The Isle of Skye is known for it’s rugged landscape and stunning mountain range, not so much for its beautiful beaches. The beaches on the Isle of Skye are so diverse, there are rocky beaches, black sand beaches and even golden sand beaches paired with the clearest blue water. 

Alongside visiting all of the other incredible things to do on the Isle of Skye, we would recommend adding at least one of these incredible beaches to your itinerary.

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The Isle of Skye is one of the most visited places in Scotland and it is not hard to see why once you arrive on this beautiful island. In this guide, we will discuss the best time to go to the Isle of Skye as well as the following beaches in more detail

  • Staffin Beach
  • Talisker Beach
  • Claigan Coral Beach
  • Glen Brittle Beach
  • Camas Daraich Beach
  • Preparing for your trip to the Isle of Skye

Staffin Beach

Staffin Beach is a large strech of sand on the northern coast of the Trotternish peninsula on the Isle of Skye. The beach is sheltered by rugged mountains, including the Quiraing Peak. There is a boat slip way further round the road and during the summer months, boat trips leave from here. 

Look out for the small stretch of black sand beach just before the slipway. At low tide you can look out for fossilised dinosaur footprints which were discovered in 2002 and has given fame to this beach on the Isle of Skye.

staffin beach

Talisker Bay

Talisker Bay is a beautiful black sandy beach near the small village of Carbost on the Isle of Skye. It is well known for the towering sea stack on the left and the large powerful waterfall on the right.

There is a small parking area at the end of a long single track road for Talisker Bay. From there it is around a 20 minute walk along a flat path to reach the beach.

The best time to visit Talisker Beach for a swim is at low tide as this is when the beautiful black sand is revealed. At high tide water is incredibly clear in this bay, perfect for swimming if you can access the water over the rocks. 

Claigan Coral Beach

On the northern coast of the Isle of Skye, a 10-minute drive from Dunvegan Castle is Coral Beach. This beach is made from crushed white coral-like seaweed so when the sun is shining this makes the water look a gorgeous shade of tropical blue, making it very tempting to get in for a swim. 

There is a narrow one-way road leading to the small beach car park for 4.5 miles after Dunvegan. When you arrive, it is a further 1-mile walk along an uneven path to the beautiful white sandy beach. You are sharing the path with farm animals so prepare for it to be muddy during the winter months and remember to close the gates behind you.

Glen Brittle Beach

Glenbrittle Beach is a black volcanic sandy beach at the foot of the Cuillin Mountains and at the head of Loch Brittle. There is a campsite along the shore with incredible views across the loch.

Glenbrittle Beach can be accessed at the end of a long single track road through the mountains. There is plenty of free parking is available for Glenbrittle Beach.

Camas Daraich

Camas Daraich Beach is one of the most beautiful white sandy beaches on the Isle of Skye. This beach requires a a bit of a walk to get to as it is located at the end of the Sleat Peninsula. This makes it the perfect place to visit if you are wanting to escape the busy areas on the Isle of Skye as it is likely it will be much quieter. The beach is around an hours walk away from where you will park your car along a rough road and boggy terrain however it is well worth the walk.

Before You Leave on Your Trip to the Isle of Skye

Before you leave on your trip to the Isle of Skye there are a few things you will need to get organised to ensure a smooth and enjoyable trip. These include how to get there and around the island, what to pack and where to stay, all of which are discussed below.

How to Get to the Isle of Skye


The Isle of Skye is connected to mainland Scotland by the Skye Bridge, a free road bridge, from Kyle of Lochalsh to the village of Kyleakin on the island. In high winds, the bridge will close to high vehicles and on days of particularly extreme weather, the bridge may close to all vehicles.


Another option is to get the ferry over to Skye which typically takes around 30 minutes, leaving from Mallaig on the mainland to Armadale. You can check the timetables online as there is typically only a morning and afternoon ferry running.


If you are travelling to Skye without a vehicle, buses run from Scotland’s major cities, Glasgow and Edinburgh direct to Isle of Skye’s capital, Portree. Buses to the Isle of Skye run from other areas in Scotland and you can plan your bus journey to Skye here.

Once you are on the island, you can book onto a tour that departs from Portree and takes you around the best sights that there are to see on the island. Read more about this tour and book your place right here.

drone shot of the fairy glens
The spectacular landscape of the Fairy Glen on the Isle of Skye.

Where to Stay on the Isle of Skye

These recommendations may vary depending on what activities you are wanting to do whilst on the island. We have based these accommodations close to the centre of the island and near Portree. In the summer Portree is extremely busy and we would recommend that you look to stay elsewhere if you want to avoid the crowds and traffic.

