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World Best Destinations to Visit in 2017

we strongly recommends to visit these places in 2017, and included all attractions of places with food culture and best hotel details

 Best Destinations to Visit in 2017

 With some exciting new adventure destinations and a few classics thrown in, here’s our list of the places we’re eager to see in 2017, as well as a few we’ve been to and would suggest others visit next year, presented here                           

Chile

Top 10 Tourist Attractions In Chile

 

10. Cerro San Cristobal

Cerro San Cristóbal is a hill in northern Santiago with a beautiful view over the city and, on a clear day, the Andes. At the peak, there is a church and a 22 meter (72 feet) statue of the Virgin Mary. The summit can be reached by cable car or a long hike. Cerro San Cristóbal houses the Parque Metropolitano, Santiago’s largest public park. In the park there is also a botanical garden, zoo and two swimming pools.

9. Los Pinguinos Natural Monument

The largest penguin colonies in southern Chile, Los Pingüinos Natural Monument is home to more than 120,000 Magellanic penguins. Located on the small Magdalena Island, just one square kilometer and topped by a pretty red lighthouse, it lies 35km (22 miles) northeast of Punta Arenas. In September or October each year, the birds migrate back here and find their mate. By the end of March the penguins have returned to sea again

8.Chiloe Churches

Chiloe Island

The Chiloe archipelago is an isolated group of islands, best known for a number of unique churches that boast a particular architectural style called Chilota. This style is a very unique combination of aboriginal and European Jesuit influence, and was reflected in more than a hundred wooden churches in these islands that were created in the seventeenth century. The churches fell into disrepair, but almost two dozen restored sites are now available to tour, and serve as a gorgeous representation of this unique mestizo style combination

7. Valparaiso (Where to Stay)

Valparaiso

Located on the Pacific coast of the central region of Chile, Valparaíso is known for its brightly colored houses, bohemian culture and beautiful seaside views. Built upon dozens of steep hillsides overlooking the Pacific Ocean, Valparaíso boasts a labyrinth of streets and cobblestone alleyways, embodying a rich architectural and cultural legacy.

6. San Rafael Glacier
San Rafael Glacier

Located within the Laguna San Rafael National Park, the San Rafael Glacier is a giant glacier that calves into the Laguna San Rafael. The glacier is accessible only by boat or plane. The journey by boat is a spectacle in itself, passing through the narrow channels of the isolated Aisén region. What you can see from the boat is in fact just the end of the glacier’s, which extends some 15km (9 miles) from its source.

5. Valle de la Luna (Where to Stay)
Valle de la Luna

Valle de la Luna is located in the Atacama Desert. This breathtaking desert landscape is the result of centuries of winds and floods on the sand and stone of the region. The large sand dunes and stone formations mimic the surface of the moon, giving the region its name, which translates to “Valley of the Moon”.

Torres del Paine

Torres del Paine is a national park in the Extreme South region of Patagonian Chile and features mountains, lakes and glaciers. The centerpiece of the park are the three Towers of Paine, three spectacular granite peaks shaped by the forces of glacial ice. The highest peak is about 2,500 meters (8200 feet).

Popular Tours in Chile
 
3. Pucon (Where to Stay)
Pucon

Pucón is a small touristy town in the middle of the southern Lake District. The unrivaled location by a beautiful lake and imposing volcano makes it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Chile. Pucón offers a variety of sports and recreational activities including water skiing, snow skiing, white water rafting and kayaking, horseback riding, natural hot springs and climbing the Villarrica volcano.

2. Lauca National Park
Lauca National Park

Lauca National Park is located in Chile’s far north, in the Andean range and is one of the top tourist attractions in Chile. The most spectacular feature in Lauca is the beautiful Lago Chungará, one of the world’s highest lakes. Looming over it is the impossibly perfect cone of Volcán Parinacota, a dormant volcano with a twin brother, Volcán Pomerape, just across the border with Bolivia.

1. Easter Island (Where to Stay)
#1 of Tourist Attractions In Chile

One of the most isolated islands on Earth, Easter Island is located in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. Officially a territory of Chile, it lies thousands of miles off the coast roughly halfway to Tahiti. The island is famous for its 887 extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapanui people centuries ago. Not surprisingly, the well-publicized moai have overshadowed the island’s other tourist attractions. But Easter Island also offers some great diving and surfing as well as two volcanic craters and several sandy beaches

 

 

From the charms of Chile to glorious Granada and the beaches of Bermuda, our experts select the 20 best destinations to visit in the coming months.

San Pedro de Atacama

If Brazil owned South American travel last year, Chile takes over for 2017. Slowly, methodically, the continent’s most overlooked wonderland has become arguably its most desirable adventure tourism destination – precisely the gong it picked up at last year’s World Travel Awards.

And why? Because it’s a whopping 2,650 miles long, yet never more than 150 miles wide – and is packed with ecosystems, biodiversity, topographies. It has 36 national parks, some of the most extreme environments on Earth, from deserts to fjords to subpolar islands, and the roads and footpaths and necessary infrastructure to make these accessible.

 

The Foods You Have to Eat in Chile

Best Chilean Dishes to Know

Each area of the country offers travelers unique environments, and Chilean cuisine is equally as varied. There is an abundance of recipes in each region, but there are a few key dishes you can find no matter where your journey through Chile takes you.

Pastel de Choclo

Starting off in the Elqui Valley, a region popular for its stargazing possibilities, you’ll find a range of Andean cuisine. Among the mountainous dishes is pastel de choclo, which translates to “corn pie.” But the dish, pictured above, is so much more than that.

There are variations throughout the region, but typically the dish is made with sweet corn that is grounded, seasoned, and mixed with a hard boiled egg, olives, and ground beef or chicken. It reminded me of what an Andean quiche could be like—with corn instead of an egg base and no crust.

Empanada de pino

Best Chilean Dishes to Know
An empanada at the Destileria Mistral restaurant in the Pisco Elqui. Andrew Villagomez

An empanada is stuffed pastry with a filling which is then baked or fried. Every Latin American country has their own take on the classic empanada, but in Chile you get a lot for your money: There are a handful of fillings used but the most traditional one is pino, ground beef mixed with onions, raisins, olives and hard boiled eggs

Related: This Forest in Patagonia Is So Tiny You’ll Need a Magnifying Glass to See It

Sizes vary—while some South American countries’ empanadas are more snack, a traditional empanada in Chile can be big enough to be your whole meal.

Things to do in Santiago

From sipping traditional pisco sours to enjoying the majestic Andes Mountains, Santiago is so much more than a layover city. Check out the top five can’t-miss thing to do in Santiago, Chile, for travel inspiration.
 

Churrasco sandwich

If you’re a meat eater, you’ll find your bliss in Chile. Countless forms of beef, lamb, goat, and even llama can be had in the country (though the latter would only be found in the northern regions).

Best Chilean Dishes to Know
A sandwich at the Bajo Zero restaurant in Valle Nevado.Andrew Villagomez

Churrasco is thin cuts of steak, grilled and served on a local bread and can be joined with tomato, avocado and mayonnaise. You can find it late at night from various street vendors in Santiago to the restaurants in Andean ski resorts such as Valle Nevado. Served with French fries and a fried egg on top, it can also be served as a full meal in the typical Andean “a lo pobre” style (meaning “poor man’s”rro).

Allado de huaso

Best Chilean Dishes to Know
At the Sur restaurant in Valle Nevado. Andrew Villagomez

An Anthony Bourdain favorite from Chile, arrollado de huaso is pork roll that’s been chopped up, mixed with bacon slices, chilis and spices, rolled in pork skin and then boiled. Served with an avocado salsa and other veggies, it’s a southern Chilean dish.

Erizos del mar

Since this is a coastal country, seafood plays as large a role in the Chilean diet as meat. Razor clams covered with parmesan and crab pies to lobster and squid plates, there’s seafood dishes aplenty that are beloved by Chileans.

