Isle of Skye’s Fairies and Demons
Itinerary for 2 days
Magical Cozy Spot in the North of the Island
Just entering the island by the bridge was a breathtaking moment after the most beautiful road in the world through the gloomy picturesque Glencoe’s Munros, and there is so much more I can introduce about the Isle of Skye - the largest and the most beautiful of all Scotland. We have chosen the best spot to enjoy (yet, very very touristic island) - is the Northern tip. Mostly, people choose not to stray far away from Portree, since everything is there - restaurants, shops and hotels. And you might say: “I don’t need that, I want to find a cozy corner in a nature“. Yeah… me too… I thought. But not when we were so tired and hungry after the drive and all the hikes and this little corner was 20 min drive to Portree and we just didn't want to make another 40 min roundtrip. So, yes, we found a beautiful and delicious restaurant… the only one in the north, located in the hotel The Ferry Inn. We had to wait 1,5h for our table to be ready (there were only 7 tables); reminding you we were very hungry, however we were met with a welcoming drink in a nice room by the fireplace (so no complaint). If there is one advice I would give you - is to book everything in advance!
And our cozy luxury camping Hut was definitely the spark of the whole stay! My sweet friend motivated to book both nights in a hut as I was contemplating whether we will have enough warmth inside and hot water due to cold nights (little did I know that cold night in Peru will be even more cruel). The choice was fantastic! Not only they had a heater inside (time heater, it turns off after 2h, but I travel with portable heater and a girlfriend so imagine how much heat did I receive these nights), but also there was always a hot shower. In AirBnb Ad, our cabin was called ‘Running Water’ so that’s why we were worried there there is a limited supply, little did we know that it was a real name of the hut dedicated to one of the Indian tribes (other names were like Raining man…etc…). The hut also had a stove, so we could have beautiful breakfasts in the garden outside and the view…. nothing except the ocean, endless green fields and couple sheeps and cows.
Around $80 per night for the whole hut
Many people tend to be terrified of the cold, and I was too. We went there during the month of May and it was stable +7- +10C and it was perfect weather for just a t-shirt and a jacket! I always overdressed as I feel chilled all the time, but then always had to carry these layers in my hands as it was too hot (don’t forget you hike and walk A LOT, even when you drive a car to places).
It took us around 6h to get to the Island from Edinburgh, however we made a few stops in Glenfinnan Viaduct (Harry Potter Train) and Fort William. 6 hours is not a joke and you better have 2 drivers to change along the way, otherwise it will be exhausting!
The drive is very scenic… again, the most beautiful I have ever seen! Some hills’ peaks were covered by the clouds and rain, some were covered by the snow and all of these were so close to us that it felt surreal! Like if I am on my way to see dementors (Harry Potter reference). The Isle of Skye is very big, it will take you 1.5h to go just from North to the South, why would you want to cross it all the way? Because the Old Rock of Storr is located at the north of the Island and fairy pools at the southern part. Both are magical natural sights.
Day 1 Itinerary
Uig, Quiraing, Melt falls and Kilts Rock, Old man of Store, Portree
7:00am - Breakfast !!!!!!!!!!!! don’t oversleep + waiting for my friend to put the makeup on
8:00am - Driving to Quiraing (20min) (bring water+ snacks, Long Hike!)
8:30am- Start hiking. You will see the enclosed blue lakes , green hills, beautiful cliffs, mountain roads, sheeps, steep and narrow roads (so much fun!)
10:30am- Reach the picturesque high point (only to realize that there was another car park from where we could walk just 30 min instead of 2h, BUT you shouldn’t see the magical lagoon lakes along the way and cliff roads!)
12:00pm - Walked back and got hungry after a big hike ;)
Check out this scenic Soup Place- Skye Restaurant (again, located in the hotel). Soups are so yummy (around 9 pounds per soup, and they have 10 pages to choose from!)
1:00pm - 20 min drive to Kilts Rock and Mealt Falls. This fall is famous for its unique location on the cliff! When we were there, the pressure of the water wasn’t strong enough to gift us a powerful view of the fall falling off the rock (it was more like a weak brook ;). However, it is still worth a ride.
