Portree, Scotland, is the colourful capital of the Isle of Skye and acts as the welcoming gateway to the rest of the Isle of Skye for most visitors.
There are so many things to do in Portree, from the gorgeous views of Portree’s natural landscapes, fun-filled activities within the city centre, and adventurous exploration beyond the city and its harbour.
As it’s often called, the “King’s Port” is also home to excellent accommodation ranging from the Royal Hotel, Cuillin Hills Hotel, the Bosville Hotel, Macnab’s Inn, and many more upmarket hotels and guest houses.
It may be a little daunting deciding what to fit into a holiday in this bustling town, which is why we’ve arranged our picks for the best things to do while you’re booking your next visit to the harbour town of Portree!
In This Post
In the heart of Portree sits the tranquil Somerled Square, which leads travellers to many of the other major destinations within Portree and boasts hotspots like the Somerled Square War Memorial.
Somerled Square is the perfect place to gather your thoughts in the morning and plan your travel plans for the day. You can enjoy a morning brew and delicious food as you watch the town slowly awaken. Just make sure to top up at one of the petrol filling stations before you set out!
This quaint square has the town’s tourist information centre if you need more ideas for what to do in and around Portree. It’s also quite close to many of the best shops, a cinema, and accommodation in the town, so there’s no reason not to take a look.
A multiple night stay in Portree is recommended, with accommodation ranging from upmarket hotels like the Royal Hotel to guest houses like Macnab’s Inn or Skye Inn. A quick browse of their website will have you booking a stay at a luxury accommodation of your choice in no time.
Stop by Somerled Square and experience the beating heart of this town as you experience the city!
Colour House Viewpoint
If you want the best place to look at the beautiful, colourful houses that adorn the harbour, there is no better location than the Colour House Viewpoint. Better yet, it’s right next to the equally beautiful Royal Hotel.
This unofficial viewpoint gives you the best angle to enjoy the tantalising views of these colourful attractions. The best views are at sunset when the water reflects the light and illuminates the houses in an almost holy light.
This easily accessible viewpoint offers spectacular views and is one of the best ways to enjoy the city of Portree.
Sitting atop a small hill, the Apothecary Tower is the perfect place to have a picnic while you enjoy the flourishing scenery around you.
The tower offers a rugged architectural design that instils the feeling that this tower once belonged to an ancient herbalist who has long since abandoned their home.
Whether you’re interested in getting a deeper look into the tower’s history, a better look at the stunning views, or you just want a grand place to enjoy some time with your loved ones, the Apothecary Tower is the perfect place to do so.
The View Restaurant
Situated in the Cuillin Hills Hotel, this award-winning restaurant and accommodation offer the most high-quality fine dining experiences while visiting Portree, Scotland.
The restaurant offers an excellent food selection, from freshly caught smoked salmon, hearty Angus beef, and delectable sticky toffee pudding. Enjoy an afternoon in the private shared lounge of the hotel as your friends or family relive the exciting travels of the day.
Make a booking on their website to enjoy some of the finest food, drink, and ambience offered by any of the restaurants on the Isle of Skye.
Staying in one of the Cuillin Hills Hotel’s luxury rooms for a night is a must for anyone visiting Portree. The rooms are comfortable, tastefully decorated, and offer sublime views of the surrounding area.
Pony Rides at the Trekking Centre
If you want a fantastic experience exploring the highlands around Portree, book one of the pony trekking rides at the Trekking Centre!
This family-run business has been operating since 2008 and offers pony therapy that aims to promote the mental well-being of everyone there, including the horses.
Don’t deny yourself some time with these proud creatures while you’re in Portree and experience the wondrous country landscape of Scotland.
Check out their website to make a booking for the one-of-a-kind experience known as pony trekking.
In the heart of Portree is Arainn Fhinn, which is home to many community activities and exercises for locals and visitors alike.
You can train in the swimming pool, enjoy some language tuition lessons, and enjoy other thrilling activities near Portree Bay.
Arainn Fhinn is the ideal place to visit if your children want to enjoy some supervised activities as you exercise and make the most of the centre’s world-class facilities.
Visitors are treated to excellent customer service that elevates an already impeccable experience. If you’re craving a bit of indoor activity or just some fun in the swimming pool, look no further than Arainn Fhinn in Portree.
Portree Boat Trips
If you’re brave enough to venture out from where Portree Harbour continues into the Atlantic, many trips will take you on fishing boats or pleasure crafts to show off the spectacular wildlife of the Island of Skye and the Outer Hebrides.