Best Chilean Dishes to Know
At the Coquimbo Fish Market. Andrew Villagomez

Pablo Neruda even wrote an ode to conger eel soup. Seafood is so diverse it’s no surprise that a Chilean favorite for centuries includes the sea urchin. Loaded with a lot of idoine and slimy, if you haven’t had it before it tastes like tongue and has a fresh-from-the-sea flavor. It can be found raw and served clean from the shell in restaurants and fish markets.

Sopa Patagonica

A traditional soup dish of the Chiloé Archipelago, a region of several islands off the central coast of Chile, pork meat is mixed with seafood such as shrimp and mussels and Chilean potatoes.

Best Chilean Dishes to Know
At the Sur restaurant in Valle Nevado. Andrew Villagomez

Chilote cuisine is based on a big use of the contents of this traditional soup as they are plentiful with variations growing on the different islands. Seafood soups can be found year-round throughout the country, and can be mixed or focused around one main fish, shellfish or crustacean.

Mote con huesillo

Best Chilean Dishes to Know
At the Santiago Central Market. Andrew Villagomez

Walking through Santiago or other cities in Chile you may see people drinking what looks like a tan cocktail from street vendors. It’s actually a non-alcoholic dessert drink that is traditional for Chileans in the summer called mote con huesillo. It’s made from dried peaches soaked overnight in a nectar syrup and mixed with fresh wheat, water, and dark brown sugar.

 
Non-stop flights to Chile start in 2017
Non-stop flights to Chile start in 2017

The major novelty for 2017 is a new British Airways flight from Heathrow, non-stop, four times a week. It takes 14 hours and 40 minutes to get there, but it still speeds up and smoothes the journey to Santiago. 

  • Is Santiago the coolest city in South America?

The capital is awash with new boutique hotels – Luciano K and Magnolia are the latest – and fine dining, including four restaurants in the influential San Pellegrino Top 50 ranking for 2016. Fourth-placed Boragó was well above any in Buenos Aires. 

Chile’s wine tourism scene is the most developed south of Napa, with the Maule Valley opening up to visitors with a smart new five-room boutique hotel at Casa Bouchon.

Santiago
Santiago CREDIT: ALAMY

Urban pleasures sorted, it’s time to head for extremes: the Atacama Desert in the north, where there are new hot-air balloon flights over the salt lakes; and Patagonia, where escapists can set off on a slow drive along Aysén’s lonely Southern Highway and stay at Parque Patagonia, Chile’s newest, and least overcrowded, protected area. (Chris Moss)

Hotels In Chile

travel package

A further testament to the pace of development in the area is Altiplánico Sur—a bunker hotel set into a hillside, its roof covered in grass… Read More

 
journal

A Beaux-Arts mansion in the trendy Bellavista district. Recommended by Manny Beauregard, one of T+L’s 2010 A-List travel agents. Read More

 

The desert oasis of San Pedro de Atacama—which rivals Patagonia as a wilderness destination—sells itself, but to explore the remote salt… Read More

 
travel package

The Location: The stunning seaside town of Valparaíso, where the steep, zigzagging streets are dotted with colorful houses, is just two hours… Read More

 
photos

Chilean wine is finally garnering serious attention, thanks in part to innovative vintners who are outfitting century-old estates with state-of-the-art… Read More

 
 
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The massive preserve covers 8,000 acres of forest and has six pristine miles of oceanfront. Guides lead guests to see the old-growth forests, giant 4… Read More

 
journal

The Altitude: 8,015 feet…. Read More

 
 
travel package

A clean-lined contemporary look—Philippe Starck lightfixtures, suede-soft curtains, Bang and Olufsen technology—predominate in this modern… Read More

 

A stay at Los Lingues is a lesson in regional history. The owner consulted with top architects and historians to restore Chile’s oldest hacienda… Read More

 
camera and maps

Patagonia’s contemporary wood-and-stone Hacienda Tres Lagos (“three lakes”) sits on the shore of Black Lake and is a stone’s throw from Lake Bertrand… Read More

 
camera and maps

Set in the eastern corner of Chile’s glacier-topped Lake District, Pucón was barely a blip on the travelers’ map when the Hotel… Read More

 
suitcase

Check into the affordable 38-room property set high on a bluff above the Pacific. Read More

 

Adventure-focused activities (from hiking to horseback riding) at this 49-room all-inclusive lodge in remote Torres del Paine. Read More

 
photos

The hotel consists of just four 1,000-square-foot casitas with exposed beams and Cambodian silk curtains. Read More

 
 

How to go

British Airways flights between London Heathrow and Santiago cost from about £740 return (ba.com); a two-week trip to Chile, including Santiago, self-drive in Aysén, stay at Tierra Atacama, and a balloon flight over the desert, flying from most UK airports in February 2017, costs £5,900 a head with Audley Travel (01993 838600; audleytravel.com). For more information see chile.travel.

Bhutan

If it’s good enough for Wills and Kate, it’s good enough for us. Though the royal couple paid a visit to Bhutan earlier this year, the little Himalayan kingdom remains a mystery to many. There are a few hurdles to surmount if you do want to go here, including the fact that you must book your trip through a Bhutanese tour operator, pre-arrange your visa (which can get a little complicated) and expect to pay at least $200 per person per day for the time you spend in the country — it’s mandatory, but includes money you’d be spending on things anyway, like accommodations and activities, so think of it as an all-inclusive vacation of sorts.

For all your trouble, you’ll be rewarded with the opportunity to visit one of the world’s last unspoiled corners, a remote kingdom where local culture and tradition remains intact despite the pressures of globalization and the people are friendly and welcoming. Not only that, if you’re willing to splurge, there are a number of incredible luxury resorts by the likes of Aman, COMO and Six Senses that can put together multi-day itineraries if you’d like to go trekking from mountain lodge to mountain lodge, passing spectacular scenery and culturally significant sites. Fly into Bhutan’s Paro Airport (PBH) from several major Asian hubs, including Bangkok (BKK), Delhi (DEL), Mumbai (BOM) and Singapore (SIN), among others.

Bhutan is one of the world's last undiscovered corners. Image courtesy of Getty Images.
Bhutan is one of the world’s last undiscovered corners. Image courtesy of Getty Images.

5 Top Bhutan Attractions for Tourists

 

1) Tiger’s Nest Monastery

The Tiger’s Nest Monastery hangs on a cliff and stands above an enchanting forest of blue pines and rhododendrons. As this beautiful and very exceptional monastery is a sheer climb the hill (900 meters), a pony can be arranged for the ride up, but only until the cafeteria. From then on, it is another steep walk and some narrow stairs towards the monastery itself. The trail crosses a chapel of butter lamps and descends to a waterfall by the Snow Lion Cave. The view of the Paro valley from here on is breathtaking, and the atmosphere very holy, a place where every Bhutanese will want to come at least once in his/her life. The place where Guru Rinpoche brought Buddhism into Bhutan, arriving on the back of a tigress.

 

2) Punakha Dzong

Being the second oldest and second largest dzong in Bhutan, Punakha Dzong, or some call it Pungthang Dewachen Phodrang (Palace of Great Happiness), is also the country’s most gorgeous and majestic dzong. Punakha is accessible from a 3 hours drive east of the capital Thimpu, and after crossing a pass in the mountains, the place is a breathtaking and glorious sight on the first glimpse from the road. It is placed strategically in between two rivers, Pho Chu (male) and Mo Chu (females) that has noticeable color differences between the rivers’ water. Punakha Dzong joined to the mainland by an arched wooden bridge and contains many precious relics from the days when successive kings reigned the kingdom over this valley. Furthermore, it is blessed with a temperate climate, and lovely lilac colored jacaranda trees grow around the dzong during the spring season.

