Scotland

© Ben Loyal

Introduction

The Scottish Highlands includes not only the northernmost part of Scotland but also include the Western Isles, Orkney and Shetland. With jaw-dropping views and sensational sea-scapes this is one of the most beautiful areas in Europe.

A true gem within this amazing area is the Moray Firth which happens to be one of the best places in the whole of Europe to see dolphins and whales. Not only is the Moray Firth home to the very special and unique WDC (Whale and Dolphin Conservation) Scottish Dolphin Centre but it is also home to a resident population of bottlenose dolphins – around 130 in fact – as well as many other species both in sea and on land.

Majestic mountains and mysterious lochs make for an amazing natural playground and is the perfect setting for a relaxing holiday as well as being well-suited to the thrill-seekers among us with a wide choice of exciting activities. In addition to all this you have an abundance of historic distilleries to explore and discover the secrets of the whisky-making process!

The Basics

Capital: Inverness
Area: 30,659 km²
Population: 234,110
Currency: GBP Sterling
Language: English
Time Zone: GMT

Getting there

There are plenty of flight options to the Scottish Highlands with Inverness being the best located airport. If you were travelling from further afield you could also consider flying into other Scottish airports such as Glasgow, Aberdeen or Edinburgh and continuing from there.

Climate

The Highlands enjoy four seasons but it is not uncommon to experience all four within one day! In winter, the dark night skies mean that the Highlands can be some of the best places in the world to see the constellations in their designated ‘Dark Sky’ areas and Scotland's high latitude means that in summer there are very long daylight hours and often an extended twilight. In the summer, which is the best time to experience our ‘Whales & Whisky’ tour, the light in the late evening is simply magical.

Geography

Scotland contains the most mountainous terrain in Great Britain. Much of the highest uplands lie to the Northwest Highlands and Grampian ranges. The shire of Inverness, where our ‘Whales and Whisky’ package is centred, is Scotland’s largest county and is the second largest in the UK. It covers a large mainland area and various island areas off the West coast too.

The Moray Firth is home to some amazing and beautiful areas of natural beauty which have also become sanctuarys to many species and on the Southern Shore the Culbin Forest stands on one of the largest sand dune systems in Britain and beyond the trees lies the impressive 7km Culbin Bar.

Plants and Animals

The coastline of the Moray Firth is a vast inlet from the North Sea and provides a year-round home to a resident population of bottlenose dolphins and an array of other species including minke whales and sometimes Orcas too! Harbour porpoises, white-beaked dolphins and pilot whales are also seen.

Otters can be found throughout the area and Ospreys can often be seen hunting for fish and red kites have been successfully reintroduced to the area. Of particular interest are the pine martins who, once driven near to extinction, are now widespread once more.

Select your trip to The Highlands:

Interested in Scotland?

We can create a tailor-made trip to this amazing destination giving you a personalised itinerary that suits your individual needs and requirements. If you are interested in travelling to Scotland and would like to speak to one of our personal travel experts simply call +44 (0) 800 566 8901 or leave us a message through our Contact Us page. We are confident we can create the dream whale watching holiday just for you!

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