OK so the title of this article is ambitious to say the least. There are so many factors that need to be considered when creating a best holiday destinations list, as travel is so personal (e.g. what are your interests, what can you afford, who are your fellow travelle…
#1 Bruges – Belgium
Yes, I admit, until I watched the film “In Bruges” I had not thought of visiting this “f*#king fairy-tale” place. You will happily get lost in the cobbled alleyways and alcoves, and the homes that line the canals, as seen above, are just a delight. This place is so quaint you trick yourself into presuming every man is a gent and every women a lady, and that everyone goes home after work and tells stories by the fire.
Take note, Bruges is no secret travel destination, so you can expect plenty of tourists on weekends. Our tip is to visit Bruges midweek and avoid the crowds, so you can really take in the beauty of it.
#2 The Black Forest – Germany
Perhaps we should be calling this list ‘The Top 5 Fairy-Tale Places on Earth’, as The Black Forest, in Germany, is exactly that, a fairy-tale spot that inspires the senses. The home of Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood, if you’re currently working on a fantasy novel, this will provide you with that much-needed inspiration, or if you simply seeking peace and quiet – the Black Forest’s deep dark woods are a place where time seems stand still.
In case chocolate and wine, rather than walking, is more your thing. Then one of the best times to visit the Black Forest is in the lead up to Christmas. As one of the nearby sleepy villages, Gengenbach comes to life during this period. Expect to see cosy lanterns lighting the streets on each windowsill and wooden stalls lining the old cobbled streets selling woollen mittens, mulled wine and delicious chocolate!
#3 Tasmania – Australia
Tasmania, that little island that people forget to draw when drawing a map of Australia. Thank goodness it gets forgotten because Tasmania is an absolute gem and in areas beautifully untouched. From the mountain peaks that appear on every horizon to the crystal-clear water and white sandy beaches, Tasmania is a must visit for any adventurer. Special mentions go to Bay of Fires, Cradle Mountain, Wineglass Bay, Salamanca Markets and Tarkine Forest…even the name of each place is awesome.
#4 Patagonia – Argentina & Chile
No, that’s not a picture of Lord of the Rings’ Middle-Earth, it is Patagonia, a diverse region spreading across the southern areas of Argentina and Chile, which shifts in shape and colour ever 100 km from deserts to grasslands to snow-capped mountains and glaciers.
If you enjoy walks, hiking and horseback riding then you could easily spend 2 weeks trekking through Patagonia. If you prefer to just sit back, spot penguins and pumas and enjoy the majestic landscape over a glass of wine, then this is a perfect getaway for you too.
#5 Oktoberfest – Germany
Yes, Germany has featured twice on this list. Maybe its because this writer has penchant for drinking, but in terms of great celebratory events, Oktoberfest (yes mainstream Oktoberfest) is right up there. Everyone is joyful, the beers and food are great. The location is great. It is just great. Really really great.
Let us know the best places you’ve visited lately…and please, as always share, your stories with us!