Our list of the hottest destinations co-created with the help of our traveller friends and incidentally some of the best travel bloggers out there. It has exceeded expectations and has become the our goto list for this year.
Here’s what they had to say:
LAURA FROM SAVORED JOURNEYS SUGGESTS TALLINN, ESTONIA
“Not only is Tallinn, Estonia, a beautiful city, it is one of the most welcoming and charming places we’ve ever been to. The vast history of the country, Tallinn’s well-preserved medieval Old Town, incredible architecture dating back to the 11th century, and cobblestone streets make it both educational and authentic. We really enjoyed walking around the lower and upper parts of the Old Town, which is still surrounded by the old wall that once protected the city. It should definitely be on your travel list for 2016.”
SHARON FROM WHERE’S SHARON SUGGESTS MYANMAR
“Looking for a taste of how SE Asia used to be? Head to Myanmar! Myanmar is an awesome destination full of sights and attractions that aren’t yet flooded by tourists. From the temple studded surrounds of Bagan to the hustle and bustle of Yangon to the laid backness of Mandalay, there is a lot to love and admire in this country. Myanmar is also somewhere that is changing so get in now!”
GEMMA FROM TWO SCOTS ABROAD SUGGEST COLOMBIA
“Colombia – is not full of drugs and ganglords! It is packed with passionate people who love their country and are waiting on you. They want to show it off and show you around. Mountains (Minca), beaches (Tayrona National Park), cities (Medellin, Cartagena, Bogota, Cali), coffee (Salento), and Pola Cola (beer and coke in a tin). There is something for everyone. But be quick, the travellers are there already, the tourists will be next!”
STEFAN FROM GAY COUPLE TRAVELLING SUGGESTS TIKAL IN GUATEMALA
Stefan visited Guatemala many years ago and loved it, especially the ancient Mayan ruins at Tikal National Park.
“We want to visit Latin America in 2016 and Guatemala in Central America is definitely high up on our list. Tikal blew Stefan’s mind away: imagine these ancient pyramid citadels built in the middle of the rainforest in the 1st century AD. This was the heart of an ancient dynasty that lasted for 800 years. And you know what’s really awesome about it? It was used as the location for the first Star Wars film (A New Hope) back in the 70s!”
CAROLE FROM BERKELEY AND BEYOND SUGGESTS KOMODO ISLAND IN INDONESIA
“I’m just back from seeing the Komodo dragons on Komodo Island in Indonesia. I think it is a hot destination for 2016 because I’ve been seeing more and more written pieces about it, not to mention that it is also hot weather-wise. And this remote island and another immediately adjacent are the only places in the world these intriguing beasts live naturally. Many visitors stay on low-key Flores Island and spend some quality time snorkeling. All this, and you are just an hour and a half by air from Bali.”
SAMANTHA FROM TRAVELLING KING SUGGESTS BORACAY, PHILIPPINES
“There are so so so many reasons to visit Boracay (in the Philippines), just to name a few: The quiet white sand beaches, the gorgeous blue (clear) waters, the people are super friendly and super helpful, it’s very cheap to travel within; accommodation, food, beverages, activities etc are all very affordable making your experience in the Philippines that much better. Boracay reminds me of Thailand before it become overcrowded and overly touristy. Last but certainly not least, the sunsets are incredible, different everyday!”
MATE FROM CHASING THE DONKEY SUGGESTS ZADAR, CROATIA
“2016 is the year that you need to visit Zadar. Its most famous attractions are the enchanting sea organ and greeting to the sun but it offers so much more. In 1964 Zadar was made famous by Alfred Hitchcock when he said “Zadar has the most beautiful sunset in the world” and I absolutely agree with Alfred! If you’re looking to go beyond the walls of the old town you can easily explore Zadar Region which has loads of wonderful sights including the Kornati National Park, Paklenica National Park, Plitvice Lakes, Zadar Archipeligo, Nin and Pag Island. If you’re looking for beaches, islands, history, national parks, adventure or a relaxed holiday, Zadar is for you.”
DANIELLE FROM WHILE I’M YOUNG & SKINNY SUGGESTS HOLGUIN IN CUBA
“Cuba is the destination on everyone’s 2016 itinerary, and while most will be dreaming of Havana; I urge you to consider visiting Holguin, where Columbus is thought to have first stepped ashore. It’s not all seaside resorts, though they are pretty stunning. In this Eastern city you can visit plantations or small fishing villages where you’ll learn about Cuba’s past. For a birds eye view of the sprawling city, climb the 458 steps of ‘Loma de Cruz’ – just don’t do it in the midday heat. When visiting Cuba, be sure to eat in a ‘paladar’ – an independently owned restaurant, for an authentic local food experience. The best way to get around? In a classic American car, of course!”
LINDA FROM TRIPPING BLONDE SUGGESTS NORWAY
“The land of the Vikings, fjords, and Aquavit is undoubtedly known as one of the most beautiful places on earth. It has also been notoriously known as one of the most expensive countries to visit thanks to its strong oil-fueled economy. However, in 2015, the Norwegian Krone reached its weakest level in more than 13 years thanks to sliding oil prices, and it’s projected that the Krone will remain weakened well into the next year. This, in turn, has made the land of the midnight sun more affordable than ever for tourists and makes Norway a hot destination for 2016, especially for cost conscious travelers.”
