14 things to do on Isle of Skye in winter (2023)

Are you planning a trip to the Isle of Skye in winter? In this post, I’ve handpicked the 14 best things to do on the Isle of Skye during the winter months.

Plan your trip to the Isle of Skye

🛵 Best guided tours on the Isle of Skye:

🏡 Where to stay in Isle of Skye:

The Isle of Skye is a magical place, and winter adds its own unique charm to the landscape with misty mountains, snowy peaks, and fewer crowds.

While some attractions and activities might be closed due to the weather, there are still plenty of things to do.

Here is my list of the 14 best things to do in the Isle of Skye in winter.

things to do in Isle of Skye in winter - Isle of Skye

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Can you visit the Isle of Skye in winter?

Yes, you can visit Skye in winter.

The days will be shorter and rainy, and most museums and ferries are closed, but on the flip side, it’s way quieter.

Winter is the off-season, so you get a more peaceful, less touristy experience.

Weather on the Isle of Skye in winter

The Isle of Skye in winter is chilly and rainy. In total, Skye gets 225 days of rain per year, and October is the wettest month (May is the driest). So, definitely bring your raincoat.

It snows on Skye, but the snow doesn’t stay long because of the salt in the air.

MonthHighLowAverage
November8°C4°C  6°C  
December6°C3°C  5°C  
January6°C2°C  4°C  
February6°C2°C  4°C  

Organised tour

A great way to experience the Isle of Skye is on an organized tour. From Edinburgh, Glasgow, or Inverness, you can take a full-day or multi-day trip to the Isle of Skye.

I recommend this 3-day tour with Viator. It has a near-perfect 5-star rating.

Where to stay on the Isle of Skye

Portree is the largest town on the Isle of Skye.

It’s small, and accommodation fills up fast in the summer, so that’s one of the advantages of visiting in winter. You’ll have more choices and less competition.

Portree Garden Room (⭐️ 9.2) is located in Portree in a great, central location. It’s a small, standalone apartment with a private garden.

14 things to do on the Isle of Skye in winter

1. Old Man of Storr

The Storr is a dramatic set of jagged peaks formed by ancient landslides.

The showstopper is definitely the Old Man of Storr, which towers above the rest.

You can see it from different spots, but the best view is from the top. The hike takes a couple of hours in good weather, and the view is well worth the effort.

things to do in Isle of Skye in winter - Old man of Storr

2. Kilt Rock and Mealt Waterfall

One of the best places on the Isle of Skye is Kilt Rock.

What makes this epic sea cliff even cooler? It’s right beside the Mealt Waterfall, where water plunges 60 meters off the cliff.

And when the wind gets really strong, it blows the waterfall sideways, so the water doesn’t even hit the bottom!

things to do in Isle of Skye in winter - Kilt Rock

3. The Quirang

The Quiraing is a massive landslip on Meall na Suiramach’s east side.

In good weather, you can speed through its 6.8 km loop in two hours, but give it 3-4 hours to actually enjoy the views.

If the weather doesn’t cooperate? Walk part of it, and remember to wear good, sturdy shoes!

things to do in Isle of Skye in winter - The Quirang

4. Duntulm Castle

Duntulm Castle is a ruin today, but don’t underestimate it—the view is amazing, and the legend related to it is intruiging!

You can head downhill to the shore or just park yourself on the bench and soak in the epic scenery. Either way, it’s worth visiting.

things to do in Isle of Skye in winter - Duntulm Castle

5. The Gold Cave

Not far from Duntulm Castle, near Uig, you’ll find this hidden gem called the Cave of Gold, or Uamh Oir if you’re going local.

Think of it as Skye’s own Giant’s Causeway, with those wild hexagonal basalt columns. You’ll want to check this out.

Here’s how to get there:

  • Drive to Kulmuir and hang a right off the main road.
  • Take the next right and go till the road ends. You’ll see parking near a farm.

From there, it’s pretty straightforward:

  • Walk through the field till you reach a fence.
  • Take a left, follow the cliff, and look out for a small trail heading down to the rocks.

Go right along the rocks and in about a minute, you’re there. The walk’s only around 20 minutes, so figure an hour for the whole trip.

6. Falls of Rha

Heading south and right before you hit Uig, keep an eye out for a river. There’s a trail on the right side—follow it.

Five minutes later, you’ll be face-to-face with one of Skye’s best highlights: The Falls of Rha.

