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With pristine sands, turquoise waters, and dramatic cliffs, Isle of Skye’s beaches offer the perfect blend of relaxation and adventure.

Whether you’re in search of a peaceful retreat or an exciting escape, these beaches have something for everyone. From the iconic coral sands of Claigan to the dramatic cliffs of Talisker Bay, we’ll take you on a journey to discover the very best of Skye’s beaches.

Discover the best Isle of Skye beaches below…

1. Talisker Bay

Talisker Bay

Talisker Bay is a picturesque Isle of Skye beach, well-known for its breath-taking beauty and pristine natural surroundings.

The beach stretches for over a mile and is characterised by its unique black sand, which is made up of volcanic rocks and is unlike any other beach in the area. The bay is also surrounded by stunning rock formations and offers a panoramic view of the Cuillin Mountains in the distance, which is nothing short of spectacular.

This beach on the Isle of Skye is popular with both locals and tourists, who come to enjoy its stunning scenery, peaceful atmosphere and maybe even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights in Scotland. It’s also a favoured spot for outdoor activities, with many people choosing to surf, swim and fish here.

One of the main attractions at Talisker Bay is the Talisker Distillery, which is located just a short distance from the beach. It is the oldest working distillery on the Isle of Skye, producing an alluring, sweet, full-bodied single malt. Visitors can take a tour of the distillery, learn about the whisky-making process, and sample some of the finest Talisker whisky.

Whether you come to surf, swim, fish, or simply relax, Talisker Bay is a must-visit destination for anyone visiting the Isle of Skye.

Type of beach: Stone and sand
Dog-friendly: Yes
Car Park: Yes (approx. 1 mile away)
Postcode: IV47 8SF

2. Claigan Coral Beach

Claigan Coral Beach

Among the many beautiful Isle of Skye beaches, Claigan Coral Beach stands out as a unique and picturesque destination. The beach itself is a small cove surrounded by low cliffs, and the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean are crystal clear and inviting.

Despite its name, the beach is not actually made of coral, but rather a unique combination of crushed shells and other marine life that give it a distinctly pinkish hue. This natural phenomenon is due to the erosion of the nearby maerl beds, which are composed of calcified seaweed.

The beach is also a popular spot for Scottish wildlife, with seals often spotted sunning themselves on the rocks or swimming in the surrounding waters.

For those interested in history, nearby Dunvegan Castle, the ancestral home of the Clan MacLeod, is a fascinating destination that offers a glimpse into the island’s rich cultural heritage. Just one of the many castles in Scotland that you must visit.

Despite its popularity, Claigan Coral Beach remains a relatively quiet and secluded spot, with a peaceful atmosphere that makes it an ideal destination for those seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Type of beach: Crushed shells
Dog-friendly: Yes
Car Park: Yes (approx. 1 mile away)
Postcode: IV55 8WF

3. Staffin Beach

Staffin Beach

Next on our guide to Isle of Skye beaches is Staffin Beach, a popular spot thanks to its natural beauty, accessibility, and a dog-friendly policy.

This sandy beach is nestled in a picturesque landscape of rugged cliffs and rolling hills, offering visitors a unique and unforgettable experience.

One of the most notable features of Staffin Beach is its unique geology. The beach is home to a series of distinctive rock formations, including the famous ‘Staffin Dinosaur Footprints’. The footprints are clearly visible on the beach at low tide, and visitors are free to explore them and learn about the area’s prehistoric history.

If you’re looking for wild swimming spots in Scotland, look no further than this Isle of Skye beach. Step across the famous black sands before dipping into the crystal-clear waters, perfect for snorkelling and diving.

Type of beach: Sandy
Dog-friendly: Yes
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: IV51 9HX

4. Camas Daraich Beach

Camas Daraich Beach is a hidden gem located on the west coast of the Scottish island. With its white sands, crystal-clear waters, and stunning views, Camas Daraich Beach is truly one of the best beaches in the UK.

It’s not hard to believe you’re in a far-flung destination when you visit this beach on Skye. This is thanks to its Caribbean-esque waters that meet the gorgeous sands. Despite this, Camas Daraich Beach is relatively quiet, making it a great spot to relax and enjoy the scenery.

Visitors to the beach should be aware that there are no facilities on-site, so it is advisable to bring along food, drink, and any other supplies that may be needed. However, the lack of amenities only adds to the sense of remoteness that makes Camas Daraich Beach a special place to visit.

Type of beach: Sandy
Dog-friendly: Yes on a lead
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: IV45 8RN

5. Elgol Beach

Elgol Beach

This remote, picturesque beach is surrounded by rugged mountains and offers visitors an unspoiled landscape that is truly breath-taking. With its crystal-clear turquoise waters and honeycomb cliffs, Elgol Beach is a popular destination for anyone who appreciates the raw beauty of nature.

This Isle of Skye beach is located a stone’s throw away from the small village of Elgol. The journey to Elgol Beach from the village is a visual treat, as the road winds through a rugged landscape of hills and glens, offering stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

From the coastline, you can also enjoy a boat trip to catch glimpses of the herd of seals that are local to the waters! Here, you will find two boat companies, Misty Isle Boat Trips and Bella Jane.

Alternatively, stay on land and discover the variety of challenging trails and hikes that lead into the surrounding mountains. The Cuillin Mountains, which rise up behind the beach, offer some of the most challenging and rewarding hiking in Scotland. Visitors can take guided tours of the area, or venture out on their own to explore the rugged terrain.

Type of beach: Rocky
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: IV49 9BL

6. Glenbrittle Beach

Glenbrittle Beach

Glenbrittle Beach is a hidden gem located on the rugged and beautiful Isle of Skye. This stunning beach is situated on the western side of the island, at the end of a narrow, winding road that leads through some of the most striking landscapes.

On arrival at the beach, you are greeted by a wide expanse of sand that is surrounded by towering hills. The water at Glenbrittle Beach is crystal-clear and is a stunning shade of turquoise. It’s perfect for swimming, kayaking, and other water activities.

One of the most unique features of Glenbrittle Beach is the view of the Cuillin Mountains that it provides. From here, you can hike in the mountains, exploring the rugged terrain and taking in the views of the coastline. Return to the beach for a refreshing dip, bliss!

So, if you find yourself in the area, make sure to add this Isle of Skye beach to your list of must-visit places!

Type of beach: Volcanic sand
Dog-friendly: Yes
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: IV47 8TA

7. Portree Bay

portree harbour, isle of skye, scotland

Concluding our guide to Isle of Skye beaches is Portree Bay located in one of the best seaside towns in the UK. The bay is surrounded by a crescent of colourful houses that line the shore, giving it a postcard-perfect look.

The town’s main street runs along the shore of the bay, offering stunning views of the harbour and the surrounding hills. The town’s main street is lined with cafes, restaurants, and gift shops, offering a variety of dining and shopping options.

The bay itself is a hub for fishing boats and other maritime activity, and visitors can watch the boats coming and going from the shore. Alternatively, brave the waters and try a range of activities, including swimming, snorkelling, kayaking, and sailing.

Type of beach: Pebble
Dog-friendly: Yes
Car Park: Yes
Postcode: IV51 9ER

Isle of Skye Beaches Map

Isle of Skye beaches rest amidst a collection of the best beaches in Scotland and are sure to impress! Use our Scotland travel guide for further inspiration and book with us today!

Image Credits: John Allan – (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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