent to the waterfalls upstream. Once visitors arrive, many go for a wild swim to feel one with nature. Be warned though, these are not hot springs and the water is very cold no matter the time of year. The pools attract an array of wildlife also, from rabbits, sheep and even wild red deer. Bird watchers may also get glimpses of herons, curlews pipts, and plovers!
Old man of Storr
Located on the north side of the island, the Trotternish ridge the Old Man of Storr is a hotspot for hikers, walkers, and photographers alike. Created through an ancient landslide, this standing rock is famous for its magnificent scenery.
The hike starts from the car park and the walk to the top covers a distance of 3.8km and takes the average person approximately 1 hour 15 minutes with no stops. To get up to the Old man, you can expect a constant but slow steady ascent to the top. During the ascent, incredible views of the Isle of Sky can be seen. Once near the top, a tip for the best views is to continue on the trail to the right where the best views of the Old Man of Storr can be seen. Rain is very common up there so waterproof clothing is a must, however, it usually washes away the crowds allowing those who preserve to experience the scenery all by themselves.
Dunvegan Castle and Gardens
Enjoy the wealth and history of clan MacLeod at Dunvegan Castle and Gardens. Originally opened to the public in 1922 twice a week by Sir Reginald MacLeod(27th Chief), visitors can enjoy tours of the castle and it’s highland estate steeped in legends and clan history.
The castle has been built over ten different periods from 1200 to the 1850s with a unified medieval castle design on the outside and defensive battlements running the whole length of the roof. However, underneath this unified design remains five separate buildings. Inside the castle, there are many oil paintings and clan treasures and legends available to see.
Delight in the castle’s stunningly beautiful formal gardens. The gardens are a real hidden oasis with plenty of plants, woodlands, and pools fed by waterfalls. Truly stunning with a beautiful loch below.
Hidden away in the Cullin mountains is Loch Coruisk. The loch is only accessible via boat or foot and is one of the most beautiful places to visit on the Isle of Sky.
The loch is freshwater, a deep ink blue color, and 38m deep, located on the southern coast of the Isle. Access is through a 45-minute boat trip which leaves from a small village called Elgol.
The loch itself is hidden further inland and once disembarked from your boat it is a hike over the rocky, wet and peaty ground. However, the stunning loch is definitely worth the trip! Visitors who arrive early enough to the loch can be lucky enough to see the stunning reflections of the mountains on the water which is truly spectacular.
If accessed by foot, however, it is an 11km one-way hike from Sligachan and 9km from Kilmarie.
The loch has been the subject of stories and folklore for many years! The loch is reputed to be the home of a kelpie, a water horse. Kelpies are said to a black or grey horse who preys on humans and drags them into the water!
The Syke and Raasay Whisky Trail
For whisky lovers, embark on the world’s most scenic whisky trail. This is a two-day tour that is perfect for landscape photographers and whisky lovers who also want to explore the Scottish Highlands.
There are three distilleries on this tour that can be visited; Talisker, Isle of Raasay, and Torabhaig. There are also opportunities to visit and make your own gin at the Isle of Sky distillers gin school. The trial also has many bars and off-licenses to stop at.