Is there anywhere in the world more beautiful than Scotland? This magical place is filled with idyllic photography spots and natural beauty, so you can boost your Instagram feed and show off your skills!
In this Isle of Skye photography location guide, we’ll walk you through some of our top picks for the best (and sometimes criminally underrated) photo op spots. All you need to do is make sure you’ve got your camera gear, drone, or even your smartphone ready to capture all of the natural beauty the Isle has to offer.
Old Man of Storr
The Old Man of Storr is the epitome of a bucket list photography destination. It’s a must-visit location for landscape photographers and is arguably the best spot for sunrise shots on the Isle of Sky. In fact, this iconic rock formation is visible for miles around and has been the subject of plenty of Instagram-worthy pics.
It’s important to note that the hike from the car park to the top is not for the faint of heart. Still, it’s well worth it for the breathtaking views of the cliffs and rolling hills – especially at sunrise when the sun illuminates everything with soft golden light.
Of course, you’ll need to start your hike in the early morning to capture the morning sunrise, but the path is well-marked and easy to follow.
Once you reach the top, you’ll find plenty of viewpoints to choose from. The most common is past the main rock formations of Old Man of Storr for a top-down perspective, but there are plenty of unconventional compositions to shoot. With so much to choose from for a unique snapshot, this location is the perfect choice for photographers of all skill levels.
Neist Point Lighthouse
Another one of the best photography locations on the Isle of Skye is Neist Point. Here, you can transform your generic pics into great photos. But what is so special about Neist Point?
Neist Point is a jaw-dropping location for photographers who want to capture the beauty of a traditional coastal lighthouse against the backdrop of a rugged coastline. This stunning lighthouse, perched on the westerly point of the island, provides the perfect subject for any budding photographer.
While you can hike down to Neist Point Lighthouse, most photographers prefer to shoot from an adjacent overlook, which provides a view of the cliffs. If you’re interested in landscape photography, this vantage point also ensures that the lighthouse is captured in your shot for a more interesting foreground.
When you visit Neist Point, you should also take advantage of the golden hour during sunset or the dusky light at twilight. With its dramatic landscapes and historic beauty, you can capture stunning photographs with a camera, smartphone, or even a drone!
Kilt Rock on the Isle of Skye is a must-see destination for anyone who wants to perfectly capture Scotland’s natural wonders. This location is also home to Mealt Falls which is one of the most unique waterfall compositions in the world! This makes it the ideal spot for getting the best shots of the entire area and wowing your Instagram followers with your work.
When you arrive at Kilt Rock, you’ll be greeted by the magnificent vertical cliff. This cliff – which gets its moniker from its resemblance to a Scottish kilt – is made up of igneous and sedimentary rock of different colours that come together to form the bands of the kilt.
Historically, the landmark was used by sailors to find their way home. But today, it is used as one of the best Skye photography locations for enthusiastic shutterbugs.
To get a great shot of Kilt Rock, you’ll need to set your camera gear up on the semicircular platform. Still, if you want an extra-special shot, you’ll want to move over to the right, where you can also capture Mealt Falls as they fade into the horizon. Of course, you can use your drone for some stunning birds-eye-view pictures too.
If you’re going to use a drone, it’s important to note that during the months of February to July, the local birds enjoy their nesting season. To protect these exquisite birds, the use of drones is more closely regulated, and they aren’t permitted to fly too close to the nesting areas.
Nestled in the heart of the Isle of Skye is the quaint little town of Sligachan. Often overlooked by many photographers, this hidden gem boasts stunning views that will leave you absolutely breathless. Plus, with the Black Cuillin Hills adding a dramatic backdrop to the moody landscape, Sligachan is the perfect location to get the very best shots.
Don’t let the small size fool you! Sligachan has plenty to offer on a creative day trip or as a stopover on a photography road trip around the Isle of Skye. One of the highlights here is the two bridges that give you access to the most incredible views of the looming Cuillin Hills.
The arched stone bridge (Sligachan Bridge) is a popular option for an amazing foreground. With the river flowing underneath it, it has all the elements you need for a great shot.
Depending on when you visit, you’ll also find other elements to work with. During the summer, the wild heather can be incorporated into the foreground. On the other hand, the rain makes the river flow even faster, giving you the perfect chance to experiment with an action shot or motion blur.
The Quiraing is a photographer’s paradise and one of the most impressive landscapes on the Isle of Skye. So, if you’re a landscape photographer, you’ll want to grab your photography gear and pack your bags – it’s time for a trip!
