This view is second to none: From the harbour at Elgol on the Isle of Skye, visitors can see right into the black heart of the Black Cuillin massif. Wonderful!
Elgol has been home to the MacKinnons for centuries, and they have a proud history. John MacKinnon took in escapee Jacobite leader Bonnie Prince Charlie in July of 1746 and hid him in a nearby cave. A little later, it was also he who ferried the prince by boat to the mainland, from where Charles escaped to France. The cave where the prince spent the night can still be visited today.
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The MacKinnons were good boatmen then, and they still are today. Seumas and Stuart run the Misty Isle Boat Trips from Elgol to Loch Coruisk and the neighbouring islands of Rum, Eigg or Canna. On the boat trips you can see seals, whales and dolphins, birds and more – if you’re lucky. And of course, if you wish, the cave of the Stewart Prince.
But even if the visitor doesn’t board a boat, just the view from the pier into the massif of the Black Cuillins is enough. The peaks rise majestically above the sea. No other place on the Isle of Skye offers a similarly beautiful panorama.
Knowledge: Roots with the Vikings
The name “Elgol”, Gaelic “Ealaghol” is of Old Norse origin – as yes very many place names on the Isle of Skye. However, the clarity already ends there, because nobody knows exactly what the name actually means. A variant: “Helga Hollr” means “holy hill”. Considering the work of Saint Maelrubha in the area and the steep rise of the land near Elgol, this would be logical.
Elgol is no more than a scattered hamlet of about 150 inhabitants. Again, before the Highland Clearances, the number of residents was once much higher. The main feature of the village is the shop and boat mooring. In addition to Misty Isle Boat Trips run by the McKinnons, Bellajane, another operator with a very similar program, also operates here.
Personal note: Dodging the rush
Elgol is no longer an insider’s tip. Therefore, it is already quite busy on the narrow road to get there and you often have to swerve. Often the parking lot in Elgol is already occupied. Therefore, I move my photo sessions there basically in the evening (early does not work for me, I’m not so hardened), which then but also allows the special moods.
Tip: Colorful buoys
Further up in the village, visitors can then stock up on coffee and home-baked goods in the Elgol shop. In the shop, by the way, there are also wonderful little works of art to buy: The artist collects floats from fishing nets washed up on the beach and then paints them with matching motifs from the area.
How to get there:
With satnavs: enter “IV49 9BJ” and you’ll end up right in Elgol.
Without sat nav: Whether coming from the Skye Bridge or from Portree, you take the A87 to Broadford. There you turn off onto the B8083, which is already signposted Elgol. The drive then takes you around Loch Slapin and takes half an hour or more, depending on how clear the road is.