With so many amazing destinations to choose from when planning your gap year or backpacking trip for 2017, how do you make a decision on where to go? The Bemused Backpacker 2017 destination guide is here to help you and let you know where all the upcoming destinations are for this year.
Here are my personal top picks for where you should be making travel plans for the year ahead, some are old favourites and others may surprise you a little, but you won’t be short of ideas for where to go in the coming year!
For such a relatively small country Sri Lanka has a hell of a lot packed into it. Simply crammed with UNESCO world heritage sites and enough national parks and wildlife to be considered a biodiversity hotspot, Sri Lanka is a bewitching country that is changing fast and one that will enchant any visitor. There is a reason that the English word serendipity evolved from Serendib, the name that early Arab settlers gave to this tiny piece of paradise, and once you visit Sri Lanka you will know exactly what that reason is!
A lot of people fear Israel, the middle east in general in fact, but they really shouldn’t. Israel is the heart of the holy land, an iconic religious and historical mecca, an innovative tech hub and a contemporary centre for passionate artistic, creative and gastronomic excellence. What more can any traveller ask for? There is far more to Israel than meets the eye, and it will be one of the next hot travel destinations. Right now travellers need to see past its conflict rife and security heavy reputation to see what a safe, vibrant and fascinating country it is before all the tourists arrive.
The Philippines are one of South East Asia’s most dazzling locations and have been on backpackers radars for a very long time, so why has it made this list? Because the Philippines is a vast archipelago sprinkled across the pacific ocean like a long string of glistening jewels and precious gems, and backpackers have only scratched the well trodden surface. There is far more to the Philippines than beautiful coastline, lush tropical jungles and white sand beaches paradise itself would be jealous of, head inland to lesser known places like Legazpi and indulge in the burgeoning adventure travel industry. Look further afield and support some of the real ecotourism highlights of this diverse archipelago. Look just a little deeper than the well trodden path and you will discover a rich, diverse culture that makes this one of the most exuberant and unique parts of South East Asia and discover why travellers are flocking there in increasing numbers.
A lot of travellers are finally starting to look past the coastal resorts of Benidorm and Magaluf, away from the booze fuelled stag parties and all day English breakfasts, and are once again starting to explore a more open, genuine Spain in regions like Andalucia, and taking advantage of the diversity of the cosmopolitan cities like Granada and the open, untouched areas of outstanding natural beauty like the Sierra Nevada National Park. With cheap flights heading there daily from the UK and Europe, there really is no reason not to go and explore it yourself.
I know I included Egypt last year too, but there is a very good reason why it has made the list for the second year in a row. The tourism industry in Egypt is still really suffering hard with a series of incidents over the last couple of years scaring tourists away. The thing is Egypt is a safe and absolutely wonderful country to travel to and it really is time for the world to come back to it. With increasing pressure on the UK government to drop all travel warnings to the country, it is likely that 2017 is the year that happens. How can you not want to see the Pyramids of Giza, the new library of Alexandria or any number of other awe inspiring sites? Get away from the tourist resorts and travel independently through the entire country to see a side of Egypt very few tourists ever get to see, and discover for yourself exactly why travellers have been drawn to this land for over 6000 years.
So those are my hot picks for where you should be thinking of heading to in 2017. Do you agree? Did I miss any of your must see countries of the list? Let me know!
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