Claigan Coral Beach, Dunvegan, Isle of Skye
After doing laundry in Portree, we still had a significant amount of time in the day. We heard the Coral Beach in Claigan (just north of Dunvegan) on the Isle of Skye was gorgeous, so we decided to check it out. As expected, we took narrow roads to get there. We spotted lots of very fluffy sheep while winding through the countryside. Once you get there, there is a gravel parking lot, and I think what time you are there determines how difficult it is to find a spot. It was super easy for us, but by the time we left, people were getting creative about where they could fit cars.
From the parking lot we walked down a path with a bunch of skittish sheep then through a gate that had a metal grate on the ground. It seemed to be there to keep grazing animals in certain areas. There was another small path to walk down and then - many cows! They were “normal” cows, not highland cows, and they were very cute and very close. The cows seemed to be used to humans being around. They were not skittish like the sheep and just went about their business as if we were not there.
Just a bit further down the path, we were able to see the beach, and it was stunning. The colors of the water, the grass, the sand, and the sky painted such a beautiful picture. It was so windy that we had to raise our voices to speak to each other. Though there were some storm clouds in the distance, the sky in the immediate area was so blue with an interesting pattern of white clouds. You’ll see all this in the photos below. The beauty of the beach and the great weather made me feel so happy. Claigan Coral Beach is one of my favorite places I have ever been. I think you’ll also see this (the happiness!) in the photos below.
An interesting thing about the Claigan Coral Beach is that the sand is not actually made of coral as the name suggests. The sand is actually fossilized and sun-bleached algae!
At the end of the somewhat small but perfect beach there is a lovely grassy area. We spent some time there spinning in circles and just staring at the beauty around us. There is a really large hill there as well with some kind of old structure at the top. The view from the top is spectacular. Like most places in Scotland, there is no safety fence. You get a better view without it! You just have to remember to use common sense and be careful. After a while, the storm clouds started to migrate towards us and we felt some stray rain drops. That was our cue to head back to the car. We had plenty of time to enjoy the walk back, and the rain started to pick up just as we reached the car.
Our Airbnb host had previously recommended a restaurant called Chuchullin in the square in Portree so we had dinner reservations. As Annette has mentioned, in very small towns, its even more important to make a reservation since there just isn’t a lot around. It was a small, nice restaurant. We both ordered mussels and the meal was delicious.