The Isle of Skye is one of our all time favorite places. The dramatic scenery and quiet spots made for one of the best road trips I’ve ever been on. To read about our Highland road trip click here. There are a few tips I’d like to share with you. Things I wish I knew before our road trip.
Tips for Your Isle of Skye Road Trip
1. Pack food
While Skye has cozy pubs and cute cafes (this one was my favorite), they are few and far between. Be sure to pack lots of snacks and water bottles. In Portree be prepared to wait an hour or 2 for a table in a pub if you don’t make a reservation.
2. Mobile Phones
Be prepared to go offline Mobile Phone in internet connection is pretty spotty. We found mobile phone service only in a couple spots: Portree and by the distillery.
3. Pack Well
Needless to say, Skye is very mountainous. The many outdoor activities are famous on the Isle of Skye. Be sure to pack your hiking boots, walking shoes, sunscreen, first aid kit, etc. Pack for all seasons since the weather is ever changing on the Isle of Skye.
4. Bug spray
If you’re going to the Highlands in the summer or fall, midges can be a real issue. It is worse by water and damp areas, so, all of Skye. Any local will tell you that Smidge is the best solution to this issue. And I can attest to that. We used it the entire time we were in the Highlands and never had an issue with midges.
Driving in the Highlands is mostly on one lane roads. Watch out for locals and let them pass because they drive on these roads all the time and know them well. Driving times are also not what they seem. If Google tells you it’s a 2 hour drive, add another hour to that. The best part about driving on the Isle of Skye is being able to pull off just about anywhere and go for a walk or take photos.
Portree is a quaint town but the largest on the Isle of Skye. There are cozy pubs and delightful shops. You can stroll along the picturesque harbor and you can even stay in the colorful cottages. But book early! They booked up fast.
2. Talisker Distillery
Talisker Distillery is the oldest working distillery on Skye and has a very distinct peaty taste. It quickly became our favorite whiskey.
3. The Quiraing
We hiked here for a bit along the jagged pinnacles and cliffs. Here it felt like we were transported into something like Outlander or an old epic tale. It’s a beautifully raw and dramatic spot and should not be missed.
4. Old Man of Snorr
This is the most popular and well known spot on the isle. Legend has it that the picturesque rocks are fingers of a dead giant. Well, I admit that I didn’t make it all the way to the fingers of the dead giant. I had read a hiker’s guide before going and it rated it as a medium hike. I grew up in New Mexico hiking the Sandia Mountains all the time. This was not a ‘medium hike’. This was one of the hardest hike I’ve ever done. I made it about ¾ of the way up. Call me a wimp, but I decided to stop and just take photos.
5. The Fairy Glen
This is an incredibly magical spot. So green with little hills everywhere. It does look like a little valley carved out just for fairies.
6. The Fairy Pools
Now to be real, I didn’t make it to the pools themselves because it was almost sunset, but even the walk towards the pools is insanely beautiful.
7. Eilean Donan Castle
This is not actually on Skye, but worth mentioning. You will pass it just before the bridge over to the Isle and worth the stop. Built in the 13th century, this castle has been used in many films, such as Highlander.
8. My favorite thing
My favorite thing we did was pull off the road and take photos of the incredible mountain views. Sometimes I had to remind myself that this was real life.
I highly recommend making the drive to the Isle of Skye. It does not disappoint.
xo, Erin Kay
Ever been to Skye or planning a road trip through Skye? Let me know in the comments!