Surrounded by some of Scotland's most dramatic landscapes, the village of Glencoe is deep in the Highlands' Lochaber Geopark. The area's soaring, jagged cliffs and lochs are the result of the ancient volcanoes and glaciers that shaped the idyllic glen, which has appeared in blockbusters like Skyfall and the Harry Potter films. The village itself sits between tranquil Loch Leven and the mammoth mountains at the head of the glen, making it the ideal base for outdoors adventures.
Glencoe hostels are nestled in the wooded glen, offering total escapism if you want it – but plenty also have free Wi-Fi so you can keep in touch with the outside world. Stay in an alpine-style hostel with stone and pine-clad walls inside. For something more rustic, there's an original highland croft in the heart of the valley: keep warm, and get to know other travellers, beside the living room's open log fire. Most hostels in Glencoe have a shared kitchen, and some have bicycle storage for visitors exploring on two wheels.
The small village of Glencoe has a few shops and cafés, as well as a picturesque thatched cottage that houses the North Lorn Folk Museum. The village is surrounded by the glen of Glencoe, with Aonach Eagach ridge on one side and the Three Sisters mountains on the other. It's close to the shores of Loch Leven, with the Pap of Glencoe mountain creating a majestic backdrop. Loch Linnhe, Rannoch Moor and the pyramid-shaped mountain Buachaille Etive Mor are also nearby.
You can immerse yourself in the great outdoors in and around Glencoe. Take on one of the country's best ridge walks along the Aonach Eagach or bike through woodland and by the river on the Glencoe Orbital Track. You could also take to the water in a kayak to see one of the small islands on Loch Leven. Whatever the season, the Glencoe Mountain Resort, a 20-minute drive away, has plenty to do. There's climbing and tubing in the summer and the steepest ski run in Scotland during the winter.
The easiest (and most scenic) way to reach Glencoe is by driving along the main road that runs through the glen's dramatic landscape. If you're travelling from the north, you'll pass through Fort William and by Ben Nevis. There are regular buses from Glasgow (2 hours) and Fort William (30 minutes). The closest airports are in Glasgow and Inverness. Local buses can take also you around parts of Glencoe.