Picks for the top travel destinations of 2017 from near to very, very far
It’s that time of the year again — when the 2017 travel destinations lists start pouring out and travel sites and experts make their bets on the top destinations for the upcoming year.
While sites like TripAdvisor pick contenders based on identifiable trends from bookings in their system or directly through their users, Lonely Planet’s managing editor Rebecca Warren told us their editor-selected picks aim to include destinations for everyone, from perennial favorites to picks for more intrepid travelers.
Our picks take both approaches into account, and are a mix of editorial recommendations and places we think will grow in popularity. The insiders at Contiki tours told us that 71 percent of their millennial and post-millennial travelers are looking for experiences, not just destinations. Plus, we know that safety is a concern for many travelers heading to Europe and beyond. We’ve even watched the exchange rates and kept our eye on Zika.
With all of that in mind, here are our picks for the top travel destinations for 2017.
Porto, Portugal, was named to Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel Destinations – 2017 list,
Lonely Planet found a new airport, metro line and museum to be solid upgrades that should lead to higher tourism numbers. Plus, the city will host the 2017 Confederations Cup and 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Some can’t – miss highlights while visiting the 860-year-old city include Red Square, the Kremlin and St. Basil’s Cathedral.
Leigh Barnes, regional director of Geckos Adventures, told us that they’ve noticed inquiries about South Africa have been steadily rising. Travel insurance company Squaremouth has also seen a 24 percent increase in travel to the country. And the current exchange rate against the South African rand makes the country a superb budget-friendly, to make her end up on our list of top travel destinations for 2017.
While visiting, travelers can hike up mountains or through botanical gardens (Cape Town has more flower species than all of England), surf in Durban or Jeffreys Bay, spot the Big Five at a game reserve, hang with penguins or ride an ostrich.
Cape Town has been growing culturally over the last few years — the city now features a popular art walk each month, and an impressive selection of gourmet restaurants and artisan cocktail bars.
In September 2017, it will also become home to the world’s largest contemporary African art museum. Plus, the black rhino is critically endangered and your chances to see the creatures in the wild (or at all) are becoming slimmer each year.