Where to Travel in 2017- Top Travel Bloggers Share Their Favorite Destinations
If you’re anything like me as soon as the fireworks and celebrations of New Year’s end the search for where to go in the coming year begins. I reached out to the travel blogging community for their suggestions on the top destinations for 2017 and the response was overwhelming. The 34 destinations on this year’s list span the globe; from Antarctica to the Azores, Fiji to Finland, Malawi to Mongolia these places will surely inspire your wanderlust. Without further ado, here is where to travel in 2017.
Mexico City, Mexico
World class museums,amazing food and a fascinating blend of indigenous culture and Spanish influence are just some of the reasons Mexico City should be on your radar. The Museum of Anthropology is truly one of the world’s great museums, housing thousands of pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican artifacts while the nearby neighborhoods of La Roma and La Condesa house independent galleries and boutiques. The Mexican capital offers up a diverse and dazzling culinary scene, whether you’re savoring tacos street-side or indulging in one of Mexico City’s Michelin-starred restaurants, this is a city where you’ll definitely eat well. With a mix of cosmopolitan chic and enduring traditions Mexico City is one of the most exciting destinations for 2017.
Yours truly, Brianna of the Casual Travelist
Split, Croatia tends to be a popular transport hub for travelers passing through onto their next destination, but I urge you to stick around at least for a few days to explore all that the city has to offer. Split is embedded with a rich history, and much of it is packed into Diocletian’s Palace, an enormous portion of the city filled with restaurants, museums, cafes, apartments, and shops that dates all the way back to the 4th century AD. You may also recognize it as a Game of Thrones filming location! When you’re ready to get out into nature and the outdoors, you don’t have to go far. Within Split’s city limits you can climb up Marjan for incredible views of the city and will also find beaches, running and biking trails, rock climbing, and more outdoor activities. This appealing contrast of city life and the outdoors makes Split a hot spot destination to include in your 2017 travel plans.
Marissa Sutera Little Things Travel Blog
Bagno Vignoni is a village perched on a hillside above the Val d’Orcia, a UNESCO World Heritage site in the heart of Tuscany. It’s best known for its thermal baths. In the Middle Ages, the tiny spa with its long bathing tradition lay on the Via Francigena, an ancient pilgrimage route. As a result, Etruscans and Romans stopping to rest on the journey to and from Rome discovered the curative effects of the waters and put this little gem on the map. But the hot springs aren’t the only draw.Timeworn castles, crumbling monasteries, and medieval hilltop towns are just waiting to be explored. The Renaissance architecture and typical Tuscan landscape with its rolling hills and stately Cypress trees make the perfect backdrop for a hiking or biking adventure. There are over 250 km of signposted walking trails and 1000 km of cycling routes with GPS coverage throughout the valley. In addition, the historical centers of Siena, Pienza, and Montalcino are just a few minutes away by car.The food and wine in the Val d’Orcia can only be described as spectacular. Peppery green olive oils, soft young Pecorinos, luxurious truffles, silky prosciuttos, the best wines from nearby Montepulciano and Chianti. This place is a gourmet’s dream! Bagno Vignoni, with its ancient thermal spas, lyrical views, hyper-local cuisine, and luscious local wines is truly an unforgettable destination for 2017.
Laura Goyer The Culinary Travel Guide
Tip: Make sure you book a cruise which includes land based excursions. International regulations limit the number of people allowed on land at any one time, so large cruise ships with 500 passengers generally offer a “look but not touch” experience. Booking with a cruise company who limits their passengers to around the 110 mark (we booked with Chimu Adventures) means the opportunity to step out off the boat for hikes through ice fields, kayaking adventures, and camping overnight on the most remote continent in the worl
Gouda: An hour train trip from Amsterdam, Gouda is the perfect day trip. Beyond the cheese and the charming architecture, Gouda is a quaint city with friendly people and it gives you a snapshot of Dutch culinary history. What I love about the city is that you can really experience the history of some of the food items the Dutch revere most without the crowded shops you will see in Amsterdam. Learn about the cheese trade at the Cheese and Kraft Museum and have a handmade stroopwafel at Bakery van den Berg. If you come by car, I highly recommend going to Kaasboerderij Jongenhoeve, a family owned farm which produces raw milk cheese. We took a free tour of the farm where we got to meet the hardworking cows, witness the cheesemaking process, and the best part, buy tons of cheese.
