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The landscape of Aberdeenshire possesses an almost magical quality. Travel throughout the county to discover dramatic castle ruins, traditional Scottish festivals and vast mountain plateaus. Splaying out from the cultural hub of Aberdeen, the region offers outdoor adventures in near-empty countryside or sightseeing in welcoming, classically Scottish small towns.
Start your exploration of Aberdeenshire in Aberdeen, an attractive granite city on the east coast. Wander around the two old towns of Old Aberdeen, which is home to a 15th-century cathedral, and Footdee, a medieval fishing village. Learn about the city’s connection to the sea in the Aberdeen Maritime Museum and enter a 17th-century jail in the Tolbooth Museum.
Choose any point on 165 miles (266 kilometers) of stunning Aberdeenshire coastline for an oceanfront escape. Charming Stonehaven is the home of Dunnottar Castle, perched on a headland overlooking the sea, as well as a beautifully preserved harbor with buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries. Visit Peterhead for peaceful Buchanhaven Beach and the wildlife reserve at Longhaven Cliffs.
Sip on some of Scotland’s finest spirits in Aberdeenshire’s distilleries. Famous Scotch producers such as Glen Garioch and GlenDronach offer guided tours that show you how whisky is made, often accompanied by a tasting session.
The county also promises exhilarating outdoor adventures. Hike through Cairngorms National Park, where walking trails lead to waterfalls, the highest plateau in Britain and vast herds of deer. Follow in the footsteps of the Queen in Royal Deeside, a highland estate scattered with lochs, woodland and wildlife where you can visit Balmoral Castle when the royal family are not in residence.
Hop between the famous castles of Aberdeenshire. The turrets of Craigievar reputedly inspired Walt Disney’s iconic fairy-tale castle. Take a tour of Braemar Castle, a 17th-century fortress where you can learn about the clans and rebellions of Scottish history.
Fly into Aberdeen International Airport or take a train from Glasgow and Edinburgh to reach Aberdeenshire. Enjoy different activities here throughout the year. Winter promises skiing, while summer comes with the best chance of sunny days and events such as the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy.
*Savings based on all vacation package bookings with Flight + Hotel on Expedia.com from January through December 2017, as compared to price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages. For Free Flight or 100% Off Flight deals, package savings is greater than or equal to the current cost of one component, when both are priced separately.