The Fairy Pools are one of the most visited sites on the Isle of Skye of Scotland. Why? It’s an easy walk along a series of small waterfalls with the Cuillin Mountains as a backdrop.
We were here under less than ideal conditions. Once again, we awoke to cloudy, rainy skies. It drizzled off and on during the drive from Portree to the Fairy Pools. For twenty minutes we sat in our car in the parking lot, waiting out the rain, wondering if we would ever get lucky enough to see the sun while on the Isle of Skye.
From the parking area, it is a leisurely walk along the River Brittle. What so many people come to see is the series of small waterfalls, each flowing into its own pool. On sunny days, this is a beautiful spot. The water is aquamarine and the views along the valley are magnificent. If you are here on a rainy day, like we were, the Fairy Pools are rather dreary looking.
Dodging mud puddles, the four of us did a little exploring. While Kara and I continued farther up the Fairy Pools, Tyler and Tim flew the drone.
Do you want to fly over the Fairy Pools? Check this out!
The Fairy Pools in Photos
See the Fairy Pools from Land
Even Better, see Them from the Sky
Are the Fairy Pools worth it?
If you only have one day on the Isle of Skye, I would skip the Fairy Pools and visit the sites on the Trotternish Loop instead. If you have two days or more, then a visit here is worth it.
For us, the Fairy Pools were one of the least spectacular sites on the Isle of Skye. But we also had bad weather. On a sunny day, this place is gorgeous.
Tips for Visiting the Fairy Pools
The Fairy Pools are located in Glenbrittle. To get here, it is a 30 minute drive from Portree. Follow signs to Carbost and the Talisker Distillery. Just before reaching Carbost, make a left turn onto a single track road, following signs to the Fairy Pools. There is a large car park at the foot of the trail head. In 2018, this parking lot was expanded to hold over 130 cars. There is also a bathroom near the parking lot. There is a £5 parking fee.
Allow one to two hours for your visit. It’s an easy walk that anyone can do, even young children. There is one section of stepping stones to cross a stream. This is the only tricky part of the walk.
The Fairy Pools are free to visit and open 24 hours.
Bring your swimsuit if you like. You can go swimming in the pools.
Midges, tiny, mosquito-like insects, can be a problem here (during the summer months). Stay still for too long and they will swarm around your face. Bring insect repellent or be prepared to keep brushing them away.
Talisker Distillery. The Talisker Distillery is the only whisky distillery on the Isle of Skye. It is located in Carbost. They run daily tours and have a shop to buy their whisky. You will practically drive right past it going to and from the Fairy Pools, so stop here if you are interested.
Hungry? Visit The Old Inn in Carbost before or after your visit here. This is a cozy place serving excellent food and drinks.
We visited the Fairy Pools in July 2016 on a road trip through Scotland.
More Information about Scotland
PLACES TO VISIT IN THE ISLE OF SKYE: For an overview of must-have experiences on the Isle of Skye, read our article Best Things to Do on the Isle of Skye. We also have detailed guides on the Old Man of Storr, the Fairy Glen, Brother’s Point, and the Quiraing.
PLACES TO GO IN SCOTLAND: Edinburgh and Glasgow are two wonderful cities to add to your Scotland itinerary. Spend a few days on the Isle of Skye, visit Glencoe, hike the Kintail Saddle, and visit Loch Ness and Urquhart Castle.
SCOTLAND ITINERARY: With 10 days in Scotland, visit the highlights, including Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Isle of Skye, and Glencoe.
EUROPE TRAVEL INSPIRATION: For more great ideas on where to go in Europe, check out our article 30 Beautiful Places to Visit in Europe and the 20 Best Hikes in Europe. You can also get more travel ideas in our 10 Days in Europe itinerary guide, which has 10 great itineraries for your next trip to Europe.
Planning a trip to Scotland? Read all of our articles in our Scotland Travel Guide.
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Does the one or two hour time allowance include driving time from Portree or elsewhere? Or is that the time you need for the visit itself?
Do you not have to pay to park in Fairy Pools?
When we did this in 2016 and did not have to pay for parking. The 1 to 2 hours is the time you need to visit the Fairy Pools, it does not include driving time. Cheers, Julie
Thanks. Looks like there is a parking fee now.
Wow, thanks for the info!!!
I read recently that some of the locals, tired of the over flow from the parking lot, have purchased land adjacent to the parking lot and will be expanding it. Hopefully installing a restroom as well.
That would be great! I remember cars parked on the shoulder of the road. It must be tough living so close to a popular tourist destination.