- Beaches, Hiking, Natural Wonders, Parks and Gardens, Recreation, Neighborhood/Area Type
- More than Full Day Time to Spend
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If you only had time to visit one part of the Scottish Highlands, let it be the Isle of Skye. Located on the west coast of the Highlands, Skye is the largest island of the Inner Hebrides. The island is filled to the brim with otherworldly landscapes. There's a lot to see on this island, but travel experts and visitors say you can't leave without peeping these gems: the Quiraing, the Old Man of Storr, Neist Point and the Fairy Pools.
The Quiraing is the perfect introduction to Skye's spellbinding geography. As you descend down the Quiraing, you'll be greeted with sweeping views of stunning geography: Cracked plateaus with craggy cliffsides lead the way to an expansive valley of verdant rolling hills, stately rock formations and alpine lakes. Situated 13 miles south is the Old Man of Storr, a single, pinnacle-shaped rock which stands out for its looks; it's so tall and distinct, it can easily be spotted from sea level miles away.
If you aren't looking to do intense hiking in Skye, venture west to Neist Point. What makes Neist Point so eye-catching is the headland's dramatic cliffs, which change elevation the farther you walk along its mile-and-a-half trail. The Fairy Pools, found inland near Glenbrittle in the south, are pools created by a series of small waterfalls located along the foot of the Black Cuillins Mountains. What makes this attraction so distinctive is its setting: the blue waters and evergreen surroundings really do resemble the kind of watering hole you'd imagine fairies congregating around.
Portree is the main town in Skye. The town is located right off of the A87 highway, which connects Skye to mainland Scotland. You can also reach Skye via ferry. The ScotRail train doesn't go into Skye, but it drops off at Mallaig, where you'll find the ferry that goes to Armadale (this ferry is covered by the Highland Rover Pass). If you didn't get this pass, you'll still want to go to Mallaig and take the CalMac ferry into Armadale, which costs 5.60 pounds ($7.20) round-trip. Getting around Skye can be challenging without a car, especially reaching more remote areas. Stagecoach operates various routes around towns and near points of interest, including Old Man of Storr. To learn more about Skye and its individual attractions, visit the Isle of Skye tourism board's website.