The hottest destinations for 2017

29 November 2016

The hottest destinations for 2017

We've been hard at work compiling our predictions for the hottest destinations in 2017. These are places with a unique local vibe, from hip cities to off-track wilderness to chill-out beach towns. There's something here for every traveller – time to start planning your 2017 adventure!

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Argentinian food and wine is emerging on the global scene and we predict travel to the homeland will take off in 2017. Visiting the dining hotspot of Buenos Aires, you'll enter a world of faded elegance, where the European-style architecture and broad boulevards contrast with the tango dancers in the streets, the hunks of barbecuing meat and the wildly colourful street art. Buenos Aires is full of unique character – it's a bohemian, distinctly South American, version of Paris.

Beaches of South India

When a relaxing beach break is in order, people are thinking beyond the one-dimensional resort holiday. They are looking for adventure, regional cuisine and culture – plus relaxing on the beach. Southern India delivers just that – gorgeous palm-fringed beaches, spicy coconut curries, local culture and all the colour of India. It's on the rise as the new go-to adventure travel beach destination.

Atlas Mountains, Morocco

Morocco is a cultural treasure trove, from the insanely colourful markets to the beach towns and desert kasbahs. It's also got the Atlas Mountains and as recreational cycling increases in popularity, we predict the outrageously good cycling in the Atlas will become well known. Gorges, deserts, palm groves, ancient villages and snow-peaked mountains provide an exotic backdrop for tough climbs and brilliant fast descents.

Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia

You heard it here – the next big art destination will be the fabulous Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia. It's one of the oldest and largest museums in the world and it's chock-a-block with prehistoric artefacts, Egyptian antiquities, Greek statues and paintings by the likes of Van Gogh, Picasso, Rubens and Degas. The huge collection of global masterpieces is set in sumptuous palace buildings which used to be home to Russia's emperors.

Antarctic wilderness

Pristine wilderness experiences continue to attract the eco-traveller and the last bastion of global wilderness, Antarctica, will be high on the wish-list. This vast icy land needs to be treated with great care and respect and eco-aware travellers will turn to the travel operators that make the extra effort to go above and beyond the legislated guidelines.

Siem Reap, Cambodia

The incredible and massive temple complex of Angkor is on every keen traveller's bucket list. Angkor is serviced by the town of Siem Reap and years ago the town was just a few big hotels, some tourist restaurants and touts selling trinkets. These days the town has matured – it's becoming a Cambodian destination in its own right. There are hip bars, cool cafes, top-notch traditional Cambodian cuisine and loads of things to do and see.

Oaxaca, Mexico

The flavours of Mexico have become firmly entrenched in our regular eating habits and now people want to taste the 'real thing'. Oaxaca is one of Mexico's top food destinations. Exploring the markets and restaurants you'll learn a whole new food vocabulary of memelitas, tamales, moles and, importantly, delicious Oaxacan chocolate. All this with a glorious Mexican backdrop of Mayan ruins, remote jungles and pristine beaches.

Amazon Rainforest, Peru

As people continue to ask more and more of their travels, Peru continues to provide. The Peruvian tract of the vast Amazon Rainforest offers travellers the chance to experience this unique wilderness – as well as have easy access to all of Peru's highlights – Machu Picchu, the Inca Trail, Arequipa, the Nazca Lines and the Inca ruins of the Sacred Valley. Peru has really got the lot.

Nepal

After the devastating earthquake of March 2015, Nepal was a country overcome with grief, facing the task of rebuilding. The world leapt to Nepal's aid and relief funds contributed much to their welfare. Now, infrastructure is repaired and tourism is back on track. In 2017, travellers will continue to support Nepal – this time not with charity money but with tourism money – money that goes straight into local pockets and supports local families. 

Puglia, Italy

Italy is a firm favourite on the travel radar. Many travellers have experienced the joys of Rome, Tuscany and Venice and are ready to see more of what Italy has to offer. Puglia, a beautiful region in the south of Italy – in the heel of the boot – is almost undiscovered by travellers. Beautiful rural landscapes, cliff-top seaside towns, incredible cuisine and the fascinating local Trulli houses make Puglia a red-hot travel pick for 2017.

Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Wildlife experiences never go out of style and east Africa's safari heartland will remain a solid favourite. Tanzania's Ngorongoro Crater is a unique ecosystem – the catchment of the crater walls has created a lush, green haven for wildlife across the vast crater floor. Over 25,000 animals roam the crater – you'll find black rhino, Masai lion, Cape buffalo, hippo, wildebeest, zebra and giraffe. It's like a big bowl of wildlife.

Trinidad, Cuba

When people think Cuba, they think of the 1950s cars and crumbling buildings of Old Havana. The stunning world-heritage city of Trinidad has been somewhat overlooked in the Havana-hype. Built with the wealth of the sugar trade, there are grand colonial buildings, a broad town square and quiet cobblestone streets lined with colourful buildings. All that set right on a gorgeous palm-fringed beach. It's like the best of Cuba wrapped up in one little town.

Chicago, USA

For hipster travellers, it's all about the craft beer, single-origin coffee and artisanal gluten-free toast. We know about the hipster-credentials of Portland, Brooklyn and San Fran – now it's Chicago's time to shine. The city was judged as one of the 'most hipster' places in America (on a scale counting the likes of food trucks, bars, artists and farmer's markets). Chicago is a gangster town reinvented, a perfect destination for city-loving travellers.