Exploring Scotland Solo: Isle of Skye Part I

Categories Travel
Picture of the bridge over Skye

It may not be very original, but for my first trip to Scotland, I definitely wanted to spend a few days on the Isle of Skye. In earlier blogposts I talked about my time in Edinburgh and Stirling, and in Inverness and the Eilean Donan Castle, but to be fair, Skye was the highlight of my trip. I took way to many pictures, especially on the first day. Initially, I had planned to cover all my days on Skye in one blogpost, but there was just too much to talk about. In the end, I have decided to split everything into two posts.

Because Skye is a very popular destination in Scotland, accommodation can be very expensive. I decided to stay in three different hostels: Skye Backpackers in Kyleakin (1 night), Portree Independent Hostel in Portree (2 nights), and Broadford Backpackers Hostel in Broadford (1 night). Portree is probably the the best place to base yourself when exploring the island, but also the most expensive.

Day 7: my first full day on Skye

I arrived in Kyleakin at the end of day 6. Most buses on Skye are operated by Stagecoach, and, to be honest, I found their timetables on Skye awful. You may feel lucky when there are 2 or 3 buses on convenient times a day. This meant that on the morning of day 7 I was stuck in Kyleakin. I didn’t expect that there would be anything to do in this tiny village, but I was wrong, it was actually really nice! I decided to try a walk to the castle ruins of Kyleakin from this little walking guide with 40 walks on Skye (which I found very useful!). The views were very pretty and I just love the smell of fresh salt water.

Caisteal Maol

At the end of the morning, I (finally) hopped on a bus. There were some amazing views, which make me realise once more that there is a lot on Skye that I haven’t seen yet!

View from the bus from Kyleakin to Portree

In Portree, I wandered through the touristic centre and grabbed some lunch. There are many day tours from the mainland of Scotland that make a stop in Portree, so it is really busy. I even saw a cruise ship. I returned to the main square/bus station and took another bus to one of the highlights of Skye and one of the most famous walks (again, I used my walking guide): The Old Man of Storr. The views were absolutely amazing and the walk was not that difficult, so I would recommend it to everyone. You should not only see Skye from your (touring) car. You should walk and take the time to explore and admire.

The Old Man of Storr
A happy Sanne who has made it to the highest point of the walk

Kilt Rock

Unfortunately, when I was descending from the Old Man, the clouds returned and it became very, very cold. But I wanted to see one more thing this day: Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls. Surely, not a sight that you can skip, it is a must see!

Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls
Kilt Rock

After almost being blown away from the Kilt Rock viewpoint, I returned to Portree. After dinner, I had more time to walk around and could admire the lovely coloured houses. My hostel (Portree Independent Hostel) was painted a brightly yellow. The world needs more coloured houses! In the Netherlands, coloured houses are a rare thing. Portree was a lot more quiet at this time of day, too.

Portree

Day 8

The weather on day 7 had been pretty good. The weather on day 8 couldn’t be worse. There was a very thick mist. I had just planned to walk the Quirang track (a walk that can take a few hours), but I decided to stick to the plan and hoped that the weather would improve over the day. Luckily, I had the loveliest bus chauffeur, for he dropped me of at the start of the walk instead of at the nearest bus station! Then I began my walk.

Quiraing walk

The weather barely improved, but I didn’t really mind. It gave the whole walk a mysterious atmosphere. You could almost believe that faeries do exist after all. When I finally arrived at the end of the walk and the viewpoint, the mist had lifted for the most part.

The Quiraing

Duntulm Castle

The walk had taken a sizeable portion of my day, so after the walk (and a search for the nearest bus stop and a long wait for the next bus) I took a bus to Duntulm Castle, which is in ruins, but has great views. When the weather is good good (not in my case..) you can see some islands that are farther north and you have chances to discover some wildlife. An ‘achievement’ I had at Duntulm Castle: it was the farthest north I have ever been in the world, but I need to go to Scandinavia soon to remedy that. After Duntulm Castle, I headed back to my hostel and decide to recharge a bit.

Click here for my second post about days 9 and 10 of my Scotland trip, about my other two days on Skye!

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8 thoughts on “Exploring Scotland Solo: Isle of Skye Part I

  1. I swear I commented on this but I guess I must have forgotten? Either way, this post makes me insanely jealous, I really want to visit the Isle of Skye haha. Shame about the weather suddenly dropping and making it turn very cold, but it looks like you had a great time regardless – and those views! Beautiful.

    Have a good weekend dude 🙂
    Amy; Wandering Everywhere

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