One of the most beautiful road trips in Scotland you can do is driving from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye.
From the hilly and historical capital, through the scenic Glencoe area and all the way to one of the most beautiful islands in the world, Skye.
Discover seven of the most beautiful stops you’ll love on your road trip from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye, Scotland.
1. Calton Hill, Edinburgh
As you start your Scotland Travels in Edinburgh, I recommend spending some time on Calton Hill, especially at Sunset.
From there you have unobstructed views of the old town, Edinburgh Castle, and the volcanic Arthur’s Seat. Locals and tourists alike (and wedding photographers) come to enjoy one of the most beautiful views in the country.
2. Buachaille Etive Mor, Glencoe
When you reach Glencoe, you will see the impressive Buachaille Etive Mor Mountain from far away (1022m). This is probably the most photographed peak in Scotland because of its wonderful triangular shape.
As you drive towards it, the excitement builds up, as you know it is the beginning of a scenic valley.
And if you are a James Bond Movie fan, take the dead end road at its foot called Glen Etive, to see some filming locations of the Skyfall movie!
3. Etive Beag, Glencoe
Not much further after that is another stop with a grandiose view of Glencoe. I just wish I had had the technology to take a 360° panorama for you.
From there you can see many of the Glencoe summits. It is the departure point for several hikes including Munro Bagging options – like they say in Scotland (meaning climbing peaks over 3000ft-915m).
This is a perfect place to stop for awhile on your road trip from Edinburgh to Isle of Skye if you like hiking.
4. Loch Atriochtan
As you continue your Edinburgh to Isle of Skye road trip, you drive by other famous stops like the 3 Sisters but I recommend a stop often overlooked, the one near Loch Atriochtan.
At this point the valley is narrow and the small loch offers a great perspective of the mountain wall.
5. Glen Shiel
Further north, between Glencoe and the Isle of Skye, the main road takes you through Glen Shiel. There the road winds through the valley, following River Shiel and nested between towering mountains.
One of its most famous stops is the view of the 5 Sisters of Kintail, a ridge with peaks rising to 3505ft (1068m).
6. Eilean Donan Castle
Our last stop on the Edinburgh to Isle of Sky road trip before the Isle of Skye is the famous Eilean Donan Castle. Built on an islet from the 13th century, it was protection against the Vikings at the meeting of 3 lochs.
Abandoned in the 18th century, a passionate man restored it in the early 19th century and it can still be visited today.
One of the best views is actually not at the main parking spot but from the other side of the bridge. From there, you can capture the Castle, its bridge and the stunning mountains of Glen Shiel in the background.
7. Old Man of Storr
As you arrive at Kyle of Lochalsh, you drive on the Skye Bridge to access the Isle of Skye. The road does not stop there though as the island is bigger than you think.
You still have to drive to the main town of Portree. And to finish your 7 stops on the road between Edinburgh and Skye, I recommend driving just a little North of Portree to admire the icon of the Isle of Skye the Old Man of Storr.
Legend says that the 48m (160ft) high pinnacle is the thumb of a giant lying in the Earth.
Planning a road trip in Scotland?
The drive from Edinburgh to the Isle of Skye (Portree) will take you 6 hours if driving via the Trossachs and Glencoe and not stopping.
For more ideas about things to do on that road trip, planning information, beautiful photos, and practical maps to help you plan your travels, check out ZigZag On Earth’s eBook: The Road Trip Guide: Edinburgh to Skye and if you are traveling further in Scotland, you will want her Road Trip Scotland guide.