2:00pm - 20 min drive to Old man of Store. Be there early for another long and rewarding hike. I highly advice to start hiking before 3pm to keep away from the strong evening winds, and of course to make it to the scenic spot with the light! Old Man of Store is THE dramatic, sharp rock that you most likely to see on the photos of the isle of Skye!
! Important ! Bring some snacks and 1L of the water - the hike is very long and challenging (steep, very steep). Not comparable to Quirang, you will only go up and up and up! One of the girls had to be picked up by the Emergency team as she was dehydrated and couldn't walk anymore. Don’t be scared, the hike is not that hard, just be ready - it will not be relaxing until the peak of course. Also, it is an open space and if you drink cups of tea and water (like me) - you better pee beforehand. As there is NO place ( nu bushes ) to do it during the hike (and it will be around 3h roundtrip)… so I had to run so far, so if people see me peeing I am a little dot in nowhere ;) Well, it did workout… no weird reactions :D
5:00pm -Portree! This little cute fishing village is a perfect relaxing stopover after the long day of beautiful hikes! Portree has quite a few restaurants, but each one requires reservation as the number of seats are limited and the number of tourists are not..! If you are looking for a great seafood restaurant, Loch Bay Restaurant - owns a Michelin Star! (it is on the western side of the island though! The island is big so be cautious of the drive time).
Day 2 Itinerary
Fairy Pools, Eilean Donan Castle
Ready to see Fairies? And it is a reality! Scotland is a magical country where you can fulfill your wild imagination!
8:00am - Wake up, eat your breakkie, coffee, get your girlfriend and let’s get rolling!
10:00am - Arrive at Glenbrittle, Fairy Pools.
To start, you should drive on the road to Glenbrittle. Along the way you will see multiple signs for different waterfalls, all of them is a part of Fairy Pools archipelago. Park you car at the carpark Glumagan Na Sithichean- the furthest point you can drive to. You will see the path to Sligaghan, and if you follow fairies (and falls ;) one by one you will eventually reach the lagoon-blue coloured waters!
As usual, the complete hike is long. Isn’t it beautiful that everywhere you go, there is a real adventure and it takes you somewhere where not many people go? (could be also because of the winds, but I absolutely loved Scottish weather!). This hike is different from any other, … yeah, it has lots of falls, but also you see them all the way till you reach Fairy Pools. When we just disembarked from the car, there was just 10 min walk to the first (low) waterfall. Further we went - less people we could see and more dramatic mountains and fields started to appear. We could see the waterfall on the background of gloomy, half covered hills by the clouds and dark-greened fields of grass and the experience was surreal!
That’s the view you will see from the carpark (from far, and then its 20min walk till what you see on the pic). The whole route to the main pools will take around 1h, but you will never stop exploring the new natural wonders along the way!
12:30pm - If you want further explore this beautiful island - it has many other natural sights! To be honest, it is a heaven for hikers! The paths are long, challenging and picturesque along the whole way!
Other cool Nature Sights: Neist Point Lighthouse (northwest), Boreraig- remains of the indigenous settlements (south), Armadale Castle (south), Camasunary - dramatic hills near the ocean (south, near fairy pools), The Fairy Glen - spiral hills with unique shapes (north of Uig), Cuillin Ridge- for professional mountain hikers (southwest)
12:31pm - We decided to continue our journey to meet Nessie at the mystical Lock Ness! Overall its 2h 50min drive from Portree to Inverness, however we made some epic spots.
1:50 pm - One of such epic places is the most beautiful castle in Scotland (or in the world), is Eilean Donan Castle. The Jacobean castle is located on the island in the midst of water, how magical is it? The waters comes from three great sea lochs and surrounded by the hills. You will need to cross rustic bridge to get to this gem of history!
Can you get by without a car?
See… I can’t drive. So if not but Sweet Nicole, I would be struggling of ever travelling to such a magical place. Along the way, we picked up a hitchhiker who told us that to move from one place to another he had to walk around half of the day ( and it was around 20-30min drive for us). That’s crazy amount of time just to walk from one trail to another! Yes, the island is the best for hikers but not when you have to walk along the highway…