Skye’s Moody Loch Coruisk and the Black Cuillins

One of the things I loved most about our trip to Scotland is that we really did get off the beaten path quite a bit.  In fact, I call it our “Highlands and Islands” tour because we really got out there into some of the lesser-known regions and didn’t really spend much time in the usual areas.

Now, you might be thinking, right, the Isle of Skye isn’t exactly “lesser known”.  And you’d be right.  But this little corner of it is, and it takes some planning and determination to get there.

First, you have to get to Elgol, on one of the little southern peninsulas.  Then you’ll take a boat trip over to the stunning and very remote Loch Coruisk (go ahead, look it up on Google Maps, I’ll wait).

Get off the beaten path in the Isle of Skye and take a boat trip from Elgol to Loch Coruisk. Backed by the moody Black Cuillins & very remote, there's beautiful wildlife and stunning untouched nature! Planning a trip to Isle of Skye, Scotland itinerary tips! #scotland #isleofskye

We took the ferry quite early back from the Isle of Harris and Lewis to Skye, then quickly made the drive to Elgol for our boat trip.  After we boarded the Heather Grace and got underway, our guide, Jamie, was great, and told us all about the islands around us and the history of the place.

Get off the beaten path in the Isle of Skye and take a boat trip from Elgol to Loch Coruisk. Backed by the moody Black Cuillins & very remote, there's beautiful wildlife and stunning untouched nature! Planning a trip to Isle of Skye, Scotland itinerary tips! #scotland #isleofskye

You might even recognize the scenery approaching the loch from this amazing mountain biking video of Danny Macaskill.  I seriously get so stressed each time I watch it, but the scenery is breathtaking and totally worth it.

Get off the beaten path in the Isle of Skye and take a boat trip from Elgol to Loch Coruisk. Backed by the moody Black Cuillins & very remote, there's beautiful wildlife and stunning untouched nature! Planning a trip to Isle of Skye, Scotland itinerary tips! #scotland #isleofskye

You might also like:  A Magical Day on the Isle of Staffa

The boat ride was so moody, and could have benefited from a little sun.  The stony gray clouds and fog did lend a mystical air to the whole place, though.  We disembarked and started making our way toward Loch Coruisk, just a tiny bit of a climb.

Get off the beaten path in the Isle of Skye and take a boat trip from Elgol to Loch Coruisk. Backed by the moody Black Cuillins & very remote, there's beautiful wildlife and stunning untouched nature! Planning a trip to Isle of Skye, Scotland itinerary tips! #scotland #isleofskye

Get off the beaten path in the Isle of Skye and take a boat trip from Elgol to Loch Coruisk. Backed by the moody Black Cuillins & very remote, there's beautiful wildlife and stunning untouched nature! Planning a trip to Isle of Skye, Scotland itinerary tips! #scotland #isleofskye

The morning was cold, rainy, and windy, but the wind at least was welcome—because we were getting EATEN ALIVE by midges.

Pro tip:  bring midge spray and maybe one of those nerdy hats with the netting.  We pooh-poohed people’s suggestions but it was totally miserable and we were wishing for those nerdy hats!

Get off the beaten path in the Isle of Skye and take a boat trip from Elgol to Loch Coruisk. Backed by the moody Black Cuillins & very remote, there's beautiful wildlife and stunning untouched nature! Planning a trip to Isle of Skye, Scotland itinerary tips! #scotland #isleofskye

Get off the beaten path in the Isle of Skye and take a boat trip from Elgol to Loch Coruisk. Backed by the moody Black Cuillins & very remote, there's beautiful wildlife and stunning untouched nature! Planning a trip to Isle of Skye, Scotland itinerary tips! #scotland #isleofskye

Get off the beaten path in the Isle of Skye and take a boat trip from Elgol to Loch Coruisk. Backed by the moody Black Cuillins & very remote, there's beautiful wildlife and stunning untouched nature! Planning a trip to Isle of Skye, Scotland itinerary tips! #scotland #isleofskye

Get off the beaten path in the Isle of Skye and take a boat trip from Elgol to Loch Coruisk. Backed by the moody Black Cuillins & very remote, there's beautiful wildlife and stunning untouched nature! Planning a trip to Isle of Skye, Scotland itinerary tips! #scotland #isleofskye

Mostly we just walked around and soaked in the quiet and the beauty.  Because the area is so remote, we got to see tons of wildlife, including this red deer.

Get off the beaten path in the Isle of Skye and take a boat trip from Elgol to Loch Coruisk. Backed by the moody Black Cuillins & very remote, there's beautiful wildlife and stunning untouched nature! Planning a trip to Isle of Skye, Scotland itinerary tips! #scotland #isleofskye

Get off the beaten path in the Isle of Skye and take a boat trip from Elgol to Loch Coruisk. Backed by the moody Black Cuillins & very remote, there's beautiful wildlife and stunning untouched nature! Planning a trip to Isle of Skye, Scotland itinerary tips! #scotland #isleofskye

Finally it was time to catch the boat back to Elgol.  They served us hot chocolate and biscuits when we got back on the boat, which was lovely and cozy.  But the awesomeness wasn’t over.

