15 Best Travel Destinations in 2016
Are you fed up with all the regular travel destinations? Do you get the feeling that every place you go to offers the same experience, serves the same food and gives off the same vibe?
Then it’s time for a change, it’s time for the travel destinations which might not be the first ones that pop into your mind. We have the list of the 15 best travel destinations that will offer you a completely new experience.
1. Faroe Islands
No matter what year it is, Faroe Islands are always a good travel destination. July to August will be a perfect time to visit Faroe Islands, as that is the time when temperatures are comfortable and mildly warm, and the sunlight lasts long.
Planes that can lead you to Faroe Islands fly once a week, and the same goes for going back. There are a lot of nice places where you can stay, that will fit your budget and style. If you want to explore the Faroe Islands, you can easily do it by car, but make sure you first familiarize yourself with the narrow lanes and the driving ways on these islands, because if you are not a local resident, you might get confused.
Faroe Islands are thought to have been first inhabited with Irish monks, and it was considered “the paradise of the birds” as there are many species of birds enjoying the nature and richness of this place.
2. Esteros del Iberá, Argentina
This place has many lakes that create a web in the northeastern Corrientes Province in Argentina. The water in these lakes is so pure and glittering that the people usually refer to it as “brilliant water”. These waters take up 3.2 million acres of the mentioned province, and have been declared a natural reserve in 1983. The horizontal landscape of this place is very beautiful and intimate. It was previously famous for the animal who was the king of this area, jaguar, but it was driven out during the 1950s. However, environmentalists are trying to raise awareness and taking action in order to bring jaguar back to this area.
The best time to visit, if you like tropical temperatures, is during the summer which here lasts from December to February. This is the time when you can see colorful birds and flowering plants and experience the tropical side of this area. If the purpose of your visit is to see the wildlife, then the best time to visit is from March to June, while if you wish to experience the holidays in Argentina, the best time is the winter, which lasts from June to September.
If you would like to experience some history, a must-see is one the old cattle ranches located on the outskirts of the Ibera Provincial Park. It holds more than 4000 cattle, hundreds of horses and a traditional colonial spirit that would be a pity to miss if you have the chance to visit.
3. Sea Islands, South Carolina
Some of the most important events and periods in American history took place here, in Sea Islands, and you are able to see the evidence of this history while relaxing and getting some tan on your vacation. When people come to visit Sea Islands, they often know very little about the history of the place, and the stories come as a surprise to them. If you are planning to visit and on the way experience some of the Gullah culture, you will enjoy storytelling, and sampling traditional food. If you are thinking when would be the perfect time to go, here are some dates for you. Mid March is the time when the Hilton Head Island Wine and Food Festival takes place. At the end of May, on the 29th, the Annual Original Gullah Festival will be held, and this is an event that should not be missed, if you have the chance to visit. Another very interesting event, Penn Center Heritage Days happen from 6thto 9th November, and this is an event dedicated to celebrating the Gullah culture, music and art.
When in Sea Islands, you should not miss trying the Gullah dishes, especially “okra matoes stew” and the “sweet tater” bread pudding, as these are original Gullah meals and they directly transfer the sense of their historic culture and tradition.
4. Mont St. Michel, France
The Abbey of Mont St. Michel has been leaving visitors breathless for more than a thousand years now. This spectacular looking locality rises from a bay where the tides are so high and merciless that they are among the highest in all of Europe. The weather around this magnificent monument changes very quickly, often even hourly, and the light and the sky usually look like they are playing with each other, restlessly.
As Mont St. Michel was fairly unreachable, in 1897 a causeway was built to ease the access. It then stopped being surrounded by clean and beautiful water and became an abbey at the end of a big mudflat. However, this all changed with a project realized in 2005, when this abbey was returned its access to the sea, and its original spirit was restored. The goal for the future is to get it to float in the water that surrounds it again.
