Discover one of the best things to do on the Isle of Skye Scotland! Let me show you how to enjoy an Elgol Boat Trip to Loch Coruisk at the foot of the magnificent Cuillin Mountains. One video, many photos and tips to plan your visit!
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Video - Elgol Boat Trip to Loch Coruisk
Loch Coruisk (which means Cauldron of Waters) is a fresh water loch very between the Cuillin Mountains and the sea.
Let's start with a short video of my Boat trip from Elgol to Loch Curuisk and the Cuillin Mountains: the boat, the seals, the walk...
Many photos of the drive, the boat trip, the walk and the loch coming in this article after the planning info!
PLANNING TIPS - Loch Coruisk Skye
How to get to Elgol Skye
- Road B8083 (crossing with A87 at Broadford)
- It is a 1h10 drive from Portree, 30 min from the crossing - plan more time during high season and mid day hours. It is a single lane road, so the more traffic, the longer the wait on passing places.
- There are buses from Portree to Broadford and Broadford to Elgol but not many a day and it takes a long time.
Loch Coruisk, along with many other beautiful places, is included in my eBook: The Road Trip Guide - Scotland.
It is a practical tool to plan your trip with practical maps, photos, planning tips, GPS coordinates...
How to get to Loch Coruisk
- By boat - The 2 main companies offering boat trips to Loch Coruisk: Bella Jane and Misty Isle - I saw another boat but do not remember the name. I selected Bella Jane, my review is at the end of this article.
- Hiking - There is a famous hike between Elgol and Sligachan. So you can walk from Loch Coruisk to Siglachan for 8 miles (3 to 5 hours). You can also hike along the coast from Elgol (3 to 5 hours), but a section called the Loch Coruisk Bad step or Elgol Bad Step is very treacherous (check the track for the whole walk)
Visiting Elgol Skye and Loch Coruisk
- To get to the Parking at Elgol, the road is very steep. if you need to go to the bathroom, don't go all the way down, the white building near the secondary parking is the only public toilet (and as I mentionned it is very steep)
- During peak season you might still have to park on the secondary parking.
- Plan good walking shoes for Loch Coruisk. There is absolutely no path, and the ground can be wet, muddy and slippery
- Wear layers. The wind is cold in Scotland.
- Even if you are not planning a Boat trip, the drive to Elgol Skye is great and once there you can walk around for great views of the Black Cuillin mountains.
- Other Elgol Boat Trips are available to see the wildlife around the neighboring islands of Eigg, Rum and Canna.
Drive from Portree to Elgol Skye - it is already beautiful!
I had booked an early Elgol Boat Trip to Loch Coruisk so the drive was enjoyable with almost nobody on the road yet.
Once you turn on B8083, it is a single lane road. Passing places are numerous and visibility is good. Be careful, animals roam freely and babies tend to run in front of the car.
As you approach Elgol Skye, the island of Rum appears in the background:
These are the 2 shops to book an Elgol Boat Tour : Bella Jane and Misty Isle. You really cannot miss them near the carpark, at the end of the only road... However book in advance because they fill up quickly!
Loch Coruisk Boat Trip - Speedboat crossing
On a clear day, as you leave Elgol by boat and approach the Cuillin Mountains , the view is exquisite.
The Cuillin Mountains is a range of rocky mountains. On this side of the Isle of Skye they are known as the Black Cuillin. They are called black because they are mainly composed of the black rock gabbro.
The highest point is Sgurr Alasdair which culminates at 992m (3255ft)
As you approach the entrance to Loch Coruisk:
Seal Colony near Loch Coruisk
The 'pier' is located in a cove protected by a small island. At low tide rocks appear above water, making it a natural place for seals to nap and digest.
Loch Coruisk Walk
The boat drops you at the unique Pier in the cove. I embedded a google map below for you to have a look:
To reach the loch you have to cross the arm of land along the Scavaig River that joins Loch Coruisk and the sea (at Loch na Cuilce).
Note - There is also 3 to 4h Loch Coruisk Walk that goes all the way around the loch. Difficulty is Medium. Be careful, it involves crossing a river which can be dangerous during and after heavy rain. Overall difficulty is graded as Medium.
Right now let me show you the walk from the pier to Loch Coruisk:
And looking back towards the pier:
And here is the small pier and my return boat arriving:
Loch Coruisk in Photos
I was limited in time with only 1h30 before my return boat. So I walked only on one side of the Loch (not crossing the river).
I was all alone and the views were grandiose! My photos are nice but can't really render the breathtaking landscapes.
Here they are anyway 🙂
Elgol Boat Trip - Return
For the return of my Elgol Boat Trip, I was on the Bella Jane Boat itself and the views of the Cuillin Mountains were as magnificent:
Bella Jane Boat Trips Review
I chose Bella Jane purely because of the online booking option and the picture of the boat. Part of it had a roof so I thought that if it rained, I would at least be a little protected (this is Scotland after all).
Both companies give you flexibility to stay as long as you want at Loch Coruisk:
- Your Elgol Boat trip can be just that a boat trip, you stay on the boat, admire the Cuillin Mountains and observe the seals
- Or you can stop at Loch Coruisk and come back with the next boat (normally 1h45 later)
- Or you can come back with another boat later and hike for a longer time
- Or you can buy a one way trip and hike your way back
Globally my Elgol Boat Trip with Bella Jane went well. I felt safe on the boat and the pilots were nice.
However there were a few things that annoyed me (based on my one experience in May 2016):
- I was supposed to leave at a certain hour. They said to be here 15 min earlier. I arrived 25 minute earlier. But because of the booking of a bigger group they had changed the schedule but did not tell me. I had to wait and left only 20 minutes after the time I was supposed to. I am patient when early but not when things are late...
- Because of this change in schedule, I went to Loch Coruisk by AquaXplore boat instead of the Bella Jane. This boat is a RIBS (Rigid Hull inflatable Boats) which is not as uncomfortable as a classic boat. It is said at booking that they may use these other boats but if they had not changed the schedule it would not have been the case
- Because of this same change in schedule, I lost 15 min of exploration time at Loch Coruisk.
- The management of returns seemed not that well managed. For a while, the pilot looked lost with his list of names, even though I was the only one coming back at this hour.
On that same day, I saw the boats from Misty isle leave on time.
I cannot generalize the issues I faced. My comments are based on a one off experience.
Want to see more of SCOTLAND?
Discover more things to do & places to see in my Travel Scotland Destination Guide.
Stunning scenery, don't you think?
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