 

3) Zuri Dzong Hike

The peak of the Zuri Dzong Trek is probably the perfect spot to have a bird-eye view of the entire Paro valley. The Zuri Dzong is the oldest Dzong in Bhutan, and in there lies a cave where Buddha came to meditate in, in the 8th century. This peaceful place allows both Bhutanese and tourists to soak in the tranquil that radiates from the extraordinary view, something one can stare at for hours in wonder and awe. The total journey time to get there will take approximately 30 minutes if one starts from the museum watchtower, and an additional 1 hour to exit out towards Uma. Tourists can expect to sit and relax there, and also remember to catch the amazing side view as you hike through Trek.

 

4) Uma Paro Hotel

Just a 10 minutes scenic drive from Paro airport, Uma Paro Hotel perches proudly on a Himalayan mountain, flanked by thick pine forests with views that overlay the Paro district. One of the remote kingdom’s only boutique hotels, it offers elegant interiors, exquisite food, a pampering Como Shambhala spa, and a cool pool amid the mind-bending ravishing scenery. You could lose hours just mesmerizing at the magical Himalayan landscape. The rooms available specialize in different sceneries and needs for every individual’s preference, such as:

• Forest view rooms, overlooking the surrounding pine forests.

• Valley view rooms, offering panoramic views of the Paro Valley.

• Como suites, with 180-degree views of the Paro Valley in the bedroom, a kitchenette, a sitting, dining and study area.

• One-bedroom villas, which are spacious freestanding villas that include a sitting area with a traditional Bukhari wood burning stove, as well as a private spa treatment area. (Both villas offer personal butler services)

• Two-bedroom villas come with a living area with panoramic views of the Paro Valley with an open-air courtyard with a fire pit. The villas provide an outdoor hot-stone bathtub, a private spa treatment and offer Personal butler services.

 

5) Gangtey Valley in winter

The valley of Gangtey is one of the most stunning valleys in the Himalayas, and many call it the Shangri-La of Bhutan, just as how Bhutan is well known for being “one of the world’s happiest nations,” and “the last Shangri-La on Earth.” The surprise of finding such a wide, flat valley without any trees after the hard climb through dense forests is augmented by an impression of vast space, which is an extremely rare experience in Bhutan as most of the valleys are tightly enclosed. This moderate trek visits the villages of Gogona and Khotokha, passing through meadows and fields, then forests of juniper, magnolia and rhododendrons, which will be in full bloom in April. Besides the attractive scenic valley and mountain trails passing through the magnificent forest with its undergrowth changing from rhododendron and magnolia to ferns and dwarf bamboo, we can also visit the historical Gangtey monastery and the blacked necked crane information centre. Additionally, there will be a special treat for those visiting the Gangtey during the winter season, as they will be able to catch the graceful Black-necked Cranes in action as they head to the roost.

Main Foods Of Bhutan

The most distinctive characteristic of Bhutanese cuisine is its spiciness. Chillis are an essential part of nearly every dish and are considered so important that most Bhutanese people would not enjoy a meal that was not spicy.

Rice forms the main body of most Bhutanese meals. It is accompanied by one or two side dishes consisting of meat or vegetables. Pork, beef and chicken are the meats that are eaten most often. Vegetables commonly eaten include Spinach, pumpkins, turnips, radishes, tomatoes, river weed, onions and green beans. Grains such as rice, buckwheat and barley are also cultivated in various regions of the country depending on the local climate. 

The following is a list of some of the most popular Bhutanese dishes:

  • Ema Datshi: This is the National Dish of Bhutan. A spicy mix of chillis and the delicious local cheese known as Datshi. This dish is a staple of nearly every meal and can be found throughout the country. Variations on Ema Datshi include adding green beans, ferns, potatoes, mushrooms or swapping the regular cheese for yak cheese.
  • Momos: These Tibetan-style dumplings are stuffed with pork, beef or cabbages and cheese. Traditionally eaten during special occasions, these tasty treats are a Bhutanese favourite.
  • Phaksha Paa: Pork cooked with spicy red chillis. This dish can also include Radishes or Spinach. A popular variation uses sun-dried (known as Sicaam). Hoentoe: Aromatic buckwheat dumplings stuffed with turnip greens, datshi (cheese), spinach and other ingredients.
  • Jasha Maru: Spicy minced chicken, tomatoes and other ingredients that is usually served with rice.
  • Red Rice: This rice is similar to brown rice and is extremely nutritious and filling. When cooked it is pale pink, soft and slightly sticky.
  • Goep (Tripe): Though the popularity of tripe has diminished in many countries it is still enjoyed in Bhutan. Like most other meat dishes, it is cooked with plenty of spicy chillis and chilli powder. 
  •  

    Hotels In Bhutan

     
     
    Eastern Bhutan, with its pristine landscapes and well-preserved Buddhist temples, has had little in the way of stylish retreats. Enter the newest… Read More .
    Eastern Bhutan, with its pristine landscapes and well-preserved Buddhist temples, has had little in the way of stylish retreats. Enter the newest… Read More .
    The Altitude: 9,843 feet…. Read More · Explore Hotels in Bhutan for more options. Back To Top. All products and services featured are selected by our editors.
    Bottom line: you can’t just spontaneously travel to Bhutan, or just do a backpacking … beautiful monasteries, some excellent luxury hotels and best of all , a pretty …
    In Bhutan, we stayed in hotels and guesthouses and the latest-model Marmot tents. With GeoEx worrying about the details, we were free not only to enjoy the …
    This little sliver of Western civilization in the middle of nowhere serves a terrific cappuccino and Swiss fondue. Read More · Explore Hotels in Bhutan for more …
    It List – The Best New Hotels: Gangtey Goenpa Lodge … It takes a six-hour drive on a bumpy road from Paro to reach Bhutan’s Phobjikha Valley, a land of …
    Foyer and reception area at the Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel in Colaba … A remote Buddhist kingdom set in the Himalayas, Bhutan is a destination that …
    Bhutan’s Joyful Reputation Captured in Four Photos. By Samantha Shankman. Bhutan. Photography by Gray Malin for Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts.
    At the Mio Buenos Aires hotel, the bathtubs are works of art: Argentine Mario … the leaves of the potent local herb khempa, which is used in Bhutan to treat skin …

Canada

It’s a big year in a big country as 2017 marks the 150th anniversary of Canadian Confederation, the moment Canada became a self-governing dominion within the British Empire – a country, in other words. Today, although it plays second fiddle to Russia in terms of size, it’s hard to think of a country more beautiful or more varied – a good reason to visit at any time, let alone a year that promises to be one long, nationwide birthday party.

The big landscapes – the Canadian Rockies – are well known. Less celebrated, perhaps, is the splendour of the scenery elsewhere. Pockets of British Columbia, for example, contain desert (around Osoyoos) and warm-wintered enclaves of vines and olives (the Okanagan). On the west coast the Inside Passage – a labyrinth of fjords and islands – features North America’s finest seascapes. Alberta’s prairies contain eerie badlands (at Drumheller); the autumn colours of New Brunswick’s forests are the equal of anything in New England; and Prince Edward Island contains some of the loveliest pastoral countryside on Earth. And over it all arches the vast, ethereal beauty of the Canadian Arctic, hundreds – thousands – of miles of sublime, windswept nothing.

As the second-largest country in the world, it’s no wonder that Canada has incredibly rich offerings for tourists. Canada travel can include having face-to-face encounters with nature, attending fascinating cultural events, indulging in fine dining–or maybe a little bit of everything. Canada’s English and French influences, alongside its huge immigrant influx, make it one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse countries in the world. Visit Canada for various activity options that range from adventurous outdoor experiences to strolling around quaint neighborhoods. Your schedule can vary tremendously depending on the region and season in which you choose to travel to Canada. All of these options can be overwhelming, but let our Canada travel guide help you decide what the best plan is for you.

Things Not to Miss in Canada

• Explore the charming French-speaking province of Québec
 • Marvel at the imposing Niagara Falls
 • Dive into Toronto’s cultural diversity
 • Head to Montréal’s famous International Jazz Festival
 • Practice winter sports in prime locations like Mont Tremblant or Whistler
 • Explore Banff National Park in Alberta
 • Visit Vancouver

When to Go to Canada

Summertime has the most pleasant weather, and the streets are alive with locals and tourists. Some of the main cultural events happen during the summer, like the Montréal Jazz Festival and or Toronto’s Luminato light festival. Spring and fall have slightly lower temperatures but fewer crowds and better rates for both hotels and transportation. Winter is ideal for fans of snow-based sports.

