Skye Boats. Elgol to Loch Coruisk

For many years, I’ve dreamt about returning to Elgol, a remote village near the black Cuillins on the Isle of Skye. During a previous visit 17 years ago, Elgol became a fantasy village promising isolation, a place to write that novel or master the fiddle. During a recent return visit, this time for a longer look around and a boat trip across the sea from Elgol to Loch Coruisk, I finally put that fantasy to rest.

On the way to Elgol

The road to Elgol is a single lane narrow road with plenty of passing places: it can still be quite alarming during the high tourist season. Most side roads off the main route are similar: the combination of distracting scenery, concentrating on the hairpin bends and tourists who are unused to driving on the left hand side, makes for an ‘interesting’ journey at times. There are, fortunately, many wider verges for the obligatory photo snap.

Road to Elgol, Skye
Road to Elgol, Skye
Elgol’s shores.

There’s not much in Elgol itself, just extraordinary beauty. Most visitors come to take a boat across the water to walk around Loch  Coruisk. Two companies run boats which leave from the small harbour in Elgol. If you go in August, expect to book your place as these trips are popular. The trip takes around 30 minutes each way and includes 1½ hours stopover on the island for exploration. One boat has some covering for inclement weather, the other, run by Misty Boat Tours, the one we chose, has none. Be ready to get drenched en route if you choose the latter. There’s no shelter on the island, except for a small bothy used and paid for by trekkers, and no toilets or trees! The boat you travel on departs once you have disembarked. This is a journey for those who are happy to experience the wild and are prepared to rough it.

Nearby passengers on the way to Loch Coruisk. They were well prepared with wet weather coats and trousers. View on board the boat run by Misty Isle Boat trips. No concessions made for weather, and overcrowding on board can be the norm. 
The weather sets in en route from Elgol to Loch Coruisk.

If you don’t like walking on rocks and boggy grass, you would be better taking the tour minus the stopover. Grass and bog are an ever-present feature of walking in Skye, requiring waterproof walking shoes, waterproof jackets and a sense of adventure. The rocks, fortunately, are not slippery when wet, making walking up steep surfaces quite safe. Wild beauty comes at a price.

Walks around Loch Coruisk, Skye
Loch Coruisk, Skye
Seals near Loch Coruisk, Skye
Rugged Black Cuillins, Skye

 

26 thoughts on “Skye Boats. Elgol to Loch Coruisk”

  1. I remember a holiday in the highlands of Scotland decades ago when we were amazed that there were some many erstwhile lovely cottages in a literally tumbled down condition. My Aussie husband got excited about the possibilities of renovation. One older and wiser local said “you come back in the winter, laddie, and see if you can see them then” i.e. covered in snow. Nevertheless, that little dream still comes up occasionally. They will be lovely photos to dream into when summer takes hold here, Francesca.

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    1. Our husbands need to get together, sounds like they are made from the same cloth. Mine said much the same comment years ago which is why we went back there and now I can happily say, no renovating a pile of stones for us- ( but maybe in France? he taunts me. )

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  2. Your images capture the wild beauty and chill of the air. So glad your bucket list is being ticked off with your most amazing travelogue. The weather there makes me hanker for porridge but alas red papayas and mangoes are now in season here. When are you off to France – that’ll thaw your bones!

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  3. Thank you but methinks the ‘urban girl’ in me is somewhat taking over and Peter mentioning pawpaws and mangoes with summer fast approaching makes one think both ways also 🙂 ! Magnificent scenery, but just as happy to see it photographically . . . 🙂 !!

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  4. Whenever we pass a rundown ruin of a house – particularly if set in spectacular landscape – my mind starts spinning scenarios of renovation and the idyll of living in such places. Total fantasy, but fun to dream. Arduous (but worth it) to explore such beautiful places. Travelling anywhere in the UK countryside necessitates waterproofing.

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