In the winter months, however, Portree is a pleasant and central location from which it is easy to get to many of the sights around the island.

Luxury – If you are looking for a comfortable apartment stay to come home to after a day exploring, Quayside Apartment is the perfect place for you. With spectacular views and a good central location, this accommodation is comfort plus for your next trip to Skye.

Book your stay at the Quayside Apartments right here.

Mid-range – The Portree Hotel is a great central location for your stay in Skye. This hotel overlooks the main square in Portree and during the winter months, there are wood-burning stoves to keep you warm after a day of exploring.

Book your stay at the Portree Hotel right here.

Budget – If you are looking for a budget place to rest your head but still have a great view, The Pink House is the place to stay just for that. A continental breakfast is included in your stay and you can book a room with a great view out to sea.

Book your stay at the Pink House right here.

If hostels are more your scene, you can check out the hostels available in Isle of Skye here.

view of the fairy glens viewpoint
The best view of the Fairy Glen is from the top of that hill.

Also Read – All the Best Free Things to do in Glasgow

What to Pack for the Isle of Skye

When it comes to packing for a trip to Scotland there is one item of clothing that you are going to need all year round: a waterproof. It rains in Scotland on average 250 days a year, meaning that during your trip to the Isle of Skye in winter, you can expect rain at some point. Due to this, the number one item on your packing list is a good waterproof jacket.

Second to that, another item to not leave home without is a good pair of warm and, if possible, waterproof boots. A lot of the best sights on Skye require a bit of walking to reach them and the conditions underfoot can become very muddy. You do not want to ruin a good pair of white trainers so pack some sturdy boots.

You will definitely need a hat and gloves during the winter months as the wind chill can be bitter.

For our full list of items that we pack no matter where we go in the world, check out our full packing guides over here.

Given the beautiful sights and scenery that you are no doubt going to see around the Isle of Skye, we highly recommend packing a good camera for your trip. If you want to read more about the cameras we use and why we love them, check out the link below.

You can read what else we keep in our camera bag over here.

Photography Equipment

Main Photography CameraSony A7v Mirrorless Camera and  Sony A7iii Mirrorless Camera

MicrophoneShure VP83 Condenser Shotgun Microphone

Main LensTamron 17-28mm f/2.8

Zoom LensTamron 70-180mm f/2.8

Camera TripodZOMEI Z669C Camera Tripod

Gorilla PodJOBY JB01507-BWW GorillaPod

Action CameraGoPro Hero 9 Black and Insta 360 One RS

Drone CameraDJI Mavic Pro 3

Camera BagWandrd PRVKE 41L and The Nest by Tropicfeel

Phone TripodManfrotto MKPIXICLAMP-BK, Mini Tripod with Universal Smartphone Clamp

Sturdy Phone Tripod & Selfie StickATUMTEK 61″ Selfie Stick Tripod, Sturdy Phone Tripod Stand with Wireless Remote

Hard DrivesLaCie Rugged Mini, 5TB, 2.5″, Portable External Hard Drive

SSDSanDisk Extreme Pro 1TB Portable NVMe SSD

Travel AdapterWorldwide Travel Adapter Universal Travel Plug with 4 USB Ports+Universal AC Socket


What is the Best Travel Insurance for Scotland

We know travel insurance is the least enjoyable thing to purchase and look at when you’re planning a trip, however, you wouldn’t want to be without it in the event that something happened. Accidents can happen anywhere and the extortionate medical bills will ruin your trip if you are not covered.

To ensure you have a stress-free trip with no worries about potential medical bills, make sure you cover yourself when you travel. We can recommend using SafetyWing, a backpacker-friendly and cheap insurance company that provides good coverage and support. It is also nomad-friendly, unlike most other insurance companies, meaning you do not need to worry about being out of your home country for too long.

Get a quote for your travel insurance right here and get covered!


Keep your eyes peeled for the many waterfalls in this part of Skye.
Keep your eyes peeled for the many waterfalls in this part of Skye.


So there you have it, your guide to the best beaches on the Isle of Skye. If you are visiting this incredible place and have any other questions on what to expect, leave us a comment down below. We love to chat about this stuff! If you have already been, let us know how it was! Did you get a clear day to see the sights? Did you manage the trip without getting caught in the rain? Let us know in the comments below!

Also, remember to share this with your friends and family that you are going to share this amazing experience with. Sharing is caring and we want to ensure that everyone is fully prepared to maximise their experience.

If you are planning a Scotland trip soon then check out our other Scotland content right here. Come and find us on social media to see where we are currently exploring. Tag us in your photos from your stay and we will share them with the rest of our community.

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