16 Must-See Destinations for 2016: The Cool List
National Geographic Traveller (UK) has announced its Cool List 2016, highlighting the 16 must-see destinations for the year ahead. Chosen by its team of editors and writers, the hotly anticipated list of countries and cities are revealed in the Jan/Feb 2016 issue of the magazine.
Have a look and decide for yourself:
Iran’s vice-president mentions that his country is currently preparing for a ‘tsunami’ of foreign tourists after loosening visa rules and an accord that was signed last July to curb Iran’s nuclear activities. A country rich in historical and cultural treasures; Iran’s beaches, breathtaking Islamic architecture, incredible food and lots more certainly make it one of the most desirable destinations in the year 2016.
2. Costa Rica
Rated as one of world’s biggest natural playgrounds, Costa Rica despite of its smaller land mass, is one of the wealthiest nations in the world when it comes to biodiversity. Amazing beaches, lively rainforests, nature trails, belching volcanoes, lakes and rivers mean that the visitors are sure to be enthralled by the country’s unique landscape in addition to its developed tourism infrastructure.
3. Washington DC
Washington DC is much more than the mere United States Capital; it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States offering a wide range of attractions and activities. The National Mall is home to the city’s most famous monuments, memorials and museums and the starting point for most visitors. Beyond the traditional attractions at Washington DC, fresh food, arts and nightlife scenes too are set to excite the visitors.
The rugged yet romantic landscapes are what symbolize Ireland. What tourists may not enjoy about Ireland is its unreliable and mostly wet weather, but it does have a fascinating history, friendly people, and a rich and laid-back culture all to provide the tourists an unforgettable travel experience. The “Not to Miss” list can be a long one while you are in Ireland; therefore it is advisable to plan carefully. An added piece of information for literature lovers is that Ireland is “the land of saints and scholars” and boasts more Nobel Prize winners for literature than any other country in the world.
Cuba requires no introduction as the Caribbean’s largest island has been an attractive destination for tourists since long. 253 protected areas, 257 national monuments, 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 7 Natural Biosphere Reserves and 13 Fauna Refuge among other non-tourist zones are a testimony to the same. Cuba’s musicality is defined by most as a love affair between the African drum and the Spanish guitar, a dynamic mix of which can be heard as you walk along the busy atmospheric streets across faded colonial buildings.
Tourist numbers to Nepal plummeted by 85% after the devastating earthquakes, but the country is once more open for business and safe to visit, with a new government-backed website providing official updates on affected areas. This is a nation that has long relied heavily on tourism, with many visitors lured by the chance to combine voluntourism with an adventure holiday in a stunning landscape.
China’s biggest city and a global financial hub, Shanghai offers its visitors a wonderful mix of history and modern attractions. Museums and religious sites form the core of tourist attractions with Yuyuan Garden and Jade Buddha Temple being the popular ones. Ever fancied a trip to see Disney’s largest ever theme park castle or about checking into a Toy Story-themed hotel? These are the latest additions to the endless attraction this city has on offer.
Not everyone might endure the patience that is required to live the adventure in Mozambique. Remote archipelagos long, dune-fringed beaches, turquoise waters abounding in shoals of colorful fish, well-preserved corals, pounding surf, all of which test the visitors with an unfailing reward up for grabs. Mixed with these are colonial-style architecture, pulsating nightlife, an endlessly fascinating cultural mix.
9. St Vincent and the Grenadines
St. Vincent and the Grenadines is a southern Caribbean nation formed off 32 gorgeous islands. From St. Vincent’s lush tropical rainforest full of eco-adventures, to the idyllic beaches, coral reefs and turquoise lagoons of The Grenadines, SVG is a tropical paradise for yachting, scuba diving, enjoying nature, and relaxing in luxurious hideaways.
10. Bosnia and Herzegovina
Situated in southeastern Europe, Bosnia and Herzegovina encompasses mountainous terrain, medieval villages and Muslim and Christian landmarks. The cultural and natural heritages here are inseparable and that is reason the most interesting and attractive sites here are a mix of these. Its countryside is marked by deep gorges, turquoise rivers and lakes, and the Dinaric Alps’ forests and crags. It’s a popular destination for outdoor sports such as hiking, mountain biking, white-water rafting and skiing.
A County in South-West England, Somerset offers a great range of tourist and holiday destinations. The County is rich in wildlife and ranks among the UK’s top places for bird watching, particularly in the winter months. Somerset is perhaps best known for its attractions, days out, carnivals and festivals such as the world famous event at Glastonbury or the magnificent illuminated carnival in Bridgwater.
12. Rio de Janeiro
One of Brazil’s most popular tourist destinations Rio de Janerio’s vibrant city center is bursting with culture and pulsating with a deep sense of history and heritage. UNESCO has recognized Rio as a World Heritage Site for its spectacular setting between the mountains and the sea. Perhaps the most spectacular party on the planet, Rio Carnival rightly deserves prime position on every traveller’s bucket list.
With abundant reserves of oil and most other valuable minerals, Kazakhstan is world’s ninth-biggest country. It generally boasts better standards of accommodation, restaurants and transport than elsewhere in Central Asia. The country brags a wealth of attractions including picturesque lakes and mountains, hot-mineral springs, and archeological wonders. Kazakhstan’s largest city and cultural capital is in the middle of a wave of regeneration and it’s seeking a reputation as a city of sports.
Argentina has the largest waterfalls, the highest peak in the Americas and some of the most extraordinary scenery that will leave any traveller amazed. From the glaciers and sky-scraping peaks of the Andes to the vineyards of Mendoza and the bustle of Buenos Aires, Argentina is a land of natural and man-made wonders. As a result, it is one of the most unique countries in the world in that it offers everything that a tourist could ask for.
15. San Sebastian
It is often held that it’s impossible to lay eyes on San Sebastian and not fall madly in love. Picturesquely set on the crescent-shaped Bay of Concha, this elegant town is one of Spain’s most fashionable beach resorts. San Sebastian delights visitors with its scenic beauty and savory cuisine, and surprises with its lively ambience and cultural attractions. A spruced-up seaside promenade, a renovated museum and a forthcoming culinary school all add to the city’s allure.
16. Great Barrier Reef
The Great Barrier Reef measuring 2,300 kilometers is the largest coral reef system in the world composed of over 2,900 individual reefs and 900 islands. There are a diverse range of tourism operations in the Great Barrier Reef including day tours, overnight and extended tours, snorkeling, scuba diving and fishing charters, long range roving tours, aircraft or helicopter tours, bare boats (self-sail), glass-bottomed boat viewing, semi-submersibles and educational trips, cruise ships, beach hire and water sports, passenger ferries, whale watching and swimming with dolphins.