Luxury Travel: 50 Ridiculously Beautiful Places to Visit in 2016 ⇒ Sometimes is almost unbelievable, but 2015 is coming to a close, and definitely, it’s time to start planning – at least thinking about it – for 2016. Whether you are a seasoned traveller or a novice, it’s never too early to start planning ahead to the places you want to choose as your next destination. From Greece’s glamorous Spetses Island to Iceland’s otherworldly countryside, CovetED Magazine prepared an amazing list with 50 ridiculously beautiful places you should visit in 2016.
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#1 KYOTO, JAPAN
This is the second year in a row that Kyoto has been named the best city in the world by Travel + Leisure, an award based off of votes from travellers. The city is rich in history and home to many incredible temples, markets, parks, and gardens.
#2 DARBY, MONTANA
Darby is home to Triple Creek Ranch, which we named the best hotel of the year. The all-inclusive luxury ranch provides guests with private cabins, exceptional food and service, and plenty of activities like snowshoeing, horseback riding, tennis, and cooking classes.
#3 PETERSBURG, RUSSIA
St. Petersburg was voted the best destination in Europe in this year’s World Travel Awards. There’s an abundance of history to be learned from the city’s many ornate palaces and churches, which date back centuries.
#4 SHOAL BAY VILLAGE, ANGUILLA
Anguilla has become the new “it” vacation spot for Wall Streeters. Its picture-perfect white-sand beaches are a large part of the country’s draw. Shoal Bay (pictured) is one of its most popular beaches.
#5 QUEBEC CITY, CANADA
Quebec City’s claim to fame is the fact that it’s the only walled city with cobblestone streets north of Mexico. There’s a budding creative scene in the city as well as numerous festivals and fairs during the summer, thanks to the many artsy types who have settled there.
#6 HAVANA, CUBA
It’s been a few months since relations between Cuba and the US started to thaw, but that’s just now translating to Americans planning trips to the country. From its old coloured buildings to its classic cars and cigars, Cuba is a must-see.
#7 REYKJAVIK, ICELAND
Iceland’s countryside has an otherworldly feel to it. The capital, Reykjavik, has a charming array of colourful rooftops and is an amazing spot for photographers to play.
#8 LUXEMBOURG CITY, LUXEMBOURG
It’s easy to overlook the small, landlocked nation of Luxembourg, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth a trip. The country has a startling number of stunning castles, and Luxembourg City is a picturesque juxtaposition of old and new.
#9 MOUNT EVEREST, NEPAL
In order to address concerns about safety and overcrowding, officials in Nepal are considering banning amateur hikers from climbing Mount Everest. If this happens, you’ll want to take your trip to the peak sooner rather than later.
#10 GIRONA, SPAIN
El Celler de Can Roca, in the quaint Spanish city of Girona, was named the best restaurant in the world this year. Complete with a river, medieval architecture, and a walled Old Quarter, this city won’t disappoint — and neither will the food at El Celler.
#11 SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA
Lonely Planet named Angkor Wat the world’s best tourist attraction this year. A massive complex deep in the jungles of Siem Reap, it’s actually a 700-year-old city with canals, temples, shrines, and tombs that stretch more than 154 square miles.
#12 QUEENS, NEW YORK
New Yorkers may be surprised to hear that the borough of Queens was named the top US travel destination this year by Lonely Planet. Tourism has been booming recently, most likely due to Queens’ diverse culture and exploding food scene.
#13 MALIBU, CALIFORNIA
Just last year Malibu was given American viticultural area status, which means it’s an officially designated wine-growing area. Malibu’s Santa Monica Mountains are beautiful and an ideal spot for the 50 growers of wine grapes who have settled there.
#14 LUCERNE, SWITZERLAND
Although it may not be as well-known as other Swiss cities like Zurich, Geneva, or Bern, the quaint village of Lucerne is home to an incredibly well-preserved covered wooden bridge, plenty of traditional architecture, and cobblestone streets in its Altstadt (old town), as well as a crystal-clear lake.
#15 SPETSES, GREECE
Experts say now is the time to go to Greece, thanks to a large number of travel deals that have sprung from the country’s debt crisis. Spetses is not as touristy as Mykonos or Santorini, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less glamorous, with horse-drawn carriages, yachts, mansions, fancy hotels, and pricey boutiques.
#16 CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
Travel + Leisure voted Charleston the best city in America this year, and with good reason. The historical city is home to impeccably landscaped gardens, old mansions and carriage houses, and amazing waterfront views.
