Located in the north-east of Scotland, with the North sea on the horizon, Aberdeen is the third biggest city of the country and the oil port of first importance, certainly did not have the charms and the trappings of his two big sisters, Glasgow and Edinburgh. A day is enough to explore this needy “granite city”. The time of a stroll in the old city to the cobblestone streets bordering the sublime campus of the university or in Footdee, a former fishing village with alleys lined with small houses with decorations crazy. Filez then the pacing of the campaign…

Popping up in the middle of a dark sea which seems to boil a scum greyish, a rocky outcrop to which cling the ruins of the castle of Dunnottar is cut on a sky cluttered with thick clouds, through which pierce, the timid, the rays of the winter sun. It is here, a few miles of Aberdeen, one can visit these ruins (admission: 3 £ – 3,4 €) in a panorama straight out of a book of Tolkien.

the Less tragic, more bucolic: the castle of Crathes (entry: 13 £), a twenty minute drive north of Dunnottar, offers a different perspective -rather borrowed, it, Lewis Carroll. Away in its charming enclosed garden (prefer the fall or spring for a visit), this monument immerses the visitor in what should be the daily life of the nobility of scotland in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth centuries. In the Eighteenth century, a renovation had uncovered in the chimney of one of the rooms of the castle and the bones of a woman and a child. Was born, so the legend of the Lady green, who hanterait places. During his stay at Crathes, the queen Victoria herself would have saw his ghost. Anything to spice up the visit. Lovers of stories to run chills on the spine, themselves, enjoy.

Castles, cliffs and scotch

Often neglected in favour of Dumfries and Galloway, Glasgow and Edinburgh, the Highlands and the coast of Argyll, fragmented into a myriad of smaller islands and archipelagos, the county of Aberdeenshire has, however, what one hopes to find in Scotland during a first visit. Understanding of castles (with or without ghosts), cliffs and… of the scotch.

And even if it is always better to get out of the draft tourism when traveling, turn away from the distilleries in scotland fall within the scope of a crime of lèse-majesty -even for someone not liking at all the whisky. That of Strathisla, known for assembling famous blend Chivas, is a gem of the genre. In addition to producing a delicious single malt (the Strathisla 12 years old is a wonder), the team had the bright idea to decline his visits. Format 45 minutes for the layman, and 2h 15min to the aficionados. Each ending with a tasting. The discovery of the cooperage Speyside, where are manufactured and repaired each year around 150.000 French oak barrels -an essential link in the chain of making a whisky, completes the tour.

Diary

go- With Air France, direct flights from 170 € A/R in economy class up to Aberdeen. Tel.: 36.54 and airfrance.fr

Stay- Castle day, castle the night with Mercure Ardoe House. 120 rooms and four suites have been furnished in this Nineteenth century dwelling, renovated with a large garden. Comfort and quiet in the scottish countryside. An excellent base camp for exploring, the time of a weekend, in the north-east of the country. From € 75 a night. accorhotels.com

Visit The Cooperage Speyside tours are every half hour from 9 hours to 17 hours from Monday to Friday. Count 45 minutes for the Classic Tour (4 £ – 4,5 €) and 90 min for the VIP Tour with tasting of a single malt-10 years old (a £ 30 – 34 €). www.speysidecooperage.co.uk The distillery Strathisla is open Monday to Sunday from 10 hours to 16: 30. The visits are forbidden for under 18 years of age. Several forms of discovery, including the Traditional Distillery Tour of 1 hour and 15 minutes including the tasting of four wines (a £ 15 – 17 €). maltwhiskydistilleries.com

check- The site of the tourist office of scotland’s national brings together all the practical information necessary to organize your stay in Aberdeenshire or the other counties of the country. visitscotland.com

To explore in depth the history of Scotland, to visit the traditional places or take the short cuts, do not hesitate to call Mark and Leslie, founders of Solway Tours, which offer routes to the card with a support directly from the airport or the hotel. solwaytours.co.uk

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