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.
Councillor Allan Wright, the leader of Moray Council,said: "The National Geographic is universally respected and to have such an accolade from them is bound to boost tourism in the area."
The full report can be seen on the National Geographic Travel website.
Moray MSP Richard Lochhead, who is cabinet secretary for rural affairs and the environment, added: "I was delighted to learn that the magnificent Moray coastline has been rated in the top 20 by National Geographic."
Read more on this story and another iconic image of Moray's coastline in 'The Northern Scot' print version.