FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

Skye High Adventure

by Ilona Kauremszky

Sep 1, 2018
Destinations / Europe

DON’T LET THE WEATHER FOOL YOU — Skye can be “a wee bit moist” on occasion, as 19th-century Cuillin mountaineer pioneer Charles Pilkington once said, describing Scotland’s island of adventure.

The largest island of the Inner Hebrides, the Isle of Skye conjures images of King Arthur, fairy glens mixed with primeval myths, and Jurassic parks. The windswept island setting has been a popular filming location, most recently in last year’s release of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. The other big news: The world’s largest dinosaur and the oldest dinosaur fossils ever found in Scotland were discovered earlier this year at Rubha nam Brathairean, commonly known as Brothers’ Point.

Nearly 50 miles long with a rugged coastline so deeply indented you are never more than five miles from the sea, this magical place of the Hebrides lets you easily create your own legends. Submerged in mountain ranges with miles of dramatic coastline, a jaw-dropping, page-turning history unfolds by land and sea. The place awaits those ready to wrap themselves in Hebridean adventure.

Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle © THOMAS LUKASSEK | DREAMSTIME.COM

Start at the Eilean Donan Castle. Located in the Scottish Highlands on the main tourist route to the Isle of Skye, families and couples can discover a riveting Viking history at this 13th-century castle. The other big deal is the location. Situated on a wee isle at the confluence of three great lochs, it presents one of the most iconic images of Scotland, so get your smartphone ready to snap Instagram shots. The scene from this vantage point sets the mood for tall tales and strong gales.

Once in Skye, in between the heritage sites visit geological features that dot the landscape. Road trippers snake along the Trotternish Circuit, a 50-mile drive spanning the northernmost peninsula. Weekenders inch the circuitous drive, stopping at iconic landmarks like the weathered basaltic pinnacle at Storr, with a popular landmark once used by sailors dubbed The Old Man of Storr. Marvel at the perilous Cuillin Ridge along the haunted Cuillin Hills (an outlaw named MacRaing is a ghost here) and be sure to see the heavenly swath of beauty known as Quiraing.

Named from an Old Norse term, Kvi Rand, meaning “Round Fold,” within this massive landslip teetering on the Trotterernish Ridge is the film location of King Arthur: Legend of the Sword. Quiraing also doubles as an Earth trekker’s dream. It features one of Skye’s best-loved trails, where healthy hikers veer onto an often muddy wild path for eye-candy scenery.

Isle of Skye harbor

Isle of Skye harbor © VISITSCOTLAND

For Jess Ponting, director, Center for Surf Research, San Diego State University, family trips to the Isle of Skye include visits to Quiraing. “With miles of green hills and an array of little ponds, traveling here feels pretty otherworldly,” he says, recommending travelers get an early start when visiting to make sure they get in before the crowds.

For mellowing out and catching up with the locals, nothing matches visiting a cozy Scottish pub. One is the local watering hole at The Edinbane Inn in the island’s largest town of Portree. Diners slide into worn wooden seats to savor the tastes of cullen skink, a creamy fish stew, or another favorite dish of mussels accompanied by the prerequisite malt whiskey. Traditional Celtic folk tunes fill the rafters, ranging from musical medleys doled out by a moody bagpiper and guitarist to cheerful notes from a fiddler.

The ultimate watering hole — though technically it doesn’t achieve pub status — is the Talisker Distillery. Set on the shores of Loch Harport in the village of Carbost, couples and old friends can tour the island’s only single malt whisky distillery, where luxury malts reign. In a post-tour finale, prepare for mindbending whiskey tastings of silky-smooth single malts aptly named with local twists like Talisker Storm or Talisker Neist Point, named after a headland on the westernmost shore.

River Sligachan and Old Sligachan Bridge © VISITSCOTLAND

River Sligachan and Old Sligachan Bridge © VISITSCOTLAND

Kara Harms of Whimsy Soul, a lifestyle blog, honeymooned on the Isle of Skye last fall. “I fell in love with the isle,” she says, recounting a memorable walk the newlyweds took among the Fairy Pools, magical blue pools on the River Brittle, located near Glenbrittle. “Sheep will most likely be sleeping at the entrance to the path to add to that Scottish charm,” she adds. She recommends taking a thermos of coffee for the perfect leisurely morning stroll.

For the ultimate sunsets sure to please anyone, head to Neist Point. Drive up to the famous lighthouse teetering on the most westerly tip of Skye. Handholding couples embrace, illuminated by the golden-hued backdrop as families pile out of their vehicles, rushing off to snap that perfect family photo against the immense horizon, smiling the entire way.

Isle of Skye Info to Go

Car rentals prove the best way to travel across the island, allowing more time for leisurely visits and self-drives. Book a car from one of the rental companies located at either the international airport in Glasgow (GLA) or the nearest local airport in Inverness (INV). Expect a five- to six-hour drive from Glasgow to Portree in Skye. Fort William, a small town midway with shops and good places to eat, offers a convenient pit stop. From Inverness, the drive to Portree takes about three hours. Driving is on the left side of the road; be prepared for narrow, rural, single-track, back-country routes.

