Tuesday 22 October 2019

Lonely Planet reveals Top 10 places to visit in Europe this summer

The archipelago is ahead of Lyon in France and Vevey in Switzerland in the Lonely Planet list.

Shetland is home to the annual Up Helly Aa festival (Andrew Milligan/PA)
Shetland is home to the annual Up Helly Aa festival (Andrew Milligan/PA)

Lucinda Cameron

Travel bible Lonely Planet has named the 10 European destinations it says we should all strive to visit this summer.

Slovakia’s High Tatras tops the list, followed by Madrid in Spain, the Arctic Coast Way in Iceland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Bari in Italy.

"There's something mythical about the landscape of Slovakia's High Tatras," it gushes. "You may never want to come back down to earth."

Shetland, the Scottish archipelago, places sixth in Lonely Planet’s Best In Europe 2019 list, with high praise for its “awesome coastal trails, wicked wildlife watching, and fabled fish and chip shops”.

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Shetland boasts craggy coastal scenery (Danny Lawson/PA)

Visitors should “spot otters and orcas from craggy headlands, then ease into the evening at one of Lerwick’s local pubs” or experience the Viking-inspired Up Helly Aa festival (above) which “bursts into fiery life each January”, it adds.

Lonely Planet's Best in Europe, 2019

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

Shetland, which consists of more than 100 islands, only 15 of which are inhabited, is also a Unesco Global Geopark and is said to be more geologically diverse than any similar sized area in Europe.

It is the only destination from the UK or Ireland to feature.

Lyon in France is in seventh place on the list, followed by Liechtenstein, Vevey in Switzerland, and Istria in Croatia.

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The town of Scalloway has a busy harbour (Andrew Milligan/PA)

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.

“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.”

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