Skye’s dominant elements are rock and water. Everywhere, you’ll see interesting geological formations and water paired together. The island is pretty bare – there’s not much vegetation – but that’s part of the charm: there’s rugged rock towering over and around you wherever you look.
One of the most interesting ensembles of rock and water you’ll find on Skye is Kilt Rock and Mealt Falls on the western shores of the island (see the photo below on the left). The cliffs behind the waterfall get their name from their basalt columns that resemble a pleated kilt – better photos of the formation can be found over here! As with Fairy Glen and the Quiraing, we weren’t exactly sure how to get to the place since we had no internet or cell service, but the viewpoint was super easy to find – we basically just drove the only road south from the Quiraing and saw the signs.
After adoring the waterfall and coastline for a while, we continued our way towards the Storr, which is another iconic Skye location. It’s a hill with a group of huge rock pinnacles on top, the most famous of which is called the Old Man of Storr. I was hoping to see a view like this, but it turned out the road was actually at the bottom of the hill and you couldn’t really make out the different pinnacles from there. So, we started climbing up the hill by foot, thinking “we’ll probably be there in about half an hour”, which was a bit of an underestimation! After an hour of climbing, we were out of water and sweating our bums off in the sunshine – it was over 20 degrees and we were not dressed accordingly. We decided we’d forfeit the challenge so that we’d still have time to explore other places in Skye that day, and made our way back down (but not before admiring the beautiful views of the surrounding lochs and the sea).
That’s the Old Man on the far right – it’s not a good pic, but at least we saw it!
After our little afternoon hike, we headed down to Skye’s main town, Portree, for a well earned late lunch/supper. I wish we could have stayed for a while to take in the small town feeling, but we were a bit pressed for time if we still wanted to see the Fairy Pools in the southern part of the island and still make it to our hotel reservation on the mainland that night. Portree seemed like an enchanting little place with its colourful harbour and little shops!
Our last destination on Skye was the series of playful little pools called the Fairy Pools in Glenbrittle. Again, the walk from the closest parking spot up to the most famous part of the springs (pictured below) was surprisingly long – it took about 45 minutes for us to reach it. Fortunately, all the way up there we got to enjoy different parts of the stream and see spots where the water had shaped and smoothed the rock over time in the most interesting ways. It was also fun to look at all the brave souls who had ventured for a swim in the cold pools (as the evening neared, it was definitely not 20 degrees outside anymore)!
All in all, our day in Skye was full of wonder and appreciation towards the beauty of the world. Because of factors we couldn’t really affect, we were running a bit short on time and were a bit more rushed than we’d have cared to be, but it didn’t really matter – it was fantastic to get to see and experience all of it! If you’re ever travelling up to Skye, be sure to take at least two days on the island so you don’t have to rush from one site to another. We managed a lot in one day, but we also didn’t get to explore some areas of the island at all. I would love to go back some day on a more leisurely schedule.