The open road, adventure, new experiences; this is where we draw our inspiration. Heading out to far-flung shores or exploring hidden gems close to home, the feeling is the same—a sense of wonder and excitement as we see the world anew.
As a fresh year dawns we round up the destinations getting the nod from the well-travelled nomads in 2017.
Northern Dalmatia, Croatia
Europe, an entire continent right on our doorstep, from the dramatic shorelines of the Dalmatian Coast, to the ancient ruins of Rome and the wilderness of the Russian taiga, this is a land of epic contrasts.
Breathtaking scenery, stunning beaches and a vast cultural heritage, Northern Dalmatia lacks none of the charm of the increasingly fashionable south but as yet remains a path less trodden on the tourist route. Escape to the Krka National Park, with its myriad of waterfalls, including the dramatic Skradinski Buk, a series of seventeen tumbling cascades. Cool off in the vivid blue-green waters, or explore the surreal karst terrain, made famous in that somewhat popular HBO show we’ve all been glued to for the past six series!
Best for budget
Vietnam is already known as a budget destination, where a night’s accommodation can be as little as £8. Head north of Hanoi to the under explored region of the Red River Valley for a true voyage of discovery far from the traditional tourist trail. Fan Si Pan, Vietnam’s tallest peak rises from the valley offering stunning scenery and trekking possibilities from Sa Pa, a former French hill station. This is the country for serious road trips, by jeep (or motorbike for an even better value option.) The roads may not be for the faint hearted but the rewards are unrivalled, with the border area of Ha Giang and Cao Bang offering stunning scenery, whilst Ba Be National Park hides Vietnam’s largest natural lake.
Off the beaten track
Myanmar is not without its troubles and travel is by no means easy but the election of the first civilian government in half a century means the most secretive of South East Asia’s countries is gradually opening up its delights to visitors. This is where you can see the old Asia, before internationalism takes hold, the magical Buddhist simplicity of a country untouched by outside influence. Here you will witness unique sights, from the Intha fishermen who row their boats with one leg to keep both hands free for catching fish, to the floating gardens of Lake Inle and the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangdon, covered in solid gold.
Back to nature
This is the country for a true digital detox, where the natural environment takes precedence and the purity of silence is embraced. Already home to forty national parks, twelve wilderness areas and six national hiking zones, it is no accident that Finland celebrates one hundred years of independence in 2017 with four Finnish Nature Days, one for each season. From bear watching in the east, to cloudberry hunting under the midnight sun, or witnessing the ethereal beauty of the Northern Lights, this is a land of many contrasts. This year Finland will also play host to the World Figure Skating Championships and Nordic World Ski Championships so for fans of winter sports now is the time to visit.
Closer to home
Hull, United Kingdom
Immersive travel experiences don’t always have to clock up the air miles. City of Culture for 2017, Hull is throwing open its doors to the world and curating a year long celebration to showcase the creativity and culture that’s alive and well within its streets. Split into four seasons, a programme of music, film, theatre, art and dance will explore the themes of: ‘Made in Hull’, ‘Roots and Routes’ and ‘Freedom,’ before culminating with ‘Tell the World’ —a view of the future and Hull’s place as a global city.
The sultanate of Oman is fast becoming the golden destination in Arabia’s luxury travel market. Located on the Northern Musandam Peninsula, the Six Senses Zighy Bay resort is secluded, beautiful and has the option of arriving in style—paraglider, speedboat or 4×4! Perched amongst the dramatic scenery of the Al Hajar mountain range, the Alila resort is another high-end haven for travellers and adventure seekers. Whilst the facilities available could easily make leaving the hotel unnecessary, this is the perfect base for trekking, canyon walks, or exploring the city of Nizwa, referred to as ‘the pearl of Islam’.
For music lovers
Pag Island, Croatia
For music lovers, Northern Dalmatia is also the keenest place to be this summer. Pag Island plays host to Hideout Festival, a standout five-day party for electronic music fans. Just imagine, the likes of Marco Carola, Stormzy, Diplo, boat and pool parties, set against a beautiful backdrop of mountains and sea. Alternatively, head to Tisno for Love International. Where else would you find a festival located in its own natural amphitheatre leading down to a private sandy bay, lapped by the crystal clear waters of the Adriatic.
Travel meets fashion
As Cuba opens up to the world, its impact on global design trends has been hotly anticipated and for 2017 nowhere is this more evident than in the fashion industry. A country of wonderful contradictions, Cuba’s historical legacy was largely preserved by the revolution, with cities like Havana, Trinidad and Cienfuegos remaining magically unchanged. The faded grandeur of Cuba, the heat of its vibrant streets and the fusion of raw surf culture with eclectic city beats can be seen across European fashion designs this season. Animal’s SS17 Men’s Collection draws on this encounter culture in the colour edit Havana Heat (arriving in-store and online soon.)
Whether your travel plans for 2017 are big or small, an epic voyage or closer to home, don’t forget we’ve got you covered with our luggage collection. Designed for those who live for adventure, it’s all about travel bags that combine understated aesthetics with spot-on functionality.
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