 
 
 

Big landscapes and big distances, of course, make for big journeys. By road Canada offers, among other great drives, the Icefields Parkway through the heart of the Rockies and the Alaska Highway north towards the Yukon and the old goldfields of the Klondike. By train there’s the epic Trans-Canada route or the shorter but more spectacular trips between Jasper and Prince Rupert or across the tundra from Winnipeg to Churchill on Hudson Bay.

Beyond the landscape are cities worthy of visits in their own right. Vancouver, often rated one of the world’s most liveable cities, and Montreal, a vibrant francophone enclave, are my favourites, but historic Quebec, unsung Victoria and dynamic Toronto are also compelling. (Tim Jepson)

Canada is a country that has much to offer visitors, from island sights to scenic mountain waterfalls. Stretching from the Atlantic to the Pacific coasts, this former French and British colony has a rich heritage from the North Coast Indians of British Columbia to the French explorers of Quebec. Since both French and English are the national languages, a visit to Canada is like visiting two countries. Indeed, Canada has appeal for travelers who are interested in nature and cosmopolitan cities.

An overview of the top tourist attractions in Canada:

 
 
10. Gros Morne National Park (Where to Stay)

Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland is important to the world, geologically, because the ancient rocks help people understand how the oceans and continents were created. The park is a nature lover’s paradise featuring lowlands along the Gulf of St. Lawrence and the alpine setting of the Long Range Mountains. The park is popular with wildlife viewers who’ll see everything from tiny songbirds to giant whales; black bears, moose and deer are common. Most visitors come here during the short summer season. The exception is the peak winter season (from February to April), when the park experiences another mini-boom in snowmobiling and cross-country skiing.

9. Calgary Stampede (Where to Stay)

The Calgary Stampede, one of the most famous rodeos in the world, traces its origins back to the traveling wild west shows of the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Stampede has grown over the years, today attracting the best cowboys in the world who compete for $2 million in prize money. Other activities include live concerts, a carnival, lots of food and dancing as this Canadian city hosts the best in the west. A 4 km (2.5 mile) parade opens what Calgary calls “the greatest outdoor show on earth”. The 10-day event is held every Jul

8. Victoria’s Inner Harbour (Where to Stay)
Victoria's Inner Harbour

Victoria’s Inner Harbour on Vancouver Island is a cool place to visit. There’s the water on one side and stately government buildings on the other since Victoria is the capital of British Columbia. The city hosts a classic boat festival on Labour Day in September, with the harbor filling up with wooden boats. Visitors can also navigate the harbor on kayaks or tour boats. Take time out to have a traditional British tea at the Empress Hotel, a Victoria landmark since the early 1900s; it’s right across from the harbor

7. Bay of Fundy

Bay of Fundy

The Bay of Fundy, located on the Atlantic coast, is famous for its high tidal range. Because of the unique shape of the bay, the difference in water level between high tide and low tide can be as much as 16 meters (52 feet). One of the best places to watch the tides are the Hopewell Rocks, a number of sandstone towers topped by trees. The base of the rock formations are covered in water twice a day and can be seen from the ground level at low tide.

6. Athabasca Falls (Where to Stay)
Athabasca Fallsflickr/gcD600

Jasper National Park in the Alberta province is the largest of Canada’s Rocky Mountain Parks boasting broad valleys, rugged mountains, glaciers, forests, alpine meadows and wild rivers. One of the top attractions is Athabasca Falls, a beautiful waterfall that thunders through a narrow gorge. Even when the water level in the upper Athabasca River is low, huge quantities of water pour over the falls. Several viewing platforms and trails where it is safe to photograph the picturesque scene are located around the falls. Motorists can cross over the falls by taking Highway 93A into the town of Jasper.

5. Churchill (Where to Stay)
Churchill

It may only be a small town of 1,000 residents in the Manitoba province on the Hudson Bay shore, but Churchill draws huge crowds every year to see its most famous inhabitants, the polar bears. Nicknamed the “Polar Bear Capital of the World,” it is one of the top tourist attractions in Canada. In addition to polar bears, Churchill is also a popular place for viewing beluga whales, birds and the aurora borealis.

4. Niagara Falls, Ontario (Where to Stay)
Niagara Falls, Ontario

Many Americans think of Niagara Falls as being only a waterfall in the United States, namely New York, when in actuality, Niagara Falls is three falls on the border between the United States and Canada. Horseshoe Falls is the largest falls and is located mainly on the Canadian side, while the smaller American and Bridal Veil falls are mostly on the U.S. side. Combined, the three falls have a higher flow rate than any other in the world. About 20 million people visit here annually, with many of them taking a boat ride on Maid of the Mist, the falls’ oldest attraction.

Popular Tours in Canada
 
3. The Canadian

Travelers looking for a relaxing way to cross Canada may want to consider the train, in this case, the Canadian. Connecting Toronto and Vancouver, this is one of the world’s more famous train rides, traveling through the lakes of northern Ontario, the prairie provinces and the Canadian Rockies including Jasper National Park, to end at the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver. It takes 3 days to cover the 4,466 kilometers (2,775 miles) connecting the two cities. Via Rail recently spent $22 million modernizing the train.

2. Vieux-Quebec (Where to Stay)

Vieux-Québec, or Old Quebec, is an historic district in Quebec City. This is where the French explorer Samuel de Champlain founded Saint Louis Fort in 1608. The military presence here was strong under both the French and the British, with the area being heavily fortified. Today it is a tourist district with many small boutiques and hundreds of historical and photographic points of interest. Visitors will want to take in the Citadel, known as she “Gibraltar of the Americas,” because of its strategic location overlooking the St. Lawrence River. Visitors also will want to take in the iconic Chateau Frontenac, and enjoy the charm of European style shopping on Rue Saint Jean.

1. Moraine Lake (Where to Stay)
#1 of Tourist Attractions In Canada

Moraine Lake, in Banff National Park is one of the most photographed places in western Canada. This glacier-fed lake is a gorgeous blue-green surrounded by mountains in Alberta. It’s located in the Valley of the Ten Peaks at an elevation of 1,885 meters (6,183 feet). The Rockpile Trail is popular with tourists who snap their photos at its end. At one time this alpine lake was featured on Canada’s $20 bill, earning this site the nickname of Twenty Dollar View. Other hiking trails offer spectacular views of the lake; visitors can get a different view by canoeing in it

 
 
 

How to go

Audley Travel (01993 838700; audleytravel.com) can tailor-make trips across Canada. A nine-day, self-drive Highlights of Canada’s West tour, taking in Vancouver and the Rockies, costs from £2,040 per person, including flights from a choice of six UK airports. Visit canada.pch.gc.ca for details of “Canada 150” events.

Chandigarh, India

What an intriguing mix of innovation and tradition. In northern India the bold, modernist architecture of Chandigarh has been awarded classic status, while just outside this striking city a brand-new hotel celebrates Rajput and Mughal heritage with quite some panache.

One of Le Corbusier's creations in the Indian city
One of Le Corbusier’s creations in the Indian city CREDIT: ALAMY

Chandigarh is one of the world’s most remarkable urban creations; a purpose-built city designed by Le Corbusier in the Fifties. After Partition in 1947, India’s state of Punjab needed a new capital – Lahore having been ceded to Pakistan. So prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru commissioned the great Swiss-French exponent of modernism to devise a completely new city expressive of the country’s faith in the future. The result is a masterpiece in concrete – and green spaces too. It’s a very liveable place loved locally for its wide avenues and parks.

