The Isle of Skye is a delight for those that reach its shores in the north of Scotland. Boasting dramatic scenery filled with intensely rugged landscapes, awe-inspiring vistas and a healthy dose of medieval history, there’s no shortage of incredible viewpoints to capture the best angles of Skye.

    The largest island of the Inner Hebrides archipelago is littered with idyllic lochs, monolithic rocks and commanding mountainscapes that impress with their sheer intensity. Photographers, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts are all regular visitors to the impressive landscapes found across the island. But with so much to absorb, knowing where to find the best vantage points can be tricky. We’ve pulled together this list of the best views on the Isle of Skye, so you won’t miss any of them.


    The Old Man of Storr

    The view is worth the climb

    The Old Man of Storr’s angular basalt rocks jut imposingly from the Trotternish Ridge just north of Portree. Towering 164 ft up toward the skies above, this viewpoint is one of Skye’s most well-known scenic spots. If you think it looks daunting to climb, you're not alone. The pinnacle remained unscaled until 1955 when Englishman Don Whillans tackled the pillar.

    While easily seen from the road below, Storr begs closer inspection to fully appreciate its magnitude. The 2.8-mile round-trip hike from the road ascends about 300 yards to offer views across the Isles of Rona and Raasay in the east and is the ideal introduction to the landscapes on Skye.

    Location: Old Man of Storr car park, A855, Portree, Isle of Skye IV51 9HX, UK

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    Loch Fada

    Capture dramatic reflections of the Old Man of Storr

    You’d be forgiven for feeling like you’re in a dreamscape, under the right weather conditions, as you spend time exploring Loch Fada. Just south of The Old Man of Storr and adjoining with Loch Leathan, this glass-like lake is a photographer’s dream. Serene scenes perfectly reflect the Old Man himself across its silky waters.

    Early morning and late afternoon provide the ideal light for a warm glow at this idyllic setting. You can enjoy dynamic compositions and peaceful moments as you’ll often have the place to yourself – the crowds flock to more popular vantage points higher up the hillsides.

    Location: Loch Fada, Isle of Skye IV51 9HT, UK

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    photo by Klaus with K (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Kilt Rock

    Discover panoramic views overlooking Mealt Falls

    Enjoy 2 brilliant sights from a single viewpoint on dramatic cliffs over the ocean, affectionately named Kilt Rock. The 300-foot-high weathered basalt columns resemble the pleats of a kilt, making it a truly Scottish site. Facing the sea, look north to witness this natural marvel, then focus in a little closer to spot Mealt Falls, plunging 180 ft into the ocean.

    It isn’t only your eyes that’ll be treated to an epic experience here. When strong winds whip along the coastline an aural element also accompanies the views. While not a natural phenomenon, the fencing around the viewpoint emits a hauntingly beautiful sound as the wind passes through small holes. In more favourable weather, you may be treated to even wider-reaching panoramic views, with the Isle of Lewis visible on clear days.

    Location: Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls viewpoint, A855, Isle of Skye IV51 9JE, UK

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    The Quiraing

    The pinnacle of viewpoints on Skye

    The most dramatic of all Skye’s views belongs to The Quiraing. Formed by Britain’s largest landslide, it has been hailed as the most beautiful landslip in the world thanks to its linear peaks and dipping valleys. Sat along the Trotternish Ridge, which also houses The Old Man of Storr, The Quiraing dominates the escarpment of Staffin Bay.

    Photographers are particularly drawn to the 4-mile hiking trail, taking you over pinnacles and across steep slopes for sweeping views overlooking the Isle of Skye. You’ll be treated to intriguing geological features as you traverse the landscape, including The Needle, The Table and The Prison, for one of the most incredible natural formations in Scotland.

    Location: The Quiraing, Portree, Isle of Skye IV51 9LA, UK

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    photo by Colin (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    The Fairy Glen

    Look out for the stunning waterfalls and vivid blue pools

    The enchanting Fairy Glen is hidden among rolling green hills and bumpy farmlands. Cone-shaped hills protrude from the surrounding green space and ponds are scattered around the glen. Much like the nearby Quiraing, this whimsical landscape was caused by a landslip, creating the unique arrangement of rocky hills.

    Despite the name, there is no official link to folklore connecting the land to faeries or any other mystical beings. However, the space does lend a sense of magic to those who explore its crevices. For the best viewpoint over the region, make the short climb up Castle Ewan, a natural rock formation resembling ancient ruins, for a look over the clusters of cone-shaped hills that make this rare geological formation so captivating.