Where to Stay in the Isle of Skye

THE CUILLIN HILLS HOTEL A former Victorian shooting lodge, this charming Scottish accommodation overlooks picture-pretty Portree Bay on private grounds where luxury and seclusion fit seamlessly, like hand in glove. Portree $$$$

FLODIGARRY COUNTRY HOUSE HOTEL Overnight at the turn-of-the-century former hunting lodge, once the cottage home of Scottish heroine Flora MacDonald, and sense the luxury and old-world elegance of Highland hospitality. Flodigarry $$$$

MARMALADE Travel back in time at this classic Georgian hideaway, where the zest for life pulses at the heart of the boutique property’s philosophy. The hotel is named after the marmalade once made at this private residence of the treasurer of Lord MacDonald of Sleat. Home Farm Road, Portree $$$$

Restaurants in the Isle of Skye

LOCH BAY RESTAURANT Michelin-starred after being open just 18 months, this restaurant fuses contemporary Scottish fare with classic French influences. Helmed by the acclaimed chef who put Three Chimneys on the culinary map, Loch Bay offers diners five-course degustation and set three-course menus. 1-2 Macleod Terrace, Stein $$$$

SCORRYBREAC RESTAURANT Simple, elegant, cozy and intimate define this little unassuming gem open for dinner only. Nestled between distant mountains and the harbor below, this Michelin-starred restaurant offers creative modern cooking. Reservations are essential. 7 Bosville Terrace, Portree $$$

THE THREE CHIMNEYS This longtime destination restaurant serves the best of Skye through its seasonal, freshly sourced ingredients. Voted this year’s U.K. Restaurant of the Year and winning three AA Rosettes, it’s held top U.K. dining honors for 18 years. Colbost, Dunvegan $$$$

Introducing

FX Excursions

FX Excursions offers the chance for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in destinations around the world.

#globility

Insta Feed
Cruising
Oct 15, 2021

Galataport Istanbul Welcomes First Ship

Galataport Istanbul, a new cruise and lifestyle destination on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, welcomed its first ship, SeaDream II, on Oct. 1. Approximately 150 passengers and crew from Bulgaria Varna arrived at 10 a.m. for a two-day homeport operation before continuing to Bulgaria Burgaz.

Greece: Destination Luxury

Since its prestige for attracting the world elite grew in the 1960s, Greece remains the go-to destination for glittering holidays. Each step of the journey is enrobed in luxury, from culinary traditions with the highest standard of execution and name-brand, high-end shopping to first-rate wellness locales and elite accommodations, like 5-star hotels, private villas and yachts.

Events
Oct 14, 2021

Celebrate Halloween at a Medical Labyrinth

The countdown to Halloween weekend is on! Are you are still unsure about plans? Do you go to a house party? Stay in to hand out candy? Try something different this year and join Philadelphia’s  The Mütter Museum at its 6th annual Mischief at The Mütter.

eFlyer Reviews
Oct 13, 2021

Jackson’s Bar & Oven Review

There’s an aspirational rustic chic/farm-to-table restaurant genre often associated with Northern California’s wine country. When you drive down the main street of Napa, Sonoma or any of the other towns, it appears there are as many of them as there are vineyards. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with this genre, as the quality of the food is consistent and ambitious chefs earnestly endeavor to elevate home-style dishes to a higher standard.

The Future of Hamad International Airport

Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the role of airports in the travel industry. Hamad International Airport’s role evolved in many ways since the pandemic hit. Now, more than ever, airports are responsible for creating a secure passenger experience. As the gateway to Qatar and the world, the safety and wellbeing of staff and passengers has always been at the core of Hamad International Airport’s strategy.

eFlyer News
Oct 13, 2021

The InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco Collaborates with Porsche

The InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco announced a new amenity for guests in collaboration with Porsche. Porsche electric vehicle charging stations will now be located in the valet area of the hotel’s parking deck, allowing guests and visitors to top off the batteries of electric vehicles while enjoying a cocktail at Top of the Mark, enjoying farm-to-table fare at Nob Hill Club or staying overnight at the property.

Daily
Oct 13, 2021

Grenada Fall and Winter Specials

Head to the Caribbean to escape the cold fall and winter weather. Grenada hotels offer travelers numerous deals, perfect for a fall, winter or holiday getaway.

Experiencing GBTA Convention 2021
Safely and Responsibly

GBTA’s Convention 2021 will bring the business travel industry together for the first time in a long time. Once again, you’ll learn and connect with experts and each other, along with discussions with leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and change makers addressing the issues that matter most.

Daily
Oct 12, 2021

6 Reasons to Put Reykjavik, Iceland, on Your Travel List

It’s time to start dreaming of your next trip. Here’s some destination inspiration for you. Take a visual journey through Reykjavik with us.