The Isle of Skye continues to surprise and delight. It has everything you need for a well-rounded holiday: awesome countryside walks, beautiful beaches, castles and wildlife, pubs with stunning views, and Elgol.
What’s an Elgol, you ask? Well it’s a village on the shores of Loch Scavaig towards the end of the Strathaird peninsula, of course!
Let me back track a little bit. So we’d just got back to the Ullinish Country Lodge, our 3-night home on the Isle of Skye realizing that we had to check out the next morning. And we were sad. We wanted to stay longer. With nowhere to be and no forward plan other than more Scotland, why not book ourselves one more night, maybe somewhere else on this delightful island?
We chose a small 2-room B&B near the ferry terminal at Armadale. But what to do, what to explore in the mean time?
Cue Elgol. Or rather, The Road to Elgol. I don’t know if this is a thing, like the Road to Hana on Maui or the Great Coast Road in Australia, but if not, why not. Skye needs to put this on one of its “Must-Do” lists and get on that marketing because it’s a beautiful single track road through stunning countryside, around Lochs and mountains and adorable little villages that, in the sunshine and 30c temps of the day, almost made me want to move there.
You might note that I use the words beautiful and stunning a lot. I’m not a fan of repetition of words while writing. Maybe instead I’ll replace them going forward with the word chicken.
We checked out pretty early from our lodge as we wanted to get on our way.
Okay, not quite that early. The above panorama is from sunset the night before. These are the photos from the morning.
Anyway, we set off for our day trip.
The chicken countryside continued its shock and awe campaign as the chicken vistas came one after the other.
Okay, maybe chicken doesn’t work. You’ll just have to put up with beautiful and stunning.
First on our day trip to our B&B near the ferry terminal? Portree, the largest village on the Isle and only a 30 minute single track drive away. Our plan was to have an early luncheon and walkabout in Portree, then drive The Road to Elgol where we’d see if we couldn’t grab ourselves a seat on one of the boat trips that went exploring the surrounding lochs.
Portree is, how do I say this nicely… it’s a town, really THE town. So it’s very busy, especially at the height of summer. I found it a little culture shocky having just come from the serene nature and beautiful vistas of Struan. I felt like I was an alien dropped in the middle of the real-life hustle and bustle of Portree. We had a quick lunch and a beer at the Bosville Hotel and stopped in the Co-Operative for provisions. And then left.
So that, dear reader, is all I have to say about Portree. I have nothing to show you, though. Because for some reason we did not snap (or keep!) any pics in Portree. Not a one. Not even of the popular harbour. I know, I’m a little sad for myself too. Luckily photographer Gernot Keller took care of that for us (courtesy of wikipedia).
But anyway, Elgol!
From Portree to Elgol was only just over an hour, not a bad little drive. We stopped in Broadford to get the time lapse camera set up, of which you’ll get to watch in a later post, I promise!
Until then, here’s some more info on Elgol.
And yes, more seal spotting! Have you ever wondered what the difference between seals and sea lions are? I know I have.
Sea Lions have ears.
Okay, it’s a little more than that. Seals move around on their bellies and have small flippers where as sea lions walk around on their larger flippers and are really, really loud. Seals are more chill, easy-going, hang out in a little U shapes on rocks. I like seals.
So when we got to Elgol we immediately got ourselves on one of the many boat trips into Loch Scavaig so we could spot some more. A seal a day, I say.
The Loch was fairly choppy, but the ride was quite comfortable. We were heading into this little inlet off Loch Scavaig that you can barely see unless you zoom in on google maps. Go on, try it. I’ll wait here.
My co-boaters weren’t all as excited as I was.
The Cuillin Mountains were not shy. Clear skies gave us incredible views.
Now in the next photo, I’ll have to give you a bit of context. So one other reason to take a boat trip into this little cove is that there is this crazy Lochside walk. This boat will ferry you out and drop you off so you can explore more on foot.
In the next photo, if you look at the upper part of the rock, starting just above the halfway point on the photo on the left you’ll see a line in the rock, as if it were carved there for such a purpose.
Yep, that’s the trail. And its name? The Bad Step.
No thank you! I much prefered looking at the rugged shoreline rock formations from the boat, cheers.
Check out the water line on the rocks, further proof of the lack of rain — them’s drought levels!
Either that or it’s the tide. Don’t listen to me, there’s like 20 photos to go. I’ll shut up for a bit.
You can barely see him, but there’s a wee seal swimming in the next photo that finally made the unhappy green shirted boy scramble to the edge of the boat vying for a view.
My life for a telephoto! Sadly my Olympus Pen only has a pancake lens. Makes travelling a hell of a lot easier and my day packs lighter.
I can see why they like this little protected cove. The water is far calmer and except for the annoying boat or two, incredibly quiet.
Note the little building in the photograph above. That’s the Loch Coruisk Memorial Hut. Hiking enthusiasts are dropped off at a little metal dock on the shore for their day of fun in the Cuillin Hills surrounding Loch Coruisk which is just on the other side of those rocks on the left.
The hut itself was built as a memorial to two hikers who lost their lives on Ben Nevis in the 1950s. Apparently it has two rooms and can sleep up to nine, in case you fancy a relax after hiking the Bad Step.
Oh! And we spotted sea birds. I think this is a flock of black guilles, if you are into that kind of thing.
After checking out the seals and mountain views, we headed back to shore. Elgol Harbour was bustling!
Note the girls in wetsuits. Yes the water is that cold.
I highly recommend the Bella Jane for your Loch Scavaig seal stalking and hiking jaunt. They were super friendly and offer a bunch of services. We chose the £18pp 1.5hr Mini Return Trip which doesn’t allow a stop off to explore Loch Coruisk which suited us just fine.
We jumped back in the car for a trip up to the top of the hill for a picnic with our Portree Co-Operative finds. The flies weren’t nearly as bad by the shore. But the views, they were, yet again, stunning.
And that, my friends, is the delightful Elgol overlooking Loch Scavaig, with views of the Cuillin Range. I hope you enjoyed this little detour on our way to the Hottest B&B in Scotland. And I don’t mean that in a good way.
Say no more.