“Cloud Island” is what the Norse called the Isle of Skye in Scotland. It is fitting.
A 50-mile-long banquet of velvet moors, jagged mountains, shimmering lochs and towering sea cliffs produce stunning scenery. If the weather turns, there are plenty of castles, crafting museums, and cozy pubs and restaurants to please anyone.
Along with Edinburgh and Loch Ness, Skye is one the places in Scotland that people enjoy visiting the most. Dunvegan Castle has been lived in continuously by the same family. For over 7 centuries, Dunvegan Castle has been the seat of the chiefs of the Clan MacLeod. It also contains the Fairy Flag, a fabled piece of magical silk treasured for its powers of protection.
A wild geological past has produced some of Britain’s most dramatic scenery. From rugged Northern Skye to the ice-sculpted peaks of the Cuillins, the island is riveted with many lochs. The traveler is never more than five miles from the ocean. The limestone south is covered with grasslands—perfect grazing for sheep and cattle. Pull over and explore the ruins of abandoned crofting villages. The texture of their silence is striking.
Bonnie Prince Charlie, the last Stuart claimant to the Crown, hid out on Skye in 1746. He was grateful to those who helped him, and left behind something valuable to thank the Islanders: The secret recipe for the liqueur, Drambuie. “An Dram Buidheach,” its name in Scottish means, “The drink that satisfies.” Many would agree!
A phenomenal world of inlets and ocean lochs, castles, ruins, and landscapes that look as if they fell out of an oil painting—these are the shapes and colors of Skye. Lush hillsides become rugged, and it’s no wonder that mountaineers from around the world test themselves against the challenging conditions.
When you arrive in Skye, the road signs are in Gaelic and English. Skye has a strong Gaelic identity.
It is ragged mountains and a wild coastline. A patchwork of crofts, waterfalls, and fine whisky. A castle that is connected to the fairy world and the rescue of the last Stuart.
Skye is everything we think of the Highlands to be: Wild, fierce, and mesmerizing.