The best time to visit Mont St. Michel is when the tides are the highest, because then you will be able to see the magnificence of water rushing in and around the Mont. But, you can also go when the tides are low, as then you can walk around the tidal flats and go sightseeing accompanied by a tour guide, as going by yourself could be dangerous, because of the changing tides.
5. National Mall, Washington, D.C.
With the growth of American national fortunes grew the National Mall which started occupying a large space back in the 1922, when the park reached 2 miles in size. With the passing of time, many things have changed, and the Victorian plants that used to bloom here have been replaced with a kickball field, and at the place where a high class brothel from the Civil War was, now stands the National Museum of the American Indian.
The Mall is perceived as a holy ground by the citizens of Washington, who congregate on the Lincoln Memorial steps – the steps that carry a great part of American history as it is the place where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. held his most famous and remembered speech, “I Have a Dream”.
As of 2015, The National Mall has reached its true form, and many people haved worked very hard to get it there. It will not only be a formal park in a federal city, as the aim is to make it into a place where everyone will be able to express themselves freely and no one will be discriminated.
The best time to visit the National Mall would be at the time of the National Cherry Blossom Festival that last from March 20th until April 12th. And of course, one of the most famous American holidays, July the 4th will be celebrated with fireworks, so if you are thinking where to spend this day – think about doing it here, as it will be spectacular.
6. Corsica, France
Corsica somehow successfully resisted the influences of time and other cultures and two centuries after the final defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte, Corsica still possesses the same spirit. Even though it is closely connected to Italy and France and it would be very easy to embrace these cultures, Corsica has stubbornly held on to its own unique culture and continued speaking the Corsican language. However, since the island of Corsica is in a place where multiple cultures clash, keeping its own culture as it is, in its original form, has been a constant struggle.
The island’s mountainous area has successfully stayed fairly untouched by human hand, as most visitors go to Corsica to see the house where Napoleon lived, the historic La Maison Bonaparte located in Ajaccio. As for the coast, it seems to be very pleasing to tourists as it shows the real spirit of this place and its cultural and historic value. Corsica is, for the most part, very quiet and peaceful. There are many quiet villages and valleys which are protected as a part of the national park The Parc Naturel Régionale de Corse, which takes up a little less than half of the island of Corsica. If you decide to go hiking, you will see beautiful pine and oak forests, and the best time of the year for this is from May to June and from September to October. On the other hand, if you are going there to soak up some sun on a beach and engage in water sports, then you should go from July to August.
7. Medellín, Colombia
This city was some time ago the world’s cocaine capital, but that is no longer the case. Now most negative aspects of this city have been replaced by the positive ones and the place that was known for terrorism has now become a place where tourists gladly come to enjoy their time when on vacation. Medellín has become the new tourist hotspot in Colombia, and what is most attractive for tourists in this city are actually the views. In the valley downtown, a combination of avant-garde architecture and enormous sky scrapers, and beautiful Andean mountains gives the city a unique and interesting look and spirit, as a modern city is surrounded and protected by a powerful mountain.
Other tourist attractions include the public places that are filled with art, giving a city that artistic free look. Artworks are exposed on the streets and in parks, and the paintings and sculptures include the works of famous artists such as Picasso, but also of those less known.
The best time to visit Medellín is whenever you feel like it. Throughout the entire year the temperature is always around 72 ºF. But if you want to experience some of this city’s culture, you could go at the beginning of August, when the Flower Festival takes place, or in December when you will have the opportunity to see the city in its full glory when the holiday lights are set up, and the true holiday spirit can be felt in the air.
8. Maramureș, Romania
This historic land is one of the most natural and untouched-by-human-hand places in the world. The hills are kept as they are, with no roads carved or grass cut with a loaning machine. Everything is hand cut and handmade and people here value the worth of human labor and effort. This is the place where things haven’t changed much in the last few hundreds of years. The traditional ways are kept safe and the only difference between how things were then and the way they are now is the way people retell it, not much more. This land is rich in rivers, valleys and fields and non-asphalted roads. However, the bike trails have been modernized so people could commute more easily, but it stayed in the spirit of the tradition.