Here, you’ll find picturesque rock formations and painted hills that are bathed in medleys of gold, red, and green. During sunrise, you’ll find hues of blue that create supernatural beauty. For the best light conditions and incredible photos, you’ll want to visit this excellent location during the golden hour.
Getting to Quiraing does require a hike before sunrise. Still, there are plenty of viewpoints for photo ops in the area, so you can rest easy knowing your efforts won’t be in vain. You can shoot from the car park or head out to the cliffs which are just a short walk away. Either way, you’re guaranteed a fantastic composition.
Of course, the best part of the Quiraing is that there are no ‘wrong’ spots to set up your gear. Instead, no matter where you are, you can enjoy the best Isle of Skye photography locations and get your perfect shots.
If you’re looking for more magical Isle of Skye photography locations, then Fairy Glen is the place to be. Found inland in the town of Uig, this destination is a diamond in the rough. Though it may not be as famous as some of the other locations here, Fairy Glen is a personal favourite for plenty of professional (and amateur) photographers.
The views here are truly out of this world, with vibrant green hills, blood-red ferns, and sparkling turquoise ponds. The sunlight that bursts through the clouds only amplifies this beauty. Combined with the palette of colours, Fairy Glen is the idyllic spot for an ethereal and mystical atmosphere.
Fairy Glen may be most well-known for Castle Ewen, which is a rock formation that looks like a ruined castle from certain angles. As the highest point in the area, it makes for the perfect subject or dreamy backdrop.
But that’s not all! There’s more to explore here if you’re feeling adventurous. From winding trails to spiral rock formations, you won’t want to miss a visit to Fairy Glen on a misty day.
If you’re searching for one of the most picturesque locations that exude enchantment and tranquillity, look no further than Dunvegan Castle. This is not just the most beautiful castle on the island, but it’s also one of the most photogenic in all of Scotland.
Set against the backdrop of the Isle of Skye’s breathtaking scenery, the castle’s immaculate condition makes it a must-visit for photographers and adventurers alike. And, at sunrise or sunset, the castle becomes even more magical, making for the perfect photo op.
Dunvegan Castle is Soctland’s longest continually inhabited castle, and its grounds are a true oasis in the midst of the rugged terrain on the rest of the island. Plus, the moorlands that encircle the castle offer a serene atmosphere, with gardens, glades, and babbling streams that lead to the sea.
If you want something more unique to capture, you can also navigate across the loch in a traditional clinker boat to visit the local seal colony. These incredible creatures can usually be found lazing about on the rocky outcrops.
Portree is a charming town located on the northeast side of the Isle of Skye, and its natural beauty has drawn photographers in for years. The colourful houses that line the waterfront of the harbour provide a lovely shot, surrounded by hills and cliffs, with little boats bobbing around in the water.
While Portree may not seem like one of the most exciting Isle of Skye photography locations on the outside, it offers a couple of cool little gems.
The Bosville Terrace, which is like a mini-promenade, has a gorgeous view over the Portree harbour with the town’s colourful houses in the background. This is the most popular shooting spot, and can actually be found on most postcards of the Isle of Skye!
For more exciting pictures, you can also explore the town’s narrow alleys that have traditional Scottish charm. This diamond in the rough is the perfect stopover if you’re on your way to or from the Old Man of Storr, and is a wonderful itinerary item for a half-day trip.
Although the Isle of Skye is known for its moody weather and rocky terrain, the secluded paradise of Coral Beach is tucked away on Loch Dunvegan – not far from Dunvegan Castle. In fact, you could easily capture the beauty of both of these locations in one day. That is if you can pull yourself away from Coral Beach for long enough!
This beach isn’t the landscapes of the Scottish highlands you’re used to. Instead, it feels like a tropical paradise made of crushed coral-like seaweed that makes the water appear turquoise under the sun. If you hit the beach and get the timing just right, you can get a shot of the afternoon sun as it reflects off of the crystal-clear water.
Getting to Coral Beach can be a little tricky. So if you really want to get a once-in-a-lifetime shot, you’ll need to be prepared. The road to the beach is extremely narrow and isn’t well-maintained, making it a challenging drive. Still, the journey is worth it when you experience everything the beach has to offer.
If you arrive early enough, you can also make the climb up the small hill on the beach for a bird’s-eye view of the entire area. As the sun starts to set, climbing the hill isn’t advisable since visibility is lower.
