SCOTLAND’S answer to Route 66 has been named one of top six most scenic coastal routes in the world.
The North Coast 500 route, known as the NC500, was officially launched two months ago but has already garnered acclaim from both travel journalists and tourists.
The initiative was the brainchild of the North Highland Initiative (NHI), which was set up by Prince Charles to showcase the region, and has proven to a hit with motorists, motorbikers, cyclists and walkers.
The 500-mile circuit - which skirts around the north coast of Scotland - starts and ends in Inverness and takes in historic landmarks such as Dunrobin Castle and the Ardvreck castle ruins, the unspoilt beaches at Achmelvich and Dornoch and mountain wildernesses around Ben Hope and Suilven.
Now Travel Magazine named the NC500 as one of the best drives in the world alongside South Africa’s Cape Overberg, the Amalfi Coast in Italy, the Atlantic Road in Norway. the Pacific Coast Highway in America and the Coral Coast in Australia.
VisitScotland chairman Mike Cantlay said: “From our enchanting wildlife and countless historic attractions to magnificent mountains, dramatic lochs and sandy beaches, the Highlands is a true touring paradise.”
“There really is nothing quite like the open road. People travel from all over the world for Route 66, and with our scenery, there’s no reason NC500 can’t prove to be just as popular.”