The 7 Hottest Travel Destinations of 2016
Where to be (and be seen)
We’ve got holiday getaways on the brain. But not just any old getaways. We’re looking for something out of the ordinary, a place to fuel our passion for travel but that’s yet to be affected by mass tourism.
From the Mexican beach hardly anyone has discovered to the Mediterranean city that’s blissfully free of cruise ships, these seven off-the-beaten-path places are at the top of our 2016 travel list.
When to Visit: September through April
Iceland? Whatever. Next year will be all about Greenland, which is so off the grid, your cell phone probably won’t work. (Folks here rely on satellite phones.) Love the outdoors? Locals travel around this sparsely populated land by dogsled or snowmobile, and it’s hands down the best spot to spot the aurora borealis. Head there in March to catch the first-ever Arctic Winter Games--much like the Olympics, but with sports such as badminton and “Alaskan high kick.”
When to Visit: March through September
Located between the Alps and the vineyards of Franconia, Bavaria has a wonderful Sound of Music vibe. The region is one of Germany’s 16 states and boasts breathtaking scenery, an easygoing feel and a charismatic culture. Tour Munich’s world-class galleries, then raise a stein with the lederhosen-clad locals in a frothy beer hall. Or follow the Romantic Road through enchanted forests to castles straight out of a Disney movie.
Riviera Nayarit, Mexico
When to Visit: January through March
See ya, Tulum. This year, visit the part of Mexico that’s blissfully free of co-eds. Located on the western part of the country, the region of Riviera Nayarit is home to the surfer town of Sayulita, which is a perfect snapshot of what many consider authentic Mexico. Along thesecobble stone streets you’ll find amazing mahi-mahi fish tacos, and the beaches have some of the best waves on the coast. (P.S. It’s also only a few miles from the popular city of Nuevo Vallarta.)
When to visit: Any time of year
Praised for its stability and progressive social climate, this low-profile African country will celebrate 50 years of independence in 2016. Awash with national parks, Botswana is great on either a high or low budget, in the dry or green season, and it is equally suitable for adventurers, honeymooners or wild scenesters (here, clubbing is called “car park pimping”). But fair warning: It won't remained undiscovered for long, as 2016 will likely bring the dawn of direct international flights.
When to Visit: April through June
Seeking beauty and adventure? Consider adding the Hawaiian island of Kauai to your itinerary. Not only is Kauai geologically the oldest of the main Hawaiian Islands, it's also the greenest--nicknamed the "Garden Isle" for its lush rain forests and beautiful vegetation. It also happens to be the backdrop for some tiny movies like Jurassic Park and Raiders of the Lost Ark.
When to Visit: May through September
This Mediterranean town is drop-dead gorgeous from every single angle. Within the city walls, locals sip strong coffee at pavement cafes and queue up for warm bread along the dreamy maze of alleys and plazas. Beyond, the mountain-encircled bay is one of the most photogenic spots in all of Europe. Better still, the cruise ships have yet to overwhelm. Get here before they drop anchor.
When to Visit: September through April
This archipelago of around 250 islands in the western Pacific Ocean is a prime country for underwater lovers searching for snorkeling and diving expeditions--without the crowds. Loads of World War II wreckage still remains scattered throughout the islands, and you can explore these while scuba diving. The coolest spot (in our opinion) is Jellyfish Lake, home to an endemic subspecies of jellyfish that travel across the water in a repeated daily pattern.
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