Shetland has been named as one of the best tourist destinations in Europe by the travel guide publisher Lonely Planet.
In a top 10 ‘Best in Europe’ list published today Shetland was named as the sixth best tourist destination across the continent and was the only UK destination to be included.
The “awesome coastal trails, wicked wildlife watching and fabled fish and chip shops” are all given as reason’s for Shetland’s inclusion and they add that tourists can “spot otters and orcas from craggy headlands, then ease into the evening at one of Lerwick’s local pubs”.
Lonely Planet say that their Best in Europe list is a “highly-anticipated annual collection” which is brought together by their travel experts who across 45 years “have trodden every cobbled street and admired every view on the continent, searching for those great new experiences for visitors”.
Tourism secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Shetland’s place in the list of top European destinations is richly deserved. Its many islands have so much to offer visitors of all ages, from amazing wildlife and scenery, a rich culture and history, to the warmth and hospitality of the local people.
“Anyone who is looking for a break somewhere a little different this summer should consider Shetland.”
Leader of the SIC, Steven Coutts, 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 ten this year.
“Those of us who live here know how fantastic the islands are, with stunning scenery and incredible wildlife on our doorstep. We’re an outward looking community and there’s a growing number of local businesses and organisations showcasing the best of our islands to visitors.
“We’ve a vibrant economy, tremendous natural resources and a beautiful environment, all of which makes Shetland an excellent place to live, work, study and visit.”