The Isle of Skye is an island situated in the north of Scotland. It has no direct rail connectivity. Either you will have to take rail up to Inverness or Glasgow, which is on the way to the Isle of Skye. There are direct Citylink buses from Edinburgh to Portree, the capital of the island. The bus journey takes around six to seven hours from Edinburgh. I preferred taking a bus from Edinburgh as I had a three-day boarding pass on Citylink buses. If you are not driving around, I would suggest you taking the pass as it is economic to wander around Scotland.
If you are a solo traveler, this place is perfect for you. You can wander all around the island and enjoy quality time. There are few hotels and hostels on the island which provide budget accommodation. I had booked a Portree independent hostel in Portree, just next to the Portree bus station. This was a perfect stay as it was next to the bus station and next to Portree harbor. Generally, the hotels in Skye are crowded during summer and it might be difficult to find accommodation if you don’t have a prior booking.
The harbor nearby to the bus station is beautiful, It is not a busy port with only a few fishing boats around. I spent some time exploring the harbour and talking to local people.
There is an old watchtower on top of the hill from where you can get a panoramic view of the port. I sat there seeing the sunset and clicking pictures of this beautiful place.
If you are not driving yourself then you can take local bus service to go around the Island. You can also tie up with transport agencies who organize a day tour to take you around the Island. The only problem with the tour agencies is that you are restricted to the timings. I like to be a free bird with no timing restriction, so I preferred to go on my own. You can hop on buses and get down wherever you wish.
Hiking old man of Storr
Next day I started with hiking Old man of Storr. It is a large pinnacle of standing rock in the north of Skye in the areas known as Trotternish. You can take a bus from Portree bus station to reach the Old man of Storr. The bus will drop you at Storr car park.
The hike to Old man of Storr is around 4 km, which takes around one and half hour to reach. You can see the rocks from the car park. The place is crowded during summer time with a lot of tourists. My visit was during the best time with fewer people around. I suggest you check the weather forecast and carry raincoat as it started drizzling while I was halfway hiking. I was lucky enough that it stopped raining a few minutes later.
On the way I met people hiking down, we greeted and exchanged some words. These beautiful people simply increase the strength when they make you believe in the beauty of what you are going to see in a while. It took me around an hour and a half to hike up to the Storr and here I was standing next to the great old Man of Storr. The feeling was no less than climbing an Everest. It doesn’t matter if it’s a small hike or Everest, happiness can be found in the small moment of life.
It was a majestic panoramic view from the peak. The misty fog gave an artist touch to the sky touching rocks. I spent an hour exploring around the Storr and clicking some memories of my visit to this photogenic place for a traveler.
If you are visiting this place in near winter, then you should always take a note of the time as the days are shorter on island.
Hiking the Quiraing
You can also visit The Quiraing which is a paradise for hikers. The amazing beauty on the way to Quiraing will blow your mind and will make you forget your worries.
The Quiraing is situated in the north of Skye in the area known as ‘Trotternish’. The start of the walk is accessed from either of the villages of Staffin or Uig, which are joined by a single track road. Follow the path that leads north from the car park, the path is rough with steep grassy slopes. It will take you on a fairly level walk along the hillside, with good views to be had the whole way.
The route rises up and ahead you will see a stone wall. Cross the Wall and you will find yourself in a small valley. You can see beautiful needles of rocks and steep valley on your walk to all along the Quiraing.
The Isle of Skye is an ideal place for peace seeker and for those who want to spend their day hiking exploring the beauty of nature. If you are one among them, then this would be a perfect getaway for you.