You might also like:  Soaking in the Serenity of Scotland’s Tiny Isle of Iona

Get off the beaten path in the Isle of Skye and take a boat trip from Elgol to Loch Coruisk. Backed by the moody Black Cuillins & very remote, there's beautiful wildlife and stunning untouched nature! Planning a trip to Isle of Skye, Scotland itinerary tips! #scotland #isleofskye

Get off the beaten path in the Isle of Skye and take a boat trip from Elgol to Loch Coruisk. Backed by the moody Black Cuillins & very remote, there's beautiful wildlife and stunning untouched nature! Planning a trip to Isle of Skye, Scotland itinerary tips! #scotland #isleofskye

SEALS!  So. Many. Seals.

Seals!!! Wildlife abounds near Loch Coruisk. Take a boat trip from Elgol on the Isle of Skye to Loch Coruisk...backed by the moody Black Cuillins & very remote, there's beautiful wildlife and stunning untouched nature--like these seals! Planning a trip to Skye, Scotland itinerary tips! #scotland #isleofskye

Look at those faces!  There are seals all over these more remote island parts, and we got to see a bunch up close and personal (though, full disclosure, my dad used his telephoto lens for some of these, we weren’t like 5 feet from the seals in reality…).

Wildlife abounds near Loch Coruisk. Take a boat trip from Elgol on the Isle of Skye to Loch Coruisk...backed by the moody Black Cuillins & very remote, there's beautiful wildlife and stunning untouched nature--like these seals! Planning a trip to Skye, Scotland itinerary tips! #scotland #isleofskye

Wildlife abounds near Loch Coruisk. Take a boat trip from Elgol on the Isle of Skye to Loch Coruisk...backed by the moody Black Cuillins & very remote, there's beautiful wildlife and stunning untouched nature--like these seals! Planning a trip to Skye, Scotland itinerary tips! #scotland #isleofskye

Wildlife abounds near Loch Coruisk. Take a boat trip from Elgol on the Isle of Skye to Loch Coruisk...backed by the moody Black Cuillins & very remote, there's beautiful wildlife and stunning untouched nature--like these seals! Planning a trip to Skye, Scotland itinerary tips! #scotland #isleofskye

Wildlife abounds near Loch Coruisk. Take a boat trip from Elgol on the Isle of Skye to Loch Coruisk...backed by the moody Black Cuillins & very remote, there's beautiful wildlife and stunning untouched nature--like these seals! Planning a trip to Skye, Scotland itinerary tips! #scotland #isleofskye

Once we disembarked, from Elgol we drove around the Sleat Peninsula, stopping at the Blue Shed Cafe for some coffee and a scone, and doing a quick hike for a view.

Finally we arrived at our B&B in Isleornsay, called Coille Challtainn.  Our hostess, Flora, met us with hot tea and fresh homemade shortbread (AMAZING), and we enjoyed a lovely evening down at the local pub.  Sabbath morning graced us with a beautiful sunrise as we ate our porridge, and then we were off back to the mainland, taking the ferry from Armadale to Mallaig and then driving over to the Isle of Mull and our adventure on the tiny isle of Iona.

Hot tea and shortbread at a B&B in Isleornay after a boat trip to Loch Coruisk. There's so much to do on the Isle of Skye, ideas for planning your trip and itinerary advice. #scotland #isleofskye

Delicious breakfast at our B&B in Isleornay after a boat trip to Loch Coruisk. There's so much to do on the Isle of Skye, ideas for planning your trip and itinerary advice. #scotland #isleofskye

Views from a B&B in Isleornay after a boat trip to Loch Coruisk. There's so much to do on the Isle of Skye, ideas for planning your trip and itinerary advice. #scotland #isleofskye

Getting to Elgol takes some planning and you’ll need to set aside a day for the trip in total, but the wildness and quiet of Loch Coruisk is worth the extra effort.  A boat trip on the Isle of Skye is a must on any Scotland itinerary!

How to plan a boat trip to Loch Coruisk:

  • We booked with Misty Isle Boat Tours
  • We took the 11a sailing but they have a few so email for availability; it was 20 pounds per person, though they gave us a small discount because there were four of us
  • They have different lengths of trips, but the 3-hour one is standard (this gives you about an hour and a half to walk around at the loch)
  • Sailings run from Easter til around end of October, and all sailings are weather-permitting

Other “I’m On  Boat” Stories:

Renting a Sailboat in Sweden

A Day on Scotland’s Magical Isle of Staffa

One itinerary idea on the Isle of Skye is to take a boat trip from Elgol to Loch Coruisk. Backed by the moody Black Cuillins & very remote, there's beautiful wildlife and stunning untouched nature! Planning a trip to Skye, Scotland itinerary tips! #scotland #isleofskye

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