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Portree, Scotland is a hub of activity on the Isle of Skye. Ranking as the largest town on Skye Island and serving as the capital, there is no shortage of things to do in Portree, Scotland.
Portree is a popular destination for Isle of Skye visitors and boasts an array of accommodations, eateries, bars, shops and attractions. We are outlining the absolute best things to do in Portree, Scotland to help you plan your perfect visit.
On our trip, we stayed in Portree for a full week – allowing us plenty of time to discover the best of Portree and the Isle of Skye.
Portree, Scotland Trip Planning
Our list of Things To Do Portree focuses solely on the top things to do in town. When deciding what else to do on the island, use our guide for Things To Do on Isle of Skye and read our best advice for how to Plan a Trip to Europe.
Visiting other Popular Scotland Destinations? We share tips on What To See in Inverness and the Highlands (including pretty Plockton) – as well as How To Spend 3 Days in Edinburgh (including a day trip to Dunbar and tips on What To Eat in Scotland) along with the top Glasgow Attractions.
As you make your trip plans, staying organized is key! Use our Printable Travel Planner to stay on top of all the details of your vacation.
10 BEST THINGS TO DO IN PORTREE, SCOTLAND
Our list of the top things to do in Portree, Isle of Skye features the best attractions and activities. We also share a map of Portree, Scotland and additional travel tips, below.
Pin, Save or Bookmark our Portree Travel Guide to plan your trip to Scotland!
#1 Embark on the Portree Scorrybreac Walk
The Scorrybreac Trail is one of the best Portree, Scotland things to do! The scenic 2-mile trail follows the shoreline of Portree Bay before ascending a hill and winding through the forest. It takes about 45 minutes to complete the Scorrybreac hike.
Point of interest along the route are the Portree waterfall, the Nicolson Clan Memorial Viewpoint, wildlife spotting (look for Sea Eagles), coastline views and the Old Man of Storr Viewpoint.
#2 Find the Colorful Houses of Portree Viewpoint
Portree sightseeing is not complete without finding the magnificent viewpoint of the colorful houses that line the harbor. Painted in pastel hues of pink, blue, yellow and green, the terraced houses are bright and cheerful.
After taking in the view from above, we recommend walking down to the Portree Harbor and walking along the front of the rainbow-colored buildings.
#3 Walk up The Lump
The Lump is the rocky outcrops that stands over the harbor – and it’s one of the best things to see in Portree, Skye. The quiet, idyllic slice of nature is just steps away from the relative hustle and bustle of Portree town.
A wooded hike – called The Meall Portree Walkway – encircles The Lump, eventually climbing up to the summit. The open field at the top is used for the Skye Highland Games and other festivals and concerts.
A short path on the summit leads to the Apothecary’s Tower, an octagonal beacon that dates to the 1830s. Visitors are free to climb up the staircase for grand vistas over the harbor, town and island.
#4 Wind Your Way through Leasgeary Woodland
The Leasgeary Woodland Walk is one of the lesser-known Portree attractions – yet it’s one of our favorites! The Portree, Scotland nature trail is short and sweet – and a bit off the beaten path.
The Leasgeary Woodland trailhead can be found along a footpath in a neighborhood, but the trail itself is well established and easy to walk along (although it can be muddy after rain). Following a babbling creek, the nature trail is completely enveloped in woods just moments after stepping onto the path.
#5 Listen to Live Music at An Talla Mor 1820
Without a doubt, one of the top things to do in Portree (and all of Scotland, for that matter!) is listening to live, traditional Scottish music.
An Talla Mor 1820 – a fun and boisterous pub in Portree – is an excellent place to catch live musical acts on the weekends.
During our Portree trip, we grabbed a few pints and settled in for a spectacular Sunday Session that featured musicians of all ages…and of course a bagpipe player!
#6 Sample Libations at Isle of Skye Distillers
The family-run Isle of Skye Distillers is a fabulous little shop in the heart of Portree Town – and a top place to visit for guests interested in local whisky, gin and vodka.
While whisky is the most well-known Scottish drink – and the shop stocks the best brands from the island and beyond – the Isle of Skye Distillers is dedicated to creating award-winning gins and vodkas.