RYAZAN FROM TWO MONKEYS TRAVEL GROUP SUGGESTS ICELAND
“Iceland is truly the land of Ice and Fire. Include Iceland in your top travel destination for 2016 because of its surreal natural wonder. If you are up for an adventure, visit the Thingvellir National Park and dive or snorkel in the awesome Silfra fissure (the crack between the 2 continental tectonic plates). Carry on exploring the Golden Circle, enjoy the quirky & charming Reykjavik, experience the Northern Lights or Midnight Sun, hike on a glacier and visit as many waterfalls as you can! Don’t forget to visit the famous Blue Lagoon Iceland and relax in their warm geothermal pools.”
CLAUDIA FROM MY ADVENTURES ACROSS THE WORLD SUGGESTS YOGYAKARTA IN INDONESIA
“One of the places that should absolutely be visited in 2016 is Yogyakarta, in Indonesia. A fantastic city of many wonders, Yogyakarta is thought to be the cultural capital and the artistic centre of Indonesia. It is a lively, fun city that offers a great mixture of modernity and traditions and leaves visitors amazed by the incredible mix of places to visit (from the archeological sites of Prambanan and Borobudur and the less known of Kraton Ratu Boko, to the Royal Palace) and things to do (shopping, eating at a fabulous restaurant and learning the art of batik). Yet, Yogyakarta’s best feature is its fantastic people: welcoming, friendly and lively.”
CHRIS FROM ONE WEIRD GLOBE SUGGESTS CARTHAGE IN TUNISIA
“It’s not every day you get to walk around historic, UNESCO heritage sites with almost no one else around. Our ticket to this site was 10 dinars, or about $5 US, and included access to several other smaller sites within walkable distance that kept us busy the whole day.
I’m talking about Carthage, Tunisia – an easy train ride from Tunis, Tunisia, itself a worthy destination with museums and art galore. Recall your history and geography – Tunisia’s placement along the Mediterranean brought it into the fold of the Roman Empire. While it’s tiny compared to its neighbors Algeria and Libya, it’s also managed to preserve as much of its legacy as Rome itself.
And then there’s the ancient Roman coliseum in El Jem…”
INMA FROM A WORLD TO TRAVEL SUGGESTS SOUTH AFRICA
“Choosing the best ever holiday location is surely not an easy task for a travel blogger, after visiting dozens of pretty cool destinations in the last few months. However, some of them shine like a diamond for a reason.
That’s the case of South Africa. I spent fifteen days there last May after being invited by the Tourism Board and I came back to my base itching to go back, completely in love with the country and its people.
Hip urban areas like Johannesburg, idyllic cities as Cape Town and places I would move to right now like Durban compete with stunning landscapes and safari-ready spots every few miles.
I might be the luckiest girl in this planet but you can definitely feel the same if you make South Africa a priority in 2016. It will be epic, I promise you.”
TANAYA FROM TANAYAS TABLE SUGGESTS PANCHGANI IN INDIA
“The hills, valleys and scenic, lush green beauty of Panchgani make it one of my favorite destinations, since it’s such a unique place in the world. The elevation causes clouds to roll in and gives it a mystical, magical atmosphere. Nearby in Mahabaleshwar, there are streets full of food and craft vendors, as well as local farms with delicious berry jams, ice creams and candies, as the area’s unique climate lends itself to an abundance of juicy, sweet berries. You can even take tours of the farms, and there are rides for kids. Another great activity is to visit the famous Table Land lookout to feel like you’re on top of the world. Enjoy hot roasted corn, or go on a camel or horseback ride. Panchgani can be as relaxing or activity-filled as you want it to be, all while being surrounded by nature and beauty.”
OLGA FROM DREAMS IN HEELS SUGGESTS ECUADOR
“Ecuador is a hot destination to visit in 2016. The locals will make you feel like a celebrity!
I had the opportunity to visit the amazing cities of Quito and Cuenca. Both cities have fabulous architecture, food and culture; and this is a country vested in keeping its traditions intact.
One of my favorite travel moments was flying into the city of Quito as the Cotopaxi volcano began to erupt. Second, was having a delicious authentic meal inside of Pululahua, an active volcano. So many treasured memories like the Machachi train ride around Quito with the unforgettable panoramic views; and the unique street murals around the city. You know, I thought it couldn’t get any better until I was standing right on the Equator, “The Middle of the World” latitude and longitude “00000000”.
The highlights the City of Cuenca are many! The bike ride tour around the city and riding alongside three of the famous four rivers of Cuenca only to come to the one spot where they all connected. I walked the cobblestone streets and saw places with big balconys sort of like New Orleans. Ate at Tiesto’s Restaurant an authentic mom and pop shop where each dessert is hand painted with edible paint by the owners wife. Cuenca is the mecca of renowned artisans which I had the pleasure and privilege of meeting, but most impressive was how generations have continued to grown the businesses, to me, this was as strong as the traditions these countrymen hold so dear to their hearts.”