See amazing creatures like white-tailed eagles, seals, whales, and dolphins as you skim through the waves around the island.
The hidden gems around Portree Harbour and the Isle of Skye can only be unlocked by boat, so make a booking for a heart-pounding trip aboard the waves around the harbour today!
In the main town of Portree, one of the main attractions is the cultural hub of Aros Centre, home to live music, plays, and sketches. The Centre is the host location for many of the towns’ cultural events and exhibits, even drawing artists from Mainland Scotland to perform!
If you want a reason to leave your accommodation, one of the many shows on offer at the Aros Centre will get you excited to head out.
Booking a ticket online is easy, with their website offering you an ample selection of entertainment. There’s also free private parking, what more could you want?!
Experience authentic Scottish Gaelic culture and get a deeper look into the cultural heart of Scotland at the Aros Centre.
An T-Eilean Photographic Gallery
The An T-Eilean Photographic Gallery offers visitors the chance to search through a collection of majestic photographic landscapes as famed photographer Ronald McDonald has captured them.
These beautiful landscape photographs show off the sights of the Isle of Skye at their best, from transcendent rolling vistas, serene lochs, and beautiful towering mountains. Most people are so enamoured by the photos that they take a portrait home as a keepsake!
See the island from the perspective of one of Skye’s most well-known photographers at the An T-Eilean Photographic Gallery.
A blend of Celtic and Indonesian culture, Skye Batiks will end your search for Batik clothing, outrageous accessories, and smart smocks when you visit their store in the main town of Portree.
Skye Batiks has been taking the world over with a storm of colour since 1987 and now offers you one of the best opportunities for a unique lifelong souvenir or fashion statement to take home with you.
Everything in Skye Batiks is unique and hand-made, so it’s worth claiming and booking your favourite garment from their website catalogue before you visit before it gets taken by someone else!
Portree Treasure Hunt Trail
The Portree Treasure Hunt Trail is a fun way to become acquainted with the city when you first leave your accommodation after a lengthy flight from Mainland Scotland.
The trail involves a chaotic search of clues and mysteries on this 1.25-mile exploration of Portree and its harbour. If you’re a sleuth, you may even find the treasure at the end!
It’s worth setting aside an hour and a half of your time when you arrive in Portree just to see the city in one of the most unique ways imaginable. It is best done with a partner or family.
Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre
The Isle of Skye has a deep and detailed history, and the folks at the Skye and Lochalsh Archive Centre are the custodians of keeping it alive.
A trip to the Archive Centre allows you to delve into the local archives, historic photographs, and several rotating exhibits that highlight particular impactful moments ofr the region, like the Highland Potato Famine, a period when potato crops were blighted.
If historical events like the Highland Potato Famine draw you in to learn more, you will not regret a trip into the annals of history while at the Skye and Lochalsh Archive.
Experience Portree Walking Tours
There is no better way to see the sights of Portree than to take one of the excellent hiking trails offered by Experience Portree.
These tours take you on a walking tour of the surrounding hills around Portree and offer splendid views from the high ground, all with an experienced and personable tour operator guiding your way.
If you’re looking for a way to experience Portree and its harbour with a local’s insight, your search is over! Best believe you’ll be booking a tour with Experience Portree for an unforgettable local experience while you’re there.
Taking you along the shores of Portree, the Scorrybreach Trail is a great morning trail to get the blood pumping for a great adventure in the Isle of Skye.
The trail loops around, so you’ll be able to return to the car park you started from after completing the short 45-minute trail. The trail boasts expansive views of the Raasay Sound and Islands.
It’s quite close to much of the accommodation in Portree, so ensure you spend some time exploring the shores of the island.
A.C.E Target Sports Skye
Just north west of Portree on the Isle of Skye is quite possibly the most exhilarating location you’ll experience for the duration of your visit.
A.C.E Target Sports Skye lets you live out your highland hunter fantasies by teaching you and possibly a group of friends the basics of axe-throwing, air rifle shooting, and target archery.
You won’t regret booking out the entire venue for hours of daring fun at A.C.E Target Sports Skye! Visitors to Target Sports Skye will not be disappointed when they enjoy an afternoon of letting out their wild side.
Also north west of Portree is the historic St. Columba’s Isle, home to the burial grounds of the Cathedral Church of the Bishop of the Isles, who reigned from 1079 to 1498! This unique island is surrounded by the waters from the sea loch Snizort, another excellent destination with a great view.
This ancient historic site also contains the final resting place of at least 28 of the isle’s chieftains, something most people travelling in the area miss the chance to explore due to how easy it is to drive past.