Looking for things to do in Portree in the rain? Escape the wet weather and join a class at the Isle of Skye Distillers Gin School. During the session, you will learn about the history of Misty Isle Spirits, the process of distilling gin and then make your own gin to take home!
#7 Shop for a Souvenir on Wentworth Street
The little shops that line Wentworth Street are fantastic places to find a perfect souvenir from your Portree, Scotland vacation.
Tippecanoe sells unique items (such as artwork by Isle of Skye artists and books by Scottish authors), while the Portree Knitwear Company sells clothing (including scarves and tweed products). At The Isle of Skye Soap Company, visitors can pick up handcrafted Portree soaps and unusual gifts.
#8 Dine at The View Restaurant
When it comes to fine dining in Portree, The View Restaurant at the Cuillin Hills Hotel is a top choice. In fact, indulging in an opulent meal and enjoying the sublime views ranks as one of the Top Things To Do Portree, United Kingdom.
The menu features locally sourced, in season produce and island specialties – like Skye Venison and fresh-caught fish.
For a slightly more casual affair, visitors can sip a beverage or enjoy a simple lunch at the outdoor tables on The Lawn.
#9 Visit the Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
The Skye Archive Center is an interesting place to visit in Portree, Scotland.
Hosting a collection of artifacts – from photographs to maps to films – relating to the history of Skye and the Lochalsh area, visitors can learn about the past and people of the island. Travelers with family ties to Skye can also find information about their heritage.
The Arainn Fhinn Fingal Centre stands next to the Archive Centre – and it’s another one of the fun community places to visit in Portree. Guests can go swimming at the indoor pool and use the steam rooms for a fee.
#10 Go Wildlife Watching on Portree Boat Trips
Portree Bay and the Raasay Sound are home to an abundance of wildlife and spectacular scenery – which can often be seen on a boat trip from Portree.
Setting sail with Stardust Boat Trips is one of the top Portree things to do. Tour participants board an excursion vessel and set sail in search of sea eagles, dolphins, puffins, seals and whales.
Cruises depart multiple times per day throughout the summer months, but it is best to book in advance, as the Skye Rib Experience is very popular!
BONUS: See Isle of Skye on a Full Day Tour from Portree
Although there are many Portree things to see, there is much more to visit on the Isle of Skye. For the best introduction to the island, we recommend joining one of the guided, full-day tours from Portree.
After a lot of research, we opted to join the Skye Minibus Tour by Real Scottish Journeys – which we thoroughly enjoyed! The tour showcased the best of Skye – including the Fairy Pools, Fairy Glen and Neist Point Lighthouse – plus photo stops at Kilt Rock, Old Man of Storr and the Quiraing.
The tour was an ideal way to see a lot of Isle of Skye in a short amount of time. Our friendly and informative guide showed us the most beautiful landscapes, allowed time for us to explore a few trails and regaled us with stories and songs about Scotland.
Find out more about the tours on the official website.
THINGS TO DO NEAR PORTREE
We have shared our top tips for the best things to do in Portree, Skye – but there are many more things to do around Portree, too. We are highlighting a few of the top activities that fellow travelers might want to add to their Skye Itinerary.
Isle of Skye Hiking
The natural landscapes of Skye are extraordinary – and there is no better way to see them than by hiking. Dozens of trails are etched into the landscape, allowing trekkers to experience the most beautiful vistas.
We have already outlined the Scorrybreac Trail in Portree, but there are numerous nearby hiking opportunities, as well. The top hiking trails on Skye are Old Man of Storr, The Quiraing, The Fairy Pools, Neist Point Lighthouse and Rubha Hunish.
Castles on Skye
Attractions on Skye are not limited to landscapes! One of the top things to do from Portree is to set off to see the islands castles.
Dunvegan Castle, Caisteal Maol and Armadale Castle are the three best castles to visit, but we also enjoyed discovering the ruins of Duntulm Castle.
Isle of Raasay
Raasay Island sits directly east of Skye – and the small island is a great place to explore. A short and inexpensive ferry ride takes passengers from Sconser across Churchton Bay to Raasay.
Top activities on Raasay are trekking, cycling and whisky tasting at the Isle of Raasay Distillery. That said, what we loved best about Raasay were the views of Skye!
Mainland Sights: Village of Plockton and Eilean Donan Castle
Both Plockton Village and the Eilean Donan Castle are on the Scottish mainland, but there are two sights near Portree that are well worth visiting!
