When we were planning our trip to Scotland, I stumbled across a blog from Sugar and Soul and knew that we had to make the Isle of Skye a part of our trip. White sand beaches, turquoise sea, rolling green mountains, and tranquil creeks and waterfalls dotting the landscape give the Isle of Skye the appearance of another world. It’s hard to describe just how perfect this place is, so I’ll hop right into the logistics so you can get to planning your perfect trip to western Scotland.
We drove from Loch Ness to the Isle of Skye which is around 2.5 hours through the Scottish Highlands. Throughout this drive I was constantly floored with how pretty the surrounding landscape was. Of all of the road trips I have been on this beat all of them in terms of pure beauty.
- Where to stop:
- When to go:
- April – September is probably the best time to go. It is snowy and cold in the winter. We were here in late May and the weather was a perfect 75 °F.
- What to wear:
- Layers! In the shade it’s cold, but in the sun it’s quite warm.
- Rain coat – Maybe it’s the newfound Irish in me, but you can never go wrong with a raincoat around your waist.
- Good hiking shoes (trail runners will do).
- Scotland is pretty expensive. But, with the plethora of hiking and affordable hostel (£17/night) you can get by pretty cheap.
Hiking the Point of Sleat
After reading Sugar and Soul’s account of this hike, I knew we would have to replicate this perfect day on our trip. We headed down A851 and were quite impressed with the size of the road (it had 2 lanes!) until we hit the Aird of Sleat. At this point the road turns into a single lane road with “passing points”. If you just take it slow, put on some good jams, and yoga breathe you will be just fine.
Stay on the main road (don’t turn off on to the random dirt roads) until you hit a car park. We made the mistake of driving off the main road multiple times and spending about an hour trying to figure out where the car park was. At one point we hopped out of the car thinking we were there and trespassed through somebody’s farmland on accident (not suggested). The view was pretty though!
Once you get to the car park that’s where the fun hiking adventure begins. The hiking trail looks more like a dirt road and you will have to go through a couple of gates throughout the hike, but as noted on the main website this is the way to go.
Throughout the hike you will come across multiple free-ranging livestock. They are fun to watch, but for fear of being bitten by sheep teeth I kept my distance. Plus, the sheep look pretty fierce protecting their baby lambs.
After hiking for about 30 minutes you’ll reach a hill that shows you the first hint of paradise.
Keep on trekking enjoying the view and the random livestock dotting the landscape.
Another half hour of hiking and you’ll reach a turning point. You can either continue straight and enter a gate. Or you can climb up a rocky hill that doesn’t look like it’s part of the trail.
The sign points up the rocky hill so we veered off of the dirt road and onto the rocky path up the hill. Fortunately, we chose the right path. We continued along this path with a wire fence to our right. The view is stunning and I was getting pretty tired by this point. Putting one foot in front of the other we kept on trekking. About 20 minutes after turning off of the main trail we were rewarded with a jaw-dropping view of a white sand beach with turquoise water. It was a moment I will never forget. Fortunately, my best friend caught my excitement at that exact moment.
We hung out at the beach for a while and played with a pup friend we made from the other couple on the beach. With the exception of this other couple, we had the whole beach to ourselves.
After relaxing for a bit we started to make the trek back. Unfortunately, our pup friend we made decided he wanted to come too.
After 30 minutes of back and forth trying to make sure he made it back to his parents, we made our way back to the car to continue our adventures.
After hiking the Point of Sleat we headed to eat dinner and to our hostel. The moment we hit the bed we knew we weren’t going to make it back out that evening. Fortunately, we had a bit of flex time the following morning to head to the Fairy Pools. On another perfect weather day in Scotland (we got so lucky with sun every day!), we made the 30 minute drive from our hostel. Because the Fairy Pools are pretty touristy the road is much better than the road to the Point of Sleat, but it’s still a single-track road. After you park, you’ll be surrounded by mountains and a clearly marked trail leading you down to the Fairy Pools.
We saw some people heading down with strollers and they quickly learned that this trail is not designed for strollers or people that have trouble walking. While a pretty easy hike, there are parts crossing the various streams that have rocks that you have to kind of hop across. After walking for about 30 minutes you will start to see a few of the Fairy Pools with the beautiful turquoise water and romantic waterfalls.
We spent about 30 minutes trekking around the various pools to try to get as many pictures as possible. Unfortunately, we were here with very harsh sunlight at the height of the day so none of the pictures do this place justice. You’ll have to see it with your own eyes to understand how gorgeous these pools really are.
The perfectly clear water combined with the sound of the waterfalls will be sure to take your breath away.
I’m so glad we made it out to the Isle of Skye during our trip to Scotland. Every where we looked throughout our trip we were surrounded by pure beauty. While we only had 24 hours to explore the Isle, it was well worth the drive from Edinburgh.
Have you ever been to the Isle of Skye? What are some other “must-sees” in this beautiful part of the world?
– Boots not Roots