The Skye Guide is an independent and personal view of the Isle of Skye. The things that are included in the guide are here because I like them - and because I think you might too. If something is not included, it may be because I would not recommend it to you, but it may be simply that I have not experienced it.
I am happy with that ambiguity...
Talisker Distillery, Carbost
Talisker is the only big distillery on the Isle of Skye. There are regular tours where you can watch the distillers at work, creating good quality single malt whisky. There is an small admission charge which includes a dram before you start and a discount voucher, redeemable in the distillery shop. The shop can sell you a bottle of the usual, excellent, Talisker. It will also tempt you with some fairly expensive – but highly desirable – rarities. If you have a taste for the best whiskies, watch your credit card!
Cuillin - Bla Bheinn (Blaven)
Bla Bheinn (or Blaven) is a quite magnificent mountain by any Scottish standards. At 928m high, it is one of the few of Skye's Munros that is accessible to a competent hillwalker, requiring no mountaineering skills to get to the top by this route. It is not an easy walk though. The surfaces are rocky and in parts the climb needs hands on the rocks, so be prepared for that. The views as you climb are good, opening up from Loch Slapin and Torrin to include a vista of the Red Hills, Rum and a large part of the mainland NW Highlands. That would be enough in itself to make the climb worthwhile. But it is as nothing in comparison to what hits you as you crest the summit when the panorama of the Cuillin, Glen Sligachan, Marsco et al explodes into sight.
Staffin is home to a couple of beaches. There are some good spots on the main bay if you are prepared to seek them out, but there is easier access to a small area of sand just before the end of the road to Staffin Community Slipway, at NG490686. As well as the sea and sand, you can find some quite astonishing dinosaur footprints here too.
If walking from Staffin itself, there is a path across the hill from the Columba 1400 Leadership Centre in the township.
Loch Bay by Michael Smith, Stein
Loch Bay Restaurant
Michael Smith is now the undisputed star of Skye's thriving culinary scene. He was Chef Director of the Three Chimneys when it earned its Michelin Star in 2015. Now he is doing amazing things in his own Loch Bay Restaurant in Stein, on the Waternish Peninsula. He has achieved a Michelin Star here in the 2018 guide, and very well deserved it is.
The restaurant is small, welcoming and comfortable. It offers two menus - a five course seafood degustation, or a fixed price three course meal. The latter gives a choice of three starters (seafood, vegetarian or meat), three main courses (ditto) and a third couse of either cheese, a pudding or a selection of small desserts.
Described as "Contemporary Scottish with classic French influences", the food is, as you should expect from a renowned chef, the sort of stuff that makes you say "Mmmm" quietly with every forkfull. Great ingredients, perfect cooking and beautiful but unfussy presentation. There's nothing at all pretentious about what you get at Loch Bay. And everything is wonderful.
Portree - The Lump
A walk up to and around 'The Lump' is easily the best stroll in Portree village. It can be done in under 30 minutes, though on a fine day you might well choose to take more than double that as you soak in the views. You'll find vistas of the Cuillin, of Loch Portree, of Beinn Tianabhaig, of Portree Pier and of the boats moored in Portree Bay. As well as that, there is the Apothecary's Tower to be visited, and the site of the annual Isle of Skye Highland Games. The Lump, properly known as Sron a' Mhill, has the most beautiful Scots Pine trees on it, together with some fine rhododendrons and lots of very cute rabbits.