FD tour of Skye - overnight at Cuillins Hills Hotel or similar (B, L)
Today our full day tour will include stops to grasp and take in the beautiful scenery and the many sights that Skye has to offer. We will tour the fairy pools, the lighthouse at Neist point, Dunvegan Castle and gardens - the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland, the magical scenery at Faerie Glens before stopping at the Flodigarry Hotel for lunch with an incredible view. We will head back after lunch with photo stops at the Quiraing, the Kilt rock and the Old Man of Storr.
The Isle of Skye (an t-Eilean Sgiathanach in Gaelic) takes its name from the old Norse sky-a, meaning ‘cloud island’, a Viking reference to the often-mist-enshrouded Cuillin Hills, the rocky slopes of which provide some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in the country. It’s the 2nd largest of Scotland’s islands, a 50-mile-long patchwork of velvet moors, jagged mountains, sparkling lochs and towering sea cliffs. The stunning scenery is the main attraction, but when the mist closes in there are plenty of castles, crofting museums and cozy pubs and restaurants; there are also dozens of art galleries and craft studios. Along with Edinburgh and Loch Ness, Skye is one of Scotland’s top-three tourist destinations. However, the crowds tend to stick to Portree, Dunvegan and Trotternish – it’s almost always possible to find peace and quiet in the island’s further-flung corners. Come prepared for changeable weather: when it’s fine it’s very fine indeed, but all too often it isn’t.
At foot of the Black Cuillins are the Fairy Pools, beautifully crystal clear blue pools on the River Brittle. These famous pools entice visitors from all over the world, as they make some great ‘wild swimming’ for those brave enough to enter the cold water. For the less adventurous these magical Fairy Pools make some fantastic photos.
Neist Point is one of the most famous lighthouses in Scotland. While the walk down is an easy one, the concrete path does get quite steep at times. From the path you will see stunning views of the high cliffs and the lighthouse itself, at sunset the view is made even more spectacular making this a top destination for landscape photographers.
Denvegan Castle & Gardens
Built on a rock in an idyllic loch side setting, Dunvegan is the oldest continuously inhabited castle in Scotland and has been the ancestral home of the Chiefs of Clan MacLeod for 800 years. On display are many fine oil paintings and clan treasures, the most famous of which is the Fairy Flag. Legend has it that this sacred banner has miraculous powers and when unfurled in battle, the clan MacLeod would invariably defeat their enemies. Another of the castle's great treasures is the Dunvegan Cup, a unique 'mazer' dating back to the Middle Ages. The O’Neils of Ulster gifted it as a token of thanks to one of our most celebrated Chiefs, Sir Rory Mor, for his support of their cause against the marauding forces of Queen Elizabeth I of England in 1595.
The road to “Faerie” Glen winds around small round-topped grassy hills with lochans (ponds) in between which gives the glen an otherworldly feel. Skye has a long history involving the fairies (Faerie), most of which is related to Dunvegan Castle and their ‘Fairy Flag’. Although the Fairy Glen (much like the Fairy Pools in Glenbrittle) does not have any legends or stories involving fairies, it is easy to enjoy and appreciate its magical essence.