Seeking an adventure in 2016? There’s nothing more exciting for a travel geek than planning your trips for the year ahead, the only problem is, where to go?!
Here’s my suggestions for where to visit over the next year.
This might sound like an odd addition, but Sierra Leone is now Ebola-free and drastically needing tourists to return! With incredible sandy beaches, tropical islands and even rainforests this country is incredibly diverse, but that fact appears to have eluded most tourists.
So how can you visit? Well with direct flights from the UK currently suspended you’ll have to go via Paris, Casablanca or Brussels. Can you imagine a holiday here without any other tourists, for me it’d be geek heaven!
Officially a part of Europe, Azerbaijan isn’t usually the first destination one thinks of when planning a holiday. However, over the next decade this all looks set to change as Baku attempts to transform itself into the Dubai of Europe.
With a rich historical, cultural and natural heritage, Azerbaijan has it all. Although Baku has a small old city, it’s most famous for the Flame Towers that now light up the sky at night. As the country is most commonly known as “The Land of Fire” it’s no surprise that there’s a burning mountain called Yanar Dag that’s continually on fire thanks to natural gas, make sure you visit.
I have a fond admiration for Iceland, they were one of the countries hardest hit by the world recession but they successfully jailed their bankers and in the process got the country back on track whilst striving to increase their tourist numbers. Quite an achievement!
New direct flights with British Airways are set to launch which should encourage cheaper fares due to increased competition, therefore now is the time to book a trip to Iceland. Floating around in the Blue Lagoon is one of my favourite travel memories, it’s a truly magical place.
As my favourite country, find out why I love it so much by reading what adventures I got up to during my visit.
As Central America’s tourism giant, Costa Rica has been the safe-haven in a typically conflict-prone area. Boasting tropical rainforests, pristine beaches and incredible wildlife this place is an eco-lovers paradise!
Thankfully the UK will now have much easier access to Costa Rica with new direct flights starting in May 2016 from London.
Another one that might sound like a strange “must-see” destination, but for me Ukraine is very misunderstood. It’s one of my favourite places that I’ve been to in Europe. Firstly, it’s affordable and there’s a surprising amount to see/do.
Is Ukraine safe to visit? I visited during the peak of the revolution in 2014, things have now thankfully calmed down in the main tourist areas so this shouldn’t be an issue. Click here to read my travel itinerary and must-see things for a trip to Ukraine.
If predictions are correct, Iran will become a huge player in the tourist world over the next five years. With a lot of misconceptions about what to expect, my advice would be to simply just visit and find out!
Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest civilisations, there’s so much history to explore and some grand mosques to boot. You might be surprised to discover that the country boasts some fabulous beaches and even world-class hiking and skiing facilities. The visa palaver might put you off, but the rewards will more than make up for it.
I’m just going to say it…LEMURS!! I really, really, really want to visit Madagascar, it’s a country that has fascinated me for years. Due to its isolation, the country boasts unique flora and fauna not found anywhere else in the world.
Although there’s no direct flights from the UK you can easily transit via Paris, Nairobi or Istanbul. Due to colonial history, the main language spoken is French, so make sure you brush up on your skills as this will be warmly appreciated. As many of the rainforests are being torn down to make way for farmland its a fight for the native species to surprise, I’d highly recommend visiting sooner rather than later.
India has suffered some incredibly negative press over the last couple of years resulting in a lack of tourists visiting the country. This is rather sad but things are slowly starting to change and thankfully India has now made it much easier to visit by reducing the cost of a visa and giving you the ability to apply online.
As the second most populated country in the world, India is huge and bursting at the seams but you can always find parts that are secluded and off the tourist trail. Some of the most unique places to see include the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Assam state and Sikkim.
Have you ever considered an adventure holiday to Uruguay? Could you even point it out on a map? Well, this tiny country is sandwiched between South American heavyweights Brazil and Argentina, often tourists will simply travel straight through the country and not actually visit.
If you’re from the UK you’ll know the name Fray Bentos from tinned pies, but did you know there’s a city named in its honour where you can visit a museum? It’s not one of the major tourist attractions, but this country sure boasts some of the prettiest scenery in South America and is well worth a visit.
Whatever you do, don’t mention Borat! Kazakhstan is attempting to remove this image from tourists minds as the country begins to open up and encourage people to visit this giant Central Asian nation. The first phase of “encouragement” was to offer a visa free policy, tested over the past year and ending in May 2016, it appears to have been a huge success.
Just what is there to see? Well, Almaty might surprise you. With huge boulevards and magnificent statues this country certainly boasts and shows off its wealth. Venture outside the typical tourist-drag and you’ll encounter a nomadic lifestyle that has barely changed.
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