Places to visit
Top 5 travel hotlist of the most amazing places to visit in 2017
where are the best places to go?
Here are 5 for the wishlist
- Sri Lanka
- Seven nights from £841pp
Temples and turtles, birds and beaches, curry and culture…and some of the world’s best tea!
This is a tropical treat that’s now served by direct jetlag-busting Dreamliner flights with Thomson Airways and features a fine range of hotels.
The Indian Ocean island is the size of Ireland but blessed with an outstanding range of things to see and do including an impressive eight Unesco world heritage sites and national parks with elephants, leopards, crocodiles and buffalo. You’ll find the locals are amazingly friendly and it’s even got great surfing too.
OUR TIP: see the masses of elephants in Uda Walawe national park and walk the ramparts of Galle’s mighty coastal fortress.
Seven nights from £275pp
Billed as the ‘new Croatia’, this little gem, lying further down the magnificent Adriatic coastline from its East European neighbour, is magnet for the rich and famous, attracting the likes of Tina Turner, the Rothschild family and Beyonce and Jay-Z.
And no wonder – this tiny country has so much to offer, from the 72 miles of beaches to historic towns like the Unesco-listed walled Budva and atmospheric Kotor, to glorious national parks such as Durmitor.
OUR TIP: Get a glimpse of the high life at the multimillion-pound Porto Montenegro marina on the Bay of Kotor – the hot new place for Europe’s yachting royalty to moor up their super-vessels
15 days from £3,095pp
Back in 2012 the release of Aung San Suu Kyi from house arrest was the cue for the country, long shrouded in mystery, to inch open its doors to a trickle of tourists.
Nowadays there’s a flood of visitors streaming to Burma (as it was formerly known) to sail along the fabled Irrawaddy River and wonder at the sight of the multitude of gilded temples and monasteries of Bagan.
But canny travellers should go off the beaten track to the little visited far south of the country for its deserted beaches by the Andaman Sea and historic Mawlamyine, the former old colonial capital of British Burma.
OUR TIP: Hop aboard a longtail boat to Inle Lake and its waterborne community. Watch out for the iconic sight of the lake’s leg-rowing fishermen – steering their boats with one leg wrapped around the oar.
Three nights from £390pp
Rated as one top three countries to visit by Lonely Planet as well as one of National Geographic Traveler’s 21 Best of the World destinations for 2017, there’s even more cause for celebration as next year marks the centenary of Finland’s independence.
The Finns will be getting the year-long party started on New Year’s Eve in Helsinki’s Töölönlahti Bay and Kansalaistori Square with a host of events culminating in a sensational fireworks show.
And to meet the increased demand Finnair now flies five times a week between Heathrow and Helsinki offering the comforts of a long haul aircraft, the ultra-modern Airbus A350 XWB, on a short haul flight with return fares from £155
OUR TIP: With over three million saunas in the country – in locations ranging from a fast food restaurant (the Mannerheimintie Burger King in Helsinki) to the soaring Finnair SkyWheel (skysauna.fi) you could leave Finland in a sweat!
Seven nights from £1,000
Staycations are here to stay and we like the look of North Wales for holiday at home family fun this year.
The region has invested heavily in adventure activities and highlights include Europe’s longest zip line and the fastest in the world (Zip World Velocity), an underground adventure through caverns on zip lines and rope bridges (Zip World Cavern) and the largest zip zone in Europe (Zip World Titan).
Add to that white water rafting and surf at the world’s first inland surfing lagoon which is the size of six football pitches (Surf Snowdonia) and the majesty of Mount Snowdon itself and it’s a Welsh winner.
Oh yes, there’s also some great grub to be had as well, with two Michelin starred restaurants waiting to tempt you.
OUR TIP: the upgraded Bounce Below at ZipWorld looks ridiculously good fun with slides and trampolines deep underground in a former slate mine that’s the size of a cathedral.