#17 JINSHANLING, CHINA
This Chinese town is home to a section of the Great Wall, a site that visitors should try and see sooner rather than later. Close to two-thirds of the wall have been destroyed because of over-farming, natural erosion, and the selling of historic engraved bricks.
#18 AZORES ISLANDS, PORTUGAL
These nine islands, found 800 miles off the coast of Portugal, have been called one of the Atlantic Ocean’s best-kept secrets. Travellers can find just about every kind of natural wonder here, from beaches to lakes to volcanic caves and waterfalls.
#19 RENO, NEVADA
Reno probably isn’t the first city that comes to mind when you’re thinking about vacation, but Hotels.com recently dubbed the city America’s most underrated foodie destination. It has plenty of fancy steakhouses, along with all kinds of another cuisine, like Italian, French, and Mexican. Plus the average price for a one-night stay at a Reno hotel is only $85.
#20 LA ROQUE-GAGEAC, FRANCE
Built into the cliffs that line the Dordogne River in southern France, La Roque-Gageac is billed as one of the country’s most beautiful villages, and it’s still somewhat of a hidden gem. The town has its own natural solarium that was formed by rocks and houses a number of exotic plants.
#21 ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES
Plenty of tourists will be booking a trip to see the United Arab Emirates’ version of the Louvre, in Abu Dhabi and set to open in 2016. The futuristic dome-shaped building looks like it’s floating above the man-made lake that surrounds it. It will be home to a vast collection of art that includes Chinese Buddhist carvings, Italian oil paintings, and works from artists like Van Gogh, da Vinci, and Monet that have been sent from Paris’ Louvre.
#22 SARAJEVO, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
Named one of the best value destinations for 2016 by Lonely Planet, Bosnia, and Herzegovina is one of Europe’s lesser-known destinations. The capital, Sarajevo, sits on the Miljacka River and is surrounded by the Dinaric Alps. It was recently renovated after the 1990s’ Bosnian War and has a fair amount of sites and museums to visit.
With its mouthwatering street food, incredible cleanliness, efficient public transportation, and a pervasive feeling of safety, Singapore is an ideal place for an exciting warm-weather getaway. Plus, Lonely Planet has said it’s one of the most accessible countries in the world thanks to its high-quality infrastructure.
#24 HANOI, VIETNAM
Named one of Asia’s most budget-friendly cities by Lonely Planet, Hanoi is known for its charming old quarter, stunning temples, crowded streets, motorbikes, and the mix of cultures that converge there: Southeast Asian, Chinese, and French.
#25 SAYULITA, MEXICO
Sayulita once stood as a somewhat quiet and remote destination for surfers, but today it’s home to a bustling nightlife, mouthwatering food, and stunning villas set in wild jungles.
#26 KRUGER NATIONAL PARK, SOUTH AFRICA
This park is one of the continent’s largest game reserves and is a prime spot for seeing the “Big Five”: lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants, and buffaloes. It’s also home to two of our top 30 hotels of the year: Singita Sabi Sand and Singita Kruger National Park.
#27 SIENA, ITALY
In Siena, travellers can explore soaring architecture and vibrant streets that lead to quaint restaurants and delis. This year, Castello di Casole — a restored Italian castle nestled among picturesque green rolling hills — took the No. 1 spot on our list of the best hotels in Europe.
#28 WROCLAW, POLAND
Wroclaw has been named the top European City of Culture for 2016 and has recently become one of Europe’s cultural centres, with an array of festivals, concerts, conferences, and art gatherings. The fourth largest city in Poland, Wroclaw has colourful buildings and stalls that sell everything from delectable cheese to pottery.
#29 PETRA, JORDAN
The half-built city of Petra is one of Jordan’s main attractions, but the famous archaeological site has been harmed by harsh winds and rain over the last century, making it all the most important that you see it as soon as possible. But tourists should avoid touching the walls, as this has also contributed to its damage.
#30 UDAIPUR, INDIA
The Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur took the No. 1 spot on Travel + Leisure’s list of the best hotels in the world this year. The city is home to fantastic palaces and colourful streets filled with ancient bazaars that are just waiting to be explored.
#31 MARSH HARBOUR, BAHAMAS
Private aviation company XOJET has named Marsh Harbour the most popular destination for private jet travel right now. The third-largest city in the Bahamas, Marsh Harbour sits on a peninsula and has a variety of restaurants and resorts along its marina.
#32 NUUK, GREENLAND
Greenland’s capital hosts an impressive fjord system that sits against a backdrop of majestic mountains. In March 2016, it will also be the location of the Arctic Winter Games, showcasing sports competitions that include everything from alpine skiing to wrestling.