  • How Le Corbusier changed the world

In October its government buildings, the Capitol Complex, were among a number of Le Corbusier’s finest works worldwide to join Unesco’s World Heritage list. Pretty much simultaneously, the Oberoi group was adding final details to a new resort of great splendour, which is set on the edge of 8,000-acre Siswan Forest reserve, about half an hour’s drive from the city centre.

Formally opening next month , The Oberoi Sukhvilas offers a modern take on time-honoured Indian palace life. The landscaping is superb, with fountains and reflective pools, courtyards and colonnades. There’s a bar adorned with warrior frescoes, and there are 60 sumptuous bedrooms in a choice of villas, tents or suites. Explore the reserve with an on-hand naturalist then marvel at meticulously planned Chandigarh, from grand, naturally air-conditioned civic buildings to manhole covers etched with maps of the city. (Harriet O’Brien)

How to go

A five-night trip taking in Chandigarh and The Oberoi Sukhvilas (for three nights) and The Oberoi Gurgaon (for two nights) is offered by Ampersand Travel (020 7819 9770; ampersandtravel). The cost from £3,150 a head includes flights to Delhi and then Chandigarh, accommodation with breakfast, and guiding.

For more information see oberoihotels.com; chandigarh.gov.in.  

Granada, Spain

Spending a few days drifting around Granada is the most sensual of history lessons. The palaces and gardens of the Alhambra, created by the Nasrids, the final dynasty of Islamic Spain, are more rewarding with every visit, each time revealing a few more of the secrets concealed in the intricate architecture. 

While you might come to Granada to see Spain’s most-visited monument, it is the little things along the way that seep into your soul: tiled fountains in tiny squares, flowers tumbling over whitewashed walls and forkfuls of tasty tapas in boisterous bars. 

From February 4 it will be a lot easier to get to the Andalucian city when easyJet starts a new route from London Gatwick three times a week, adding to the twice-weekly British Airways flight from London City airport. 

The Alhambra
The Alhambra

Flying to Granada also makes a few days skiing in the Sierra Nevada more feasible, as the ski resort is only 29 miles (47 km) from the airport and there is usually snow until April. Walking in the Alpujarras on the southern slopes of the mountains is wonderful in May, when the landscape is covered in flowers.

Granada airport is also a handy gateway to the north east of Andalucia. In the province of Jaén, olive groves carpet the hills and the towns of Úbeda and Baeza contain astounding Renaissance architecture. The airport’s official name is Federico García Lorca Granada-Jaén and devotees of the poet can head straight to his birthplace in Fuente Vaqueros on arrival, a 20-minute drive away, before visiting his summer home, the Huerta de San Vicente in the city itself. (Annie Bennett)

How to go

EasyJet offers return flights to Granada from London Gatwick from £47. A seven-night stay at the stylish three-star Marquis Urban hotel from March 4 costs from £359 per person including flights with easyJet Holidays (0203 499 5232; easyjet.com). British Airways flies from London City Airport from £110 return (0344 493 0787; britishairways.com). More information: granadatur.com; alhambra-patronato.es; spain.info.

Hadrian’s Wall, England

Hark! Is that the sound of hooves? There hasn’t been this much action on Hadrian’s Wall since Roman troops tramped up Ermine Street in the second century to build the 73-mile barrier between Bowness and Wallsend.

Today the wall draws walkers and cyclists, who follow its forts and milecastles in their lurching progress over sheer drops, rocky sills and swooping grasslands, from the big skies of Solway Firth to the mouth of the Tyne.

This year it celebrates its 30th anniversary as a Unesco World Heritage Site with Hadrian’s Cavalry, a six-month exhibition involving 10 sites running the length of the wall and into Hadrian’s Wall Country, 10 miles on either side.

Organisationally, this will be eerily similar to Roman battle formation, with its central front and cavalry at the wings. In the middle are Chesters Fort, one of four English Heritage sites, and Vindolanda, famed for its “tablets” or messages written in ink on bark. Chesters will examine the relationship between Roman cavalrymen and their horses, and in July presents a new installation recreating the sound of 500 horses. Vindolanda, which is near the Roman Army Museum by Walltown Crags, will display messages written by soldiers on the tablets.

Out west, the Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery in Carlisle will stage an immersive audio-visual experience in its Roman Gallery, so that visitors can pretend to be cavalry based at the wall, skirmishing with tribes to the north.

To the east, Segedunum Roman Fort, Baths and Museum in North Shields will focus on training, tactics and dressing a cavalry horse, while two original cavalry helmets are on display in the Great North Museum: Hancock in Newcastle.

Other sites will run a series of  events and exhibitions throughout the six months, and on July 1 and 2 mounted re-enactors will stage cavalry manoeuvres at Bitts Park, Carlisle, including the first troop or turma of 30 horses seen in 2,000 years. (Sophie Campbell)

A walking path runs the length of Hadrian's Wall
A walking path runs the length of Hadrian’s Wall CREDIT: DAVID HEAD/FOTOLIA

How to go

Hadrian’s Cavalry runs from April 8 to September 10 2017.

Stay at Matfen Hall hotel, which is set in parkland near Corbridge; doubles from £94 a night with breakfast (telegraph.co.uk/tt-matfenhall), or The Angel of Corbridge, in the town itself; doubles from £95 a night with breakfast (telegraph.co.uk/tt-angelofcorbridge). More information: hadrianswallcountry.co.uk/events/hadrians-cavalry-2017.

 New Zealand

Love rugby? The hottest ticket for this year is New Zealand, which hosts the British and Irish Lions tour in June and early July. The tourists will play three Tests against the All Blacks and seven other games across the country, making the tour a feast for fans and an excuse to explore New Zealand.

For example, en route between Auckland and Whangarei, detour west to Kauri forests. Between Rotorua and Hamilton you’ll find the movie set from Lord of the Rings at Matamata. And the post-quake renaissance of Christchurch continues with the opening of the city’s new Adventure Park (christchurchadventurepark.com), the largest downhill mountain-bike park in the southern hemisphere.

Watch | Why you should visit New Zealand in 2017

 
 

Loathe rugby? New Zealand’s wineries, whales and waterfall-streaked fjords never fail to enchant.

In February, Qatar Airways (qatarairways.com) launches a direct Doha-Auckland route. At 14,539km it’ll be the world’s longest commercial scheduled flight – and, with convenient connections from London, an appealing prelude to a sojourn at New Zealand’s luxe lodges, boosted with openings including Marlborough Lodge among the South Island’s premier wine region (themarlboroughlodge.co.nz) and intimate Helena Bay near Whangarei (helenabay.com). (Paul Bloomfield)

How to go

A wide range of official Lions packages (tours.lionsrugby.com) are available. Steppes Travel (steppestravel.co.uk) also offers a Lions tour, and tailor-makes luxury itineraries – a 21-night package, including flights from London via Doha with Qatar Airways, luxury accommodation including Marlborough Lodge and Helena Bay, transfers and car hire, costs from £7,995 per person.

Copenhagen, Denmark

European Capital of Culture 2017 though it may be, Denmark’s second city Aarhus will still struggle to steal the limelight from Copenhagen. That’s largely due to the ongoing foodie furore surrounding the capital’s Noma. 

Opened by chef René Redzepi in 2003, the restaurant redefined perceptions of Danish cuisine and introducing then-obscure Scandinavian ingredients – from magical-sounding cloudberries to elk tongue – to an international audience. Innumerable awards and a consensus that this was the world’s best restaurant followed, so among gourmets it’s with considerable regret that Redzepi has announced this seminal eatery will close at the end of February. 

Copenhagen has rarely looked more appealing
Copenhagen has rarely looked more appealing

Early 2017 will see epicureans from the world over clamour for a table, but for the many hundreds of thousands who will miss out there’s still ample reason for a visit to the capital. 

Redzepi’s legacy is now readily apparent in the abundance of world-class eateries strewn across the city. This year Guide Michelin Nordic Cities awarded 16 Copenhagen restaurants a total of 20 stars – the highest number ever. Chief among them is Geranium, now the country’s only three-star premises, while Redzepi’s many protégées have established outlets of their own. 

