Staying on Skye: A Guide to One of Scotland’s Most Beautiful Islands

The Isle of Skye is one of Scotland’s most popular tourist destinations. The island, found off the west coast of Scotland, is known for its stunning landscapes, friendly locals, and rich history.

So whether you’re planning a romantic getaway, a family holiday, or a full-on adventure, Skye has something to offer everyone.

Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye

Planning Your Trip to Skye

When planning your trip to Skye, it’s essential to consider a few key factors. First and foremost, you’ll need to decide on a time of year to visit. Skye is a year-round destination, but the best time to visit depends on what you want to get out of your stay.

If you’re looking to explore the island’s famous landscapes, the summer months of June, July, and August are the best time to visit. During this time, the weather is typically mild, and the days are long, making it perfect for hiking and discovering the island’s many natural wonders.

However, if you’re looking for a more peaceful and secluded experience, spring and autumn are great times to visit. During these months, it’s less crowded, and the island takes on a more serene and contemplative atmosphere.

Things to Do

Skye is an outdoor lover’s paradise, with a wide range of activities to suit all interests and abilities.

The Isle of Skye provides some of the most dramatic scenery in the UK, with stunning views of mountains and seascapes. But remember, there’s more to Skye than fantastic vistas!

Some of the most popular things to do on the island include:

Neist Point - Isle of Skye

Hiking & Hillwalking: Welcome to some of Scotland’s most beautiful and dramatic hiking trails! The famous Quiraing circular walk has fantastic views of the incredible landscape in the north of the island, and if you’re fit and able, this should be well within your reach – be warned though, the complete circuit is quite challenging. The magical Fairy Pools is another relatively easy hike, as is the walk to see the Old Man of Storr. If these feel a little too adventurous, don’t worry, there are plenty of short easy walks to be found on the island.

If you’re unsure if a walk suits you, just ask a local; they’ll put you on the right path. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a casual walker, there’s a trail to suit your fitness level and experience. Check out the Walk Highlands website for inspiration, they describe many graded walks for all abilities. Don’t forget your map and compass if you’re venturing into the mountains, the higher you go the wilder it can get.

Wildlife watching: Skye has a diverse range of wildlife, including eagles, otters, and dolphins. There are several guided tours and cruises that can take you out to see the island’s wildlife in their natural habitat. This is a highlight of many visitors holiday, and for good reason. Portree has a selection of tours that run from the quay, if you’re keen to get out on the water. Regardless of where you book your tour from, it’s best to book in advance.

Whisky tasting: For those who enjoy a dram of whisky, several distilleries are open to visitors, including Talisker and Torabhaig. These distilleries offer tours and tastings, allowing visitors to learn about the history and production of whisky on the island.

Relax & Unwind: You might, of course, simply just sit, do nothing. Drink in the views, listen to the silence and watch the world go by. Our holiday cottages are the perfect place to relax, unwind, contemplate, and marvel. 

Suggestions & Resources

There are plenty of online resources to help you plan your holiday, What’s On Skye has many ideas of where to go and what to do, as do the MySkyeTime and Visit Scotland websites.

Skye History & Heritage 

There are museums, castles and ancient villages to explore that provide insight into island life throughout the centuries. A visit to the History Hit website lists various historic sites they consider the best to visit, and a quick google will provide many options that will help you get your history fix.

Outdoor Adventure

With so much stunning scenery, it’s unsurprising that outdoor activities are extremely popular with visitors, but don’t worry; it rarely feels crowded. 

For the energetic, there are plenty of walks and climbs, from leisurely strolls to more serious outings.

Perhaps something water based is more to your liking? You might join some brave souls for a wild swim in the world-famous Fairy Pools (wetsuit recommended!), or maybe a dip from one of the pristine sandy beaches.

Sea kayaking is popular with rentals and guided trips available, this can bring a whole new perspective to Skye and it’s wildlife.

Google is your friend here as there are plenty of providers across the island that will help you make the best of your holiday.

Black Cuillin Mountains

Tours & Wildlife Watching


For those that like life at a slower pace, you might like to take a guided tour. Many local providers provide entertaining trips, and it’s a great way to explore the island.

Perhaps a visit to the Scottish favourite; a distillery (or two), is more your thing. The Skye & Raasay Whisky Trail is on your doorstep – there’s never been a better excuse to book a tour!

Or you might take a boat trip to see incredibly diverse wildlife, such as sea eagles, puffins, seals, dolphins and whales.

Eating Out

Even though you’re self-catering, it’s nice to eat out occasionally, and Skye has some excellent eateries.

Fine dining is available at the six Michelin-listed restaurants, and you can find more modest but equally as tasty fayre in cafes and inns across the island – Tripadvisor has some recommendations.

Our Skye Holiday Cottages

You can search for availability from our dedicated Skye holiday cottage page. We provide a selection of cottages and holiday homes, from traditional croft houses to contemporary architect-designed luxury accommodation. Wherever you choose, we’re sure you’ll enjoy your stay on Skye.