Skye is divided up into a number of areas, each with its own distinctive character and appeal.  The whole island of Skye can be divided into North Skye and South Skye; the south part consists of Strath and the Sleat peninsula, while the north consists of a series of peninsulas - Trotternish, Waternish, Duirinish and Minginish - arranged like fingers around a central palm.


The central part of north Skye centres around Portree, the main hub of the island.  Portree offers accommodation, restaurants, (some) nightlife, banking and shopping.  Strangely it doesn't have that many specific visitor attractions, though the Aros centre just out of town to the south has a permanent museum that is well worth a visit as well as being a venue for music, theatre and cinema.  Spend some time wandering around Portree though, as it represents both the tourist exterior and the commercial heart of the island.


The gateway to Skye, Strath begins at the Skye Bridge and extends to beyond Luib. Broadford is the main village, and source of accommodation and facilities, in the area and all roads go through here.  The road west to Elgol, however, offers a glimpse into Skye's past where you can explore the pre-clearance villages of Suisinish and Boreraig as well as stunning views of arguably Skye's finest mountain, Blaven.  Carry on to Elgol itself for boat trips to Loch Coruisk as well as fine views of the Cuillin.


The south-west peninsula of Skye benefits from a peculiarly sheltered climate, and has become known as the Garden of Skye.  Nowhere is this illustrated more than in the gardens of Armadale Castle, which also hosts the Clan MacDonald centre and museum, and is well worth a visit.  Take time, though, to detour via Tarskavaig and Ord and take in the fine coastal scenery.  Armadale is also the landing point of the ferry from Mallaig.


The Minginish peninsula is dominated by the Cuillin.  (Note: not the Cuillins, or the Cuillin Hills, just 'the Cuillin'.)  These majestic towers and ridges are not, in absolute terms, particularly high but they represent the best of British mountains both in visual impact and technical challenge.  Hill walkers and climbers will need no further information here, but less adventurous souls can take the road down to Glenbrittle to see these mountains at close quarters.

The area also hosts the Talisker distillery, in the village of Carbost, and following the various roads to the end will bring you to an assortment of peaceful beaches and communities where you can explore or relax as the mood takes you.


The north-east peninsula of Skye is remarkable for the spine of cliffs that runs down the centre.  From the west side the landscape looks relatively gentle, rising steadily inland, while the view from the east shows the rugged, towering cliffs, the result of a huge landslip from long, long ago in Skye's geological past.

Attractions in Trotternish include the ruins of Duntulm Castle, the Fairy Glen, Kilt Rock, Flora MacDonald's grave and the Museum of Island Life, each of which is worth a visit.  But the real star of the area is the dramatic landscape, so take your walking boots and take the walk up to the Old Man of Storr or explore the rock spires and pinnacles of Quiraing.

Accommodation centres are Uig and Staffin.  Trotternish is entirely enclosed by the coast road, so you can make a circular drive of it.


Waternish, the north-west peninsula of Skye, is more isolated than many of the other parts of Skye, offering few 'attractions' in the narrow sense of the word.  Yet if you want some peace and quiet then you can find it here.  Head up to Stein for food and / or accommodation if not the scenic harbour area with views across to the cliffs of Duirinish, and carry on to the church at Trumpan - do some research to find out about the church's bloody past.


Undoubtedly the main attraction of the area, at least in terms of visitor numbers, is Dunvegan Castle.  Heading off the beaten track, however, brings the options of Neist Point (you can't get into the lighthouse, but the cliffs are spectacular and if you like watching sea birds then you'll have a grand time), or you can break out the hillwalking gear and tackle one, or both, of Macleod's Tables.