A weekend break in… Copenhagen

Star alum Christian Puglisi already offers New Nordic cuisine at Michelin-starred Relae, natural wines at Manfreds and organic pizza at Baest. His Farm of Ideas supersedes all in terms of ambition, however. Opening by the end of 2017 and 40 minutes outside of Copenhagen, this organic farm will provide produce for his city-centre outlets and an immersive culinary centre and school for visitors.

That it was inspired at least in part his time under Redzepi’s tutelage seems clear when one learns of the latter’s next undertaking. While Noma as we know it will disappear forever, its founder plans to open a new restaurant in Copenhagen’s free town of Christiania in autumn. It too will feature its own farm and a “fermentation kitchen” where new cooking techniques can be refined, so fresh-as-can-be produce and unexpected culinary encounters will be a certainty. (John O’Ceallaigh)

How to go

Kirker Holidays (020 7593 2283; www.kirkerholidays.com) offers a three-night break in Copenhagen’s five-star D’Angleterre hotel with dinner at Geranium, from £1,388pp including flights and transfers.

New Orleans/Memphis, United States

How to account for the musically joyous, street-happy atmosphere of New Orleans (neworleanscvb.com)? The guide I once had on a tour of the French Quarter had her own theory: “King of France opens the jails of Paris and sends over the worst specimens of humanity to populate the new city. Kind of makes sense, huh?” 

On March 27 the home of trad jazz, sidewalk bands, Mardi Gras parades, lacy balconies, beignets, po’boys and heavenly French Creole cooking moves a beat closer to these shores with the start of direct BA flights (ba.com), four times a week, from London Heathrow. Venues such as Preservation Hall (preservationhall.com) or Snug Harbor (snugjazz.com) are a must for jazz fans and on May 26-28 the good ol’ boys of country music are in town for the annual Bayou Country Superfest (bayoucountrysuperfest.com) at the Superdome. 

New Orleans: musically joyous and street-happy
New Orleans: musically joyous and street-happy CREDIT: PEDUTO©1993/PEDUTO

In August, 400 miles north up the Mississippi River, there will be more musical mayhem when the city of Memphis (memphistravel.com) marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley. The King’s Graceland home (graceland.com) is currently finalising details of “the largest Elvis Week ever” (August 11-19 – including tribute acts and contests, panel discussions and a candlelit vigil). 

On March 2 Graceland is also unveiling a new entertainment complex, Elvis Presley’s Memphis (with sound stage and exhibitions dedicated to his career and his cars). And don’t forget Sun Studio (sunstudio.com – now a museum), where on July 5, 1954 Elvis recorded That’s All Right – and ushered in the rock’n’roll era. As the man said, It’s Now or Never for trips to America’s musical heartlands. (Nigel Richardson)

How to go

Kuoni (0800 140 4801; kuoni.co.uk) offers a 17-night Southern States Experience self-drive tour (including Nashville, Memphis and New Orleans) from £2,495 per person, sharing. 

 Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia 

Three times bigger than France and the fourth most sparsely inhabited territory on Earth, Mongolia, with its vast rolling steppes, coruscating upland lakes, tumbling rivers, beautiful green pine forests and shifting dunes of the Gobi offers plenty for the adventurous visitor. Homeland of nomadic warlord par excellence Genghis Khan, this country remains a nation of pastoralist nomads to this day, and ger (yurt) camps dot the length and breadth of this beautiful landscape. Enormous flocks of sheep, goats, dzo (a yak-cattle hybrid) and Bactrian camels graze beneath blue skies, and every other telegraph pole is the perch of a bird of prey – as captured so powerfully in The Eagle Huntress, the much-lauded film of the moment.

Mongolia has always been a byword for remoteness, but it’s surprisingly easy to reach, and will become even more so with the opening of state-of-the-art Nubia (New Ulaan Baatar International Airport), scheduled for January . Mongolia’s pleasant capital city, Ulaan Baatar, home to more than half the nation’s three million inhabitants, boasts plenty of first-rate hotels. The excellent Shangri-La (shangri-la.com/ulaanbaatar) opened in 2015, as did the rival Kempinski Khan Palace (kempinski.com/en/ulaanbaatar/hotel-khan-palace). The best time to visit is for the annual Naadam Festival (naadamfestival.com), held July 9-16 in 2017. Recognised by Unesco, the festival involves a vibrant parade of athletes, monks and musicians. You don’t have to take part in the famous Mongol Rally ( July 16: theadventurists.com/mongol-rally) to enjoy an exciting trip in Mongolia, as many agencies offer trekking, fishing, motorcycling and cultural tours. (Terry Richardson)

The festival of Naadam
The festival of Naadam CREDIT: GETTY

How to go 

G Adventures (0344 272 2080; gadventures.co.uk) runs a 15-day Naadam Festival Mongolia tour which takes in the festival and Mongolia’s highlights, with accommodation in hotels and tourist ger camps. From £1,899 per person, excluding flights, which cost from £700 per person. 

Peru

Cuzco, in Peru, used to be backpacker central. It’s a measure of how tourism in the country has changed that, from May, the city will be the starting point for journeys on South America’s “first luxury sleeper train”, the 68-passenger Andean Explorer, run by Belmond, the company that used to be known as Orient-Express Hotels. Since 1999, it has been running a luxury day train, the Hiram Bingham, including gourmet lunch on the way out and dinner on the return between Cuzco and the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu.

The new train will travel along one of the highest railways on Earth, via the 14,150ft summit at La Raya, to Lake Titicaca and on to the Unesco World Heritage city of Arequipa. En route there will be a chance to see the 11,000ft Colca Canyon, where condors fly below your feet as well as overhead. An alternative trip, among four one and two-night itineraries, traverses the Altiplano from the lake to Cuzco.

Show more

The train has 34 cabins – two double, 20 twin and 12 with bunk beds – with decor inspired by Peru’s hand-woven fabrics. The two dining cars will serve menus devised by chefs at Belmond’s Hotel Monasterio in Cuzco and drawing on locally sourced and seasonal ingredients. Passengers can step outdoors to enjoy the view from the observation car deck or, if the Andean air proves too thin, revive themselves with a coca tea while listening to the pianist in the lounge. (Michael Kerr)

How to go 

Through Belmond (0845 0772 222; belmond.com), prices start at $462 (£570) per person sharing, for one night, including meals, open bar and excursions. Several tour operators offer a journey on the train as part of a longer trip. Last Frontiers (01296 653000; lastfrontiers.com) includes a new 14-day “Classic Peru” trip, from £3,420 per person sharing, including flights.

Watch | Why you must visit Machu Picchu in your lifetime

 

02:51

 

Arras, France

In recent times, Great War anniversaries have been filing past at a military clip. Among the most significant of 2017 will be the centenary of the battle of Arras. This afforded the British and the Canadians an unprecedented taste of dashing victory, before getting bogged down in the usual First World War manner. A hundred years on, the town and surrounds provide some of the most intriguing visits along the Western Front.

The town of Arras
The town of Arras CREDIT: HAROLD STIVER/FOTOLIA

The key date was April 9, Easter Monday. The Canadian Corps advanced an unheard-of 4,000yd to take Vimy Ridge. Nearer town, British troops burst out of the ground before dawn into snow, sleet and the faces of half-asleep Germans. Some 24,000 Tommies had been hiding and waiting for days in a 12-mile underground labyrinth created from medieval quarries and cellars, and much expanded in preceding months by Kiwi tunnellers. The network was equipped with water, electricity, a little train system, command posts and a 700-bed hospital. Exit ramps emerged near the enemy lines. All this may be appreciated at Arras’s Wellington Quarry, part of the network now adapted for visits. It is here that centenary commemorations will kick off at 6.30am next April 9. (Visitor places are all taken around this date, so consider going either before or after.)

