Portree Travel Guide

Discover the natural and cultural attractions of Portree, Scotland with this comprehensive travel guide, including must-try dishes, where to stay, and logistical tips for your visit.

Introduction to Portree

Portree is a small town situated in the Inner Hebrides, an archipelago of islands in Scotland. It is the largest town and cultural center of the scenic Isle of Skye. With its colorful harbor, stunning landscapes, and rich history, Portree has become a popular destination for travelers looking for a laid-back yet rewarding vacation.

List of Places to Visit in Portree

Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or outdoor adventure, Portree has a lot to offer visitors. Here’s a list of the top places to visit in Portree:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • The Aros Centre: This award-winning cultural center offers visitors a range of activities including exhibitions, films, music, and theater performances.
  • Dunvegan Castle and Gardens: This iconic castle is located about 22 miles from Portree and is the ancestral seat of Clan MacLeod.
  • The Skye Museum of Island Life: This picturesque museum is located in an old thatched-roofed village and showcases the history and culture of the island.

Natural Attractions of Portree: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • The Quiraing: This is a range of unique rock formations that offer unparalleled views of the island’s landscape.
  • The Old Man of Storr: This is a rocky pinnacle and is one of the most photographed landmarks in Scotland.
  • Talisker Distillery: Take a tour of the oldest distillery on the Isle of Skye.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Portree

If you’re looking for some outdoor adventure, hiking and biking are great options. Here are some of the best routes in Portree:

  • The Skye Trail: This challenging route stretches across the island and can be completed in 7-10 days.
  • The Fairy Pools: This is a relatively easy hike and leads to a series of crystal-clear pools and waterfalls.
  • The Quiraing Loop: This is a moderate hike that lets you explore the unique landscapes of the Quiraing.

Best Things to Do in Portree: Activities and Tours

There’s no shortage of activities and tours to choose from in Portree. Here are some of the best:

  • Boat tours around the coast and nearby islands.
  • Photography tours that let you explore the best of the island’s landscapes.
  • Kayaking around the coastline.

Week-Long Itinerary for Portree

For those planning a week-long trip to Portree, here’s a suggested itinerary:

Day 1: Explore Portree’s bustling harbor and quaint shops. Day 2: Visit Dunvegan Castle and Gardens. Day 3: Hike the Quiraing Loop and visit the Skye Museum of Island Life. Day 4: Take a boat tour to see seals, dolphins, and whales. Day 5: Visit Talisker Distillery and hike to the Fairy Pools. Day 6: Explore the Old Man of Storr and go kayaking. Day 7: Day trip to Eilean Donan Castle and the village of Plockton.

Food and Drink Scene of Portree

Portree’s food and drink scene offers a mix of traditional Scottish cuisine and seafood specialties.

Must-Try Dishes

  • Haggis: A traditional Scottish dish made from sheep’s organs, oatmeal, and spices.
  • Cullen skink: A thick soup made from smoked haddock, potatoes, and onion.
  • Fish and chips: A classic British dish that’s particularly delicious when made with fresh fish from the island’s waters.

Local Beverages

  • Whisky: Scotland is famous for its whisky, and Portree is home to several distilleries including Talisker.
  • Isle of Skye Brewing Company: Try one of their award-winning beers, which are inspired by the island’s rugged landscape.

Where to Stay in Portree: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

There are plenty of options for accommodation in Portree, including hotels, hostels, and guesthouses. Here are some popular choices:

  • The Royal Hotel: This historic hotel is located in the center of town and offers views of the harbor.
  • Portree Independent Hostel: This budget-friendly hostel is located near the town center and offers comfortable accommodation for backpackers.
  • The Marmalade Hotel: This boutique hotel has a prime location on the harbor and offers luxurious amenities.

What to Buy in Portree: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

If you’re looking for souvenirs or gifts to bring back home, here are some recommendations:

  • Harris Tweed: This local woolen fabric is woven by hand and comes in a variety of patterns and colors.
  • Isle of Skye Sea Salt: This artisan salt is hand-harvested from the island’s crystal-clear waters.
  • Ceramics and pottery: Local artisans create beautiful handmade pottery and ceramics.

Local Culture and Customs of Portree

Scotland has a rich cultural heritage, and learning about local customs and traditions can enhance your experience in Portree. Some customs include:

  • The ceilidh: A social gathering with music and dancing.
  • Wearing a kilt: A traditional garment worn by men during special events and occasions.
  • Bagpipes: The national instrument of Scotland, bagpipes are often played during events and ceremonies.

Best Time to Visit Portree

The best time to visit Portree is during the summer months (June to August) when temperatures are mild and days are longer. However, if you’re looking to avoid crowds, visiting in the shoulder season (April to May or September to October) is a good option.

Do’s and Don’ts of Portree

Here are some do’s and don’ts to keep in mind during your trip:


  • Try local dishes: Scotland has a rich culinary tradition, and trying local dishes is a great way to experience the culture.
  • Pack for the weather: Scotland’s weather can be unpredictable, so it’s always a good idea to pack clothing for all types of conditions.
  • Respect local traditions: Scottish traditions and customs are an important part of the culture, so being respectful is appreciated.


  • Forget to bring cash: Some businesses may not accept credit cards, so it’s always a good idea to have cash on hand.
  • Ignore road safety: If you’re planning to drive during your trip, keep in mind that Scotland drives on the left side of the road.
  • Litter: Keeping the environment clean and litter-free is important in Scotland.

Safety and Health

Here are some tips to keep in mind for safety and health during your visit to Portree:

Safety in Portree

  • Keep an eye on the weather: Scotland’s weather can change quickly, so it’s important to stay informed and prepared.
  • Be aware of wildlife: Scotland has a diverse range of wildlife, some of which can be dangerous if approached.
  • Be careful on the roads: If you’re planning to drive, be aware of the narrow, winding roads and take caution.

Health in Portree

  • Pack for common ailments: It’s always a good idea to bring medications for common ailments like headaches and colds.
  • Stay hydrated: Scotland’s weather can be deceptively dry, so it’s important to drink plenty of water.
  • Be aware of tick bites: If you’re hiking or spending time in wooded areas, it’s important to be aware of tick bites and check yourself for them.

Getting to Portree: Transportation Options and Logistics

Here are some ways to reach Portree:

Airports Near Portree

  • Glasgow International Airport (GLA)
  • Inverness Airport (INV)

Bus Stations Near Portree

  • Portree Bus Station
  • Kyle of Lochalsh Bus Station

Other Options

  • Car rental
  • Taxi

How to Get Around in Portree

Here are some options to get around Portree:

  • Walking: The town is small and easy to navigate on foot.
  • Car rental: Renting a car is a great way to explore the rest of the island and nearby attractions.
  • Bike rental: Biking is a fun and eco-friendly way to explore the town and its surroundings.

Where to Go Next from Portree: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

If you’re looking to explore more of Scotland, here are some recommended destinations:

  • Edinburgh: Scotland’s vibrant capital city is about a 4-hour drive from Portree.
  • Glasgow: This cosmopolitan city is known for its art, music, and food scene.
  • The Cairngorms National Park: This stunning park is located in the Scottish Highlands and offers a range of outdoor activities.


Portree is a destination that offers a rare combination of natural beauty and cultural richness. With its stunning landscapes, warm hospitality, and charming town center, it’s no wonder why so many travelers have fallen in love with this town. Whether you’re interested in history, outdoor adventure, or just a laid-back vacation, Portree has something to offer visitors of all ages and interests.