A new year brings new opportunities for travel. My entire travel bucket list is pretty much every country in the world, but each year I like to select my favourites for that year.
I therefore thought I would share my Travelutions (travel resolutions) for 2016. This is an ideal, if I lived in a dream world, without a full time job and without the usual money worries that come with being broke pretty much all the time!
I know I wont be able to cross them all off my list but hopefully I will be able to find time/the funds to visit some of them. Maybe it will bring some travel inspiration to you for 2016.
So without further a do, lets dive into my Travelutions 2016:
I love Scandanavia. I love the architecture, quaint, colourful buildings, meandering rivers and canals, cosy bars and cafes lining the narrow streets offering respite from the crisp, cold air. Whether out in the country or in the centre of the city, it is always a picture postcard. Beautiful.
I have wanted to visit Copenhagen for years and I feel 2016 would be the perfect time to visit. I can picture myself walking along the harbour front and it just makes me smile.
Where to Stay?
There are so many hotels in Copenhagen from budget beauties to extortionate marvels. If money was no object, I would stay in the Hotel D’Angletere without hesitation. This hotel just looks sensational. However, it is way out of my price league at this moment in time.
With my love of harbours, the Copenhagen Admiral Hotel would be ideal. It is a mid range hotel right on the harbour front. It is just in an incredible spot.
However, with my current budget, I am probably looking at staying somewhere like Hotel Danmark. It looks to be a cheap and cheerful hotel in a great location in the centre of Copenhagen. With all the main tourist sites right on it’s doorstep. It also offers ‘wine hour’ which is a full hour where you can drink free wine – that’s a winner in my books!
What to Do?
a) Visit the little mermaid statue
b) Explore Freetown Christiana
c) Eat at Noma
d) Explore the ruins below Christiansborg Palace.
2. South African Safari
It is no secret that I love wildlife. It would therefore be incredible to go on a safari to see some of the most amazing creatures on the planet, in the wild. I have been drawn to South Africa in particular with it’s diverse wildlife from Penguins to Rhinos.
Where to Stay?
There is only one place in my mind that I would want to stay, and that is Kariega Game Reserve. The lodges just look incredible with their fires and wooden walls, and mesmerising views across the African plains. It is a safari, so it is not exactly cheap, but when you see the accommodation on offer, and then see the price, it is better than you would expect!
What to do?
a) SAFARI, SAFARI, SAFARI – well that’s pretty obvious.
b) Take the cable car up Table Mountain in Cape Town
c) Swim with penguins at Boulders Beach and explore Cape Point
d) Explore the cape winelands when travelling between Kareiga and Cape Town by car.
3. Hong Kong
There is something about Asian cities that I find so captivating. The hustle and bustle, the immensely tall buildings and general busy atmosphere is somewhat addictive.
Hong Kong has been a city I have wanted to visit for sometime due it’s unique setting. It is an island with idyllic beaches, mesmerising views and a powerful atmosphere. You can explore the city itself, then head out go explore the floating villages, wander the beaches or take in the view from the peak above.
Where to stay?
I love rooftop pools, if a hotel has one, I will stay there. Therefore, the one hotel that is top of my list for Hong Kong is the Harbour Grand Kowloon. I can just imagine myself relaxing in the roof top pool, looking out across the harbour towards Hong Kong Island itself. Wow.
What to do?
a) Explore Temple Street Night Market
b) Take a trip over to Lantau to see the Big Buddha
c) Explore the floating villages
d) Take the tram up Victoria Peak.
4. Riga, Latvia
This has only recently made an appearance on my bucket list – and more fool me for taking so long to discover this magical place.
Latvia is an enchanting country made up of vast areas of unspoilt countryside with a vibrant city at it’s heart, Riga.
It offers amazing architecture, stunning castles, beautiful beaches and enchanted forests. You really will be spoilt for choice here. You could either spend a short city break exploring the narrow streets of Riga itself, or spend longer and venture out into the surrounding countryside, exploring the less visited towns and the mesmerising scenery.
Where to stay?
For a city break in Riga there are so many hotel options available. Depending on budget, if I had a bit more to spend I would stay in the Dome Hotel and Spa as it is nestled down a quiet little street in the heart of Riga’s Old Town. It is very centrally located though, so everything is pretty much on your doorstep.
For those on more of a backpackers budget, the Naughty Squirrel Hostel is a good choice, if not just for the name!
What to do?
a) Have a drink (or two) in Folkklubs Ala Pagrabs
b) Explore the city canals (Pilestas Kanals)
c) Go back in time at Riga castle
d) While away time staring at the houses of Alberta Lela (Albert Street)
5. The Philippines
This will definitely be one of the ‘it’ destinations of the future, with it’s perfectly pristine white sand beaches, friendly people and unusual wildlife. The only problem here will be choosing which island(s) to visit. The Philippines is made up of more than 7000 islands! Each with it’s own unique offering.
Some of the most popular ones to look out for are Boracay, Palawan and Bohol. You just need to look at a picture of one of the beaches of the Philippines to find yourself with some serious wanderlust.
Where to stay/What to do?
This island is most well known for its incredible white sand beach. It is literally the definition of paradise.
If money is not a problem, then I would stay at the Shangri La hands down. I love Shangri La Hotels, the service and attention to details is always excellent. The position of this hotel on Boracay is just idyllic.
If you are on more of a budget, it has to be The Spider House Resort. It is a rickety treehouse style building, literally built into the side of the cliff. The views from here are spectacular. To be honest, even if I had loads of money, I would probably find myself wanting to stay here!
This is the island for swimming, sunbathing, drinking and generally relaxing/partying depending on your preference.
This is by far the ‘heaven on earth’ island. The many lagoons and smaller islands to explore are very enticing and the snorkling and diving around here is supposed to be spectacular. Island hopping is your main activity here, there are so many small islands and lagoons to explore you could spend days sailing around them and still have so many more to see.
I would stay at Huma Island if I could. It just looks incredible. It reminds me a lot of the top resorts you find in the Maldives. I can’t really say much for it because you just need to look at it and you instantly know it is THE DREAM.
I am so caught up in this resort that I couldn’t even bring myself to consider staying anywhere else…
The island of Tarsier Monkeys and Chocolate Hills. This is a more ‘land based’ island. It still has amazing beaches and waters to explore but the real draw here is the teeny tiny Tarsier Monkey. I personally think they are very cute but few people seem to agree with me…?
I would stay at the Bohol Beach Club here. It is right on a beautiful stretch of white sand beach, offers numerous water sport activities, comfortable rooms (some which lead right out onto the beach) and it is pretty reasonably priced to be honest!
Please let me know if you have visited any of the above and if you have any ideas/tips for things to do whilst there. Do you have any other suggestions for travel in 2016?[contact-form][contact-field label=’Name’ type=’name’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Email’ type=’email’ required=’1’/][contact-field label=’Website’ type=’url’/][contact-field label=’Comment’ type=’textarea’ required=’1’/][/contact-form]