On the west coast of the Isle of Skye is another idyllic beach retreat known as Talisker Bay. Located just a 15-minute drive away from the oldest distillery on the island (which is great for a day trip), Talisker Bay boasts an impressive array of features. These elements make it perfect for photography enthusiasts and nature lovers, so don’t forget to take your friends!
With its sand, boulders, sea stacks, and jaw-dropping sunset views, the beach has all the right ingredients for the ultimate picture.
Still, it may be important to note that the beach is at its best during low tide, when the rocks are visible and give you an interesting foreground for your shot. You’ll also need to pack some comfortable shoes, as the beach is around a 1-mile walk from the parking lot.
The scenery at Talisker Bay is nothing if not impressive, with steep cliffs that surround the bay and big black rocks that dot the shoreline. Plus, the ever-changing tides create intricate patterns on the sand, making for some unique compositions.
Located on the Trotternish Peninsula, just a 15-minute drive from Portree, Loch Fada is the place to be for uninterrupted shots of the Isle of Skye. The south end of the Loch offers a picturesque foreground of moored boats with the Old Man of Storr and the Loch in the background, making it an ideal spot for photographers.
If you want to capture the best reflections, it’s best to visit when the weather is calm and use long exposure photography to get the Old Man perfectly in the frame. Additionally, the Loch itself has stunning views of the surrounding area, including its own gorgeous island that features a lone tree. It’s perfect for a moody snapshot of natural Scottish beauty!
The best time to visit Loch Fada is at dawn when the reflections on the water are clear and you can capture the morning light as it hits the Old Man. The good news is that this view works well with both a wide-angle lens and a telephoto lens. So, regardless of your equipment, you’re going to capture something truly amazing.
Elgol is a hidden treasure on the southern coast of the Isle of Skye that is slowly gaining popularity among photographers. Because of this boom in popularity, it’s also becoming one of the busiest spots on the whole island!
Despite its remote location and seemingly ordinary appearance, Elgol will leave you awe-struck with ocean views and the majestic Cuillin Mountains in the background. Remember, to get the best shot it’s important to arrive in the early morning to avoid the crowds. Although, if you camp out in the late afternoon, you can also scout for your ideal spot before the sun sets.
Whether it’s the burning amber skies of a perfect sunset or the dramatic waves, Elgol has a wealth of photographic opportunities. The receding or advancing tide also adds movement and interest to the water, giving you a more dynamic seascape shot.
Sitting atop a small hill overlooking Uig Bay and the outer Hebrides in the distance, Uig Tower is ideal for photographers who want to capture the perfect sunset on the Isle of Skye. Situated in the little town of Uig, which is most famous for its access to the enchanting Fairy Glen, this spot is often overlooked. Still, it offers stunning views and unique composition opportunities.
Whether you’re a professional photographer or just love to capture memories of your travels for the ‘Gram, Uig Tower is fantastic for sunset shoots. With a little bit of luck and favourable weather conditions, you can capture a dramatic sky that will greatly impress your followers. Plus, including the local church in your shot can add an extra touch of pizazz to your photos.
To make the most of your visit here, you should be sure to check the ferry schedule in advance. Depending on the time of the sunset and the schedule, you may even be able to include the arriving ferry in your pictures. This should add a layer of excitement to your shots.
While the entire village of Uig has beautiful views, Uig Tower is our personal favourite for its mini hilltop location that overlooks the small harbour. Here, you’ll get a glimpse into the town’s rural life and a scattering of homes in your pics.
The best time to visit the Isle of Skye’s photography locations is during the summer months of June to August. These months have the longest daylight hours for photographers to capture their perfect shots. They are also known for pleasant weather and vibrant wildflowers which make wonderful additions to any photo.
Yes, there are plenty of tours of the best Isle of Skye photography locations. These tours offer the chance to explore gorgeous landscapes and capture natural beauty under the guidance of professional photographers. It’s the perfect opportunity for any beginner photographer or a seasoned pro that wants to get the best photos they can.
Driving around the Isle of Skye can take around 3 – 5 hours, depending on where you go and how often you want to stop. Technically, this trip will only take you a day to complete. But if you really want to enjoy what the Isle of Skye has to offer, it may be best to extend your trip and spend a day at one or two of your ideal locations at a time.
Using our complete Isle of Skye photography guide, you should be ready to get out there and take some incredible Instagram snapshots! From lush, rolling hills to gloomy, formidable rock formations, there’s plenty to capture on this aesthetic island. So what are you waiting for? Pack your gear and get going!