    Location: The Fairy Glen, Isle of Skye IV51 9YG, UK

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    photo by Pelle Sten (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Dunvegan Castle

    Overlooking gardens, lochs and surrounding woodlands

    Castle Dunvegan, set beside an idyllic loch of the same name, is the longest continually inhabited castle in Scotland. The castle’s interior is award-winning, with quaint Victorian holiday cottages for guests surrounding the main structure. Unlike most of the barren moorlands and mountainous landscapes that dominate Skye, Dunvegan Castle possesses an oasis-like feel.

    Here you can explore 5 acres of formal gardens, woodland glades, and waterfalls and streams that flow toward the sea. Plant enthusiasts will be pleased with the greenery on show throughout the Glass House, water garden and walled garden that fill the castle grounds. Beyond the castle estate, you can take a traditional clinker boat out across the loch to see the local seal colony that laze along the rocky shorelines of Loch Dunvegan.

    Location: MacLeod Estate, Dunvegan House, Dunvegan, Isle of Skye IV55 8WF, UK

    Open: April–mid-October from 10am to 5.30pm (closed mid-October–March)

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    photo by Neil Aitkenhead (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Neist Point

    Sunset is a dream at Skye's most westerly point

    There's nowhere better to watch the sunset than on Skye’s most westerly point, Neist Point. The rippling coastline here is saturated in golden tones as the sun slips over the horizon at this rocky outcrop near the township of Glendale. While you can walk the 1.3-mile path to the lighthouse at the tip of the point, the best views are seen from the hilly cliffside looking out over Moonen Bay, toward Waterstein Head.

    It’s not only the landscape visitors can admire here. The lighthouse at the end of the point was first lit in 1909 as a guiding light for seafarers and attracts many of the area’s visitors. Neist Point is also one of the best places on Skye to spot whales, porpoises, basking sharks and dolphins, along with a variety of local seabirds.

    Location: Waterstein, Glendale, Isle of Skye IV55 8WT, UK

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    photo by diego_cue (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Talisker Bay

    Enjoy ocean views with a dram of whisky

    Resting at the foot of Glen Oraid, the beach that lies in Talisker Bay is just a short walk from the nearby road. Wedged between craggy sea cliffs and an impressive sea stack, the azure waters below lap at the small shoreline made of coarse shingle. Easy to access, the dramatic surroundings and nearby waterfall also make excellent features for photographers.

    A short 5-mile drive will lead you to the nearby town of Carbost and the Talisker Distillery, the oldest working distillery on the Isle of Skye. The distillery is set on the shores of Loch Harport and set against the striking background of the dramatic Cuillins.

    Location: Talisker Bay, Isle of Skye IV47 8SF, UK

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    photo by Klaus-Martin Hansche (CC BY 2.5) modified



    A hiking hub surrounded by viewpoints

    Famous for its mountainscape and seaside scenery, the small fishing village of Elgol treats visitors to magical views before they even reach their destination. Traversing the road through the Red Cuillins and Strath Suardal towards the shores of Loch Scavaig, dramatic scenes unfold as you pass the ruined Cill Chriosd (Christ Church) and its graveyard.

    Unlike other views of the Cuillins, Elgol is one of the only places to take in the horseshoe shape of the mountain range. Those wishing to make the most of the region’s many viewpoints can explore the hiking routes that start here, heading toward both the Black and Red Cuillins.

    Location: Elgol, Isle of Skye IV49 9BJ, UK

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    photo by Dick Smit (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified



    Come for the bridge, stay for the hikes

    Where the roads from Dunvegan and Portree meet lies a picturesque stone bridge set against breathtaking scenes of the Cuillins mountain ranges and the tiny village of Sligachan. The river of the same name runs beneath the bridge's 3 arches and is a popular postcard-pretty photo for visitors. Moody skies and temperamental mists and clouds create an ever-changing atmosphere at this vantage point, creating unique shots for every visitor.

    Nearby Glen Sligachan runs for 8 miles to the south toward Elgol and divides the Cuillins. An ideal base for visiting many viewpoints in the region, hikers can tackle the numerous routes that surround this crossroads in the south of Skye.

    Location: Sligachan, Isle of Skye IV47 8SW, UK

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    Kiri Nowak | Contributing Writer

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