THE Highlands has been named among the top travel destinations in the world.

The area, known for its breathtaking mountains and stunning lochs, was announced as part of National Geographic's "best of the world" series.

The series looks at the best travel destinations around the planet, looking at a range of factors from the landscape to the people and the culture.

The Highlands joins the likes of the Austrian Alps, New Zealand, Egypt and Peru.

READ MORE: 10 most popular Scottish beauty spots on Instagram

The Scottish region came out on top to be awarded a place in the nature category which looks at the best place for a "wild, beautiful place".

Other categories include adventure, family, culture and community. Manchester was the only other place on in the UK to make the list, being listed as a top location for families.

The list was written in collaboration with National Geographic Traveler's international editorial team, which sees millions of readers through its magazines and website.

Amy Alipio, senior editor at National Geographic Travel, said: “We have experienced so many changes and disruptions in the way we explore over the last few years, so with this year’s list, we really wanted to get back to identifying positive stories about destinations and communities.

"With our team of travel experts and editors, we took a deeper dive into places all over the globe that are providing experiences that are unique and beneficial for both locals and travelers: locations where visitors ultimately sustain and support—not damage—the destination’s environment and community.

"We also worked hard to provide lesser-known gems on the list, equally inspiring alternatives to destinations that have become overcrowded (think Choquequirao vs. Machu Picchu in Peru).”

READ MORE: See the most Instagrammed beauty spots across Scotland

Nathan Lump, National Geographic’s editor-in-chief, said: “Best of the World is Nat Geo’s annual love letter to the most incredible places in the world, both near and far.

“We couldn’t be prouder to shine a light on these 25 extraordinary places that most inspired us this year, and which we know will define travelers’ itineraries for years to come.

"From craft breweries and Asia’s top film festival in Busan, South Korea, to women-led Indigenous tourism in Alberta, Canada, and the densest leatherback turtle nesting ground in the world in Trinidad and Tobago, this year’s list reminds us that there is still so much out there to explore and experience.”  

National Geographic’s Best of the World 2023 full list:


Appian Way, Italy

Busan, South Korea

Longmen Grottoes, Henan Province, China


Charleston, South Carolina


Scottish Highlands



Big Bend National Park, Texas


Adventure New Zealand

Choquequirao, Peru


Austrian Alps

Revillagigedo National Park, Mexico Community

Dodecanese Islands, Greece

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Alberta, Canada




Trinidad and Tobago

San Francisco, California


Manchester, UK