8 Days in the Isle of Skye: Part I

A visit to Scotland is not complete if you don’t visit the Isle of Skye. This magical place is incredibly scenic and breathtaking. Our week there was a relaxing and slow-traveling, exploration kind of trip.

Highlights: Days 1 – 5

Eilean Donan Castle

On the way to the Skye Bridge, I have to share the classic shot of Eilean Donan Castle. This famous castle is the most visited and photographed castle of Scotland because of its location, sitting at the gateway to the Isle of Skye and nestled between three lakes. Seeing it in person explained why the castle draws so many people to it: not only is it a beautiful castle, but its backdrop is also gorgeous.

Highland Cows

When we finally got to Skye, we visited some Highland cows. The shaggy gentle beasts basked in the sun as visitors admired and took photos of them.

Creagach Cottage

The drive to where we stayed, a village called Hallin in the northwest part of the island, is over 5 hours via car from eastern Scotland. But with all of our rest stops and other distractions, the trip to our cottage took about 8 hours. It was a long travel day spent in the car, but a scenic road trip through the Highlands.

Creagach Cottage is the best cottage we’ve stayed in. The location is fantastic, as we had majestic views through the windows. We woke up, ate, and did everything with this view. It just didn’t get old; we loved it. We were in total privacy, and the scenery was perfect for our time spent inside when we worked on our creative projects.

If you’re looking for a fantastic place to stay while visiting Skye, check out Creagach Cottage. You won’t be disappointed.

What we loved about our trip to Skye is how relaxing and immersed in nature we were. And I can’t emphasize enough how scenic Skye is. No matter where we were, the landscape was incredible. In the first five days, we spent a lot of time hiking.

Sgurr Alasdair Trail

The Cuillins are rocky mountain ranges in the southern part of Skye. Sgurr Alasdair, a six-mile hike, is the best trek through these mountains, and it was our first hike on the island.

The day was warm with strong UV, pleasant and beautiful, but it was too hot for Nick. We parked near a beach, and to get to the trail we cut through a campsite. Once at the top, the view was awesome, and Nick got relief from the sun when we were met with windy conditions.

Fairy Pools

Not too far from Sgurr Alasdair are the Fairy Pools. An easy trail led us to a series of small waterfalls with natural pools. The famous site is usually packed with tourists because it has made several lists of ‘Places you must see before you die’.

We missed the crowd because we came later in the day. The plus side of this is taking pictures without photobombers, but we didn’t get to see the sun striking the natural pools to show the vibrant blue and green colors of the water. Despite so, I didn’t mind. I’d rather miss the crowd and visualize the colors in my mind.

Neist Point

Neist Point is one of Scotland’s most famous lighthouses. There is a steep trail that leads to the lighthouse, and from there we walked back and up to the cliffs and took a classic shot of it from above. I can see how this is a popular spot to watch sunset.

Quiraing Hike

As part of the Trotternish ridge, Quiraing was formed by a massive landslide. The landscape is breathtaking, with its high cliffs, hidden plateaus and pinnacles. The five-mile hike through here was picturesque right from the get-go.

Bla Bheinn Hike

Bla Bheinn was the most challenging and longest hike we encountered on this trip. It is known as one of the best, if not the best hike on Skye. I have to say it is, and it is the most technically challenging hike we’ve done yet.

This eight-mile hike had us scrambling and rock climbing a bit at the top. Going up was fun and at times a bit scary, but it was worth it for spectacular 360-views of the Cuillins and other mountain ranges. However, going back down was the real challenge and was what tired us out.

View of the Cuillins

Bla Bheinn is a must for all hiking lovers, but it is technical and requires attention. There is a lot of scree, and if you have bad knees you must take caution, especially coming down. And note, this is not a family-friendly hike with kids.

This was our last hike. The remaining days on the island, we took it easy, which I’ll cover in my next post, highlighting days 6 – 8.