In Maramureș, everything is made of wood – tools, gates, ornaments, house roofs. The churches that still stand since the 17th century are also made out of wood, and they have become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and on their wooden walls there are pictures that tell stories about the history of Maramureș, the good and the bad, and represent an important part of Romanian culture.
If you go to Maramureș, from July to September, you will be able to experience hiking, an activity which will not leave you feeling indifferent when you try it in this land. However, if you want a taste of the culture of Maramureș, the best time to visit would be September.
9. Haida Gwaii, Canada
If you haven’t visited this tranquil island it’s high time you do. The thing that attracts the most travelers to Haida Gwaii is the quietness and peace that rules this place. This is a 180-miles long archipelago which has a variety of natural forms enriching it – but most of all dense forests with many different types of beautiful trees. Recently, scientists have found that people lived underground in this area, and the evidence indicates that this was the case around 12,000 years ago.
This area is so peaceful and quiet that just writing on a piece of paper could sound too loud after you get used to the quietness. This is especially pleasant as you can enjoy the sounds of water washing the sand of the beaches, birds singing, the wind slowly moving the branches of trees. All of these quiet sounds can relax you and bring you some inner peace that you probably need if you are working a full time job and living in a big noisy city.
The tourist services are most available during the summer, which lasts from May to September, and this is also the best time to visit Haida Gwaii. However, if you would like to have some excitement, too, and not just peaceful time, than go during the winter which lasts from October to May, because that is the season for surfing. If you are thinking how to get to Haida Gwaii, don’t worry, there are flights twice a day that lead to and from this place.
10. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Oklahoma City has changed much in the recent years, and only for the better. One interesting factor that will make this city good to visit is, in 2015 the fact that an 11-acre white-water rafting center will be opened and put into use.
To be fully open and honest, the midtown of this city used to be full of crack houses, and it really wasn’t a good place to visit, especially if you are taking your family with you. However, this has changed significantly and now it is a place where there are many new condos, classy hotels and stores. And this city will only continue improving.
If you are planning to visit this city, you might want to take part in the Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon, Half Marathon or 5K, which will take place on the 26th of April. However, if you are looking to experience some culture, from June 10th to 14th, a deadCENTER Film Festival will be held, and this is certainly something you should see if you are visiting at that time.
A fun fact about Oklahoma City is that it became a city in only a day, on the 22nd of April, 1998, when more than 10,000 people moved to this area and settled there, thus setting the roots of the city that has become and been the capital of Oklahoma since 1910.
11. Choquequirao, Peru
This place that is so hard to pronounce in the right way was the original Machu Picchu. The Inca emperors had a extravagant taste for property which they wanted to call their own, and they picked those properties carefully, and one of these royal ‘properties’ were the royal digs of Machu Picchu. This area is not easily accessible as it is located 9,800 feet from the ground, so saying that you can go there by train or bus would be a lie. It really isn’t easy to get there – but it is worth the effort and the sweat you will surely feel while climbing to get to the top.
Choquequirao hasn’t changed much since the Incas left, and if you decide to visit you will probably have all the privacy your heart desires, as there is a big chance you will be there alone. This is not a huge tourist attraction, but this is exactly why it kept its unspoiled looks and spirit. When the season is the busiest, there are up to 30 people visiting per day (while around 5,000 tourists visit Machu Picchu daily).
The best time to visit Choquequirao is during the winter, which here lasts from June to August, and that is the time when you will be able to engage in hiking and enjoy the sites. However, be careful to bring warm clothes as temperatures here go below freezing during the night.
12. Sark, Channel Islands
This is one of the few places in the world where tradition still stands and the traditional ways are fully respected. In 2015, the people of Sark celebrated 450 years of feudalism.
