Visiting the Isle of Skye has always projected onto us a magical feeling nurtured over the years by the many films, books and travel editions filmed by the untamed Scotland. And if, at first, when planning our trip to the United Kingdom, it crossed our minds to escape the tourist bustle that its notoriety gave it, we immediately concluded that we would never forgive ourselves for having been so close to it without visiting it.
We had to go to the island that everyone talks about. We had to go to the island that everyone visits when they get lost in Scotland. So, having just completed the route along the North Coast 500, one of Scotland’s most beautiful routes, the Isle of Skye became the next stage.
About the Isle of Skye
Skye in Scotland is a scenic island world renowned for its rugged landscapes around mountains and dramatic cliffs by the sea. With an island territory over 80 km long this is the largest island of the Inner Hebrides, the archipelago of the Scottish west coast, in which it is embedded.
Portree is the capital. A small, colourful coastal town perfectly nestled in a picturesque cove. Dunvengan, Uig, Edinbane and Staffin are the main villages to visit in the north of the island. In the south, Broadford, Armadale, Carbost, Elgol and Kyleakin are the small villages that stand out.
Historical and natural wealth
All, surrounded by remarkable natural, historical and cultural attractions, where getting lost on two wheels provides a majestic itinerary. In addition to its unquestionable natural beauty, the island has a diverse historical wealth. From the fossil remains of dinosaurs to the clan wars, to the Jacobite rebellions which led to a war of thrones for years. Visiting its castles, the numerous viewpoints, or even one of the numerous hiking trails, are activities to include in the list of places to visit the Isle of Skye.
From the island radiate imposing mountain centres, dominated by rocky slopes of peculiar shapes. The Storr, Marsco or Beinn na Caillich among others, are the mountains that trap the eye, while traveling the fabulous roads that multiply throughout the island.
The unmistakable silhouette, the ferocity of the geology, the countless lakes and cliffs, the maritime air, the small coastal bays lace by the rocks and the sea. Skye is an unforgettable natural paradise, covered in a lush green mantle that gives it the special beauty that is only found in the air of Scotland.
Skye Bridge, just beyond the small town of Kyle of Lochalsh, is the gateway to Skye via the island’s main road, the A87. Bathed by the surrounding seas, in all directions appear coves of salt water, covered with seaweed of yellowish and greenish shades that float to the rhythm of the tides.
The road, undulates between small elevations with the sea on one side and the mountainous walls on the other. Loch Sligachan and Loch Ainort among others, adorn the coastal area and amaze visitors from the entrance to Skye.
From Kyle of Lochalsh to Portree, we covered all four stations in less than an hour. Heavy rain, moderate rain, bright sunshine and thick fog, always with the icy air in our faces. Scotland is like that, unpredictable.
Practical information for visiting the Isle of Skye
- Driving on the left-hand side of the road is the rule the non-British world has to abide by when driving on UK roads. Skye is one of the most frequented places in the country by visitors from all over the world. In the hustle and bustle of tourist exploration, they often forget to drive on the correct side. Here you should drive with greater caution and the strong signage there reinforces this.
- Due to the large influx of tourists, police control over parking is intensified. So, inside the villages, do not make it easy to park the motorbike on the pavements, yellow strips, or any other place that is not for the purpose.
- As with the rest of the country in general, getting around Skye by motorbike is only advised in the spring and summer months. During the remaining periods, many roads will be covered in snow. May to September is the ideal time, July and August being the busiest months.