Every year, one of the world’s most popular travel guides, Lonely Planet, releases their pick of the best destinations travellers need to explore the following year. These include countries, cities and regions, highlighting both hot favourites and hidden gems. Featuring in their lists is a highly sought-after accolade, and often brings with it additional visitors to the selected places, keen to see what the fuss is all about.
In this post, we run through the countries who made the cut for the Best in Travel list, discussing what makes them such great places to visit.
Canada has taken the world by surprise this year, helping to earn it the much-desired top spot in Lonely Planet’s list. Next year the country will be celebrating one long birthday party, in honour of it being 150 years since its confederation, making it a real vibrant destination to head to. Canada was praised by Lonely Planet not only for its warm welcome to international guests but also its ‘dynamic cities’, ‘exciting fusion food’ and ‘mysteriously underrated wine’.
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Though Colombia was once only for the more hardcore travellers, today it has plenty to invite all kinds of travellers over its borders. Described by Lonely Planet as a ‘South American jewel’, its popularity has grown over the years due to its ‘mix of vibrant culture, nature and hospitality’. Pope Francis will also be paying a visit next year, marking the first papal visit to the country in 30 years.
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Like Canada, Finland will also be celebrating a big anniversary next year: 100 years of independence. Visitors can therefore expect to be offered a wealth of amazing experiences, from al fresco concerts to food festivals and sauna evenings. It’s also an amazing destination for winter sports, hosting both the World Figure Skating Championships and the Nordic World Ski Championships.
Dominica is one of the stand-out islands of the Caribbean, with its main charm lying in its beautifully preserved landscapes, which have barely been touched by the shiny tourist developments that have been built up in neighbouring countries. The Lonely Planet wrote “coconut palms are the only skyscrapers you’ll see here”, and they’re right – the island is almost completely empty, leaving you to appreciate the stunning shores and landscapes Dominica has to offer.
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Despite facing a devastating earthquake last year, Nepal has come back swinging, but it still needs help from tourists to re-establish the infrastructure the country once had. Even though extensive damage was done, there’s still plenty to see in a country which has something to appeal to any traveller seeking something new. Visitors can expect to find majestic temples, trekking trails which take you through some of the world’s most beautiful mountain landscapes, and a fascinating culture.
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Making up the remainder of Lonely Planet’s top ten are Bermuda, Mongolia, Oman, Myanmar and Ethiopia.
Images: Nick Harris, Pedro Szekely, Markus Trienke, Matthias Ripp, Jean-Marie Hullot, available under Creative Commons