My major expedition in 2017 was a visit to South Italy. I am totally obsessed with nature and the food from this sole part of Italy’s shoe shaped land. The memories of it still linger in my mind. I thought to ask other wanderers about their travel year and the Best Destination in 2017 and I came up with a list of stunning destinations from all around the world.
The best destinations in 2017
Maria from Tigrest Travel Blog titles Austria as her best destination in 2017.
The coolest place I’ve been to this year is, without a doubt, Austria. Visiting this amazing country was on our road trip itinerary, and there are many reasons why. First of all, it has such an amazing nature! Driving through the country is an unforgettable experience. Mountain roads, green meadows, cute white houses and very hospitable locals make the trip just so amazingly perfect.
During our visit, we got to see Europe’s largest ice cave (Eisriesenwelt) and drive on one of the most scenic mountain roads called Grossglockner High Alpine road. The views are breath-taking and this road is particularly worthy when riding a motorbike – 40km of pure joy. If you don’t own a motorbike, you can still go there by rental car.
Even though Austria is not cheapest country in Europe, the food, culture and the people make it worth the visit. If mountain roads are not for you, consider visiting its bustling capital Vienna or romantic Salzburg – hometown of famous Mozart.
The owner of the blog ‘Wanderer of the World’ – Justine puts Iceland as her top destination in 2017.
March 2017 saw me and my other half travel to Iceland for the first time. It had long been a destination on our travel wish-lists, meaning this year was the year of finally making the dream a reality.
When we first arrived in Iceland, we explored Thingvellir National Park on our way to our cabin based in the Golden Circle. This was the moment when I realized just how truly special our Iceland trip was going to be.
The scenery was dramatic, stunning and like a winter wonderland complete with snow-capped mountains in the distance. We saw picturesque waterfalls, glorious sunshine, and no crowds! We even drank from the Öxarárfoss Waterfall as the water was crystal clear and ice cold – simply perfect! It’s hard to imagine this was only our first afternoon in Iceland.
Across the following few days, we saw yet more perfect sights including star attractions of the Golden Circle such as Gullfoss, Strokkur Geysir, and the Secret Lagoon spa. We also explored the South Coast, where we walked behind Seljalandsfoss waterfall, saw Skógafoss Waterfall from above and found a black sand beach entirely by accident whilst driving along. It turns out that this beach (Sólheimasandur) is home to a plane wreckage from the 1970s – Iceland was always throwing up surprises like this!
And to top it all off, this beach was also where my other half proposed to me, meaning I not only fell in love with Iceland because of its scenery and immense beauty but also because it now holds even more special memories for me. And hey! It must have been a great place because we’re heading back there next year as well!
Tara, from Nutrition Abroad, takes Lake Atitlan in Guatemala as her top destination in 2017Guatemala is a country that has hit a sweet spot for independent travelers in 2018. The safety issues of the past have been resolved, yet the reputation as a ‘dangerous’ country has kept the masses of package tours away – for now. This incredible land of jungles, lakes, and volcanoes will make you feel like you are in a storybook, and nowhere more so than Lake Atitlán. Surrounded by mountains and three enormous volcanoes and ringed with trails where friendly locals in colorful garb continue to live as they have for centuries, you will be amazed that such a place exists. The towns around Atitlán offer something for everyone – Panajachel is an ideal launching pad with everything a traveler would need, San Pedro la Laguna offers a backpacker party scene, San Marcos La Laguna is home to scores of health and wellness retreats while San Juan la Laguna produces incredible handmade textiles and local paintings. Best of all, these towns are easily connected by cheap and efficient water taxis that offer stunning views. While the ride there is a bit bumpy, it keeps the tour buses away while offering incredible views. Get there now before the secret is out!
The owner of the Tara Lets Anywhere– Katherine, wants to acclaim Biliran, the Philippines as the best destination in 2017.
Biliran is definitely one of the highlights of my trips this year. This island province, small and underrated, can be found in the Visayas region in the Philippines.
First of all, Biliran has landscapes breathing with subtle beauty. It has mountains for trekking, scenic fields, and rice terraces. It hides a total of 30 waterfalls, with only a handful of them frequented by tourists; the rest are in off-beaten trails in the mountains.
Biliran also has beaches where you can stay for a quiet vacation and several small islands that you can explore for 1-2 days. Of this, the most breath-taking would be Sambawan Island. Sambawan Island is composed of fragmented islets, with the biggest one serving as the tourist stop. Here you can climb up the view deck to see Sambawan Island’s unique elongated shape and the surrounding water in varying shades of blue; swim in the white-sand beach; rent for diving equipment in the island store and go under to see rich marine ecosystems around the area; and stay overnight in a tent or proper room.
Biliran has so much to offer, and the fact that it’s low-key added to our appreciation of this province.
Hannah & Adam Lukaszewicz, the owners of the Getting Stamped, have Germany as their best destination in 2017.
2017 was a busy year for us we visited 23 countries but one of our favorite trips was our recent road trip in Germany. We rented a car for the week with no set plans except to see some of the famous castles in Germany. We didn’t book any hotels either, we wanted to book them the day off so we could take our time and see where we ended up. We even found a few Airbnb castles to stay in, which was a bucket list item for us. We visited the famous castles like Neuschwanstein but also visited lesser visited ones like Cochem Castle & Leichestein Castle. We visited in October where the weather was perfect and the trees were turning gorgeous colors. There are over 20,000 castles in Germany and in our week we saw a ton but so much more to explore.