Four Seasons SerengetiLooking for some 2018 Travel Inspiration? Well, before you book your next escape here’s a helping hand on where to choose, a round up of my top ten travel destinations discovered for the very first time in 2017 & why they were so amazing!

This year has been a truly exceptional year of travel for me, I’m currently in The Philippines falling head over heels in love with the country and waiting to wish in the new year after travelling to 24 countries since New Year’s Day 2017. I’ll be writing up a full year’s round up to publish between singing old lang syne but in the mean time I wanted to share with you my top 10 destination discoveries of this year, covering 10 amazing new countries/islands I’ve explored and just why I loved them so much! I’m hoping that once you’ve read this post any notes slipped into your christmas cards yesterday will be ‘stowed’ away to book a flight for 2018 😉

1.     The Serengeti, Tanzania

Not just one of my favourite travel experiences of 2017 but one for the all-time list! The secluded yet intimate escape of a Safari expedition is something that should be experienced by everyone at least once in a lifetime. Driving through the African plains whilst encountering lions, zebras, giraffes and monkeys makes for the most extraordinary holiday and sharing remarkable moments with these wild animals was a few days I will never forget.

We stayed at Four Seasons Serengeti which is one of the most unique and extravagant hotels I’ve ever stayed in. The swimming pool overlooks a natural watering hole so breakfast with elephants was a daily occurrence!

Read about my trip here.

2. East Canada

It’s always been a dream of mine to visit Canada as I was made there (as in….well you know!) but it turns out it was the perfect country for my conception because of the all the countries I’ve visited this year, it’s there that I felt the most ‘ME’ in Ottawa, Canada. We were visiting my friend Julie whilst there who has just had a baby and it was great to experience the ‘real’ Canada for a few weeks. We took boats up the river to find private sandbanks, camped by the fire most evenings with ‘smores’ and spent a few days in Niagara experiencing every which way to view the falls.  I’m itching to get back!

Read about my trip here.

3.     Bora Bora, Tahiti

My dreams came true this year as I  travelled to Tahiti and was finally able to see humpback whales in the wild, it.was.incredible! I also discovered that the pictures you see in the glossy mags may look doctored but the beauty is real! The island of Bora Bora is true paradise. The clearest, bluest waters I’ve ever swam in and pristine white beaches lined with palms, plus all the world’s finest hotels offering guests the ultimate wanderlust experience. It was easy to see how this island is a honeymooners dream!

We stayed at Conrad Bora Bora Nui where rooms boast stunning sunset views and a hammock directly above the sea to watch the bountiful marine life swim beneath you.

Read about my trip here.

4.     Costa Rica

Where the beauty of the  rainforest meets the wonder the ocean, Costa Rica is a country I wasn’t expecting to travel to in 2017 but I am so stoked I did! Here I watched adorable baby turtles take their first walk down to the beach and spotted toucans soaring through the sky, I’ve never felt so connected to nature than when in Costa Rica. We visited a number of places in the unique country but my favourite place was Arenal where we visited an amazing waterfall by day and relaxed in the natural thermal spa by night.

We stayed at Nayara Springs Hotel, where your balcony leads into the wonders of the rainforest and the sounds of howler monkeys are your alarm clock 😉

Read about my trip here.

5.     Swedish Lapland

Amongst my tropical travels this year I also spent a lot of time in the snow,  my favourite cold escape was the whimsical wonders of Swedish Lapland. Here we spent a few days in the snowy wilderness, dog sledging across the white plains and frozen lakes which was a definite bucket list tick! We also visited the famous Ice Hotel and the man-made ice extravaganza was insane! The whole trip was a truly unforgettable experience.

We stayed at Camp Ripan which was the perfect base for spotting the Northern Lights, unfortunately bad weather got in our way and we only caught a glimpse of green in our case.

Full post still to come!

6.     Zanzibar Island

Powder white beaches, glistening transparent waters and exceptional hospitality, the island of Zanzibar really doesn’t get enough exposure and credit for a paradise escape in my opinion, it really is beautiful. The beaches are like nothing I could ever have imagined considering they are all public and a visit to the The Rock (a restaurant on it’s very own island) made me fall head over heels in love with Zanzibar and vowing to visit again!

We stayed at The White Sand Villas, who earned the title of my best hotel discovery of 2017. The villas are exceptional spaces that even your imagination couldn’t create, all leading onto a postcard perfect beach.

Read about my trip here.

7. Mauritius

Another beautiful place that stole my heart in the Indian Ocean was the island of Mauritius, with the most stunning sunsets I’ve ever seen. It was here that I fulfilled my life long dream of swimming with wild dolphins. It was a day I’ll remember for the rest of my life and I have every intention of heading back as soon as I can.

We stayed at Beachcomber Dinarobin and despite bad weather (it rained most of the time!) we enjoyed every single moment in the resort!

Read about my trip here.

8. Borneo, Malaysia

The wonderful island of Borneo in Malaysia is so special and unique, it’s also home to the famous Orang-utan Sanctuary where the intelligent and playful animals are rescued from being harmed or home and rehabilitated in the wild. I was able to come face to face with so many cute chaps and it was amazing! There were also some great beaches and smaller islands to explore in Borneo, it’s a really untouched destination and we loved every day!

We stayed at The Shangri-La Rasa Ria which is home to one of the largest beaches in the whole country and rooms feature petal drawn baths at sunset.

Read about my trip here.

9. Qatar

I was pleasantly surprised by the wonder of Qatar, after spending a long weekend there I would highly recommend it for a stopover. There’s so many amazing restaurants and bars to indulge at and you can skip out of town into the vast desert for an extra few hours of fun. We went dune bashing at sunset and it was epic! Probably one of my favourite evenings of the year. We stayed at The Shangri La and were treated to an extra special breakfast on the helipad. I’ve never had my first meal of the day in such amazing style!

Read about my trip here.

10. Palm Island

The Maldives of the Caribbean! This tiny little island based in The Grenadines is absolute bliss! Pretty bare beaches with clear inviting water, amazing hike routes with stunning views and the best bit? The whole entire island is one resort, just like if you were to travel to the Maldives. The luxury all inclusive hotel offers everything for a paradise escape and the island is well located to allow guests to explore and enjoy the surrounding waters. We took a boat to the famous location where Pirates of The Caribbean was filmed to swim with turtles and sting rays, we also sailed to our very own private sandbank. If you love the Caribbean, you have to visit here!

Read about my trip here.

 

2 Comments

  1. So inspiring and all the places look amazing. Will be making my travel list accordingly. Qatar definitely on the list already!

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