You won’t catch a single boring view in Skye, the jewel in Scotland’s Hebridean crown. Explore the Old Man of Storr before hiking across the heather to a coastal restaurant for a lunch of wild Atlantic lobster—and don’t forget to stop en route and say hello to one of the shaggy Highland cows relaxing on the beach. End the day with a dram of locally made Talisker Single Malt Scotch Whisky at an old crofter’s pub, listening to tales of ancient clans and mythical spirits.
Neist Point Lighthouse
You won’t be the first to fall in love with this rugged ridge as it juts out from the green moorland, and you certainly won’t be the last. From the top of the ridge, enjoy breathtaking views of Skye, over sea lochs and the dark hulk of the Black Cuillin mountains. Take a look at the Old Man of Storr, a separate rock stack that dominates the landscape around it.
Nowhere is Skye’s muscular natural beauty clearer than at Neist Point, where the grey sea crashes against dark green cliffs. A lighthouse has stood here since 1909 to guide sailors over The Minch, a treacherous strait between the isles of Skye and Uist. Watch puffins and black guillemots whirling through the air, returning to their nests perched on the sheer cliffs.
Follow Sir Walter Scott’s footsteps up to the still waters of Loch Coruisk, one of Scotland’s most picturesque natural wonders. The Black Cuillin mountains surround the water, their dark basalt shadow creating an air of mystery. Just be careful of the Kelpie, a mythical creature that is said to lure unfortunate travelers into the cold depths of the loch.
Scotland has hundreds of castles, but few compare to Dunvegan. Head inside the castle from the shores of Loch Dunvegan to see an 18th-century dining room, rusting cannons on the battlements, and the Fairy Flag, said to give the flagbearer good fortune in battle. The best part? Dunvegan is the seat of the ancient Clan MacLeod to this day, the beating heart of Skye’s tumultuous history.
The Quiraing is where you see the spirit of Scotland in its purest form, where golden eagles soar and green moorland penetrate the open sky. Hike along the ridge to find a hidden glen littered with pinnacles and peculiar rock forms. You can’t miss The Needle, a narrow shard of rock, but you’ll need to work harder to spot The Prison, a reference to the square towers at each end. Less