To the north, Vimy Ridge was a key objective: from on high, it commanded the Artois plain. With courage and brilliance, the Canadians had taken it by April 11. It is often said that this victory was a foundation stone of Canadian national identity. Certainly, it’s on Vimy that Canada’s 1914-18 memories are focused. The great, twin-pronged war memorial – the finest anywhere – oversees the plain. Behind, much of the trench system has been retained – to be complemented this spring by a new £6 million visitor centre. Ideally, it will be open by April 9, when a Canadian delegation gathers at the site. Moving times in prospect, then. (Anthony Peregrine)

How to go

Leger has expert-led coach tours to Arras and Vimy sites, four nights’ b&b. Departures in June and July. From £459 (01709 839839; leger.co.uk).

 Hossa National Park, Finland

A discreet purple pile on the boardwalk stops you in your tracks. It seems that what they say about bears in the woods is true – and that, like you, this particular bear has been guzzling blueberries. You straighten up, but there’s no bear in sight, just a blanket of bog encircled by a treeline of birch and spruce. Beyond, the silent forest and lakes stretch unbroken to every horizon.

Hossa National Park is the latest jewel in Finland’s impressive wilderness crown. Opening in 2017 to commemorate the country’s centenary of independence, it offers hiking trails in search of wildlife and ancient rock art, and activities ranging from kayaking to fungi foraging. 

Hossa National Park offers true wilderness
Hossa National Park offers true wilderness CREDIT: ALAMY

Elk and reindeer roam forests carpeted in moss and berries, while birdwatchers can seek out such avian A-listers as black woodpeckers and great grey owls. In truth, you’re unlikely to spot a bear here – they are very shy animals – but you almost certainly will from wildlife-watching hides along the nearby Russian border, where an overnight vigil may also produce wolves or wolverines. Nowhere else in Europe offers such reliable encounters with these rare predators. 

Finland’s forest wilderness makes it perhaps Europe’s ultimate back-to-nature retreat. But the country isn’t only about trees and lakes (all 168,000 of the latter). There are also the cosmopolitan delights of Helsinki; the holiday islands and beaches of the Gulf of Bothnia; the music festivals; the war-time history; and the allure of winter in Lapland, with its skiing, husky sledging and northern lights. And visitors will find a pleasing idiosyncrasy to a culture rooted in its twin Scandinavian and Russian heritage: who else but the Finns would contest swamp soccer, ant-nest sitting and the world air guitar championships? With a centenary to celebrate, 2017 promises to be a special year. “Finns and friends of Finland will eat together, exercise together and sauna together,” explains the tourist board. Don’t forget your towel. (Mike Unwin)

How to go

Regent Holidays (020 7666 1290; regent-holidays.co.uk) offers an eight-day Wildlife and Wilderness Fly Drive trip that explores the nature and culture of north-east Finland, including Hossa National Park and a bear-watching excursion. From £1,360 per person, based on two adults sharing. Includes Finnair flights from London Heathrow to Kuopio and return from Rovaniemi; group A car hire; all accommodation, daily breakfasts and several dinners.

Russia

Russia remains an enigma for many; some are put off perhaps by political tensions and the sense that this is somehow a forbidding, unfriendly country. But it isn’t. Our social and cultural connections – especially in literature, music and ballet – have deep historical roots; even the Queen is directly related to the Romanovs.

Sometimes, it’s true, Russians can seem a little dour. But it’s a society that has endured much over many generations, and if you get a chance to chat, some perseverance – plus perhaps a little vodka – will reveal a dry sense of humour, and a grasp of irony not so different from our own.

St Petersburg
St Petersburg CREDIT: ROMAN EVGENEV

Find that hard to believe? Then this, the centenary of the great revolutions of 1917, is the year to give this extraordinary country a chance. Since the demise of the Soviet Union and the Communist Party, Russian attitudes to the revolutions are now very ambivalent, of course. No official events to mark the centenary have been announced. But if you know the history of the February and October revolutions, the events that led up to them, and the aftershocks that followed, you will relish the chance to see the room in the Winter Palace where the Bolsheviks took power, and the glorious interiors of the Romanov palaces in St Petersburg; and then Lenin’s mausoleum and the forbidding walls of the Kremlin along Red Square in Moscow. If you aren’t familiar with the details, nothing beats the chance to try to learn about them on location, and to get a feel for what we have in common with Russia, as well as what divides us. (Nick Trend)

How to go 

A six-night escorted tour – Russian Revolution: A Centenary – which visits Moscow and St Petersburg and departs on September 8, costs from £2,895 per person, including most meals and return flights from Britain with Steppes Travel (01285 601752; steppestravel.co.uk), which also offers independent tours.

 Pula, Croatia

There was a moment as my wife and I wandered along the underground passages of the Roman amphitheatre in Pula that we imagined we could feel the breath of the lions that used to be confined here, licking their lips at the prospect of the human flesh feast that lay ahead. 

Back above ground level, we completed a circumference of the amphitheatre, the sixth largest in the Roman Empire, one of the best preserved in the world and the prime draw in the lively city at the southern tip of the Croatian province of Istria to which British Airways this year will be introducing direct flights.

Although it does have a rocky shoreline from which you can dive into the inviting waters of the Adriatic, Pula is not somewhere you would go for a beach holiday – for that, try resorts such as Rovinj, Porec and (dipping into Slovenia) the Venetian-era Piran. Instead, it is a place to immerse yourself in Roman and Habsburg splendours by day and night (in warmer months the amphitheatre is the venue for concerts), and to begin an exploration of Istria’s Tuscan-like gastronomical and vinicultural offerings.

Pula's remarkable Roman amphitheatre
Pula’s remarkable Roman amphitheatre CREDIT: KAYCCO – FOTOLIA

Pula is also the place to tune into the buzz of a slightly raffish working port, something celebrated uniquely every summer since 2014 in the city’s newest cultural offering – “Lighting Giants” – an extraordinary illumination of the sea of cranes that line the port’s shipyards. (Adrian Bridge)

How to go

British Airways (ba.com) begins twice-weekly services between London Heathrow and Pula in July. 

Bermuda

A sleepy island enclave located in the mid-Atlantic, Bermuda is best known for its pink beaches, deep-sea fishing and pristine golfing greens.

Come June, however, when Bermuda hosts the 35th America’s Cup race, the destination will be anything but sleepy.

The base for the race is the Royal Naval Dockyard, just north of Great Sound, where the race drama will unfold against a backdrop of beaches.

Sailing off the coast of Bermuda
Sailing off the coast of Bermuda CREDIT: HARRY KH/LAND ROVER BAR

The attractive city of Hamilton, with its yacht-filled harbour, is a must-visit, and be sure to take a stroll through St George’s at the island’s north-eastern tip. A Unesco World Heritage Site, the town’s historic buildings lend it the look and feel of a film set.

The racing action starts on May 26 with the Cup Match races on June 17, 18 and June 24-27, 2017. Sailing supremo Ben Ainslie says he is “determined to bring the America’s Cup home to Britain in 2017”. (Teresa Machan)   

How to go

Many cruise lines have itineraries for 2017 that will take in stops in Bermuda for the America’s Cup, among them Norwegian Cruise Line, Royal Caribbean, Regent Seven Seas and Celebrity Cruises. For something a bit different, Holland America Line (hollandamerica.co.uk) is offering a round-trip cruise from Boston to Bermuda: seven nights on MS Veendam costs from £1,049 per person, excluding flights with departures in May, June and July. More information: americascup.com; gotobermuda.com.

Wittenburg, Germany

In 1517 a German monk called Martin Luther nailed a list called the 95 Theses to the door of Wittenberg Castle church. These Theses, railing against what Luther saw as the corrupt practices of the Roman Catholic Church, became the catalyst for the Protestant Reformation. 