Jessica Van Dop DeJesus of the Dining Traveler
Colombia has enjoyed a fast ride to the top of many travelers’ bucket lists, and the charming port city of Cartagena has become to a popular destination for those wanting a glimpse into the country’s colonial past. Within the walls of the Old Town, which dates back to the 16th century, is a tight maze of cobblestone streets lined with colorful homes, shops and restaurants – many featuring elaborate door knockers signifying the profession of the original owner. During the day you can escape the tropical heat by taking a short boat ride to Isla de Barú or Islas del Rosario for swimming and snorkeling. And in the evening you can sample street vendors’ offerings like arepas or papas rellenas, or dine al fresco on steaks and seafood before dancing salsa until dawn. Not far outside of the walls are two worthy stops – the gritty neighborhood of Getsemaní with its impressive collection of street art, and the Castillo San Felipe de Barajas, a massive Spanish fortress that dominates the skyline.
Simien Mountains, Ethiopia
Ethiopia has something for everyone. It’s a diverse country with something for everyone such as culture, history, food and wildlife. I went trekking in the Simien Mountains in northern Ethiopia in search of the Gelada Baboon which is only found there. The landscape is spectacular after millions of years of erosion which has created deep valleys and jagged peaks. There are several treks in the Simien Mountains offering amazing scenery and plenty of wildlife such as the ibex (a wild goat found nowhere else in the world), caracal, and Ethiopian wolves. The Simien Mountains are a UNESCO World Heritage Site and well worth a visit as it is like nowhere else on earth.
Nicole Labarge of Travelgal Nicole
Kapiti Coast, New Zealand
New Zealand is a bucket list favorite, but I’m going to recommend you spend some time in the Kapiti Coast in particular. Forty minutes north of Wellington, the coast is home to Kapiti Island, one of New Zealand’s most beautiful islands with the rare kiwi and kaka found on the island. If you’re looking for a nice hike, Hemi Matenga offers stunning views of the region all year round. There are lots of restaurants popping up with the older areas of the region regaining popularity, but you can’t beat a classic fish and chips while watching the sun set over the coast.
Jub of Tiki Touring Kiwi
Ghent, Belgium, is one of those old European cities that has the misfortune of being the neighbor of a much more famous destination. In Ghent’s case, it’s located near Bruges, a tourist hotspot characterized by a fairy tale-like old city center, cobblestones, horse-drawn carriage rides and gorgeous architecture.That really is too bad because Ghent itself has plenty to offer as well. First of all, there’s a wealth of history. In the Middle Ages, this was the second-largest city north of the Alps, second only after Paris. Ghent’s long and rich history is still visible in its truly breathtaking architecture, of which the iconic Graslei is the epitome. This historic city in the province of East Flanders features step-gabled guild houses, towering churches and picturesque waterfronts. Additionally, this is also one of Belgium’s most vibrant cities, mainly thanks to its large university. Ghent is much less visited by international travelers than other cities in Belgium such as Bruges or Brussels. Although tourists are scarce, there’s a plethora of historic sites, architectural attractions, beer bars and festivals to explore and discover.
Bram Reusen of Travel Experience Live
Colombia is quickly becoming the “it” destination. Gone are the days of Medellin being dubbed “the most dangerous place in the world”. Colombia has come a long way since the notorious drug cartels of the 80s and 90s. There is something for everyone; from art museums, to tasting Colombian coffee, or taking in the stunning views of the city via paragliding. Medellin is also the perfect starting point for day trips in the region. Take a bus to Guatape to see the famous “La Piedra” or visit Pablo Escobar’s abandoned mansion. With a year round spring-like climate, Medellin is perfect to visit any time.
Katie Francis of Kitty to City
Siquijor will always have a special place in my heart. It was the first ‘real’ destination of my month in the Philippines – by real I mean not counting cities! Not only the island offers wonderful beaches and some of the best sunsets of my life – it also has a reputation for being the home of mysteries and spirits, and you can even find healers treating ailments with herbal remedies. There are plenty of things to do in Siquijor if you want to have a break from the beaches – my favourite location was Cambugahay waterfall, where you can swing into the river Indiana Jones style!
