MORAY’S coastline is among the top 20 most beautiful coastal areas in the world, according to the international National Geographic magazine.
A world-wide ‘destinations rating’ survey, voted for by experts and readers, has placed the Moray coastline among 99 other iconic coasts, but rated it better than renowned areas such as the Skeleton Coast in Namibia and New Zealand’s Great Barrier Island.
The coastline’s outstanding cliff scenery and strong community feeling received plaudits from many contributors.
The survey is based on opinions from a panel of 340 experts in sustainable tourism, alongside the views of readers on the locations of the most scenic coastal regions on the planet.
Describing the area as a popular vacation spot for more than a century, the magazine describes the coast as offering “outstanding cliff scenery” whilst maintaining “a strong community feeling”. Seasonal and year-round residents appear to live in relative harmony it states, and tourism keeps “pretty coastal villages” economically afloat as Scotland’s fishing industry declines.
Some of the additional anonymous comments from the panelists included the following:
“A wonderful region of Scotland”, “Beaches are fantastic, and the area welcomes visitors as one of their own”, “Largely rural. People work together for the greater good”, “Fishermen tolerate canoeists; farmers allow walkers to pass over their land on footpaths”.
The magazine goes on to describe Moray as “an undiscovered gem with pretty coastal villages, excellent beaches, and outstanding cliff scenery”.
It continues: “A lot of self-catering accommodation and second homes. The area is attractive to walkers, cyclists, wildlife watchers, and surfers. It also offers whale and dolphin watching.”
Leader of Moray Council, Cllr Allan Wright, welcomed the report.
He said: “The National Geographic is universally respected, and to have such an accolade from them is bound to boost tourism in the area.
“The council and its partners recognises that tourism is a mainstay of the local economy and its development is a key driver of the recently published Moray Economic Strategy.”
The full report can be seen on the National Geographic Travel website here: http://travel.nationalgeographic.com/travel/coastal-destinations-rated/top/scotland/