What better way to ring in this year than with a trip? The only correct answer: LOTS OF TRIPS! I got with some of the coolest travel bloggers around to help me compile a list of this year’s Top Travel Destinations. We have destinations ranging from cities to the middle of nowhere, so buckle in and get ready for a wild ride. Without further ado, let’s have a drum roll and dive into the Top Travel Destinations of this year!
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Burano, Italy – Melissa from Maps & Merlot
There are perks to compiling this guide, namely that I get to be first! I’ll kick us off with my recommendation: If you find yourself in Venice, Italy next year, you HAVE to take a day trip to Burano. This colorful island looks like something straight out of Candy Land (in the best way possible). Rainbow colored houses line sparkling green canals, the smell of pizza wafts through the air, and the village just has that true Italian feel. I fell head over heels in love with this place, and hope you can experience it for yourself. Add it to that bucket list! You can read more about my Burano experience here.
Sao Miguel, Azores (Portugal) – Urska from Sliva
Travel halfway between America and Europe to the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, and you will find the island of Sao Miguel, Azores. Green volcanic islands with crystal clear lakes and limitless opportunities for outdoor adventures are far from the everyday city jungle. Make sure to add Sao Miguel to your list of Top Travel Destinations!
Simien Mountains, Ethiopia – Nicole from Travelgal Nicole
Ethiopia has something for everyone. This diverse country has much to offer, ranging from culture to food to wildlife. I went trekking in northern Ethiopia in search of the Gelada Baboon, which is only found in the Simien Mountains. There are several treks in the Simien Mountains offering amazing scenery and plenty of wildlife sightings; you can see the ibex, caracal, and Ethiopian wolves! The Simien Mountains are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and well worth a visit…it is truly like nowhere else on Earth.
Tallinn, Estonia—Evan from Pretty Wild World
Tallinn is the capital of Estonia, and is located within the coastal area of Eastern Europe. The city is a medieval town which dates back to the 13th century. Even with time, the area still has the vibe of a different era. Estonia is a beautiful country with untouched nature, as well as rich culture and traditions. So, why should you visit Tallinn? It’s not a well-known tourist destination (yet!), so take advantage. It’s a city where you can never run out of things to do.
Bosnia—Cherene from Wandering Redhead
Explore Bosnia, one of Europe’s best kept secrets. Many people think of the country in terms of the Balkan wars of the 1990s, but Bosnia is not solely defined by this tragic history. From the fairy-tale city of Mostar to the pristine Kravice waterfalls, prepare to be mesmerized. Its beautiful capital of Sarajevo is nestled in a mountain valley, and is an intriguing blend of Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman influences. Visit, and you will enjoy loads of gorgeous scenery, incredible history, and warm friendly people.
Pantelleria, Italy—Karin from Girl Astray
Pantelleria is a small piece of volcanic paradise in the Mediterranean Sea, tucked between Tunisia and Sicily. It is simply perfect for couples looking for a romantic vacation or adventurous souls wishing to explore something new. You can partake in its thermal springs and healing mud – all for free! This island is a great budget option too; not only there are no entrance fees to the natural pools and ruins, but you can also camp wherever you choose. Drive around the island to explore Pantelleria´s natural beauty and ancient ruins, hike the mysterious Roman paths, or relax in the hot water of the Lago di Venere. Other options include a (stunningly beautiful) natural sauna or tasting local wines. With photos like this, I’m sure you can see why Pantelleria belongs on the list of Top Travel Destinations.
Havana, Cuba—Kamelia from Hackerette
Cuba travel laws have recently changed in 2016, allowing Americans to fly directly into Cuba. A trip to Cuba is a little like traveling back in time to the 1950’s. Old Havana is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Ernest Hemingway may have enjoyed a daiquiri or two at the famous El Floridita cocktail bar. He also enjoyed his mojitos at Bodeguita del Medio where they have live music performed by local Cubans. Go now before it gets too touristy!
