- travel bucket list
Celebrating a century of independence, Finland’s finally coming out from the shadows of its Nordic neighbours. Here, it’s all about winding down, breathing in the purest air, and grounding yourself in the stark beauty of Finnish wilderness. With over half of its scenery covered in forests and lakes, it’s chock-full of national parks like the green-as-anything Nuuksio. And not a half an hour away is Helsinki, where you can immerse yourself in the capital’s food scene, design district and sauna culture. The best of both worlds? Sounds like a no-brainer…
When people talk about Peru, the words ‘trip of a lifetime’ always follows (and for good reason). Whilst you might have already seen over a hundred pictures of Machu Picchu, you need to see the enchanted old mountain for yourself (and get your own tourist-free pictures). Hike around the country to throw yourself in the deep-end, or jet-set around using its new airport in Pisco to see Peru’s top must-see locations. Do spend some time in Paracas National Reserve, a village bustling with life and whose only neighbour is the desert. Seemingly lonely, it’s actually a great place for high-speed buggy rides amongst an oasis of sand dunes. It’s an active traveller’s dream.
Soak in the golden glory of Lisbon where modern neighbourhoods, rich age-old culture and sandy beaches all come under one umbrella. The city of seven hills boasts oldy-worldy charm and a maze of winding roads that we wouldn’t (at all) mind getting lost in. Creativity has had resurgence here – abandoned factories have turned into exhibition centres, and street art murals cover the once bare walls. For the wine-lovers, Portugal’s national tipple is port, so it’s well worth popping the cork on a wine tour. Luckily, with an average of 2,799 hours of sunshine a year, you’re likely to return home bronzed (just make sure you load up on the SPF).
2017 is Canada’s year. The Great White North celebrates its 150th anniversary of nationhood, which kind of gives us an excuse to have a year-long birthday party. What better way to get it started than with free access to all of its National Parks? Enjoy the natural wonders scattered around its vast landscape by picking up a Discovery Pass – then choose a place and escape to find all answers to life’s questions. We recommend heading to Banff for jaw-dropping views, and to thrill yourself into the depths of winter sports. Or, if the city’s more your thing, turn to the bourgeoning food scenes and culture of Vancouver.
Spiking in tourist influx, Croatia has gained a lot of coverage from being one of Game of Throne’s idyllic filming spots. Whilst Dubrovnik and Hvar might be the stylish go-to, we look a ferry-ride away towards Korcula Island to experience the wine trails, and perhaps to lie aimlessly in the sun too. Fancy yourself as an explorer? Take an adventure to the urban capital, Zagreb, where streets are lined with cafes. Or Trogir and Sibenik for world heritage sites and breath-taking cathedrals. Take in the history of the city by day, and live the island-life by night – what more could you possibly want?