Situated on the West coast of Scotland, the Isle of Skye is a popular island destination for the nature-loving traveller. From rolling hill hikes, mountain climbs, sea-shore wanders and wonderful wildlife spotting, it’s easy to see why visitors return year on year.
Featured in many poems and folk songs, Skye is the largest island in the Hebrides and arguably one of the most beautiful. The Cullin Ridge makes the backbone of the island; 12 km of dramatic peaks and troughs that only the most experienced outdoor enthusiasts should attempt to traverse. There is however, plenty more exploring to be done, from Viking ruins to sections of dramatic coastal walking.
A sailing holiday in Scotland is a great way to explore Skye’s diverse coastline. Its peninsula-based shape is large enough to have different levels of precipitation from one end to the other, making sure that there will be a sheltered anchorage somewhere nearby. There is always something to see from the water too, so grab a pair of binoculars when you take a break from rope-work.
Wildlife watching on Skye
Wildlife in Skye is rife, and many native maritime invertebrate species are critical to other local fauna, which include salmon and sea otters, among other bird-life. Red deer stroll the hills while Sea Eagles soar the coast catching Salmon in race with the seals. Dolphins are often seen in wonder swimming in the wake of the bow and the North part of the coast has been known to be part of a whale migratory route so keep your binoculars to hand.
Skye is home around 10% of the 100,000 or so island inhabitants in Scotland, making it one of the more populous islands. Crofters still work the land here, an ancient way of living which is no longer as profitable as working for tertiary industry, hence the rapid decline in croft numbers– yet a bold few still persevere. However, ancient fishing trade continues to thrive and is based in Portree, Skye’s main port. Your skipper might decide to pick up something delicious for dinner, fresh off the boats that come in each day. Despite the larger population of the island, exploring the coast by boat takes you far away from the busy ports and main towns. Discover tranquil bays only accessible by boat and walk through sleepy villages with artists studios and local farm shops.
VentureSail offer a range of skippered sailing holidays to Scotland and Skye throughout the summer season.