More than anything else, the largest island in the Inner Hebrides offers 639 square miles of pristine nature: rugged mountains, green valleys, caves, glens, crystal clear waterfalls and out-of-the-way beaches. Otters and seals feed on the salmon and trout that populate the island's unpolluted waters. The over 200 species of birds native to the area include endangered species like the golden eagle and the northern gannet. Skye is also known as the source of one of Scotland's finest malt whiskies. The island has not always been a peaceful place. Under Bonnie Prince Charles, a descent of Maria Stuart, it was the focal point of a power struggle between the Scots and the English. A bridge connecting Skye to the mainland was constructed in 1995. Those who desire even greater remoteness can take a ferry from Uig to the Outer Hebrides, where they will find nothing but sheep, cliffs and wind.
An alpinist's paradise
This basalt massif on the Isle of Skye is a paradise for Alpinists. The mountain range is home to twelve Munros, as Scottish mountains higher than 3,000 feet are called. The highest is the Sgurr Alasdair at 992 meters. The Glen Sligachan mountain hotel is the starting point for hiking trails with every level of difficulty. Most of the trails are unmarked as they cross screes, rocks and gullies worn into the mountainside. The views here are overwhelming on clear days. You can see as far as the mainland to the east and all the way to the Outer Hebrides as well.