Scotland’s Highlands and Islands have earned their place as one of the top must-see destinations in the world in 2019. Travel authority, Lonely Planet, has today (23 October) revealed that the regions have been listed amongst its top 10 ‘Best in Travel’ destinations for 2019 – the only Scottish destinations to be included.
Described in the new guide as “one of the wildest, least inhabited and most scenic parts of Europe,” Scotland’s Highlands and Islands have, for decades, attracted visitors from around the world, who are drawn to their unparalleled scenery, unique culture and wildlife; a wide variety of outdoor pursuits and extreme sports, including surfing, diving and skiing; a range of attractions, welcoming locals and delicious local food and drink.
The guide also praises the regions’ “innovative and fast-developing accommodation sector, from purpose-built campervan parking spots to designer cottages modelled on ancient buildings.”
The Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2019 is a highly-anticipated annual collection of the best travel destinations, trends, journeys and experiences to have in the year ahead and which reveals the top 10 regions, countries, cities and best value places to visit in 2019.
The four pages in the guide dedicated to Scotland’s Highlands and Islands, gives special mention to the “hugely successful” North Coast 500 driving route, as well as the North East 250 and the Snow Roads.
Amongst the ‘unmissable experiences’ included in the guide are climbing a mountain, with the iconic peak of Suilven referenced; savouring seafood at one of the Highlands and islands many fine restaurants and joining a nature watching trip to discover the wealth of wildlife that abounds.
The Highland Council’s Leader, Margaret Davidson, said: “The Scottish Highlands and Islands are a wonderful part of the world. I have always considered it one of the best places to visit not just for our fabulous scenery but also for the range of activities available, our distinct culture and of course the warm welcome for which the Highlands are famous.
“Being chosen as one of Lonely Planet’s top regions in their forthcoming prestigious global campaign ‘Best in Travel 2019’ is a splendid accolade. The fact that this endorsement comes from such a globally-recognised and trusted travel publisher as Lonely Planet will undoubtedly boost the area’s profile on a global stage and encourage more visitors to come and experience a true Highland welcome.”
A Comhairle nan Eilean Siar spokesperson, said: “Comhairle nan Eilean Siar welcomes this recognition of the Outer Hebrides and the Highlands of Scotland in the top ten global destinations.
“It is particularly satisfying and well-deserved to see the Hebridean Way - a Comhairle-led EU funded project - featuring so highly. The Outer Hebrides is a must-visit destination and the local industry works hard to ensure an excellent visitor experience - all sectors should rightly be proud to have received this accolade.”