If you’re undecided on your next vacation destination, you can’t go wrong with at least looking at National Geographic’s recommendations. Having been a major player in the world of travel for decades, you just know there are going to be some incredible destinations and interesting suggestions. Here are the National Geographic recommended trips for 2017:
1. Kauai - United States
The destination of Kauai will be familiar to many as the key location for the majority of the Jurassic Park movies, but I promise that if you decide to visit, you won’t get into half as much trouble! With marked hiking paths, deep plunging pools and North America’s largest mahogany forest, there is enough nature packed in to this place to fill your quota for the entire year!
It’s hard to pick a specific location in Finland because the entire country is completely amazing. Containing 40 national parks, 6 national hiking areas and 12 wilderness areas, you are completely spoilt for choice in this Scandinavian paradise. Not to mention, you can take a trip to Lapland!
3. Baja California - Mexico
Head to Baja California if you want 2017 to be the year that your mind was blown by wildlife under the sea! Bordered on the west by Pacific Ocean and on the east by the Sea of Cortez, the crystal blue waters provide homes for, among others, great white sharks, whales, manta rays and literally thousands of varieties of fish. If scuba diving is on your bucket list, then make sure you tick it off in Mexico!
4. Banff - Canada
Banff provides the visual definition of rugged beauty, with the Canadian haven offering expansive mountain landscapes where you can enjoy activities like mountain hiking, horseback riding, and a spot of luxurious relaxing in hot springs. This year in particular is perfect to visit, as Canada will be celebrating it’s 150th nationhood anniversary!
5. Cloud Forests - Ecuador
Ecuador’s Choco region is best known for its amazing cloud forests: fog covered Andean slopes that are bursting with plant and animal life that will make for an amazing and unique photo album when you are back home! This might not be a location for those with insect phobias, though, as the unique conditions have given rise to moths the size of your hand!
6. Via Dinarica - Western Balkans
Once an undiscovered and underrated playground for adventurous travelers, the Western Balkans is now much more accessible to tourists from all over the world, and in 2017, for the very first time, the 1,200 mile Via Dinarica trail will be 100% mapped with all the information you need to set off and complete a life-changing hike!
7. Tiger National Parks - Central India
One of the few bits of good news from 2016 was that tiger populations are on the rise for the first time in a long time. Why not go and see them in India where nearly two thirds of the growing population resides? You might think that you have had your fill of the animals from wildlife documentaries, but trust me, absolutely nothing can beat seeing the majestic tiger in their natural habitat.
8. Marrakech - Morocco
Marrakech was always a favourite spot for iconic fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent, so if you are in to fashion then what better holiday for 2017 than to take a pilgrimage to the place where his ashes are scattered. Along with this fashion connection, Marrakech is also a once-in-a-lifetime experience when it comes to the sprawling, amazing street markets where vendors get offended if you don’t haggle!
9. Madrid - Spain
Ernest Hemingway once referred to Madrid as the capital of the world, and the cosmopolitan European city has maintained its charm over the years to remain one of the most popular holiday destinations for city breaks. Filled with museums and a buzzing art scene, there is so much culture to take in that you’ll need at least a week to be satisfied!
10. Anchorage - United States
If you fancy an Alaskan adventure, then look no further than Anchorage. You can enjoy activities like hiking through glaciers, fishing in the world’s biggest urban fishery, brown bear spotting and surfing along the bore tide for those brave enough to withstand the low temperatures!
11. Seoul - South Korea
Many know Seoul as the one time host of the Olympics Games and the Soccer World Cup, but the city has so much more to offer than just that reputation. Cutting edge is definitely the phrase to describe the city, with lots of modern architecture, modern restaurants and all round futuristic culture being at the forefront.
12. Moscow - Russia
Though many across the world have their own opinions on Russia’s politics, something that cannot be denied is the beauty of its capital city. Red Square and the amazing striped domes of St. Basil’s Cathedral are iconic images, and the sheer power of the architecture is almost overwhelming if you ever get to experience it in person!
13. Cartagena - Colombia
Anybody who has binged Narcos on Netflix might not consider Colombia at the top of the trip list, but you clearly have never heard of Cartagena! Resting along the Colombian Caribbean coast, this place, untouched by conflict, is filled with painted colonial mansions that are simply stunning in the sunshine. It really feels like time travel to the past.
14. Hamburg - Germany
Berlin takes all the cool points when it comes to visiting Germany, but don’t count Hamburg out! Once known as Germany’s ‘gateway to the world’, Hamburg has a long tradition in importing and exporting through its intricate canal system, and the port areas of the city are now some of the most quaint and beautiful in the entire country.
It’s 2017 and it’s time for Malta to return to the world stage in a big way! The small Mediterranean island might be overlooked in favor of bigger countries like Spain and Italy, but thanks to some key scenes of the smash hit Game Of Thrones being filmed there, people have started to become more interested in visiting to soak up the beautiful scenery and rich, mixed culture.
16. Papua New Guinea
Located north of Australia in the South Pacific, Papua New Guinea is comprised of over 600 small islands, which makes for some really amazing adventures of all sorts! Efforts have been made to make the untamed rain forests much easier for intrepid souls to explore the terrain.
17. Chengdu - China
Fun fact, Chengdu is the only city in China that is known by the same name now as it was 2000 years ago! It is a fog-covered river town that has quietly come to be regarded as one of the very best locations for amazing food in the entire world, with UNESCO giving it the title of ‘the cradle and center of Sichuan cuisine’.
18. Canton Uri - Switzerland
If you are looking for some quintessential Alpine travel experiences, then Canton Uri is the destination for you! From snow peaked mountains to wildflower meadows to traditional cheese making huts, this Swiss area, seemingly stuck in time, is the perfect getaway from the stresses of modern life!
19. Guadeloupe Islands
In terms of culture, these islands are part French, part Caribbean, and this mixture makes for a vibrant and interesting holiday experience. If you are a history buff, you can also complement the beautiful sun soaked vacation experience with some enriching learning about the history of the African slave trade.
20. Georgia - United States
If live music is something that you want to hear more of in 2017, then right now there is no better place than Georgia. With a buzzing music scene that boasts modern greats as well as historical icons like Otis Redding, Little Richard and Ray Charles, the state holds approximately 75 different festivals a year!
21. Cradle of Humankind - South Africa
If you want to go on a vacation that really means something, then why not go home, so to speak? The Cradle Of Humankind World Heritage site in Johannesburg is a stunning places filled with evidence and artifacts relating to the African locations where humans where first known to walk the earth. You’ll learn so much!
Are you inspired by any of these destinations?