The quaint and charming Plockton Village is nestled on the shores of Loch Carron – and it is absolutely gorgeous! Visitors can take short hikes, set sail to search for seals and savor local seafood.
The nearby Eilean Donan Castle is one of the best castles in Scotland. Sitting on an islet at the confluence of three lochs, the historic stone castle is a simply stunning sight.
Hiking in the Highlands
Active travelers have plenty of opportunities to stretch their legs in the Scottish Highlands! Numerous trails crisscross the region – including multiday hikes on the Affric Kintail Way, West Highland Way and Great Glen Way.
Portree, Scotland Map
Use this link to Google Maps for an interactive version of our Portree Map of Attractions.
Travel Tips for Visiting Portree, Isle of Skye
Now that you know what to do in Portree, Scotland, we have a few more tips share that will help you better plan your trip.
Getting To Portree, Scotland
Portree, Isle of Skye can be reached by car or bus. The island is connected to the mainland by a bridge at Kyle of Lochalsh – and there are car ferries from Mallaig and Glenelg, as well. Direct buses travel to Portree from Glasgow and Inverness.
Getting Around Portree, Isle of Skye
Portree is a fairly small town and it is relatively easy to get around on foot. That said, transport is necessary to get around Isle of Skye to the destinations outside of the town center.
Visitors comfortable driving on the left side of the road may want to rent a car; use our tips for Getting the Best Car Rental Rates.
Travelers without a car can use public buses and private tours to get around the island. Although they can be limiting, we had no issues visiting most of what we wanted to see on Skye by using the buses.
Where To Stay in Portree, Scotland
As the central tourist hub on the Isle of Skye, there are numerous places to stay in Portree. We are sharing a few of the top picks – but before booking, read our tips on finding the Best Hotels at the Best Prices.
Cuillin Hills Hotel Portree, Isle of Skye
Cozy and classy, the Cuillin Hills Hotel is a top-rated property boasting phenomenal views. In addition to the gorgeous location, guests rave about the excellent staff and well-appointed rooms. Check rates and availability for your trip!
The Royal Hotel
One of the best hotels in Portree, Isle of Skye, The Royal Hotel is situated right in the center of town, offering views over the harbor and loch. Guests give it high marks for the comfortable rooms and friendly staff. Check rates for your stay!
Portree Garden Room
Visitors looking for houses to rent in Portree, Isle of Skye should check out the Portree Garden Room. It’s where we stayed during our trip – and we loved it! The studio apartment is modern and well-equipped for a short stay – and it’s just a quick walk into town. Check availability!
Portree Youth Hostel
The Portree Hostel offers a range of accommodations – from private rooms with bathroom to dorm bunks – at fair prices. Additionally, the hostel has a communal kitchen and community lounge. Book it here!
What To Pack for your Trip to Portree, Scotland
Our final tips are all about what to pack in your backpack or suitcase. You can find all of our packing advice on our dedicated Travel Packing Tips page. Need a packing checklist? Get your FREE Packing Checklist here!
A proper pair of sturdy shoes is necessary when traveling to Portree! Nearly all of the best vistas require at least a bit of trekking – and the ground is often muddy and trails uneven.
We share reviews and top tips for what shoes to pack in our Best Travel Shoes article.
Rainy Scottish Weather Gear
Not only does it take quality photos, but it is easy to use and well-priced – making it one of the best cameras for budget travelers.
Insect Repellent for Summer in Scotland
Mosquitos, midges and ticks are all prevalent in Portree – so it’s best to pack an insect repellent with picaridin to keep them at bay.
When spending long days outdoors exploring Portree and the surrounds, it is essential to carry a good day pack. We use small backpacks with multiple zippered pockets. We share our top tips in our article, The Best Day Bags for Traveling.
Scotland Trip Documents
Remember to pack any trip documents that you will need for your Portree vacation! In addition to your passport, be sure to pack tickets and any pre-booked travel (like hotel reservations and activities) – and, of course, don’t forget your Travel Planner!
It is best to keep all of your documents zipped up in a Travel Organizer.
UK Travel Insurance
We Want To Know: What is on your list of Things To Do in Portree, Scotland? Share with us your Best Isle of Skye Itinerary in the comments below!
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