Portree : Scotland


What It Is Like to Retire in Portree

Portree is the major town on the sparsely populated Isle of Skye, an island off northwest Scotland. As the regional center and a very popular tourist stop this village of 3,000 would make a great place for an outdoor loving retiree to settle down.  There is a very pretty downtown, a fishing port harbor worthy of a postcard, and beautiful mountains surrounding it.  An ample choice of good restaurants and shops provide places to go.  Many tourists make Portree their headquarters while exploring the Isle of Skye. The permanent population is 3,000 but can swell to a much bigger number during the summer tourist season.


Where to Retire in Portree and Home Prices

People live in homes or some apartments in the village or just outside it.  Homes are in a range  depending on size, condition, and location. In 2015 we saw homes for sale from £165,000 to £415,000 (Pounds). Some retirees have moved here to operate B & Bs, which are usually seasonal.


What Is Special about Portree

The setting on the waters off northern Scotland is a definite attraction. The Isle of Skye is one of the most beautiful places on earth, a setting chosen by many movie directors for their films. The towering Cuillin ridges (Red and very steep Black) surrounding it offer endless hiking and biking opportunities. Th nearby Culnacnoc waterfall going into the sea, the Quiraing Hills, and the Fairy Pools are very special.  As a regional center the town is quite vital.


What Is Not Special about Portree

Downsides are the many tourists in summer that can clog the town.  There is quite a bit of rain and it can be quite windy. In winter the days are short and many places close.


Who Will Like Retirement in Portree

People who like nature, the outdoors, and hiking will love Portree.  If you a citizen of the UK or the EU you can probably move here with no restrictions.  However for Americans and most other nationalities you would not likely be able to live here more than seasonally (3 to 6 months at a time). For more consult UK Visas and Immigration.


Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism and education are the principal industries in Portree, along with fishing and logging.

Climate and Physical Environment

The town in the northeast portion of the Isle of Skye, not too far from the Skye Bridge. Portree’s climate is surprisingly temperate  and fairly uniform through the year thanks to the nearby Gulf Stream hitting the Irish Sea. It is often windy, rainy, or cloudy - but the winters are not much colder than the spring or fall. Snow is rare in town. The average January temp is 7 (C) and the average July temp is 16 (C)


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

Nature is the primary attraction in Portree and Skye. There are plenty of very good restaurants in town - The Cafe is often filled with students from the regional high school enjoying excellent ice cream. The Granary and the Rosedale hotel offers food, wine, and beer of excellent quality. The Àros centre celebrate the island's Gaelic heritage.



Crime is quite rare in Portree.

Medical Facilities

The Portree Community Hospital has 18 beds, and there is ambulance service.  Serious cases would require a long drive to the mainland: the nearest general hospital (Raigmore) is 120 miles away. Final approval has been given for a new hospital to be built on Skye at Broadford, which means the Portree Hospital will be closing.



Portree is connected to the mainland by the very beautiful Skye Bridge. There is ferry service to nearby islands.  Although you can take a bus to connect with the Scottish railroad, a car is essential for most people. Motorists are quite respectful of the many cyclists on the road here.


Valuable Links

Wikipedia on Portree


What people are saying about Portree

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