NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Lonely Planet: Shetland named in list of top European destinations

sea thrift in flower Image copyright Getty Images

Shetland has been named as one of the top 10 destinations in Europe.

It is the only UK place to feature - at number six - in the new Lonely Planet list for international travellers this summer, which is headed by the High Tatra mountains in Slovakia.

The guide praises Shetland's wildlife-spotting opportunities and its natural beauty.

It also highlights the annual Up Helly Aa fire festival as one of the reasons to visit Shetland.

Fisherman's shed Image copyright Getty Images
Coach on a cosatal road Image copyright Getty Images
Traditional house Image copyright Getty Images

Lonely Planet's vice president of experience Tom Hall said: "Nature rules this stirring setting, which features towering cliffs, rolling hills, sky-blue lochs and spectacular birdlife.

"Travellers will be captivated by the island's rugged beauty and welcoming locals."

Atlantic puffin Image copyright Getty Images
Arctic tern Image copyright Getty Images
Black guillemots Image copyright Getty Images

It said visitors to Shetland would be rewarded with "awesome coastal trails, wicked wildlife watching, and fabled fish and chip shops".

The entry adds: "Spot otters and orcas from craggy headlands, then ease into the evening at one of Lerwick's local pubs. That is until the Viking-inspired Up Helly Aa festival bursts into fiery life each January."

Eshaness peninsula Image copyright Getty Images
Jarlshof Image copyright Getty Images

Steven Coutts, leader of Shetland Islands Council, said: "Shetland has long been known as a welcoming destination for travellers, and it's great to have made Lonely Planet - and Europe's - top 10 this year.

"Those of us who live here know how fantastic the islands are, with stunning scenery and incredible wildlife on our doorstep."

Up Hely Aa Image copyright Getty Images
Up Helly Aa Image copyright Getty Images
Up Helly Aa Image copyright PA
Image caption Preparations for the 2019 event have been under way since October last year

VisitScotland chief executive Malcolm Roughead added: "Shetland's appearance as the only UK destination in Lonely Planet's prestigious Best in Europe 2019 is testament to the islands' strong pull for visitors.

"It boasts breathtaking scenery, unparalleled opportunities to see amazing wildlife and birds, a stunning coastline, delicious local food and drink, unique culture and heritage and an incredible historical and archaeological story to tell."

Shetland pony Image copyright Getty Images
Presentational grey line

Top 10 summer destinations in Europe

  1. High Tatras, Slovakia
  2. Madrid, Spain
  3. The Arctic Coast Way, Iceland
  4. Hercegovina, Bosnia and Hercegovina
  5. Bari, Italy
  6. Shetland, Scotland
  7. Lyon, France
  8. Liechtenstein
  9. Vevey, Switzerland
  10. Istria, Croatia

Lonely Planet: Best in Europe

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites