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Where to travel in 2016? Here are 10 of the most interesting and unique places in the world

Photo taken by  

Travel On Spot has analysed the biggest travel magazines and Internet pages and picked out the most recommended destinations of 2016 so that we can offer you the top 10 places to visit in the coming year.

Some countries promise the best impressions for a reasonable price, others fascinate with their exclusivity, and in others still you will probably feel like a new-age explorer. Upon a closer look, we will also see that there are unique and interesting corners right by our homes. From Botswanan wildlife reservations to Greenland's icebergs, from futuristic Japanese cities to lush-green Baltic countries and Polish forests – you're sure to find somewhere to travel in 2016.

1. Botswana

Photo taken by  Botswana

This country is a leader in 2016 in many spheres. It was voted the top travel destination in 2016 by travel guide book publisher Lonely Planet, and also noted in the National Geographic for its magnificent nature.

For many decades for the West, Botswana differed little from other African states. There was nothing astonishing about the country socially or in terms of nature, and few tourists travelled there, preferring instead the Republic of South Africa or Eastern African countries. Nevertheless, Botswana has thrown off its blank guise and now invites travellers to discover more African pearls, such as the Okavango delta, and many more of the country's wonders.

Yellow-billed stork flying over the Okavango Delta
Photo taken by  Yellow-billed stork flying over the Okavango Delta

The Okavango delta is the largest landlocked delta in the world. The Okavango river doesn‘t flow into the sea, but the Kalahari Desert, washing over 15 000 km² of its territory. Every year, about 11 km³ of water reaches the delta, which is why it is so rich in wildlife, including African elephants, hippopotamuses, giraffes, Nile crocodiles, lions, cheetahs, leopards, hyenas, wild dogs, antelopes, black and white rhinoceroses, zebras, baboons, and more, including some 400 species of birds.

2. Japan

Kyoto, Japan at the Higashiyama district in the springtime
Photo taken by  Kyoto, Japan at the Higashiyama district in the springtime

Japan has captured the imaginations of travellers for ages – not just with its futuristic cities, but also its otherworldly way of life. From erotic comics to flashing computer game halls, from delicious seafood restaurants to bizarre bars and night clubs, from the newest technology-packed cities to villages where deep-rooted traditions are still held. Some Japanese experience a shock when travelling to Paris (which has been scientifically recognised as a real psychological disorder, named Paris syndrome), but surely it can be nothing more serious than what any Westerner experiences having arrived in the Japanese islands.

3. The USA

Huntington Beach
Photo taken by  Huntington Beach

Several places in the USA have landed in the top 10 of best travel destinations in 2016. One reason for this is that the American National Park Service is celebrating its 100th birthday, and the country‘s parks are better prepared than ever to take and astonish visitors. Surely a country blessed with some of the most impressive landscapes in the world can offer more than just huge skyscrapers and sunny coastline.

The USA is paradise for those who love to travel by car. Long and well-built roads lead you to all the most beautiful corners of the mainland. On the way you will meet the locals, find roadside snack bars and diners, and experience a way of life you have probably only seen in the movies.

And another thing that‘s really worth seeing with your own eyes is how the world‘s most powerful country elects its new president.

4. Iran

Man trades traditional iranian souvenirs in market (Bazaar) in Isfahan
Photo taken by  Man trades traditional iranian souvenirs in market (Bazaar) in Isfahan

Iran is slowly getting back the West‘s confidence. For many decades, the country was under pressure from the West because of their nuclear programme, but following recent successful negotiations, sanctions on Iran have been eased. And that‘s very good news for travellers who want to experience something new. Iran is the 18th-biggest country in the world in area, and there are more Persian treasures and archaeological and natural wonders than you could ever have imagined. What‘s more, the Iranian people have seemingly missed chatting to foreigners, and are polite and unspoiled by the ever-expanding tourism industry.

Iran is actually one of the safest countries in the elsewhere dangerous and war-torn states of Central Asia. And in Tehran, Isfahan and some other of the biggest Iranian cities, you can not only admire architectural wonders such as mosques and bridges, but also feel the real Eastern market atmosphere, where you will smell the myriad spices and get hold of some unique handmade products.

Tohid Tunnel in Tehran
Photo taken by  Tohid Tunnel in Tehran

Iran is a country rich in variety – skiing enthusiasts will find somewhere to descend snow-covered mountains, and Asian cheetahs still hunt in the country‘s deserts. Green forests reminding of the tropics and the hot Persian gulf, the Caspian Sea and snow-topped mountains... you‘ll find everything in Iran.

5. The Baltic countries

Dancers in traditional costumes
Photo taken by  Dancers in traditional costumes

Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia together make up an interesting region, and recently all of these countries have been getting more and more attention from travel magazines and portals. In 2015, Lithuania was added to list of places in the world most worth visiting; Vilnius is regularly included among the most beautiful Christmas cities, in 2016 Lonely Planet recommends visiting Latvia, and in the same portal Estonia topped the list of the best value destinations. All this is a sign that the tourism industry in the Baltics is starting to grow, and travellers will find something not just in Vilnuis, Riga and Talinn, but all over the region.

Scenic summer aerial panorama of the Old Town in Tallinn
Photo taken by  Scenic summer aerial panorama of the Old Town in Tallinn

The Estonian capital Talinn draws in tourists with its low prices, especially if you travel here over the sea from its Eurozone neighbour Finland. Euros, which you‘ll have to constantly count in Finland will become quite valuable papers and coins in Estonia, with which you‘ll be able to afford much more.