#33 KOTOR, MONTENEGRO
Kotor topped Lonely Planet’s list of the top-10 cities to visit in 2016. Filled with charming cafes, plazas, and mountain-encircled bays, it’s still something of a hidden gem.
#34 TAIPEI, TAIWAN
Foodies will love Taipei, which is known for its wide variety of street foods. Walk along Yongkang Street for cafes serving scrumptious noodles and dumplings. Next, head to the Muzha Tea Plantations, where you can enjoy a warm cup from teahouses that are tucked away in the mountainside.
#35 CHOBE NATIONAL PARK, BOTSWANA
It’s very likely that you’ll be able to fly directly to Botswana in 2016, meaning that it won’t be a low-profile destination for much longer. The country is home to incredible national parks like Chobe National Park, home to some of Africa’s best lodges.
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#36 FAROE ISLANDS
According to The New York Times, the Faroe Islands, an archipelago in the North Atlantic, has grown substantially in the last five years to become “the most secluded destination for avant-garde food.” With a variety of eateries that offer modern cuisine made from local and seasonal ingredients, a culinary adventure awaits travellers here.
#37 RIGA, LATVIA
Lonely Planet picked Latvia as one of its top destinations for 2016 because of the major strides it has made in the last 25 years. Ancient castles and manor houses have been restored, and in Riga, you’ll find one of the biggest concentrations of Art Nouveau facades in the world.
#38 MANCHESTER, ENGLAND
If you visit Manchester, don’t be surprised to see a growing array of art centres, galleries, and libraries. The city is continuing to evolve into a cultural hub, and this upcoming year is a good time to see how it’s changed.
#39 ROTTERDAM, NETHERLANDS
As the Netherlands’ second-largest city, Rotterdam will be seeing several new openings next year, including the Museum Rotterdam inside the Koolhaas-designed Timmerhuis building, and Eurostar services between London and Amsterdam that will make commuting even easier.
#40 MAMANUCA ISLANDS, FIJI
The Mamanucas have pristine white-sand beaches and gorgeous blue waters. It’s home to several famous surf destinations and a bustling nightlife scene.
#41 MONTEVIDEO, URUGUAY
Uruguay is a cheaper alternative to Brazil and Argentina, and the country has an abundance of engaging activities for travellers. Take a private tour through its wine-tasting regions, watch a traditional tango show over dinner, or stroll through its historic plazas.
#42 DENVER, COLORADO
Denver has been growing into a popular travel choice over the years. The city offers top-notch coffee shops, some 22 craft and artisan breweries, outdoor activities like skiing and hiking, and the incredible Red Rocks outdoor music venue.
#43 RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
With golden beaches, pristine mountains, and monumental structures, Rio de Janeiro already has plenty to offer travellers, but next August, it will also be hosting the 2016 Summer Olympics.
#44 WAIHEKE ISLAND, NEW ZEALAND
Waiheke is filled with coves, beaches, and vineyards just waiting to be explored. Go mountain biking or sea kayaking, or discover the creations of more than 100 local artists who work with everything from sculpture and glass blowing to woodwork.
#45 QUEENSLAND, AUSTRALIA
Australia’s weakening dollar makes 2016 an ideal time to head to Queensland and take in its dramatic landscape. Marvel at the clear blue waters of the Great Barrier Reef, relax at the golden beaches of the Sunshine Coast or get lost in the lush greenery of the Daintree Rainforest.
#46 MUNICH, GERMANY
Next July, Munich will be celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Beer Purity Law. The law was created by local dukes to discern what should and shouldn’t be included in a brew. A huge beer festival will mark the occasion.
#47 COTE D’OR, BURGUNDY, FRANCE
This region has been a favourite of wine lovers for years. The area is booming now more than ever, thanks to plans for a new wine centre and events like the Beaune International Festival of Baroque Opera, which takes place in July.
#48 BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
Budapest isn’t as expensive as some of its European counterparts, but it isn’t any less charming or historical. Plus, it’s home to the Four Seasons Hotel Gresham Palace, which we named the best hotel in Europe this year, and it sits on the Danube River, an ideal spot for boat cruising.
#49 KENTUCKY BOURBON TRAIL, KENTUCKY
Tourism along the Kentucky Bourbon Trail has been booming since 2014. Distilleries have added new and expanded visitors centres and are working to offer guests even more types of bourbon during their tours.
#50 DUBLIN, IRELAND
According to Lonely Planet, more than 40% of Dublin’s population is under 30, and the city is bursting with vibrancy, creativity, and fun. Plus, this year marks the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising, so you can expect the streets to be filled with celebrations.
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Source: Business Insider