The Isle of Skye is a dreamscape. Every bend in the road treats your eyes to a new view, some of it the familiar Scottish variety, some of it alien and otherworldly, and all of it completely magical. In a place where two of the most famous stops start with the word “fairy”, would you expect any less?
We arrived in Skye after our northern road trip (read about it here!), and were eager to stock up on food and supplies, and then rest our weary eyes in our AirBnb (£232 total for the weekend- about £77/person.)
Imagine our thrill when we arrived to the cutest little glamping pod you’ll ever see, located on a family farm and complete with a pack of baby goats right outside our door! We took pictures and videos of the kids for a while until one of the family members felt bad enough to come out and bring us a baby goat to pet. Did we squeal like idiots? You bet.
Since the rental car and AirBnb were split three ways and really inexpensive (around £100 each total for the entire weekend), we were able to do some splurging on dinner, so we stopped in at a family run restaurant down the road for dinner and the best sticky toffee pudding I’ve ever had. Then, we stocked up at the local co-op with snacks and some food for future meals (and a few bottles of wine), and went back to our pod, where our host had left some firewood for us to help light up our little cast-iron fire pit. The perfect ending to our first night on Skye.
The next morning, the adventure began. There is no limit to the amazing things you can see in Skye. While we didn’t have the time (or the cooperation of the weather) to see everything, we managed to hit the majority of the famous sights:
- The Fairy Pools- A must see. Located at the base of the rugged Black Cuillin mountain range, these pools stretch down a sloping glen. The blue isn’t quite as startling as you might see in a highly filtered Instagram post, but they’ll still take your breathe away. It was the mountain range that really stood out for me here. Dark and foreboding, and so damn cool. The next time I’m in Skye, #1 on my list is a hike through these black hills. It’s a small hike from the car park up to the pools, so make sure you wear the right shoes- it can get a little muddy!
- Portree– The largest town in Skye (which isn’t saying much). We stopped here for lunch and walked around, enjoying the views of the colorful town and the clear, still waters. There were rainbows overhead and bagpipe music permeating the air. A fairytale town, and a good place to find some souvenirs if you wanted to take a piece of Skye home with you.
- Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls– For those of you who appreciate a great geological formation, Kilt Rock will not disappoint. Made from towering basalt columns that take on a tartan pattern, Kilt Rock juts out from the cliffside, Mealt Falls flowing down the face of it straight into the ocean below. On a particularly windy day, you might be able to hear a haunting song dance upon the winds. Fairy pipes? The ghost of an old highlander? The wind blowing through the fence at the edge of the cliffside? We’ll never know.
- The Fairy Glen– You will never be able to shut me up about the Fairy Glen. It is literally the most magical place I have ever been to. Whimsical, otherworldly, and with strange hill formations and spiral ground designs (some made by tourists- please don’t do this! There are natural spirals and shapes there already), the place lives up to its name and then some. Entering the glen is like walking through the wardrobe into Narnia- it’s an almost alien place, so different from anything you’ve seen so far in Skye. It was a long and winding road to the glen, way outside of any cell phone reception or sign of modern life. The roads are tiny, the sheep are numerous, and I would literally travel all the back to Skye just to spend another hour wandering around this place.
- The Old Man of Storr – Because of our time constraints, we didn’t do the hike all the way up to the Old Man, but had a great view from below. If you’re going here for some great uphill exercise, this is the trail to take (along with hiking a little further to the Quiraing, another incredible landscape caused by an ancient landslip). It’s a bizarre sight- sharp peaks of rock jutting out of the ground. Legend says it’s the thumb of a giant who was laid to rest on the hillside. If you turn your head just right (and squint a little) you can see the profile of a man’s face in the outline of the rocks.
- The night sky– This might sound silly if you’re from the countryside or have done a lot of traveling in remote places, but for this city girl, the night sky was one of the more memorable things about Skye. I had never seen so many stars at once. With all the beauty at ground level, it’s easy to forget to look up!
Finding a place to stay in Skye is easy and can be inexpensive, it all just depends on what kind of place you want to stay in. For us, glamping added to the experience in the best way possible. There was a full bed and a pull-out couch, and the three of us fit easily and comfortably in the small space. Important to note for this trip: this was actually the first one we took together as a threesome. If 3 girls who were basically strangers can share a pod with 1 shower and 1 real bed, I think anyone can make this work. After the first night eating out, we cooked dinner in the pod. There was a small kitchen and some cooking utensils (plus a microwave). We had everything we needed to make this trip inexpensive and unforgettable.