If you view travel as an adventure, where should you be visiting in 2017? Travel company G Adventures have compiled their chart of the hottest destinations for the year ahead.
The Buddhist kingdom of Bhutan, high in the Himalayas, tops their list of recommendations for travel. I asked company spokesmen Uday Sodha why it is their number one choice and which other destinations made the list.
“It’s partly because the UN has designated 2017 International Year of Sustainable Tourism and Bhutan has become the first carbon negative country in the world. That’s a fantastic achievement,” he said. “They also measure their gross national happiness of the country,” Uday added.
“We arrange for small group adventures of around twelve people travelling together through the country so they get to see the fantastic sites, like the temples, which are structured into the mountains. They get to trek to monasteries where they will stay overnight with the monks, too. Bhutan is a great off-the-beaten-track destination and is still relatively undeveloped, whilst protecting itself from becoming a mass tourism place. A small group tour helps in terms of the ability to interact with locals.”
Canada is number two on G Adventures’ list. That country is readily available so why did they pick that? “It’s the 150th anniversary of the Confederation taking place and Canada has opened up its national parks free of charge for the year,” said Uday. “That will be a real draw for bringing people into the country. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit has also given publicity to Canada. G Adventures have teamed up with National Geographic to run tours where guests can visit Churchill, a small Manitoba town with 800 residents. It’s famous for the polar bears that visit in the wintertime. There is an international research centre for polar bears there and the group can understand what’s being done to preserve them in their habitat. It’s a unique experience that you’ll only have if you go with an organised tour group like ours. Very rarely do we get access to this level of understanding.” adds Uday.
Montenegro is third on the list and the company is offering an intimate sailing experience on an eight-person yacht. It will sail from Dubrovnik and around the Montenegro coast where guests can jump off the deck and snorkel or stop for lunch or dinner in the waterside restaurants.
Iran is at number four. “There are now direct flights with British Airways from London. G Adventures use local guides who will give guests a chance to see cultural sites and museums. You can stay in locally operated hotels that you wouldn’t be able to access if you went on your own.” Uday told me that more people are becoming interested in Iran. “It has been unavailable and off-limits for a while and there’s pent up demand,” he says.
Their number five destination is Egypt and Uday says visitor numbers are rising again, although he adds that they’ve not reached the pre-revolution levels.
You can read more on gadventures.co.uk.