Scotland's largest island, the Isle of Skye is a pocket of wilderness jutting off the coast of the West Highlands. The area is a treat for nature lovers, with its dramatic sea cliffs, windswept valleys, and glittering lochs.
It's possible to visit the Isle of Skye on a full-day tour from Inverness, stopping at sights such as Fort William, Glencoe, and Eilean Donan Castle along the way. To experience everything the island has to offer, spend a night or two on the island—multi-day tours from Edinburgh or Glasgow are popular options that will give you plenty of time to visit Portree, the island's largest town; take in the views from the Old Man of Storr; and explore top attractions such as the Faerie Glen, Dunvegan castle, and Kilt Rock.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Prepare for unpredictable weather—it can get chilly along the coast even in summer and rain is always a possibility.
- Pack some insect repellent—the Scottish Highlands are notorious for their midges, an insect similar to mosquitos.
- Public transport is very limited on the Isle of Skye, so joining a tour is the best option for those without their own transport.
How to Get to the Isle of Skye
The Isle of Skye is part of the Hebrides Islands off Scotland’s west coast and can be reached by ferry from Mallaig or Glenelg, or by road, crossing the Skye Bridge from Kyle of Lochalsh. Journey times by road are about five hours from Glasgow, 216 miles (348 km) away, or 2.5 hours from Inverness, 112 miles (180 km) away.
When to Get There
The best time to visit Skye Island is during the spring and summer months, when the weather is most favorable—although the midges are out in full force on warm evenings. The views can be spectacular in winter, especially if it’s been snowing, but access to some of the island's lookout points will be dependent on the weather.
Natural Wonders on the Isle of Skye
The island's natural wonders beg to be photographed, and hikers and road-trippers will find plenty of opportunities to escape the beaten track. Stroll along the sea cliffs at Neist Point, cool off with a swim in the Fairy Pools, hike into the Cuillin Mountains, or explore the rugged landscapes of the Quiraing.