When it comes to travelling the world, there is literally no end to experiences one can have. So one is always on the lookout for best travel destinations, bucket lists to tick off or unexplored regions to explore. Lonely Planet recently came up with a list of top travel destinations in 2017; three lists actually, Top Ten Counties, Top Ten Regions and Top Ten Cities. We take a quick look at the top 5 regions from the Top Ten Regions list and what makes them attractive tourist destinations. Yes, it is time to add these to the ‘things to do before I die’ and start saving for it!
- Choquequirao, Peru: This one is an Incan site in South Peru similar in architecture to its better known sister, Machu Picchu. The site, located at 9,800 ft above sea level in the remote Peruvian Andes, can be accessed only through a grueling trek over 2 days, the main reason why it is not as popular, though plans for a cable car is underway. But the rewards from the trek far outweigh the rather tiring journey; one is greeted with lush greenery of rain-forests, scenic mountain views and a chance to explore the ancient ruins hidden in the forest. Built around 1445, only about 30 per cent of the ruins have been restored. The beauty of Choquequirao is that it is untouched and remote.
- Taranaki, New Zealand: This coastal and mountainous region located on the Western side of New Zealand’s North Island is dominated by Mt. Taranaki and has something for every taste- stunning surf beaches, cities, rural landscapes and beautiful mountains. One can go for adventures at the Egmont National Park – hike to the summit Taranaki summit, go for nature walks, day hikes and treks, or even do skiing or take a scenic flight over Mount Taranaki. The beaches are great for surfing or taking surfing lessons from an expert, coastal walks and hikes. One can also explore Taranaki’s art, history and culture by visiting museums, taking guided heritage and historical tours. Plus there are dozens of private and heritage gardens to be visited, golf courses and forest walks. Definitely a trip of a lifetime!
- Azores, Portugal: This volcanic archipelago, a group of 8 islands about 800 miles from the Portugal coast in the mid Atlantis has it all- scenic landscapes, emerald beaches, azure skies, fishing villages, green pastures, volcanic caverns and beautiful waterfalls. Azores has found a place on the tourist map after introduction of low cost airlines from the UK. One is bound to fall in love with the tranquillity of the place, the rural roads, the cobbled streets, the grazing cows on lush green meadows, the deep blue sea, the spectacular cliffs and the conical volcanoes. There are also unique geological formations, speciality museums and activities like fishing and hiking. This one is still an unspoiled paradise, a heaven on earth, or the other Garden of Eden.
- North Wales, UK: If you are an adventure junkie, North Wales has loads to offer. You can zip line through the quarries (the fastest zip line and the longest in Europe is here) or bounce on trampolines in a deep cavern. You can do rock climbing, white water rafting, horse riding, sea fishing, diving, hand gliding- the options are endless. For those who want to take it slow, there are some of the best walking and cycling trails in Britain and brilliant golf courses. For those who want to explore the history and architecture, there are majestic castles, old houses, stately homes and gardens. The scenic beauty of the mountains, the lakes, the forests and the beaches is of course a perfect antidote for the weary soul.
- South Australia: This region makes to the top 5 of the list because of some of the awesome experiences it has on offer for a tourist. Some of the things you can do are- explore the Kangaroo island, a sanctuary for wildlife and rugged natural beauty, taste the best wine and food at Adelaide Hills and the Barossa Valley, come face to face with the great white shark and swim with the dolphins at Eyre Peninsula, surf, sail, dine and drink at the sheltered Fleurieu Peninsula, visit the Limestone Coasts with its beautiful beaches and magnificent coastlines or relax on the Murray river on a houseboat or a kayak or a canoe, to name a few. Natural surroundings, wide open spaces, wildlife and some of the best wines make South Australia a must visit.
- Pictures from: Pixabay and Wikipedia