Margherita Ragg of The Crowded Planet
From learning to surf to volcano boarding to sloths to tropical islands in the Caribbean Nicaragua has almost anything you could be looking for in a tropical destination. Sloths was the only word I really needed to hear. Adventurous, cheap and fun are the words I would use to describe Nicaragua and the overall feel you get from the place. It is not as much of a secret as it was a few years ago but if you get there in 2017 you will find a genuine local population and an overall authenticity. This coupled with the almost overwhelming amount of activities and value for money you will find everywhere makes it one country in Central America you wont want to miss in 2017.
Dane Faurschou of Holiday from Where
2017 will mark a special year for Finland as they will be celebrating their 100th year of Independence and the Finnish capital of Helsinki will have a lot going on throughout the year to mark this special occasion. If you happen to be travelling with Finnair you can explore Helsinki on one of their many newly operating stop over programs. One of my favorites programs is heading out to the Finnish nature directly from the airport, a 30 minute drive will take you to the Nuuksio national park, which offers canoe trips around one of the many surrounding Finnish lakes. Why not try a Finnish sauna by the Helsinki coast at the newly opened Löyly which is visitor friendly and you can even brave a refreshing dip in the ice cold sea straight from the sauna. Be sure to grab a tram and head towards the senate square to check out the iconic central cathedral and have a look around the close by market square to sample some traditional Finnish Salmon soup from one of the many local vendors. For my ultimate Helsinki secret, head to the top of Hotel Torino where you will find the Atelijee bar for a perfect sunset cocktail to end the day. Enjoy exploring Helsinki and sample a slice of Finnish culture on this special anniversary year.
Dave Brett of Travel Dave UK
Africa is on a lot of bucket lists, it seems. What with images of safaris and seeing elephants, lions, warthogs and all the antelope imaginable, how could it not be a dream destination? Exotic food, bustling markets, tea plantations and fat baobab trees silhouetted against a hazy orange sunset… it all sounds justifiably alluring. These experiences are available to us in a large number of Sub-Saharan African countries, but there is one that is often overlooked: Malawi. Known as the warm heart of Africa, this place does not disappoint. From the stunning northern landscapes of Livingstonia and the charming lakeside towns of Nkhata Bay and Cape Maclear, to the scattered national parks packed full of gorgeous animals, Malawi has it all. Not to mention the local people will have you feeling like an honored guest, more than welcome, more than cherished. Don’t miss Lake Malawi where the scuba diving is great and the cichlids are plenty and bright. Don’t miss Lake of Stars music festival every September/October, visiting the tea plantations and the abundance of hiking options. As far as African countries go, I definitely recommend not missing out on this gem
Colleen Mulhall of Colleen Brynn Travels
Small Towns, Anywhere
While Iceland and Cuba are the hot destinations on most to-do lists, my suggestion for favorite destination in 2017 is, drum roll please, …
I may be a bit biased since I was born in Scotland, but when I tell you that there’s no place like it on earth, I’m not lying. If you’ve said you’ve always wanted to visit, but have yet to go, make 2017 the year for Scotland. You’ll adore the people, as “friendly” is an understatement. The food is fabulous: from the most deliciously tasty, full Scottish breakfasts and freshest seafood, to delectable afternoon teas and some of the best baked goods you’ll ever taste. I can’t even begin to explain why the scenery is one of the top reasons you should visit Scotland, because the history, castles, gardens and Scottish Trust properties are almost as impressive on their own! Whether you love the countryside or city life, museums or parks, shopping or hiking, Scotland has something for YOU! I’m starting my new year off right as I’ll be visiting Scotland this January. I really hope you’ll put Scotland on your 2017 calendar, too!
Christina Conte of Christina’s Cucina
Mai Chau, Vietnam
If you’re looking to visit Southeast Asia in 2017, please don’t miss Vietnam. From beaches to bustling cities, there’s a little bit of everything here. It wasn’t always easy to travel around Vietnam, but Mai Chau is the place where I finally feel in love with the country. Located 130 km north of Hanoi, Mai Chau is enchanting. Imagine paddy fields, water buffalos, and landscapes that are too beautiful to be real. Mai Chau is one of the ecotourism destinations to visit in 2017; here you can trek, bike around, and truly see how the locals live their everyday life. A place not to be missed!
Stefania Gugliemi of Every Steph- Green & Glamorous Travel
Cuba was one of the top places to visit in 2016…and will be again in 2017. After being off limits to travelers from the United States for decades, travelers – and airlines, cruise lines, hotels and tour groups – are jumping at the chance to go. There are already some great deals available for 2017 making travel to Cuba affordable and interesting for a variety of types of travelers. From taking a cruise on Royal Caribbean or Norwegian to get a sample of the island, to snagging a direct flight from Southwest, United or Delta to explore the beaches and historic cities on your own – the options continue to grow… Travelers will still need a Visa to visit Cuba, so make sure to plan ahead and get there…soon. While it will take years for Cuba to change, it will change. Take advantage of being one of the early visitors from the United States and seeing it in all its true glory.