JON FROM JON IS TRAVELLING SUGGESTS PATAGONIA REGION IN CHILE & ARGENTINA
“If you want to see some truly breathtaking scenery in 2016 then you should plan a trip to Patagonia. The end of the world, shared by Chile and Argentina, is full of snow-covered mountains, massive glaciers and colourful lakes. Highlights include the four or five day W Trek in Torres del Paine National Park, the huge (and still growing) Perito Moreno Glacier and Mount Fitz Roy, one of the world’s most picturesque mountains. Patagonia isn’t a cheap place to travel but the sights you’ll see more than make up for it – don’t miss it if you want to see nature at its best.”
KAMI FROM MY WANDERLUST SUGGESTS LVIV UKRAINE
“You might not consider a trip to Ukraine but now actually is the best time to visit. The country is really safe (at least its western part) and it has never been cheaper. Lviv, one of the main Ukrainian cities, is probably the most stunning place in Europe. The old town looks like from a fairy tale with the pastel houses, culture and religions blend and create an unique mix and the local cafe and pub scene is unbeatable. Even if it’s still kind of off the path it’s just a matter of time when tourists discover the city therefore you really should visit Lviv in 2016!”
OLIWIA FROM THE OLLIE SUGGESTS BORNEO IN MALAYSIA
“Borneo was for me a bit like a mystery, I was not sure is it really a very special place or will it disappoint me? But I had no reason to worry! Borneo welcomed me with an amazing diving in Sipadan, the best so far. Next I made my dream come true, I saw orangutans in natural habitat. I also spent a night in the jungle by the Kinabatangan river, climbed beautiful, mistic Kinabalu. I will never forget the night trekking to the summit and the breathtaking sunrise. At the end I explored the incredible underworld of Mulu. Borneo is simply amazing!”
READ: Malaysia – A quick guide
STUART FROM AM I NEARLY THERE YET SUGGESTS TASMANIA IN AUSTRALIA
“Tasmania! An epic destination that has it all – Unspoiled beauty, world-beating cuisine, beautiful wilderness adventures, plenty of opportunity for camping under the stars and enough national parks to explore for a whole lifetime! The island state south of the Australian mainland is likely to be a bigger hit than ever in 2016… If you’re visiting OZ – No excuses, get yourself down there!”
MATILDA FROM THE TRAVEL SISTERS SUGGESTS RWANDA
“Rwanda has come a long way from the horrific genocide in the mid 90s. This “Land of a Thousand Hills” is now a safe and peaceful country determined to heal from its past. Mostly known as one of only three countries where travelers can trek endangered mountain gorillas, Rwanda has embraced tourism in an admirably eco-conscious manner. Permits to view the mountain gorillas are limited and in an effort to preserve its lush and green environment, Rwanda was one of the first countries to ban all plastic bags.”
PATTI FROM SAVVY GLOBETROTTER SUGGESTS ANTARCTICA
“Antarctica may be cold but it deserves its spot as a hot destination for 2016. The White Continent, known for glaciers, icebergs and iconic penguins, rightfully shows up on many bucket lists. And if anyone needs another excuse to visit besides the legendary landscape and wildlife encounters, the planned 1st Antarctic Biennale of Contemporary Art is set to occur in 2016. “
JENNIFER FROM MADE ALL THE DIFFERENCE SUGGEST KENYA
“My pick for the hottest destination for 2016 is Kenya. It is naturally a hot destination due to the proximity to the equator. I fell love with Kenya for its wide array of national parks and reserves that protect the natural landscapes and wildlife. From the world renowned Maasai Mara to the tiny Saiwa Swamp, each park is a made up of a unique ecosystem and set of wildlife. Kenya is a wildlife lover’s dream. It is possible to see most of the big Africa game as well as some endangered species. Additionally, there is the chance to visit local Maasai village or the homes of world class marathoners.”
NIC & PAUL FROM THE ROAMING RENEGADES SUGGEST INTERLAKEN IN SWITZERLAND
“Our hottest destination for 2016 is Interlaken, Switzerland. This town in the middle of the Swiss alps is flanked by two stunningly blue lakes and in the shadow of the impressive three giants of The Eiger, Monch and Jungfrau. Not only is it the mist beautiful chocolate box Swiss town but it is the adventure capital of the world! From Paragliding to White Water Rafting, climbing to kayaking, canyoning and extreme hikes. Interlaken has everything as well as having a youthful and vibrant backpacker and adrenaline junkie crowd”
ISABEL FROM BEL AROUND THE WORLD SUGGESTS COLMAR IN FRANCE
“If anyone would fall in love with a commune like Colmar, most of the credit would go to the colourful half-timbered houses. And that is exactly why Colmar would win anyone’s heart.
I found myself being enamoured by the half-timbered trimmings on buildings and little streets, which add to the town’s rustic charm. Once in a while a canal will intersect your path, and the sight is beyond romantic. In that moment, I found myself lost in time as I pause by the riverbank and trail the flow of the waters.”
Which destinations are you looking at for 2016? If you think there’s one we’ve missed please feel free to mention it with your reason why it belongs on this list.