Once-in-a-lifetime dream holiday, adrenaline-pumping adventure trips, relaxing staycations, that oh-so-pleasing luxury getaway, aching for that long, winding road trip, or that fanciful culinary tour de force! So much to do, so many destinations, so little time! The year 2017 is upon us and once again, the talk is of fulfilling all your travel dreams.
2016 saw a great leap in the number of experiential, bleisure and solo millennial travellers. It appears that the trend is all set to continue in 2017. Newer destinations, millennials seeking authentic experiences and personal enrichment are set to hog the limelight this coming year. Blurring of the lines between business and leisure travel, travellers becoming more adventurous in their destinations choice and embracing simple pleasures; the travel industry is set to experience this and much more. Travel for destination weddings, engagements, birthdays and other celebrations is also increasing manifold in popularity.
Multi-destination travel has also emerged as a top trend for 2017 while sustainable tourism is also set to get a leg-up after the United Nations declared 2017 the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
A survey conducted by Virtuoso (a leading international travel agency network specializing in luxury and experiential travel) states that 2017 will be a year for travellers wishing to explore new destinations, seek authentic experiences, personal enrichment, adventure and rest and relaxation.
Top destinations for 2017
Will the old, evergreen destinations like France, UK, Spain still rule the roost or will the noveau destinations like Cuba, Peru, Georgia, Croatia stamp their names on the ever-evolving dynamics of the travel industry in 2017?
We, at HolidayMe, present to you the list of top destinations for 2017.
Why you should visit: – Canada turns 150 next year and it’s time to celebrate. Festivals and celebrations have been planned for all 12 months i.e. the entire year, 2017. Dynamic cities, friendly locals, impeccable politeness and a weak Canadian dollar bringing down prices; tourists will have a lot to spend on Canada’s eclectic offerings. Delectable food and year-long festivities; Canada will ensure there was never a better time to visit the land of the oh-so-charming leader Justin Trudeau.
Don’t miss: – Niagara Falls, Quebec Province, cultural capital city of Montreal, Rocky Mountains regions of British Columbia, a, the rugged coastline of Nova Scotia, and the year-long festivities and celebrations lined up in Ottawa.
When to go: – Anytime. With festivities lined up all the year round coupled with skiing in winters and adventure treats for the remaining months, 2017 is all set to be the year of Canada.
Why You should visit: – Settled between the Black Sea and Caucasus Mountains, the tourism to Georgia, Europe has grown manifolds over the years. Filled with quaint towns and beautiful churches and monasteries, the country of Georgia is known for its soaring mountains, incredible wine, delicious food, and friendly locals. Georgia is also a top destination for snowboarding and skiing.
Don’t miss: – Hidden among the extremely mountainous region, the Krubera Cave is the deepest cave on the planet at a mind-boggling depth of 7,200 feet. It takes about 27 days to reach the bottom of the cave. Apart from its spectacular landscapes, hidden caves and medieval churches; Georgia is also home to several UNESCO World Heritage sites. The ancient capital city of Mtskheta, a huge cathedral complex of Bagrati and Gelati and the mountainous region of Svaneti along with the popular Gudauri Ski Resort should not be missed out on.
When to go: – Year-round destination. Multi-coloured trees and frost-covered grounds will greet you in the autumn season while Georgia is an ideal place for skiing enthusiasts during the winters.
Why You should visit: – A rich, varied culture will greet you in cities like Bogota and Medellin, while postcard-perfect and secluded beaches of San Andres and Provindencia are some of Colombia’s finest. Caribbean beaches in Tayrona National Park, snow-capped peaks in El Cocuy, indigenous tribes in La Guajira and the Amazon River (intrepid traveller’s dream) are some of the few delights that this unique country has on offer.
Don’t miss: – Trekking in the Cocora Valley – a unique and towering cloud forest – up to 68 metres (223 feet) tall – protected wax palm calls home. Hiking and swimming at the Tayrona National Park is a delightful experience while trekking to the Lost City of Teyuna (believed to date back to AD 800!) is a spectacular experience. Colombia is the 3rd largest coffee producer in the world. So, a cup or two or more is a must while you are here!
When to go: – Colombia is a year-round destination. Warm, dry weather is prevalent for almost the entire year along the Caribbean coast while the lowlands enjoy a tropical climate year-round with little temperature variation. The months from December to February and Semana Santa (Easter Week) sees the maximum tourists and the highest prices.
Why You should visit: – Cuban cigars, Cuban coffee, Cuban rum and Cuban salsa – are reasons enough to visit the hitherto unknown land of the sublime idyllic beaches, spectacular natural parks, and a dynamic mix of music and styles. Cuba with its amazing concoction of contradictions of its timelessness – old yet magnificent, dilapidated yet historic, unknown and exciting – is fascinating to its very core. Part of Cuba’s charm is the lack of massive malls and ritzy hotels, overcrowded beaches and unauthentic restaurants. Cuba stands for authenticity, culture and friendly people. With the travel curbs being relaxed, visit Cuba and experience its old-world charm, before it gets swarmed by tourists; and it will happen sooner than expected.
Don’t miss: – Cuban streets are literally filled with American styled cars from the 1950’s. It’s a sight to behold. A UNESCO world heritage site, Habana Vieja or Old Havana is a well-preserved slice of Cuban history. Strolling around the cobbled streets and gazing up at the grand Baroque and neoclassical buildings, will provide an insight in the Cuban history unlike any place else. Guardalavaca and Varadero are rimmed with glittering beaches while Playa Paraíso (Paradise Beach), on the island of Cayo Largo del Sur, is surely one of Cuba’s best.
When to go: – Dry, sunny days and plenty of blue skies will greet you from December to May – the best time to visit Cuba. The wet season begins in June and, previously, visitors to Cuba would have avoided travel entirely between August and October, when there is also a risk of hurricanes. Prices are highest and crowds thickest in high summer, when the holiday season gets underway.
Why You should visit: –Stunning coastal landscape, bays filled with blue water, craggy cliffs, tourist-friendly cities, regional delights, and proximity to other countries makes Croatia a must-visit for avid travellers. Ancient walled towns (read Dubrovnik), oodles of history, interesting Roman architecture, incredible wine, delicious seafood and so much more… If you are not already convinced, then know that you are missing out on visiting the locales where the iconic HBO show Gam of Thrones was shot at.
Don’t miss: – The city of Dubrovnik, whose city walls and forts played a stellar role in the setting of the iconic series Game of Thrones. Hvar, Split, Dubrovnik and Pula are in close vicinity of each other making the travel a lot less easy. Croatia is all about picturesque pebbled beaches, lapped by crystal clear waters. UNESCO-listed Plitvice and Krka national parks are famous for their stunning lakes and waterfalls.
When to go: – The best time to visit Croatia is during the months of May and June and between September and October. Expect pleasant sunny days ideal for swimming in the sea and sunbathing, with all the tourist facilities up and running but no crowds.