Scottish Highlands: magic & mystery on your doorstep
With its movie-set wildernesses, mist-cloaked mountains, crumbling castles and booming foodie scene, the Scottish Highlands have long been a draw for travellers from all over the world. And now, with the rising cost of holidays abroad, Scotland’s popularity with UK travellers could be set to soar like never before.
Why go in 2017
The opening of the North Coast 500 (or NC500) – a 500-mile round road-trip from Inverness – takes in all the attractions mentioned above, and more. And there can be few greater introductions to Scotland than the route’s first 100 miles, burning rubber around Wester Ross’s hairpin mountain bends (pictured below), the Isle of Skye’s Cuillin peaks emerging slowly from the sea to the west, waves crashing along the bone-white shoreline of the northwest coast. The term "breathtaking" is overused, but entirely justified for scenery like this.
Heading to the Highlands in summer? Don’t forget your midge repellent. Seriously, these things are like nothing you've ever known. Local legend has it that "Braveheart" star Mel Gibson swore by the defensive properties of Avon moisturising products during filming of the 1995 blockbuster.
When to go
Even during peak tourist season in summer, it’s pretty easy to find solitude in the Highlands, with only the odd red deer or Highland cow for company.
See all of Travelzoo's 2017 Wow Destinations