Isle of Skye
a very special island in the north-west of Scotland
Nature and historical sights on the largest island in the Inner Hebrides.
Blackish, enchanting rocky landscapes, a mild sea climate and Gaelic-speaking Scots.
Only about 9,000 people live on Skye, this heavily indented, rocky island. The Cuillin Hills, consisting of gabbro and basalt, form the mountainous landscape of the island. The Sgurr Alasdair is the highest point at almost a thousand meters. Skye is also home to the most difficult mountain in Scotland to climb, the Sgùrr a ‘Ghreadaidh. About 30% of the island’s inhabitants still speak Scottish Gaelic to this day. Staying on the rainy, windy island, but with mild temperatures, is an unforgettable experience that has a deep effect on body and mind.
Five peninsulas belong to Skye. Once upon a time the Jacobites hid there
Five peninsulas are formed by the many narrow sea bays, which, as it were, indented the island: Trotternish, Waternish, Duirinish, Minginish and Sleat. Portree is the largest parish on Skye. There are a few historical sights in the picturesque fishing village: The harbor is picturesquely situated between black cliffs. “The Aros Experience” is a local history museum that features exhibits on the exciting story of Bonnie Prince Charlie and Flora MacDonald, a gorgeous heart story that also sheds light on the overall historical dynamics of the United Kingdom and the Jacobite Movement. Flora MacDonald’s grave is in Kilmuir on the Trotternish Peninsula. Around 50% of the residents there speak Scottish Gaelic.
Prehistoric landmarks on Skye
On Skye there are stone towers, stone circles, rows of stones, menhirs and Pictish symbol stones that keep secrets of Celtic history. The focus is on the High Pasture Cave (Scottish Gaelic: Uamh an Ard Achadh), a cave with prehistoric rock arrangements. Clach Ard is a Pictish symbol stone near Portree. Dun Ardtreck, Dun Beag, Dun Fiadhairt, Dun Hallin and Dun Ringill are stone towers, whereas Rubh ‘an Dunain is a cairn.
The Hebrides are a group of several hundred islands. They are spread over a length of a good 200 kilometers off the Scottish Atlantic coast. The total area of the islands is 7,300 square kilometers. Only a few dozen of the larger islands are inhabited. The island world is divided into the Outer and Inner Hebrides. The well-known islands of the Outer Hebrides include the two contiguous islands of Lewis & Harris and the Isle of Skye.
Arrival and island hopping by ferry
The Hebrides are ideal for a rustic vacation in the rough nature of the Atlantic as well as for study trips back in centuries of history. The sights are predominantly natural monuments and stone circles. The 48 meter high rock ‘Old Man of Storr’ is the destination on the Isle of Skye in the Inner Hebrides. From the island’s capital Portree, the hike leads ten kilometers out to the ‘Felsnadel’ with the name Storr, which means summit in German. Apart from a few domestic flights, the inhabited and tourist-favored islands of the Hebrides can all be reached by passenger ferry. Important ferry ports include Ullapoool in the north and Oban in the south of the Hebrides and Ulig on the Isle of Skye.
Most of the guests in the Hebrides can expect well-kept holiday apartments, pensions and smaller hotels. Transportation includes bicycles and buses around the island. Barra, Stornoway, Benbecula and Lewis are among the places that can be reached by scheduled domestic flight from Glasgow and Edinburgh. The ferry ride between the islands takes an average of one to two hours.
St. Michael’s Church on Eriskay, a hidden Bronze Age village near Cladh Hallan, and the Standing Stone on the island of South Uist are among the sights that Scotland lovers should not miss here in the Hebrides.
The Hebrides are not for package tourists, but a worthwhile destination for fit individuals who are interested in the country and its people.