To help beat the winter blues we recently published a post exploring this year’s best city breaks and now we are going further afield to visit some of the most coveted countries. The destinations below may span the globe, but they’ve all got one thing in common: they top the travel industry’s favourite places to see and be seen in 2017.
Island Life: Cuba
Cuba is the biggest island in the Caribbean and has got something to suit every type of traveller. Lazy days can be spent soaking-up the sun on the palm-fringed playas that stretch along the north coast while after dark the island comes alive to the swing of salsa. The historical capital of Havana captivates all the senses: dressed in smart colonial architecture and painted in pastels it’s certainly easy on the eye, car horns compete with castanets to catch your ear and the city is filled with the scent of rum and cigar smoke. However, you had better get there soon as the relaxing of American visa regulations means the island may soon be swamped with visitors.
Great Outdoors: Canada
Canada is a favourite with most travel editors and it’s easy to see why. The second largest country on the planet is a playground for outdoor types that’s packed with big landscapes and populated by big wildlife. From the eye-popping peaks of the Canadian Rockies, across pan-flat prairies, to the rugged coastal fjords; nowhere does nature quite like Canada. This year the sometimes shy country is stepping out into the international spotlight to celebrate their 150th birthday with a packed cultural program and plenty of parties; visitors also get free access to all the national parks for the entire year.
Sky & Sports: New Zealand
New Zealand is a sporting Mecca that punches well above its weight on the international stage. Currently enjoying the top spot in the world rugby rankings, this year the Kiwis are hosting a British & Irish Lions tour and more world class cricket than you could shake a stump at. Sport may provide the perfect excuse to visit New Zealand, but it’s the jaw-dropping landscapes that will linger longer in your memory. Whether you’re trekking up snow-capped volcanoes and down icy glaciers, or relaxing amidst manicured vineyards or on pristine beaches; your only regret is that you hadn’t come sooner.
Desert Oasis: Oman
Sunbathing on the Arabian Peninsula Oman has one foot in the past and one in the present. The capital Muscat is a low-rise maze of whitewashed houses and sleek minarets that’s much less showy than neighbouring Dubai and much more charming. Think modern Arabia with a historic heart. Beyond the rugged mountains that provide a dramatic backdrop to the capital the thirsty dunes of the desert open-up and Bedouin life ticks by seemingly unchanged for centuries. Oman is a paradise for nature lovers and they’ve got a glittering coastline that stretches for thousands of kilometres. From palm-fringed oasis and ancient forts to five star spas and golf resorts; Oman is a country where memories are made and with daily flights from London and Manchester it’s time to visit before the crowds arrive.
Adriatic Allure: Montenegro
Montenegro may be pocked-sized but it packs quite a punch. Situated on the shores of the Adriatic this diminutive destination is just waiting to be discovered. Travel writers often go overboard with the adjectives, but Montenegro is one place that deserves all the purple prose it gets. Jagged limestone mountains really do plunge down into sparkling seas. Ancient walled towns really do scramble-up hillsides and the people really are amongst the most hospitable on the planet. Montenegro may have just 300km of coast, but it’s more than enough to take your breath away and the beaches are much quieter than those in neighbouring Croatia. Montenegro is one of Europe’s best-kept secrets, but with more regular flights from budget airlines; it won’t be long before the secret is out.
No matter where you go it’s important to get the right travel insurance, and you’ll have to go a long way than to find a better deal than with Quoteline Direct. To find out more visit our travel insurance pages, then you can sit back and start planning.