Portree is the largest town on the Isle of Skye, and has long been the Island Capital. The town centre is busy, with a range of shops and businesses around the central square to cater for the islanders and the thousands of visitors that come every year. It also has a harbour, fringed by cliffs, with a pier designed by Thomas Telford. Attractions in the town include the Àros centre which celebrate the island's Gaelic heritage. There is also a large industrial and business area to the north of the town, with a supermarket and plans to one day build a retail park. The town also serves as a centre for tourists exploring the island.
The main road through the town is the A87, although before the opening of the Skye Bridge this was the A850. To the south east it heads for the bridge, while to the north west it leads to the ferry port of Uig. The A855 meets the A87 in the centre of town, and heads north taking the scenic route to Uig around the coast of the Trotternish Peninsula. The final classified road in the town is the B885, which heads west across the hills to the A863 Dunvegan - Sligachan Road. A couple of miles north of Portree on the A87, Borve Junction sees the surviving section of the A850 fork off to Dunvegan, while the A87 takes over the former A856 to Uig. To the south, the B883 follows the coast as the A87 heads inland, serving the Community of the Braes.
The main junction in the centre of Portree is a simple T junction, where the A87 TOTSOs with the A855. Having approached from the south, the prioritised route is into the town centre, with traffic passing through to Uig having to turn off. A left turn slip is provided for the A87, but there is not enough room for a right turning lane. The housing estates to the north of the town centre mean that there is now an alternative route from the northbound A87 into the town, but it is far from direct. A new distributor road is also slowly making its way towards the A855 on the edge of the town, but is not yet complete. This means that for now, most traffic both long distance and local has to negotiate this single junction.