The medieval ways of governance were abolished in 2008, but that hasn’t changed the spirit and behavior of people, and the old way of life is still very much present. The best evidence for this is the absence of banks, and even those two banks that exist in this area don’t have ATM machines. The roads remain not cemented, and are not even paved, and they are completely dark at night time as there are no street lights. Not to mention that the residents of Sark are not allowed to drive cars, or if they do they have to keep them outside the Sark territory.
The transportation you can use when in Sark includes your legs, bicycles or a horse-drawn carriage. No motor vehicles here. There are many activities you can enjoy here during the day, but when the night comes the only thing you can do outside is look at the sky, which is really magnificent from here, because of the lack of artificial light, the stars are very clearly visible and the sky is so dark that Sark became the first Island certified by the International Dark-Sky Association.
13. Hyderabad, India
This southeastern city of India was the city where one of the wealthiest people in the world lived, Mir Osman Ali Khan, and he was also the last Nizam of Hyderabad. Now this city is the place where many global IT brands hold their head offices, but it hasn’t lost its historic looks completely, as it remains surrounded by ancient boulders, and the modern houses recently built are surrounded by traditional gardens and lakes. From the luxurious hotel Taj Falaknuma Palace you can see the Old city where the old Indian tradition is well preserved.
A good Muslim ruler was supposed to be as good in writing as he was with his sword in fight, and so it is no wonder that the founder of this city wrote the first collection of Urdu poetry ever to have been published.
The best time to travel to Hyderabad depends on whether you are going for the city itself, or you wish to go to some of the festivals that take place here. From November to March, this city goes through a dry season when the temperatures are often from 85º to 95°F. The Hyderabad Literary Festival takes place from the 23rd to the 26th of January, while a festival celebrating various cultures, Deccan Festival, happens February 25 to March 1.
14. Taiwan, officially the Republic of China
Compared to China, Taiwan is cleaner and more peaceful, and has Wi-Fi connection almost everywhere on the island (yes, that is important for some of us). This mountainous island has an empowering aboriginal society, and it is growing economically by the day. The inscription “Made in Taiwan” used to mean that the thing you bought is of bad quality, but this has changed, and having an item with such inscription causes pride. The capital of Taiwan, Taipei has gained the status as the 2016 World Design Capital, due to its many skyscrapers and many newly built modern buildings.
If you are a foodie, Taipei will be paradise for you. And don’t think about eating at restaurants, as you can buy magnificent food at food stalls where you can eat large quantities of excellent food for an affordable price.
If you want to go to some festivals in Taiwan, the Taiwan Lantern Festival that takes place on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month might be a satisfying choice. Another interesting festival is the Penghu Ocean Fireworks Festival that will last from the middle of July to the end of August. However, if you are less interested in those kinds of festivals and you would like to see something food-related, then the Taiwan Hot Spring and Fine-Cuisine Carnival, which is organized in many Taiwanese cities, is just right for you. But this festival lasts during the month of January, so this will be something which you will be able to visit next year.
15. Koyasan, Japan
Koyasan is considered the center of Japanese Buddhism. To get to this ancient city that has existed for 1,200 years, you only need two hours from Osaka, if you are traveling by train. Kayasan is one of the most sacred sites in all of Japan. Monks consider it an epitome of purity. You can witness the customs of monastic life if you visit one of the temples that allow visitors. You can feel the spirituality if you join the morning chants in one of the temples, which are usually accompanied by gongs and cymbals. Monks here are strictly vegetarian, and you will have the chance to taste their simple but tasty vegetarian cuisine in the evening, when all the spiritual obligations are finished. At night, there are no lights except the one from the lanterns.
The best time to visit Koyasan is anytime from April to November, but during the weekdays, as on weekends this place is crowded by tourists. However, if you want to visit a festival while you are here, then you will enjoy Aoba Festival on the June 15th where you will be able to hear the wonderful sounds of flutes and drums. But if you are up to something more peaceful, then the Candle Festival that takes place from August 13th to 16th, will be satisfying for you.
Always remember to explore,