Looking for the coolest places to travel and holiday hotspots for the new year? Here are the 7 places to go in 2017 you need to know about, whether you’ve got two weeks to explore or need a weekend escape…
1. Canada as voted by Lonely Planet
Often overlooked in favour the states, there is more to Canada than lakes, mountains and bears (although they’re all good reasons to go). Heralded for its dyanmic multiculturalism and metropolitan cities, Canada celebrates 150 since confederation this year. Lonely Planet recommends the ‘underrated wine’ – we say go to the Capilano Suspension Bridge, if you’re brave enough.
A swaying bridge built in 1889 over the Capilano river in in West Vancouver (by a Scottish civil engineer, no less), it’s the ultimate adventurer’s instagram shot. Just don’t look down…
2. Donegal as voted by National Geographic Traveller
A surprising entry for the usually farflung destinations on the list for National Geographic Traveller, County Donegal in Ireland was recently used as a film location for the latest Star Wars film. Heralded as a place to find real wilderness, lace up your boots and explore the wet and windy shores of Ireland’s newest and coolest place to go.
3. Nepal as voted by Wanderlust
The colourful home to the Himalayas, Wanderlust names Nepal an adventurer’s paradise with breathtaking mountain scenes filling the horizon. Kathmandu, the capital city, is well-known for being a riotous explosion of sounds, smells, colour and culture, with incredible dishes to eat and temples to explore. Whether you’re there to get a little closer to a different culture or fancy the ultimate hike up Mount Everest, Nepal is a rugged and colourful attack on the senses with a spiritual side – perfect for the avid world traveller.
4. Granada, Spain as voted by the Telegraph
Previously overshadowed by its shoutier northern cousins Barcelona and Madrid, Granada in southern Spain is a world away from the Spain you think you know. With an incredible Moorish heritage and filled with castles and palaces aplenty, you may just lose yourself wandering the ancient streets of this beautiful Andalusian city. Make like a local and don’t miss the famous hams or delicious gazpacho, a tomato and vegetable soup you’ll find everywhere.
Granada is also home to the infamous world heritage site Alhambra palace. Filled with Islamic influences and architecture, beautiful tiles and trickling fountains, it’s worth the visit for this pilgrimage alone. Take a camera and prepare to be wowed.
5. Georgia as voted by Vogue
If Vogue says it’s hot, you know you’re onto a winner. Burgeoning on the wine scene with exemplary bottles of plonk with a surprisingly contemporary urban scene in the capital Tbilisi, Georgia is moving to the fore as a cool destination for the new year. Mixing dramatic scenery, incredible national parks and mixing modern architecture with ancient churches and watchtowers, it’s a great place to grab an Instagram-worthy view.
Don’t miss the funicular for the very best in Tbilisi (pronounced tuh-buh-lee-see, in case you wondered).
6. Norway as voted by the Guardian
Experiencing a boom from the usual cruise crowd, Norway is high on traveller hit lists for 2017. Colourful Bergen is famed for its regular displays from the Northern Lights, whilst cosmopolitan Oslo – the capital city – is full of amazing scandi architecture and viking relics. Don’t forget to try a traditional smörgåsbord with friends, traditionally served with herring. It’s a Nordic essential!
If you’ve already visited Norway before, the Guardian suggests the Lofoten Islands, said to be the remote destination to inspire the runaway success of Disney’s Frozen. A picturesque archipelago with tiny colourful cabins dotted across the islands, it’s certainly a place like no other you’ll have seen before.
7. Jerusalem as voted by Condé Nast Traveller
Somewhere between the religious pilgrimages made by thousands every year and the beaches of Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem seemed to be bypassed by the travelling crowd. Said by Condé Nast Traveller to be this year’s top pick for contemporary art, Latin fusion food and innovative cocktails, it’s time to take another look at the holy land. Don’t forget to dress appropriately (no shorts) and don’t miss the Mahane Yehuda Market for the most delicious olives in Israel.
Religious or not, we say it’s worth exploring past the desert city streets and taking a look at the unforgettable architecture and history of the Western Wall and Dome of the Rock – an ancient Islamic shrine completed in 691AD.
Inspired to travel somewhere new this year? Don’t miss our wanderlust-worthy travel magazines for the ultimate cure for itchy feet!