One of Scotland’s best-known islands, Skye, is a popular and iconic spot that offers much to explore all year round. Scotland’s most-visited island is blessed with spectacular mountain and coastal scenery as well as a rich heritage – from dinosaur fossils to castles and contemporary Gaelic culture.
Ask an Islander
We asked locals in Skye to tell us why their island is special. Here’s what they said:
As the second-largest Scottish island, there is a lot to explore, with each peninsula having its own unique history, landscape and character. Dominated by the iconic Cuillin mountain range with its 12 Munros, the island and the surrounding seas are home to abundant wildlife and stunning views. Alternatively, if you don’t want to hike the peaks, view the Cuillin ridge in its entirety from the shoreline at Elgol or, better still, take a boat trip to Loch Coruisk from the pier at Elgol to see the mountains close up.
Skye is famous for its links with Bonnie Prince Charlie and his escape from British shores following the defeat of the Jacobite rebellion at Culloden which was immortalised in the song ‘Skye Boat Song’.
With its 12 Munros in the Cuillins, Skye is a popular island for walking and hiking. Overlooking Portree, Ben Tianavaig is an outlier of the Trotternish Ridge. Accessed from Camastianavaig on the Braes road it is a relatively easy climb, offering spectacular views of Trotternish, the Cuillins and Raasay.
Talisker Bay is as spectacular in wild weather as it is when the sun is out. For the walk to the beach, head down a single track road near the famous distillery that bears the same name.
Gaelic / Gàidhlig
One of the Gaelic names for Skye is An t-Eilean Sgitheanach.
What’s the Gàidhlig for ‘mountain’ or ‘high hill’? That’s ‘beinn‘!
Since 1995, it has been possible to drive to Skye across the Skye Bridge. Citylink operates a regular coach service between between Skye and Glasgow (via Fort William) or Inverness.
CalMac Ferries operates regular sailings between Armadale on Skye and Mallaig on the mainland. Mallaig is accessible via Scotrail trains from Glasgow via Fort William.
The independent Skye Ferry operates between Glenelg on the Scottish mainland to Kylerhea on Skye.
CalMac Ferries also operates regular services between Uig on Skye and Lochmaddy (North Uist) / Tarbert (Harris).
Want to find out more about Skye and explore more of our amazing islands?
Download the free Scottish Islands Passport app to:
- discover your perfect island match,
- find out about the experiences each island has to offer,
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- find information on accommodation, travel and island amenities.