How to Spend a Day in Elgol and Loch Coruisk, Isle of Skye


Elgol is a small quaint Scottish village on Loch Scavaig in the Strathaird peninsula of the Isle of Skye and offers one of the best views of the majestic Cuillin Ranges. Visiting Elgol was long in our mind. When we visited the Isle of Skye the first time seven years ago, we booked a boat trip from Elgol to Loch Coruisk. But, due to heavy flood, the boat service was cancelled. So, when we went back to Skye the next time, we knew we had to visit Elgol – one of the hidden gems in Scotland.

This beautiful village is a bit far off from the rest of the main attractions in Skye. The nearest large settlement is Broadford where we stayed the day before we visited Elgol.

Elgol house skye
Elgol Loch Coruisk boat

Getting to Elgol:

We wanted to catch a glimpse of the first rays of the sun on the Cuillin mountains. So, we started our day quite early in the morning. 

Stagecoach runs bus service 55 from Broadford to Elgol a few times a day on weekdays and schooldays. We took the first bus at about seven in the morning from Broadford Post Office and in 40 minutes, we reached Elgol. Bus timing gets changed based on school holidays. So, if you are coming to Elgol by bus, check out their timetable from Stagecoach website. Sometimes Google says it wrong.

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 A Day in Elgol and Loch Coruisk, Isle of Skye, Scotland

1. Sunrise over the Cuillin Mountains

sunrise over Cuillin mountains Elgol

When we got off the bus it was still dark. Plus, being in early autumn, it was quite cold and windy as well. So, we decided to shelter ourselves in front of the Village Hall for some time. After a while, the lady, who runs a shop there, pulled in her car. Such a kind soul – she offered to put the kettle on for us though the shop won’t be open until the next half an hour. Now with the sun starting to hover at the horizon, we decided to come back for a cuppa after watching the sunrise.

elgol isle of skye

So, we started heading towards the pier, which has an uninterrupted view over to the Cuillin mountains and Loch Scavaig. When the sun rose, the top of the mountains was absolutely spectacular with the soft red hues. While we were still savouring the view, we saw the shop lady driving her car towards the pier with our coffee. The hospitality of the Highland is simply unmatched.

2. Boat Trip to Loch Coruisk from Elgol

Misty Isle and Bella Jane – two local boat operators run sailings in summer from Elgol to Loch Coruisk, which lies at the foot of the Black Cuillin across Loch Scavaig and ‘Loch na Cuilce’. We took the Misty Isle one primarily because their sailing time was perfect for us. They have been running boat services here for over 50 years. The skipper, Seumas and his crew are very friendly and knowledgeable. They gave very engaging talks about local history and wildlife throughout the journey. 

We were really lucky to have a very glorious sunny day during our trip. With the sun shining over the majestic Cuillin Mountain, the closer we came towards it, the more we got amazed. Plus, we got a superb view to the Isle of Rum and Canna – two small islands on the Inner Hebrides. The boat trip was totally the highlight of our day.

Loch Coruisk boat trip
skye wildlife

Not only that, we spotted a couple of minke whales jumping above the sea. They were a bit far though and completely eluded our camera. Won’t complain though – we managed to take photos of some grey seals.

Having an abundance of wildlife in this area, they also have trips specially arranged for watching minke whales, dolphins, White-tailed sea eagles.

3. Loch Coruisk hike

Elgol Loch Coruisk walk
Elgol Loch Coruisk hike

Loch Coruisk lies at the foot of the Black Cuillin mountain and is an incredibly beautiful freshwater loch in Skye. From where the boat landed, we wandered along the Scavaig River, and soon after, Loch Coruisk came into the view. The 2-mile long stretch (maximum width 400 yards) of the loch with the imposing Black Cuillin mountain is simply breath-taking. The circular walk around the Loch will take around 3-4hours.

Loch Coruisk

If you are an expert hiker, you can walk up to this Loch as well from Elgol via the infamous ‘bad step’ and take the boat back to Elgol. Plus, you can do wild camping as well if you fancy enjoying the wilderness overnight.

Alternatively you can walk from Sligachan to Elgol, which will take around 8hours.

Legend has it, Loch Coruisk is home to the Kelpies, mythical water horses in Scottish folklore who can transform into human shapes. We couldn’t manage to spot any of them or did we? Maybe we couldn’t recognise them. 

Loch Coruisk circular walk

Loch Coruisk is also believed to be the birthplace of the famous folk song, ‘The Skye Boat Song’. This was composed after getting inspired by a Gaelic version sung by the local rowers. Now this song is more famous worldwide after the hugely popular TV series, Outlander, adapted the tune for its title track.

4. Lunch at the Elgol Village Hall

Elgol village skye

After the Loch Coruisk hike, when we came back to Elgol, it was almost midday. So, it’s time for lunch. The village shop at the top of the village makes really nice soup and rolls, especially the Elogian – a roll filled with locally sourced lobster. The B&B, where we stayed at Broadford the previous night, arranged a packed lunch for us. So, we simply grabbed a soup from the village shop. It was really delicious.

5. Walking along the Loch Scavaig & Prince Charlie’s Cave

Elgol stone beach

After filling ourselves up, we started walking along the jagged coastline of Loch Scavaig and got some stunning views of the Cuillin. We met an old chap who lives in Yorkshire. He loves Elgol so much that he drives here every year. He never saw so much sun in Elgol. Anyway, afterwards, we went towards Bonnie Prince Charlie’s cave where he hid after the defeat of the Jacobite’s in the mid-18th century.

Overall, Elgol was a great day trip. The view is too good to process in a day. Elgol should definitely come at the top of your itinerary in Skye.

Planing a Trip to Scotland?

For further reading on other SCOTLAND destinations:

🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 Isle of Skye | 25 Most Incredible Things to do in Isle of Skye

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🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 ElgolHow to Spend a Day in Elgol and Loch Coruisk, Isle of Skye

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