Dit bericht is ook beschikbaar in: Nederlands (Dutch)
The Scottish Isle of Skye is home to an awful lot of beautiful places. Too many to mention! Earlier I made an attempt, when I wrote about our route along Isle of Skye attractions. However, on a trip there are always some places that stand out. And with me, that place on Isle of Skye is not one of the most famous sights: Elgol. Elgol is skipped by many people because it is quite remote, not at all on the transit route. Still, it is worth scheduling some extra time and visiting this special place.
The way to Elgol
Elgol is located at the very tip of the Strathaird peninsula. You get to Elgol by taking the B8083 from the A87. From Portree you will drive to Elgol in an hour. Most people will take longer, as you will encounter many scenic spots along the way. The B8083 is 23 kilometers long, single-track and very narrow. Especially in high season you will have to stop regularly to pass oncoming traffic. Just before Elgol you have to be careful, because the road descends at a rate of 25%. But before you arrive here, you pass a number of beautiful sights on your way to Elgol.
Cill Chroisd / Christ’s Church
On the way to Elgol, just before Loch Cill Chriosd, you come across remains of a 16th century church with cemetery: Cill Chroisd. Until the mid-19th century, this church served as a parish church until it was replaced by a church further up Broadford. Gravestones are scuffed, crooked and sagging around the old and dilapidated building. Sheep graze between the headstones and curiously come and walk a little way toward you when they see you. It is a mysterious place, where you cannot imagine what it must have looked like centuries ago.
Loch Slapin, Torrin
Soon after Cill Chroisd, Loch Slapin comes into view. The road is low along the lake and the views are breathtaking. Totally how you imagine Scotland! Continuously you have in sight the top of Bla Bheinn (or Blaven), a mountain beloved of mountaineers. Once you round the lake the road goes up again. Now I wanted to tip The Blue Shed Cafe as a stop, but unfortunately this nice place has been closed since November 2019. Still, just a photo of this cute little joint, perhaps it will be taken over and passersby will soon be able to enjoy a drink and something tasty again on their way to Elgol.
Hike to Bla Bheinn viewpoint
If you feel like a brisk walk/climb, you can park your car just down the road in a parking lot next to the road for a hike that takes you 900 meters up into the sky. The view that awaits you is phenomenal. Avid hikers consider this one of the best vantage points in Scotland. The walk is 8 kilometers long and takes a total of about 5 to 6 hours, there and back. Good reading and preparation seems to be helpful, as the second part of the hike is quite steep uphill over many loose rocks.
Best view on Cuillin Hills
Once we arrive in Elgol, the Cuillin Hills immediately appear in view. According to hearsay, this is the best view of the Cuillins you can get. The mountains are in the shape of a horseshoe and from the beach at Elgol you look straight into the heart of this mountain range. Small fishing boats bob in the water, completing the picture. Whether clear, sunny or heavily cloudy, every view of the Cuillin Hills is special. We are incredibly lucky with the weather during our visit. It’s mid-April and all day on Skye it’s about 16 degrees, clear and windless. But I am sure that even with cloudy weather it is worth driving this way. You can see that from all the pictures taken at this place, in different weather conditions.
What to do in Elgol
Enjoying the Cuillin Hills is Elgol’s biggest draw. From the town you can take Bella Jane or with Misty Isle Boat Trips take scenic boat trips across Loch Scavaig to the other side, where you can visit the enclosed Loch Coruisk. If you feel like more action, you can use the AquaXplore. You can also take a walk to the cave where Bonnie Prince Charlie was hidden after losing the Battle of Culloden in 1746. The hike to Prince Charlie’s Cave is 4 kilometers long and is said to be quite challenging. The cave is accessible only at certain tides. You can eat well in Elgol at Coruisk House.
Also recommended is the settlement of Glasnakille, on the east side of the peninsula. From here you have a beautiful view toward Tarskavaig on the Sleat Peninsula. Here you can take a short but very tough hike to one of Scotland’s most special places: Spar Cave. The 80-meter-deep cave is accessible via seaweed-covered rocks and only at certain times due to low tide. A visit to this cave requires good preparation.
Sunset in Elgol
For many people, the above sights near Elgol will not be necessary at all. In fact, the view from Elgol beach is mesmerizing and chances are you won’t get out of here anytime soon, especially at the end of the day. At this spot you look out to the west and the sunset here is beautiful. Therefore, at the end of the day you will see more and more photographers appearing. No matter how quiet it is on the day! Tripods are set up along the water and people quietly wait for the sun to actually set. Bring a drink and cool it in one of the many pools of water between the rocks. Then wait quietly for the sun to set. A moment to never forget!
Rent a car without unexpected costs afterwards
Many people face unexpected expenses at the end of a trip. Damage, scratches … there are plenty of stories going around of people having to pay for something they didn’t cause. Forgetting to walk around the car and take pictures of pre-existing damage. Tip: rent your car at Sunny Cars. Sunny Cars uses an all-in formula. You pay a little more, but you are insured for everything. Even your excess is refunded in the unlikely event of damage. No credit card for the deposit? No problem with Sunny Cars, you can also rent a car without a credit card.