This year, Latvia will celebrate 25 years of independence, and that‘s a good occasion to see how dramatically the country has changed since the times of the Soviet Union‘s occupation: the renovated infrastructure and Old Town of Riga, monuments and objects restored by EU funds, and the people adopting a more Scandinavian as opposed to Easter European way of life.

6. Australia

Streets Beach
Photo taken by  Streets Beach

Australia is, for most people on the planet, one of the most out-of the-way travel destinations there is – to fly here from Europe means at least 24 hours in planes and airports. Nevertheless, this small continent is worth it.

First of all because of its delicate ecosystem – the Great Barrier Reef feels the pressure from the surrounding industrial ports and the effects of climate change. The unique nature of the island of Tasmania also attracts those eager to exploit its resources. It‘s like a polygon, on every kilometre of which harmony is trying to be kept between the needs of nature and civilization. That‘s why first of all one should go and see it remaining natural wonders – the Great Barrier Reef which stretches 2,300 km along the coast, and the unique island of Tasmania.

Photo taken by  Australia

Moreover, the local Aboriginal tribes are getting more and more rights in the country, and the tourism developed by them is gaining more and more momentum. Add to that Sydney and the other of the biggest Australian cities with fantastic cuisine, koalas, kangaroos, golden surfers‘ beaches, and you‘ll get an option for the journey of a lifetime.

7. Poland

Beautiful Old Town of Warsaw
Photo taken by  Beautiful Old Town of Warsaw

One of the biggest European states has often stayed in the shadow of its neighbours. However, this country has a wealth of economic and industrial potential to astound the whole world and attract even more attention. Fast-changing Poland now lures visitors not only with its prominent cultural centres such as Kraków, Wrocław and Gdansk, and with its economically ever-strengthening capital Warsaw, but also with its amazing Central European nature. Scattered across the large territory are impassable forests, steep mountains, white-sand Baltic beaches, and abundances of rivers and lakes. And the roads, which improve every year, will make your journey all the more pleasant.

The National Geographic has put the Masurian Lake District, which boarders Lithuania, on its list of places worth visiting. If you enjoy being in the nature, camping in a tent, fishing, sailing, mushrooming, picking berries in the forest and fresh air, then the Masurian Lake District will be paradise.

8. Uruguay

Punta Del Este,the famous beach statue - The Hand
Photo taken by  Punta Del Este,the famous beach statue - The Hand

Uruguay is another country overshadowed by its neighbours – Argentina and Brazil. Nonetheless, the country compensates its smallness with a calm atmosphere, friendliness and hospitality. While both its neighbours bathe in political swamps, Uruguay demonstrates enviable political, social and economical stability. It‘s no wonder why the country is sometimes called the Switzerland of South America.

Dancers participant in the annual national festival of Uruguay
Photo taken by  Dancers participant in the annual national festival of Uruguay

Travellers can come here if only to visit one of the safest South American capitals – Montevideo. A charming Old Town, an ocean coastline, fantastic restaurants and lively culture certainly sets the city apart from its bustling cousin across the gulf – Buenos Aires. What‘s more, Uruguayans grill the famous beef on coal-heated grills just as well as their neighbours, and perhaps even better – the country of cowboys is very proud of its culinary grilling heritage.

9. Greenland

Northern lights over Nuuk
Photo taken by  Northern lights over Nuuk

If you want a real challenge, explorer-like joy and extreme conditions, then Greenland best fits the bill. In a world that is getting warmer, more polluted, and more inhabited, Greenland is a real oasis. Here, 80 per cent of the territory is covered in icebergs, and inhabitants number a mere 56, 000. But the midnight sun in the summertime, the magical northern lights on long winter nights, and whales swimming right by the shore will make you feel like you‘re in a dream.

Nuuk landscape, Greenland
Photo taken by  Nuuk landscape, Greenland

What‘s more, Greenland is hosting the 2016 Arctic Olympic Games, which will include not only the traditional winter sports, but also dances, customs, and various northern cuisine. Such a event is not to be missed.

However, getting to the remote land is not easy. Some of the cheapest flights are from the Danish capital Copenhagen, but even from here, a one-way flight will set you back around €400-500.

10. Bhutan

Video by Free documentary.  

The last Himalayan Buddhist mountain kingdom is separated from the rest of the world not just by its high mountain tops – only very recently did Bhutan start letting in more tourists. So here there‘s not much suitable infrastructure for visitors to feel comfortable.

But on the other hand, you can feel like you‘ve just discovered a lost and unknown land. Not many will dare drive a Jeep off-road for four days across bumpy mountains to the east of the country, but those are tough enough will not go unrewarded. Here you will still find Buddhist monks and mountain communities who haven‘t seen a foreigner for 20 years. And this fact alone can make your journey to Bhutan truly unique.

Comments (5)

Katik Jake   4 years ago  Edited
This article is very interesting and helpful for me. These places are one of the most famous, interesting and attractive of the world. I like traveling and explored the different countries during my journey.
Jackson Michael   4 years ago  Edited
I like all the images and must say these are attract the tourist attention. I like all of them and must say these are perfect for me.
Aliha   4 years ago  Edited
I would like to say all of these destinations are so nice on the map of the world. I have visited Poland before and have a great experience there. This land of piece is like dream destinations it's attractions granbbed nmy atttention towards them a lot.
Athens   3 years ago  Edited
Now my question is that where to go in 2017 in summer. Cause I really wanna go there. I will see more response soon.
Selvador   3 years ago  Edited
Now I wil lsay that you have shared such a nice blog. It is trully fantastic. Now i would like to viit all these places in my next days when will become back from my east america tours.