Kyleakin is a peaceful harbour village, overlooked and indeed protected by the impressive twin peaks of Beinn na Caillich and Sgurr na Coinnich, some 2,400 ft above sea level. These mountains (Grahams to be precise!) watch over some of the only remaining native beech woods on Skye and provide a haven for native wildlife.
For the more adventurous of our guests, it is possible to climb Bheinn na Caillich from the village and although it is rough terrain, the rewards are fantastic: views in every directions, down over the Skye Bridge, across the whole of Loch Alsh, further up the island towards the Cuillins and down Loch Alsh to the Five Sisters of Kintail - a view to behold! Both Bheinn na Caillich and Sgurr na Coinnich can also be reached from starting points on the road down to Kylerhea, where the Skye Ferry heads across to Glenelg.
For guests preferring a more relaxed walk, there are several around the village itself: across to Castle Moil, round the Obbe behind the village, along the shoreline towards the Bridge, across the Skye Bridge to Kyle (offers fantastic 360º views up and down Loch Alsh) or finally up onto the Hill of the Fox (with great views down onto the Skye Bridge and up towards Broadford) - we provide a useful map of these walks (in each Guest bedroom and the Guest Lounges), as does the main notice board in the middle of the village.
Within Kyleakin itself you have many opportunities to meet a couple of the island's more endearing residents: the otter and heron. If you take a walk round the Obbe (the harbour inlet that runs round the back of the village) you will find heron round every corner, especially during the warmer months, while the harbour itself, is most certainly prized territory, where the heron rigorously defend their fishing rights in front of the hotel! The otters on the other hand, are not going to make it quite that easy for you, but during March to June especially, they are often spotted both on and about the pier and pontoon in the late evening and early morning. During the winter months, when the area is even more quiet, you can often watch them during the day at low tide, fishing in the harbour infront of the hotel!
Of course, we can’t talk about Kyleakin without mentioning Castle Moil - an ancient MacKinnon stronghold - with its own Viking history and ‘saucy’ norse traditions! With talk of clandestine meetings between clan chiefs and tolls being levied on unsuspecting ships, the castle plaque makes interesting reading, and if asked, the present day locals are more than happy to spin you a legendary tale or two! To see Kyleakin in days gone by visit Am Baile and the Kyleakin Local History Society's website.
Finding a friendly local is not difficult, whether you pop into one of the local bars (each with its own small shop), or Harry's Coffee Shop, or maybe take a walk up to the Taste of India in the evening - you will discover no-one is in a hurry round here - just relax and enjoy the Skye pace of life! For more information regarding "eating out" locally, check out the Food page.