While it might not be as thundering in the winter months, it’s still worth visiting.

things to do in Isle of Skye in winter - Falls of Rha

7. The Fairy Glen

The Fairy Glen – my favorite place on the Isle of Skye.

This place is like stepping into a fantasy world. We’re talking crooked green hills and stones all wrapped in moss. There’s no other place like it.

things to do in Isle of Skye in winter - The Fairy Glen

8. Sligachan bridge and the Cuillins

Sligachan Bridge isn’t just an old stone bridge; it’s a gateway to epic views of the Cuillin Mountains.

Whether you’re into folklore or just here for the scenery, this spot delivers.

The Cuillins themselves are perfect for hiking, offering some of the best trails on the island. Although, make sure to check the weather forecast before you head up.

things to do in Isle of Skye in winter - Sligachan bridge

9. The Fairy Pools

In winter, the Fairy Pools are less crowded and have a different kind of magic with ice formations and snow-capped Cuillin Mountains in the backdrop.

The walk from the parking lot is 2.5 km round-trip, so it’s doable even if you’re not an avid hiker.

Make sure to dress warmly. You’ll be walking in open landscapes and it’s windy!

things to do in Isle of Skye in winter - The Fairy Pools

10. Talisker Bay and Distillery

Talisker Bay on Skye’s Minginish Peninsula is a beautiful beach, just a 2 km walk from the parking lot.

Nearby in Carbost, don’t miss the Talisker Distillery, Skye’s oldest. Book a 45-minute tour to see how their signature whisky is made—and yes, there are samples.

They’re open from Mon – Sun | 10:00 – 16:00 from November till February.

Make sure to check their website before you visit. During winter, they might have to close at short notice due to the weather.

things to do in Isle of Skye in winter - Talisker Distillery

11. Fairy Bridge

Don’t miss a quick detour to grab a photo of the Fairy Bridge. This single-arch bridge dates back to the 19th century and has deep historical roots.

It’s said to be the place where the famous Fairy Flag was exchanged—a legendary banner with mystical powers, linked to the Clan MacLeod.

12. Neist Point Lighthouse

For sunset, head to Neist Point Lighthouse for some of the best views on Skye.

Designed by lighthouse legend David Alan Stevenson, it’s a 45-minute walk from the car park, and there’s also a steep staircase.

Once you’re there, the cliffside views are epic.

things to do in Isle of Skye in winter - Neist Point Lighthouse

13. Portree

Portree is Skye’s main town and it’s really cute. There’s not much to do here, but you should definitely head to the harbor to see the colorful houses and have fish & chips.

Portree is the island’s beating heart.

things to do in Isle of Skye in winter - Portree

14. Go stargazing

The Isle of Skye is a great location for stargazing, especially in winter when the nights are long.

Pick a clear, moonless night and go to a dark spot like the north of Skye or Quiraing. Dress warmly, bring a hot drink, and use a stargazing app to identify stars.

And I also recommend that you tell someone where you’re going and bring a charged phone for safety – better safe than sorry.

things to do in Isle of Skye in winter - stargazing

FAQ – Isle of Skye in winter

Is it worth going to the Isle of Skye in winter?

Absolutely, Skye in winter is less crowded and you might experience snow-capped mountains and icy waterfalls. Just come prepared for colder weather and shorter days.

What is the Isle of Skye like in winter?

In winter, the Isle of Skye turns into a serene landscape with snow-covered peaks and icy waterfalls.

The tourist crowds thin out, making it a quieter time to explore the island. You’ll get fewer daylight hours, so plan accordingly.

Roads can be slippery, and some tourist spots might be closed, but the dramatic winter scenery has its own unique charm.

Can you go to the Isle of Skye in December?

In December, Skye experiences its lowest temperatures, between 35-43°F (2-6°C).

The weather is mostly cloudy and wet, with occasional snow showers. Daylight is limited and fog is common, so proper preparation is essential.

Is it safe to drive in Isle of Skye in December?

Winter on the Isle of Skye can be quite wet, which makes the roads icy.

Many remote paths aren’t salt-treated, so it’s really important that you drive carefully.

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Get ready to experience the Isle of Skye! This curated winter guide unlocks the island's best-kept secrets, from jaw-dropping landscapes to hidden gems. Think snow-capped mountains, cozy pubs, and stargazing that'll leave you speechless. Don't let the cold scare you—Skye's winter magic is a must-see. ❄️🌟🏞️ #IsleOfSkye #WinterTravel #HiddenGems

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