It comes as no surprise to us that, in 2017, readers of the Rough Guide, the influential travel guide, voted Scotland as “the most beautiful country in the world”, beating Canada to the number one slot in the top 20 countries. Nevertheless, it’s a remarkable accolade and one which prompted the following comments from Visit Scotland:
’From our awe-inspiring landscapes to our remarkable historic attractions, to our bustling but beautiful urban centres, Scotland takes people's breaths away. There is something different about Scotland that visitors can’t experience anywhere else in the world.'
Just nine miles from Portmahomack lies Tain, Scotland's oldest Royal Burgh. The town has an ancient history and offers numerous visitor attractions, including a museum and collegiate church, world-famous distillery, a pottery and one of the UK’s most exciting and cutting-edge hot glass studios. There are also a whole host of outdoor activities for you to enjoy, including Tain's internationally renowned golf course.
Located on the Fearn peninsula, the seaside villages of Shandwick, Hilton and Balintore - with their sandy beach, pictish stones and Mermaid (yes Mermaid!) - are also within easy reach. Then, just down the road, you'll find Fearn Abbey, founded in 1238, and the historic church at Nigg from where a short walk will take you to the Nigg Bay RSPB nature reserve.
Scotland’s answer to Route 66, the North Coast 500 boasts epic scenery, stunning coastal views and beautiful beaches. Regularly making the list of the world’s best driving routes, Portmahomack lies just nine miles off the main A9 Inverness - Wick section which forms a major part of this now-famous road trip.
Why not stop off in Portmahomack as part of your journey. Or, if you have more time, use it as a base. The main points along the route are within a day’s reach of Portmahomack. In fact, the village is a great base for touring the northern and western Highlands whose ruined churches, castles, forests, beautiful beaches, spectacular cliffs, peaceful lochs and wonderful viewpoints make for rewarding days out.