 

Five hundred years on, Luther’s theologocial breakthrough is being marked in towns and cities across Germany including Berlin, Nuremberg and of course Wittenberg itself, a lovely town on the River Elbe. As part of Wittenburg 2017 Lutherhaus will host exhibitions from April 13 to July 2 and August 3 to November 5, 2017 (martinluther.de) and a panorama called Luther 1517 by artist Yadegar Asisi depicting the events that took place in Wittenberg 1517 is now on display in a specially-built rotunda in the old part of the city (tickets cost €11/£9.50). Celebrations will culminate in a Reformation Festival on October 31 with festive church services, exhibitions, lectures and concerts. (Jane Archer) 

How to go

Saga has a 10-night 500th anniversary voyage from Wittenberg to Amsterdam that starts with a tour of sites associated with Martin Luther (from £1,449 per person departing May 21, 2017; travel.saga.co.uk). Viking River Cruises’ Elegant Elbe voyages bookend six days on the river with two nights in each of Berlin and Prague. A night in Wittenberg includes a tour of Luther’s house and St Marien’s Church, where he preached (from £2,595 per person departing on July 3, 2017; vikingcruises.com). French line CroisiEurope will launch second ship on the Elbe in 2018. On sale through Noble Caledonia the sailings include a half-day tour of Wittenberg (From £2,595 per person departing on June 13, 2017; noble-caledonia.co.uk). All prices include flights. More information: www.lutherstadt-wittenberg.de/en/ 

San Francisco, United States

Back in 1967, a generation of baby boomers responded to a siren call emanating from the San Francisco Bay Area. The tiny district of Haight-Ashbury, abutting Golden Gate Park, had declared itself the centre of an evolution in human consciousness. A baffled mass media reported bizarre happenings: sexual licence, strange hairstyles and mind-altering drugs. The censorious coverage introduced the word “hippie” to the world and had the unintended effect of inspiring tens of thousands of young people to descend on the city for the Summer of Love. The meaning of that moment is likely to be debated as long and rancorously as the Trump Presidency or Bob Dylan’s fitness for the Nobel Prize.

San Francisco
San Francisco CREDIT: ALAMY

This summer, San Francisco is marking the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love with a huge array of events: major exhibitions on the art of the period, concerts and street theatre. This is all in addition to the walking tours, bus tours and residual bohemians that already commemorate the city’s flower-power heritage. The details of what’s happening are still being confirmed, but 2017 will be a fascinating time to be in San Francisco, to reflect on the city’s past, the hope and illusions of the Sixties, and to celebrate the music and art that the era produced. 

Today San Francisco is the centre of a different kind of revolution: its hi-tech industry dominates the world. But it still has a claim to be America’s most charming, most beautiful, most literate city. Beyond Haight-Ashbury, there are its extraordinary Chinatown, the historic Mission District, and the neighbourhood of North Beach that was co-opted by the Beat Generation. If all that weren’t enough, the wine country of Sonoma and Napa Valley is barely an hour’s drive to the north. (Marcel Theroux)

How to go

Virgin Atlantic (virginatlantic.com) flies non-stop to San Francisco from London Heathrow from £664 return. From summer 2017, the airline is adding three flights a week from Manchester.

San Francisco is home to the headquarters of Airbnb, but the analogue traveller will also feel at home at Hotel Zeppelin on Post Street (telegraph.co.uk/tt-hotelzeppelin).

For what’s happening when, see sftravel.com/summer-love-2017.

Oman

Embracing modernisation while preserving the past is no easy task, but it’s something that Oman, on the south-east corner of the Arabian Peninsula, is managing with aplomb. While neighbouring Dubai favours man-made marvels and eye-popping luxury, the Sultanate remains a heady blend of ancient traditions, humble hospitality and spectacular scenery, with excellent infrastructure to boot. 

The low-key capital, Muscat, is a jumble of whitewashed low-rise buildings punctuated by minarets and backed by craggy mountains. Two hours’ drive away, Jabal Al Akhdar (Green Mountain) rises nearly 10,000ft at its peak and is famed for its damask roses. The interior desert, part of the fabled Rub’ al Khali (Empty Quarter) that covers a third of the peninsula, is wild and untamed, while the unspoilt coastline stretches some thousand miles. In the south, the summer khareef (monsoon) turns Salalah, once the centre of the ancient frankincense trade, gloriously green.

Muscat
Muscat CREDIT: 2014 GETTY IMAGES/CHRIS JACKSON

Adding to its charms, in 2017 Oman will be even easier to access. On April 1, Oman Air will launch daily flights from Manchester to Muscat, following the introduction last year of a second daily Heathrow service. British Airways recently began direct flights between Heathrow and Muscat, eliminating a stop-off in Abu Dhabi. The arrival of two Anantara resorts – on the edge of a canyon in Jabal Al Akhdar and by the beach in subtropical Salalah – provides compelling reasons for visitors to venture further afield. It’s not the only big name to make its debut. Kempinski is set to take up residence near the Greg Norman-designed Almouj golf course in Muscat, while Jumeirah will open a spa resort in a secluded cove at the other end of town. Go now, before word really gets out. (Lara Brunt)

How to go 

Seven nights, half board, at Anantara Al Jabal Al Akhdar, flying from Heathrow, costs from £1,799 a head with British Airways Holidays (0344 493 0787; ba.com/holidays). More information: omantourism.gov.om. 

Lech, Austria

Lech in Austria has always had a lot going for it, appealing to the rich and famous with patrons including Diana, Princess of Wales, the Dutch royal family and Princess Caroline of Monaco. The town is the epitome of Alpine charm, complete with ancient timber chalets, a meandering river and onion-domed church. In the car-free satellite of Oberlech, 200m above Lech (1450m) and connected by lift, there is extensive ski-in/ski out accommodation. Lech’s snow record is exceptional, receiving on average, more than 7m a year while the nearby village of Zürs, with which it shares its slopes, receives nearly 12m. Its largely intermediate runs are well groomed and the Lech Zürs ski area doubled in size in 2013 when a new lift linked Lech with the Warth-Schröcken ski area. 

The only real niggle with this Vorarlberg resort was accessing the ski area of neighbouring St Anton, in Tirol, covered by the same lift pass. Until now you could only get from one to the other by bus or taxi. This issue has now been addressed. Thanks to a massive investment of £37.5m in four new lifts, the areas are connected for this season, creating the largest lift-linked ski area in Austria (the Arlberg), with 87 lifts and 305km of runs. Of the four new gondolas, the key linking lifts will be the Flexenbahn from Rauz in the St Anton ski area and the Trittkopfbahn 1 from Zürs, which meet on the ridge between the resorts. Lech is also to benefit from an upgraded cable-car to Oberlech. The new cabins will carry 80 people rather than the existing 32, eliminating queues and giving more room to transport luggage. (Henry Druce)

The mountains near Lech
The mountains near Lech

How to go

Crystal Ski Holidays (020 8939 0726; crystalski.co.uk) offers packages at the four-star Hotel Gotthard in Lech from £1,320 per person for seven nights half-board including flights and transfers.

Liuwa, Zambia 

Make this the year to visit one of Africa’s most remote national parks. Liuwa is a part of the upper Zambezi floodplains in Zambia’s wild Western Province. As the annual floods recede, they leave behind a flower-strewn wilderness as yet barely touched by tourism: one of the few places in the world where you can look in any direction and see nothing but an unbroken horizon of grass. 

In places, the plains are stippled with wooded islands and water-filled pans that attract endangered wattled cranes and black-winged pratincoles in the tens of thousands. You can expect to see more than 300 species including pelicans, bustards and numerous birds of prey. But Liuwa is best known as the home of Africa’s second-largest wildebeest migration. Blue wildebeest – at least 43,000 of them – are joined every year by herds of zebra, tsessebe and lechwe antelopes, pursued by cheetahs, wild dogs, hyenas and a handful of lions. As a spectacle it may not match the Serengeti, but you will have it all to yourself.

Liuwa has been a national park since 1972, but getting there, allied to a lack of accommodation, has always been a challenge – until African Parks arrived on the scene. The result is Mambeti, a safari lodge with six en-suite villas on raised decks beside the upper Munde Stream, an oasis of luxury in the heart of the plains with access by charter flights from Livingstone. (Brian Jackman)

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