St. Columba’s Isle is a monument to the deep history of Skye and its Gaelic traditions, so make sure to keep your eye out for this magnificent site on your way through the isle.
Dominating the Portree skyline, the towering Ben Tianavaig serves as one of the most prominent views from Portree harbour.
A hike up to the summit of Ben Tianavaig will take about 2 hours, but it’s best to set aside an entire morning to properly appreciate the trail and the incredible vantage that its high ground offers as you climb.
Ben Tianavaig also has a luxury campsite nearby with an incredible selection of accommodation that boasts stunning views of this landmark for those who want to stay a bit longer.
To appreciate the magnificent views of Scotland, Portree, and its harbour, search no further than this pleasant hike atop one of Skye’s most scenic mountains.
There is no better place to witness the most spectacular panorama of Portree and its harbour than the Lump, which divides the largest town of Skye in two with its rounded shape.
The Lump offers incredible views and beautiful walking trails that spiral around the woodlands of the Lump. These trails are well worth an afternoon of adventuring after an excellent breakfast at your accommodation or one of the restaurants in Portree.
Reaching the Lump’s summit also offers a variety of interesting sights like the Apothecary Tower and the Lump Amphitheatre.
The Lump is too close to Portree to miss out on, so be sure to keep your eye out for its humble shape on the horizon.
Bride’s Veil Falls
One of the most popular things to do in and around Portree is the Bride Veil Falls, a beautiful cascading waterfall near the famed Old Man of Storr.
The falls are an excellent location, perfect for pictures, and you can even stand atop the falls as the water flows down the rocks, reminiscent of a bridal veil!
Whether you’re interested in seeing the falls while you visit the Old Man of Storr or you want to be wholly enamoured by one of Skye’s most gorgeous features, the Bride’s Veil Falls is a destination you should not miss out on while in Portree.
Sligachan Old Bridge
As you head south of the town of Portree, you should make sure to stop by one of the most well-known attractions on the Isle of Skye, Sligachan Old Bridge! This beautiful bridge rivals the notoriety of Kilt Rock and Trotternish Ridge, and it’s easy to see why.
This magical bridge has been the star of millions of postcards, which makes taking pictures of Sligachan Old Bridge an absolute necessity while you’re there.
Immerse yourself in the tales of magic and wonder about this iconic bridge as it links the faerie world and ours with each step you take.
The truly wonderful and magical awaits as you cross this bridge while travelling around Portree.
One of the top attractions in the United Kingdom, the mighty Lealt Falls are a must-see as you travel through Portree into the Isle of Skye.
Close to other must-see places like Kilt Rock, Talisker Distillery, and the Mealt Waterfall, the Lealt Falls complete the highlight reel of your journey.
With an easy path to follow that takes you right up to the falls, you can get up close to the powerful waters and views that the Lealt Falls offer.
Those who want to savour the waterfall for longer than just an afternoon can enjoy it as they relax at the campsite nearby.
Loch Leathan Dam
The Loch Leathan Dam is situated just north of the Portree harbour and is one of the most beautiful places to view the sea of the Outer Hebrides in all its glory.
You can travel right up to the dam, although a local guide is highly recommended to take you on the journey from Portree.
Besides providing incredible views of the town of Portree and islands north of the dam like Raasay, you will appreciate the immense architectural and engineering prowess used to construct the Leathan Dam.
This hidden beach is an incredibly unique destination with its black sands and stunning views of Portree and its harbour.
This destination is a perfect spot to rest and relax on a sunny day with your family as the sound of Portree and its harbour continues to dance in the air around you.
Do not miss out on one of the best beach locations overlooking the “King’s Port” near the main town while you’re travelling through Portree.
Sound of Raasay
One of the best places to experience the nature of Portree is the Sound of Raasay, a beautiful sound that separates the islands of Skye and Raasay.
You must spend a whole afternoon enjoying the sights and trails of the Sound, with a particular highlight being the abundance of sea eagles, pleasure craft, and fishing boats dotting the Sound. You can even try booking a tour with a local boat from Portree and venture out into the Sound’s harbour.
Don’t miss out on one of Portree’s most serene and beautiful landscapes while visiting the coastal town and its harbour.
Other Things To Do in Scottish Isles
- Things to do in Arran
- Things to do in Brodick
- Things to do in Harris
- Things to do in Islay
- Things to do in Isle of Lewis
- Things to do in Isle of Mull
- Things to do in Isle of Skye
- Things to do in Kirkwall
- Things to do in North & South Uist
- Things to do in Orkney
- Things to do in Shetland
- Things to do in Stornoway