Isle of Skye, the icon of Nova Scotia

Anonim

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It is the second largest island in Scotland and the third tourist destination in the country. Although numbers and positions aside, Skye is, fortunately, many more things. But let's go by order.

A wet one arrived at Skye - what they thought, this is Scotland - spring morning and, although it is true that the clouds dye the landscape of a grayish tone that extinguishes the reception a bit, the island points ways.

Skye is the wildest and most remote place that can be reached in Britain without leaving your car. You can drive from England or Wales to Kyle of Lochalsh, where you had to take a ferry to access the island, today joined by a dizzying bridge and a much shorter route.

Eilean Donan Castle

Eilean Donan Castle, on the shores of Lake Duich © Visit Britain

Once on the mainland, you should know that Skye is famous for many things and one of them, for better and for worse, is its changing weather, so in my case for good, it does not take long to see the first rays of sun that begin to Illuminate the spectacular landscape around me.

On the island there is a bit to suit all tastes, but the beauty of the velvety mantle that covers plains and plateaus, its rugged mountains, its lakes and its wild cliffs stands out.

So after this introduction it is not surprising that its impressive landscape is the main attraction of the island, but that is not all, because when the fog falls - or good downpours - this land also surprises with its offer of castles, pubs, restaurants and even interesting art galleries where to shelter from the elements.

I am aware that the 24 hours I am in Skye are not enough to discover all its corners (the ideal is two or three days of stay), but the most prominent ones. I would say that also the most beautiful, but on an island that oozes beauty on all four sides, this statement would be too daring on my part.

Mealt Falls

Kilt Rock (also known as Mealt Falls), is one of those places that leave you speechless and breathless © Visit Britain

It is best to rent a car and, map in hand, be seduced by the sumptuous curves that shape its roads, generally little traveled unless you travel in high season (and yes, this is called globalization and I in these issues do not enter).

In the end, and luckily, Skye continues to keep his native traditions intact within a global context - and what a remedy! And it is that among today's traveling trends, the concept of 'local' is one of the most seductive adjectives. And they know it.

It is not surprising, therefore, that the name of this island has become a powerful brand for Scotland: rural but sophisticated, remote but accessible.

In a destination where the old collides with the contemporary, I can't think of a better plan than to spend a whole day immersed in the wildest nature to end up enjoying it with a Michelin star menu in the trendy restaurant, the only one awarded with the prestigious Mention, which is none other than that led by chef Michael Smith, The Loch Bay.

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Plockton and Carron, two small towns that keep their traditions intact, always betting on the local © Visit Britain

Of its varied gastronomic offer, condensed in two menus of 43 and 70 pounds, highlights the crispy duck or, of course, everything that comes from the sea, such as lobster or the very tasty scallops.

Eating in this environment, it is particularly striking to see how professionals such as Smith and many others that do not fit in this article, from the world of architecture or culture, are transforming, for good, this remote island in order to make it a icon of what is already for many the new Scotland.

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Seafood soup from The Loch Bay, the restaurant led by Michael Smith © The Loch Bay

And while that transformation is taking place, this is what you don't have to miss at the moment in Skye.

QUIRAING

The impressive cliffs of the island constitute one of Skye's most notable landscapes and one of the icons of all of Scotland (in addition to an assured source of likes on Instagram).

Ideally, make a walk, approximately half an hour long, from the parking lot, which is accessed through the road between Staffin and Uig.

The walk can be somewhat vertiginous for those fleeing from the heights and also, the wind that usually blows on the island does not help; But nothing, nothing, should stop you because the beauty of Quiraing is well worth the effort. Little word

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Quiraing, a somewhat vertiginous walk whose views will be the best reward © Visit Britain

DUNVEGAN CASTLE

Clans, legends, battles and history, much history that encloses the famous Dunvegan Castle, the most famous historical building in Skye.

Current headquarters of the head of the MacLeod Clan, inside you can find the typical things of a castle - fireplaces, portraits, unique works of art and even swords - but also the oddly curious article, such as the Fairy Flag, a kind of silk banner that dates from some time between the fourth and seventh centuries. And although it is true that it is a bit sinister, William Wallace would be proud of this visit.

Fish and chips

Don't leave the island without trying what is probably Scotland's best fish and chips © Getty Images

PORTREE AND THE BEST FISH AND CHIPS IN SCOTLAND

It seems unbelievable that such a small destination can make so much noise, but I suppose when you feel like it, you get what you want, or at least try.

This is what happens with Portree, the main city of the Isle of Skye, with its bustling port and its thriving cultural center.

Located around its natural harbor and bordered by high ground and cliffs, its first port line, full of colorful houses, is the postcard photo that everyone takes in Skye.

And is not for less. Shortly before going down to that port, you have to stop at The Chippy, where they elaborate in a traditional way, and without any sophistication, the best 'fish and chips' of the city, the island, Scotland and even probably the United Kingdom.

AROS CENTER

And between so much nature and so much history, a bit of present and sophistication. Located on the outskirts of Portree, Aros is another of the island's strong points, a cultural center for and by the community that offers exhibitions, cinemas, live music, galleries and workshops.

You have to pay special attention to your gift shop, full of original creations that go beyond traditional fridge magnets as souvenirs. Hallelujah.

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Portree and its colorful houses: one of the island's postcards © Visit Britain

OLD MAN OF STORR

We are, without a doubt, on the most famous promenade of the island … and yes, also the busiest. Known colloquially as 'the old man', it is a large pinnacle of rock that rises masterfully vertically, so much, that it can be seen miles away.

Old Man of Storr

Sunset at Old Man of Storr, a true gift of nature © Visit Britain

For the inhabitants of the island, this is one of the most photographed landscapes in the world, and although I would not dare to affirm it with such forcefulness, it is true that it is one of the most amazing on the island.

Apparently impossible to climb, it was first climbed in 1955 by the English mountaineer Don Whillans, a feat that has been repeated only a handful of times since then. Unfold their phones.

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Storr, the great rock pinnacle visible miles away © Visit Britain