Elaine Schoch at Carpe Travel
The Charente-Maritime region of France offers fantastic food, an incredible history, and awe-inspiring nature – all while enjoying some of the best weather in the country! Sunflower fields give way to rows of vines, rolling countryside leads to towering cliffs, and carrelets cling to the coastline where weathered lighthouses stand guard. Foodies will love sampling the world-famous Marennes-Oléron oysters, dining in the Michelin starred restaurants and browsing the endless array of delights on display at the farmers markets. History buffs are spoiled for choice with no less than 4 UNESCO world heritage sites in the region, as well as countless other lovingly restored historical buildings. And nature-lovers can meander through carefully crafted château gardens, stretch out on the long white beach at Royan, or cruise through locks on the river Charente. From experiencing laid back island life on the road-accessible Île d’Oléron and Île de Ré, to visiting a Gallo-Roman amphitheatre in Saintes, to sampling wine at one of the many vineyards – I can’t imagine a better holiday destination for 2017!
Nadine Maffre of Le Long Weekend
Prague, Czech Republic
The city of Prague is romantic and full of history, with well preserved buildings and amazing architecture of all styles. Prague is great to visit any time of year, we went in March when it was still a bit cold but it was also less crowded with tourists and easy to get around. Easy to navigate, clean, and safe; we highly recommend visiting Old Town, New Town, Charles Bridge, Prague Castle, Petrin Tower, and of course enjoying the night life. Accommodation and food in Czech Republic is inexpensive and vegans will be happy to know that Prague has a large amount of vegan friendly places especially when you consider how many there are per capita. Definitely add Prague to your 2017 bucket list, you will not be disappointed.
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires, Argentina is a bustling metropolis. This exciting and vibrant city features incredible architecture, exciting history and rich artistry. Buenos Aires is a melting pot of cultures, leading to an endless variety of flavours and activities that will be sure to entice anyone. The city has loads of parks, museums and markets to explore, and each barrio seems to offer its own unique vibe. From the famous and beautiful Recoleta Cemetery to the colourful buildings and graceful tango dancers lining El Caminito, you will be hard pressed to find something that doesn’t tickle your fancy. If the hustle and bustle of the big city doesn’t excite you, then just 20 minutes from the city center sits the vast forests and wildlife at the mouth of the delta Parana, a spectacular region of incredible natural beauty with a laid back rural attitude that will be sure to refresh you. Take a boat tour along the river roads and experience it for yourself!
Kevin and Christina Wagar of Wandering Wagars
Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
Lake Atitlan is truly a magical and stunning place in Guatemala, located just a couple of hours from the popular colonial city of Antigua, and it is the perfect place to find relaxation and tranquility. This large lake is surrounded by volcanoes and the lake itself was created by a volcanic eruption many years ago. The lake is ringed by a collection of small indigenous villages along the shorelines which are all very unique and fascinating in their own way. You can travel from village to village via the small public boats that cross the lake all day. Santa Cruz and San Marcos were my personal favourite villages because of their incredible landscapes, friendly and welcoming locals, amazing volcano views, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and peaceful and authentic atmospheres. There are lots of interesting things to do around the lake including hiking a volcano, kayaking, swimming, visiting one of the nature reserves, eating delicious food, visiting the markets, and exploring the various traditional towns on foot. Lake Atitlan is the most gorgeous place that I have visited in Guatemala and I was constantly in awe of how breathtaking my surroundings were. Lake Atitlan is definitely a destination that should be added to your list of places to explore in 2017!
Brittany Thiessen of brittanythiessen.com
The Orkney Islands are situated just north of mainland Scotland and it is one of those hidden gems that the world is hiding. The Orkneys have 70 islands with the majority of them being uninhabited; which means it is the perfect place to have an adventure. The Orkneys are home to the famous World War One and Two site of Scapa Flow and as you drive though the twisty roads and cross the bridges, you can see the blocker ships that were purposely sunk to keep the enemy subs out. The towns of Stromness and Kirkwall hold beautiful boutique shops that have a lot of handcrafted items that use natural resources from the islands. Around these towns are Nordic and Bronze Age cairns (tombs) with the Tomb of the Eagles being one of the best. In the centre of Kirkwall are the historic Earl’s Palace and Saint Magnus Cathedral that will give you a view of the entire town. I would also recommend going to the ancient attractions of Skara Brae, the Ring of Brodger and Maeshowe. The Orkneys are some of the most beautiful islands the world has to offer with 11th century charm that will win you over.