Faroe Islands, Denmark – Diana & Hope from MVMT Blog
The Faroe Islands are one of the most remote places in the world, with a total population of less than 50,000 people spread across 18 islands. This Danish territory is full of tall green grasses, towering mountains, waterfalls at every corner, grass-covered roofs, and the most adorable fluffy sheep. If you enjoy hiking and beautiful scenery, add the Faroe Islands to your bucket list and book a trip there while it’s still raw, authentic, and void of tourists!
Nikko, Japan—Travel Realist
Majestic, serene and timeless in their appeal, the shrines of Nikko encapsulate the very essence of Japan. Mysterious carved faces and mythical beasts stare down from the dusty walls of the temples, while cedar trees loom over moss-covered statues. Set within the splendor of Nikko National Park, the shrines mark a location that has been connected to Shinto and Buddhist worship for centuries; the complex is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
If hours of trampling around temples leaves you with aching legs and sore muscles, Nikko’s hot springs provide the perfect antidote. Carry on to Kinugawa Onsen, a popular hot spring resort, and check out the baths. These outdoor hot and cold baths overlook dense forests and the Kinugawa River. Visit in either autumn or winter to enjoy colorful foliage or a steamy dip in snow-covered surroundings.
Tangier, Morocco—Midori from Midori’s Obsessions
Tangier was a beautiful surprise. There’s a saying that once you’ve been to Marrakech, Tangier disappoints. For me, it was just the opposite. In the Medina, breathe the splendor and cultural richness of its past. The lack of tourists gives authenticity to every corner. When you’re there, you should definitely enjoy a hamman (hot steam bath) with a massage, wander around the Medina, and visit Baba Café. If you have an extra day, plan an outing to Chefchaouen, the blue pearl of Morocco.
Koh Adang, Thailand –Hannah from Getting Stamped
There are so many islands (“Koh“) in Thailand, that it’s hard to pick just a few. I got back from two weeks on the islands, and I can’t recommend Koh Adang enough. Koh Adang is a quick ten minutes away from the popular island Koh Lipe. The only accommodations on the island are a few chalets run by the National Park, as well as beach camping. There is a restaurant on the island that rents snorkel gear for only $3 a day, and there is great snorkeling right off the beach. You’ll basically have the entire beach to yourself, as only a few tourist come over a day to hike up to the viewpoint. There are several waterfalls to hike, and the viewpoint is pretty epic. Don’t leave this off your Top Travel Destinations list!
Salta, Argentina—Julianna from The Discoveries Of
I think Salta is one of Argentina’s most exciting destinations and definitely one you should visit this year. Set in northern Argentina, it’s the area where the country’s dual Incan and colonial heritage is most obvious. Visitors to Salta should visit the Museo Arqueoligia de Alta Montana, which offers an interesting look into the traditions and lives of the peoples of the high mountains over the years. Salta also claims some of the most beautiful and colorful colonial buildings in the country…make your way to both the Catedral Basilica de Salta and the beautiful Iglesia de San Francisco. The Salta Province also has tons of high-altitude vineyards – even if you don’t get a chance to go, there are plenty of local spots for you to try the wine.
Montreal, Canada – Keanna & Monti from It’s a Pretty Simple Life
“It’s Paris without the jet lag… it’s Europe without the price tag!” We heard many similar remarks when we told people we were taking a trip to Montreal this past summer. A major deciding factor in choosing Montreal as our vacation destination was the exchange rate, as the Canadian dollar is currently about 25% less than the American dollar. Cultural festivals, music festivals, food festivals—Montreal has them all!
Cheap flights: I’d recommend searching through eDreams.net. They scan tons of different travel discount sites and feature special flight deals.
Hotel Deals: My top choice is Expedia.com. I can usually find a great deal and would highly recommend using the map function to search so you can look by the area you’d like. If you’re looking to avoid hotels and go the hostel route, I recommend Hostelworld.—they have thousands of properties listed, as well as tons of ratings and reviews.
And folks, that’s all I have for you today. Enjoy exploring the destinations on the list, and happy travels! P.S. What else should I add to the list?? Let me know in the comments!