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The Isle of Skye lies off the western coast of Scotland in the Inner Hebrides, and is the second largest island in Scotland (after Lewis and Harris). Skye is a large island of dramatic contrasts, from the leafy fertile plain of Sleat to the dramatic Cuillin mountains. The landscape in the centre of the island is dominated by the rugged Cullin mountains, and from there numerous peninsulas head in different directions. It is a particularly popular destination for hiking and climbing. Raasay, Rona and Scalpay are islands (north to south) to the east of Skye.
Skye is a large island but its coastline is disproportionately long for its size due to major indentations. The Black Cuillin are possibly the UK's most dramatic mountains, being gabbro of volcanic origin. The adjacent Red Cuillin are far less spectacular. However there are some more interesting mountains in the Trotternish area farther north. Less visited is Skye's spectacular coastline from Dunvegan to Carbost, containing the United Kingdom's highest sea cliffs.
The following are all on Skye:
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This is a magical loch. It is a true loch but its outflow leads very quickly to (Sea) Loch Scavaig, which is reached by boat (trips) from Elgol. Alternately there is a walk from Elgol via Camasunary but this involves a bad step when exposed above the sea. Lastly it can be reached by a fine walk from Sligachan - if the return seems too long, see if you can work out a way to go by boat and returrn to Sligachan or vice versa.
While the weather is relatively mild for a region this far north, mildness meaning a cool, wet and rainy climate even in high summer (the best time to go). There is almost constant wind from the sea and rare are the moments the sun breaks through the clouds and gets temperatures above 20 °C.
There is a wonderfully scenic line from Inverness to Kyle of Lochalsh where you can get a bus over the bridge and on into Skye. Another line comes from Oban and Fort William and stops in Mallaig, where you can take the ferry to the island. If the scenery seems familiar that's because footage of the steamtrain that services this route is used in the Harry Potter movies. This steam locomotive only runs in summer.
The Skye bridge connects the mainland of Scotland with Kylerhea. The bridge is part of the A87 motorway, and is the ony bridge connecting Scotland and the Isle of Skye. The bridge used to be a toll bridge, but after a big controversy over the costs of the tolls, the tolls were finally abolished in 2004.
CityLink is the equivalent in Scotland to National Express in England. Citylink connects Glasgow with the Isle of Skye making stops in Uig and Portree. Direct buses run from Inverness as well as other destinations in Scotland.
There is a summer ferry to Raasay from Sconser on Skye also run by Calmac.
Rona and Scalpay are harder to reach unless you are renting one of the few cottages on either. Both are privately owned and it may be possible to arrange something for a day with the owners, who are shown in the sleep section.
The car is probably the easiest way to get around the Island. There is a nice one way road taking you around the island, which can be good if you don't have a lot of time to spend.
Public transport is a bit limited on the island, especially on in the weekends. Citylink takes care of the mainroutes on the Isle and Rapsons (Highland Country Buses) operate many of the other local routes including Armadale-Kyleakin and Portree-Dunvegan. More information can be found on the website of the tourist information.
The trip from Elgol to Loch Coruisk can be done with Misty Isle Boat trips.
|Broadford Youth Hostel||Broadford||Skye||Hostel||80|
|Glenbrittle Youth Hostel||Carbost Glenbrittle||Skye||Hostel||-|
|Saucy Mary's Lodge||Main Rd||Skye||Hostel||78|
|Skyewalker Hostel||The Old School Portnalong||Hostel||90|
|Uig Youth Hostel||Uig||Skye||Hostel||-|
|Rona Holiday cottages||Rona||-|
|Isle of Scalpay Cottages||Scalpay||-|
|Broadford Backpackers Hostel||High Road Broadford Isle of Skye||HOSTEL||80|
|Flora Macdonald Hostel||Kilmore Sleat||Hostel||80|
|Hillview Budget Rooms||Shore road A87||GUESTHOUSE||-|
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