Helena of Through an Aussies Eyes
Put Thailand at the top of you 2017 travel bucket list. I first visited in 2012 on my Thailand honeymoon and have since spent over a year traveling around Thailand. Thailand has little something for everyone from the chaotic but amazing Bangkok, culture and temples in the north like Chiang Mai, and my personal favorite the Thai islands. Most tourists only hear of Phuket or Phi Phi and head there to only realize it’s not a quiet oasis. There are over 300 islands in Thailand to explore, my favorite island is Koh Lipe Thailand. Most people have never heard of it and they actually just got ATMs two years ago. There is something special about an island that has no airport and is an adventure to get to. For starters, not many tourists make the journey because of it. The call Koh Lipe “The Maldives of Thailand” and after spending 5 weeks in the Maldives this summer I’d have to agree with that name. The turquoise waters and white sandy beaches should be on everyone’s bucket list for 2017.
Hannah and Adam of Getting Stamped
Glacier National Park, USA
Your don’t want to miss visiting Glacier National Park, Montana in 2017! The park is home to the amazing Going To The Sun Road which takes you up into the mountains to some of the most amazing views in the world. You will pass waterfalls, glaciers, and mountains as far as the eye can see. It is also home to amazing hiking trails that take you to glaciers, floating icebergs and crystal clear lakes at the top of mountains. Besides all the scenery you will most likely see bears, moose, mountain goats, and big horn sheep! If you are up for it you can also take a swim or just tip your toes into the beautiful, clean yet chilly glacier waters that are found all over the park. The combination of water, greenery, and mountains is simply breathtaking!
Craig and Bryanna of Crazy Family Adventure
When people think of Italy, what comes to mind are visions of great art, fashion, food, wine, beautiful architecture, and landscape. There are many regions in which to experience such categories, but somewhat overlooked and passed over for its neighboring region Tuscany, is Umbria. In my opinion, if you haven’t been yet, the place to visit in 2017 is Umbria. Let’s start with art and architecture. Visit a town such as Assisi and immerse yourself in some of the most beautiful works of art in some of the most beautiful churches to be found in the country. A standout is the frescoes by Giotto in the Basilica of Saint Francis. As for fashion; you’re in Italy, good taste in clothing is inherent, but it’s in the gourmet specialty shops that you’ll experience luxuriousness most, from exclusive cold cuts and cheeses, to virgin olive oil and local wines. However, if shopping isn’t practical, restaurants serving up local cuisine is never far away. In my opinion, the small towns have the most authentic offerings with the best experiences to be had. I recommend the town of Todi where having a truffle dish is an event in itself, and where there’s never a shortage of places serving up a good porchetta sandwich. What makes Umbria so special, however, is its lushness. It’s moniker, is “the green heart of Italy”. Though landlocked, it makes up for its lack of shoreline with its beautiful hills and valleys. This is, of course, best experienced at a vineyard. Make an appointment to visit one in Perugia, like Cantina Goretti, and have a tasting of the famous Sagrantino wine while taking in the fresh air and the unequaled landscape.
Brenda and Andrew Tolentino of Dish Our Town
Looking to soak in hot springs, bask in the beauty of stunning coastline, visit waterfall after waterfall, stroll through lava fields as far as the eye can see, and gaze in awe at volcanos? No, we aren’t talking about Iceland , we are referring to Oregon, USA! Oregon is the place to travel in 2017 for those looking for a mix of city and a ton of varying landscapes within easy reach of civilization. Oregon offers the perfect mix of easy hikes for those who can’t walk for long distances and multi-day treks. Oregon even has a desert that reflects the environments found in Utah or Arizona so you can have a side of red rocks with your waterfalls and coast! More of a city dweller? Larger cities with all the comforts of home are often less than 40 minutes away from beautiful natural landscapes allowing you to find a balance that is right for you. Go on, book your flight!
Victoria Yore of Follow Me Away
Where are you going in 2017? Please share below in the comments!