The Mystic Isle of Skye

The rough but beautiful landscape of the Isle of Skye has a bit of a mystic atmosphere. The original inhabitants called their island eilean Sgiathanach, which means the wing-island, this is because of its shape, which looks like a birds wing. Later on the island was called the isle of the fog. Don’t let this name dis courage you, their is no more fog on the island than anywhere else in Scotland. However english is the most spoken language on the island, the island still presents herself as gaelic speaking. The population is divided into three tribes: MacLeod in the west, MacKinnon in the east and MacDonald in the north and south.

Nature

The landscape is fierce and empty with a lot of heather, ferns and mosses as main vegetation. But on the southern part of the island you can still find the birch and hazelwoods, which once covered the island. Deer and otters live on the isle of skye and even a rare eagle, big enough to sometimes have a lamb as his prey.

How to get there

There are three ways of getting to the isle of Skye, from the mainland. From Mallaig there is a ferry every half hour over the Sound of Sleat to Armadale. From Glenelg, there goes a very small ferry in a few minutes to Kylerhea. The water here is so crystal-clear, that you can see meters deep. Since 1995 there is a 700 meters long bridge from Kyle of Lochalsh to Kyleakin.

History

In Kyleakin you still find a 14th century castle. You can do a boat trip and see the many birds and seals. The Clan Donald Centre near Armadale includes a museum and a lovely tree garden near a mansion built in 1815, where the head of the MacDonalds (still the baron of the island) is living. The museum tells the story of the history of the reign by the MacDonalds over the island.

Tip

Try to visit the island at halloween. That night, the mystic island turns into a real spooky island.

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