Rona lies in the Sound of Raasay between the Island of Skye and Scotlandís West Coast. For holiday cottage visitors, the island is ultimately reached by boat from Portree on Skye where we have chartered a local boat for the weekly Rona holiday cottage ferry on Saturday. There is a £50 per adult charge which contributes towards this return trip.
getting to Portree
There are many ways to get to Portree: by public transport, car, or a combination of both! Whichever you decide, it's a spectacular journey where you'll encounter some of the best scenery that Scotland has to offer, making the journey north part of your holiday adventure! Most visitors travel up to Portree on Friday, staying in local B&Bs overnight, ready for the trip over to Rona on Saturday morning.
If you choose to drive, Portree is a scenic 5 hour drive from Glasgow or Edinburgh or an equally beautiful journey of around 3 hours from Inverness. The best way to drive up here is to take your time to appreciate the sights en route and indeed our visitors often often travel to Rona as part of a longer break, taking the opportunity of exploring the highlands and islands whilst travelling to the north. The Skye bridge is now toll free and your journey north from there passes through the spectacular mountain scenery of the Cuillin hills.
Public transport is also well provided for with frequent rail services to Glasgow, Edinburgh, Inverness, or more locally Kyle of Lochalsh, and many of our visitors have successfully combined rail journeys with onward car hire or coach (Scottish Citylink) to Portree. The Caledonian sleeper is well worth exploring which can also take you to Inverness, Glasgow or Fort William, again utilising coach for onward travel to Portree. (Flights - if your carbon conscience allows - depart from England to the Scottish airports of Glasgow, Edinburgh or Inverness and can be combined with onward rail coach or car hire).
If you're utilising public transport, we would recommend that you do your provision shopping when you arrive in Portree, using a local taxi to take you to the large Co-Op store, or in the village centre which has independent butchers, delicatessen and a small supermarket.
Whichever way you arrive in Portree, once you've shopped for your week's supplies, on Saturday morning make your way to the pier to load your luggage and supplies for the sailing . When you have unloaded your car, if you have brought one, we recommend parking at the Bay View long stay car park, 5 minutes walk from the pier.
the boat trip to Rona
Because of the unpredictable nature of our weather we would ask you to contact us 3 days prior to the start of your holiday. This is to allow a more accurate check on weather conditions and to confirm timings for the boat. As a general guide, the boat, MV Spindrift will leave (weather permitting) from Portree at 8.30am on the Saturday and your return trip from Rona will leave at 10.00am the following Saturday, but it is important that you call to confirm. The boat trip takes 1 hour.
Kevin Simmister, who is chartered by the Rona Estate, operates the MV Spindrift. The voyage here is part of the fun and your holiday starts on the hourís north northeast passage from Portree on the Isle of Skye. The skipper will point out views and wildlife on the voyage to Ronaís Big Harbour. You are asked to be suitably dressed for the trip, with plenty of layers and a good waterproof jacket as well as strong footwear. Weather conditions at sea can be the same summer or winter. All decisions relating to the boat and the suitability of the weather for making the trip to Rona are made at the Skipperís sole discretion. In the event that the crossing cannot be made, we'll refund a pro-rata nightly rate towards Bed & Breakfast accommodation in Portree until safe passage can be made.
Delays to and from Rona are rare but all potential visitors should be aware that this is a possibility - especially outside the high summer season. Flexibility is the name of the game, so it's wise not to organise return flights or important appointments for a few days after your scheduled return. Of course, on the rare occasions that there's a delay leaving the island, we won't charge you any extra for the additional accomodation!