The ultimate travel list: 10 places to go in 2017

Posted by Melanie van Zyl on 16 January 2017

Welcome to a new year and a whole bunch of new places waiting to be explored. There are countless lists all across the interwebs telling you the hottest destinations and the next ‘it’ adventure. We’ve simplified these lists and found the places that appear the most (plus given it our own South African once-over given budget and political constraints) to create the ultimate travel list of places to go this year.

Because the best way to cure the holiday blues is to book another one.

1. Canada

The Bonaventure River is rated as one of the clearest and purest water courses on the planet.

The Bonaventure River is rated as one of the clearest and purest water courses on the planet.

 

Canada appeared on nearly every single list I came across on the web. There’s a good reason for that and New York Time Travel puts it perfectly on their list of 52 Places to Go in 2017, ‘All of the country’s more than 200 national parks and historic sites are offering free admission through the year, from the turquoise lakes and mountain peaks of Banff in Alberta to the rolling dunes and red sandstone cliffs of Prince Edward Island along the Atlantic Coast to the newest reserve, the glacial-rounded Mealy Mountains in Labrador’.

Need more inspiration? Read about local adventure travel writer, Jacques Maraisepic trip to the Gaspésie Peninsula, ‘a place of infinite beauty with an abundance of options for the active’.

Return flights to Vancouver cost roughly  R10400.

 

2. Rwanda

A veteran male silverback sits watch over his territory and family. A few weeks earlier he had killed another silverback in a battle for dominance. Photo by Teagan Cunniffe.

A veteran male silverback sits watch over his territory and family. A few weeks earlier he had killed another silverback in a battle for dominance. Photo by Teagan Cunniffe.

 

This is not a new destination to South Africans being a top spot to go and see gorillas on the mountain slopes, but there’s also more to this vibrant African country and we need to appreciate some of our local travel opportunities. Getaway’s photo editor, Teagan puts it’s perfectly. ‘Kigali was not how I imagined. For one thing, I never expected to be wandering around the streets, hitching rides on taxi-motos and feeling safe. I never expected the vibrant colours, open smiles and invites into restaurants; the earnest attempts to teach me phrases of Kinyarwandan. What I definitely didn’t expect was a sense of resilience and rebuilding, of community’.

Get inspired with her photographs of Kigali: the African city that shines.

And if seeing gorillas is still on your bucketlist, also check out the only gorilla trekking story you’ll ever need to read.

 

Return flights to Kigali cost roughly R4500.

 

3. Oman

Wahiba Sands Desert Crossing, Oman

Wahiba Sands Desert Crossing, Oman. Photograph by Hannah Moore.

 

Web editor Kati Auld would wager a bet that this country has never crossed your travel lists before, but then she came across this unbelievably beautiful travel video.

Watch it and no doubt you’ll also change your mind that ‘Oman is way more beautiful than expected – from the diving and ancient architecture to the towering mountain-ranges’.

Return flights to Muscat cost roughly R7000.

 

4. Madagascar

Madagascar Island Safaris, Nosy Be, Northeast Madagascar, eco-safaris, eco-friendly lodges in Africa

Madagascar Island Safaris, Nosy Be. Photo by David Bristow

 

Appearing on lists by the New York Times, Bloomberg, Travel+Leisure and Vogue who are we to disagree? The ecotourism and adventure paradise offers different wildlife to our own and island perfection to boot.

The photographs will show you how easy it is to fall in love with Madagascar and if you’re the more active type, see what it’s like to run in the most remote region of Madagascar.

Also, look out for Tyson Jopson’s upcoming story this year on how to tackle Madagascar by motorbike.

Return flights to Antananarivo cost roughly R7000. 

 

5. Germany

 

The Monkey Bar on the top floor of the 25 Hours Bikini hotel has a rooftop terrace and panoramic views of the city. The Monkey Bar on the top floor of the 25 Hours Bikini hotel has a rooftop terrace and panoramic views of Berlin. Photo by Brandon de Kock.

Berlin has been a hot destination for a while now, but Hamburg’s beautiful canals have moved this city into the spotlight. National Geographic Traveller says that ‘Hamburg boasts about 2,500 bridges, more than Venice, Amsterdam, and London combined’.

Also read: Six great reasons to travel Germany by train

Return flights to Hamburg cost roughly R8000.

 

6. Cape Town

capetown-arial_teagan-cunniffe007

Well, this one needs no introduction. This gorgeous spot right in our own country tops must-visit lists around the world. Don’t know how to explore?

21 Different things to do in Cape Town

16 of the best backpackers in Cape Town

Wake up to a foodie weekend in Cape Town

26 Affordable weekend getaways near Cape Town

No more excuses.

Return flights cost roughly R2000. 

 

7. Portugal

Porto's rail and tram network means getting to and around the city is a breeze, and often dramatically scenic.

Porto’s rail and tram network means getting to and around the city is a breeze, and often dramatically scenic.

 

The vibey capital, Lisbon, is also pretty easy on the pocket for South Africans, ‘Time your trip to Lisbon well, and you’ll be even more impressed with the setup in the city. In spring (February) or autumn (October), crowds thin, the heat eases off, and prices drop. At this time of year you can pick up a decent hotel room for €80 (R1,168) a night, but it’s really AirBnb and hostels that rule the overnight scene here’.

Also read: a budget-friendly guide to stretching your rands in Lisbon
Return flights to Lisbon cost roughly R9000. 

 

8. Finland

Dogsledding Lapland, Finland

Dogsledding Lapland, Finland. Photo by Evan Haussmann.

 

This year, the Finns celebrate a hundred years of independence and all the web lists reckon it’s going to be one big party – Lonely Planet says to ‘Expect everything from al fresco concerts and communal culinary experiences to sauna evenings and vintage-travel-poster exhibitions’. Luckily, according to National Geographic Traveller, there’s space for solitude too. ‘Finland’s 40 national parks, 12 wilderness areas, and six national hiking areas are sanctuaries for silence-seekers’.

Return flights to Helsinki cost roughly R8000. 

 

9. Sri Lanka

The view of the beach from the Galle Face Hotel at sunset.

The view of the beach from the Galle Face Hotel at sunset.

 

Not only was I was surprised at how much I felt at home in this country far from SA, but it has an exotic flavour at a great price. The south coast is incredibly rewarding to travel and represents the island in a nutshell with a host of incredible beaches, cultural sites like golden temples and also wildlife. Read about exactly where to go in the January issue.

Return flights to Colombo cost roughly R7000. 

 

10. Mexico

Avenue of the dead temple. photo by Connor Cullinan.

Avenue of the dead temple. photo by Connor Cullinan.

People call it a monster. But this city of 21 million people is not only tame-able, it’s deeply rewarding. There’s wine, culture and exceptional diving in this crazy South American country and we know where to find enclaves and art-filled spots.

Return flights to Mexico City cost roughly R19000 

 

 

*All our flight prices are researched as if travelling for two weeks in June 2017 and departing from Johannesburg. 

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